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Hints Surface That NSA Building Massive, Pervasive Surveillance Capability

Publication Date: 
July 02, 2013
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Greg Gordon

Professor Michael McConnell spoke with the McClatchy-Tribune News Service's Greg Gordon about the NSA's data collection and why the case that it is illegal is "extremely weak."

Despite U.S. intelligence officials' repeated denials that the National Security Agency is collecting the content of domestic emails and phone calls, evidence is mounting that the agency's vast surveillance network can and may already be preserving billions of those communications in powerful digital databases.

A McClatchy review of public records, statements by Obama administration officials and interviews with cyber and telecom security experts lends credence to assertions that the capability for such surveillance exists.


Michael McConnell , a Stanford University law professor and a former federal appeals court judge, agreed that the program is potentially "dangerous," but he called the case that it is illegal "extremely weak." He likened the NSA's collection of general data, such as who emailed whom, to an airport search of all passengers.