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Week of 2.16.07

For Your Eyes Only?

This week, NOW reports on new evidence suggesting the existence of a secret government program that intercepts millions of private e-mails each day in the name of terrorist surveillance. News about the alleged program came to light when a former AT&T employee, Mark Klein, blew the whistle on what he believes to be a large-scale installation of secret Internet monitoring equipment deep inside AT&T's San Francisco office. The equipment, he contends, was created at the request of the U.S. government to spy on e-mail traffic across the entire Internet. Though the government and AT&T refuse to address the issue directly, Klein backs up his charges with internal company documents and personal photos.

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Criminal Defense Lawyer Nancy Hollander, who represents several Muslim-Americans, feels her confidential e-mails are anything but secure. "I've personally never been afraid of my government until now. And now I feel personally afraid that I could be locked up tomorrow," she told NOW.

Who might be eyeing the hundreds of millions of e-mails Americans send out each day, and to what end?

Related Links:

» Wired: Whistle-Blower's Evidence, Uncut

» Wired: Wiretap Whistle-Blower's Account

» Wired: Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room

"I think that Congress has been quite clear. You've got to use FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act]. You've got to use the authority that we've delegated and no more,"
- Former Senator Tom Daschle on Congressional Interpretation of the war resolution.

More interpretation of the President's war powers:
» NOW: The Watchers 
Interview: John Yoo, Former Justice Department Official

Also this week, David Brancaccio talks to John Yoo, the former Bush Administration lawyer who was a key figure in granting the President expansive powers in the wake of September 11th. "There's no doubt that, in wartime, Presidents exercise much broader power than they do in peacetime," Yoo tells NOW. He also says President Bush has "tried to not go too far," in increasing such powers, as compared to previous administrations in wartime.

Related Links:

The New York Times: "Why Are the Pacifists So Passive?" by Op-Ed Contributors Lynn Chu and John Yoo