let him provide the proof, as in actual credible plots, not some rambling by someone who was pissed off. Not someone talking shit to his boys back home. Actual factual, in the works plots by people that had not been identified by any other legal, above board means or could not have been identified by any other above board means prior to the so called "terrorist act".This is the litmus test. You don't get to do something just because it is "easier" or "more convenient". The point of the constitution is to restrain government. It should be relatively "difficult" for the government to spy on citizens. In any case the news today fails the above test spectacularly.
Mr. Joyce described a plot to blow up the New York Stock Exchange by a Kansas City man, whom the agency was able to identify because he was in contact with “an extremist” in Yemen who was under surveillance.What was this? already under surveillance? If that is the case, then there is no need or justification for mass collection of user call data. The subject of this example was clearly within established law. No FISA court would even be needed since the Yemeni (or person in Yemen) was already under surveillance. This means that there was probable cause as required by the 4th Amendment to get a warrant for a tap on the target's phone. So no, this example does not explain how the NSA program uncovered plots. The second example is very murky:
. Mr. Joyce also talked about a San Diego man who planned to send financial support to a terrorist group in Somalia, and who was identified because the N.S.A. flagged his phone number as suspicious through its database of all domestic phone call logs, which was brought to light by Mr. Snowden’s disclosures.Was this a "known" terrorist group? Who was the contact in Somalia? Unlike the previous example there is no claim of a foreign target that was already under surveillance. But this example is HIGHLY problematic. Number one, "sending financial support" is not an "imminent threat" to the US and therefore cannot even be claimed to have been thwarting ANYTHING dangerous at all. Secondly this guy was "searched" and "seized" without a warrant. His phone number was "suspicious"? How do you get a "suspicious" phone number? Seriously? An agent of the government can tap your shit because you have a "suspicious phone number"? I think this is the kind of activity the 4th amendment was designed to prevent. No lives were threatened by this person. No plot was unfolding and by this description there was no probable cause to look at this fellows call data. It's pretty shocking to me that lawmakers who are oath bound to uphold the US Constitution did not hammer this guy over this example. I won't even get into the bullshit claim about how 9-11 coulda, woulda been prevented. A number of the persons directly involved with 9-11 were known to authorities already and were allowed to board planes even though it was known that there was a plot involving planes underway.