We can’t keep up with the feds

Yesterday, the Guardian revealed that the US government has been collecting months of phone “metadata” on millions of Verizon customers. Today, the Washington Post and the Guardian informed us that both the National Security Agency and the FBI have been pulling Americans’ data from major web companies like Facebook and Google.

Here’s a useful archive from ProPublica of articles on federal surveillance programs.

And for a fascinating look into what was happening at the NSA after 9/11, and some insight into how we got here, visit “The Secret Sharer,” a brilliant New Yorker article Jane Mayer wrote about Thomas Drake, a former National Security Agency official who was charged in 2010 with violating the Espionage Act. The government alleged that Drake had illegally retained and shared top-secret documents related to Trailblazer, a program designed to help the N.S.A. track cell phones and e-mail. The New Yorker has unlocked the piece in light of recent developments so its available to all.

Frankly, we just can’t hold down our jobs and write about it all. Besides, we want to keep our site as focused as possible on engaging with local government, because that’s where we think that we can make the most difference. But we had to at least MENTION the whole #PRISM thing, if only for our own sanity.

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