United States continues to debate the issue of National Security Agency’s right to monitor the phone conversations of American citizens. Cincinnati federal district court in Ohio (state Ohio) ruled that the special services should be allowed to continue listening secretly through the Americans’ phone calls.
The program will remain active at least until the government appeal for the previous ruling is in process. Lawyers assume that the processing of the court appeal could take as along as several months.
On August 18 Detroit Federal Court ruled that monitoring phone conversations is considered an illegal activity. NSA has been listening through all telephone calls nationwide since the President George Bush ordered it in 2001.
American Civil Liberties Union initiated a collective action against the White House administration. The action was backed up by many journalists, advocates, scientists and human rights activists who suspected that their calls were being monitored.
American media began reporting about the secret NSA program in May of 2006. Various reports showed that after the terrorist acts in September 11, 2001, government demanded detailed information from the largest phone companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth about all calls made across the country.
After the publishing of these reports the White House began insisting that the state program did not include the actual listening to the conversations or any other illegal spying activity. Instead it was seeking to know who was calling whom, when, and how long did their conversations last.
It is worth mentioning that back in January 2006 European Union condemned the methods used by the United States in their so-called War on Terror. Washington administration’s approach is disturbing the entire world because it interferes with civil liberties and even human rights. Washington was accused of fighting its war illegally.
In 2005 it became known that besides monitoring the phone calls NSA spied on its internet site’s visitors. Using the cookie files which every entering computer automatically copied NSA agents were able to acquire complete data about their visitors further internet activity.
After everything finally came to light George Bush publicly denied presented against him accusations of spying on fellow Americans. Today he continues to argue that the program is a necessary measure in the war against terrorism and that it without a doubt helps reveal terrorist threats in time.
The President also added that the government is obeying the rules of its constitution and that the calls are not heard without the required court’s sanctions.
According to the press-secretary Tony Snow NSA program is in complete agreement with the state law. He also believes that it has helped prevent numerous attacks. It is interesting that since the beginning of the year George Bush has been accused twice of exceeding the limits of power granted him by the people.
In June the President was blamed for ordering tribunals on the American base in Guantanamo Bay , where the terror suspects are currently kept.
Translated by Natalia Vysotskaya
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea