Today we see that Big Brother FBI can search and read all that stuff without a search warrant. ACLU here, and CNET News here.
From the CNET News piece:
Really, why would the government go to all the trouble of recording EVERY FREAKING THING that gets said in the entire freaking country if they weren't going to listen to any of it?
The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI believe they don't need a search warrant to review Americans' e-mails, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and other private files, internal documents reveal.
Government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and provided to CNET show a split over electronic privacy rights within the Obama administration, with Justice Department prosecutors and investigators privately insisting they're not legally required to obtain search warrants for e-mail. The IRS, on the other hand, publicly said last month that it would abandon a controversial policy that claimed it could get warrantless access to e-mail correspondence.
The U.S. attorney for Manhattan circulated internal instructions, for instance, saying a subpoena -- a piece of paper signed by a prosecutor, not a judge -- is sufficient to obtain nearly "all records from an ISP." And the U.S. attorney in Houston recently obtained the "contents of stored communications" from an unnamed Internet service provider without securing a warrant signed by a judge first.
Of course they listen to it. They probably have "pre-crime" watchdog programs that preemptively identify "pre-criminals" by who they call, who they email and what web sites they visit. Making the Boston Marathon bombing even more of a stunning fail than previously. There's probably hundreds, maybe thousands of little search-nerds beavering away producing intelligence on potential terrorists that then gets ignored by the corner-office types up the food chain.
Unless its on an NRA type, a Tea Partier or a Republican. You know, -dangerous- people. That probably goes right to the top like a treed cat.