|I'm so mad at President Obama for signing that Evil Patriot Act back in October 26, 2001 after he ignored the August 6th CIA Memo about Osama Bin Laden and allowed 9/11 to happen.|
The Obama's Department of Justice working inside the "legal" framework established by the FISA Courts, the Patriot Act, going back to Harry Truman and the 80th Congress' 1947 National Security Act felt entirely comfortable in going to multiple Internet/Phone Companies and pressuring them/serving them with Court Orders allowing the NSA to collect data.
Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and others have stated (whether one believes it or not) that no direct access and no backdoor servers were created allowing the NSA et al unfettered access. Facebook Legal released a statement claiming that only 9000-10000 user-data requests were made by all levels (muncipial, county, state, federal) of Government pursiuant to about 20,000 FB accounts.
This is important to note because Glenn Greenwald's initial assertion was the NSA had direct access regardless of warrants or any other constraints. However, it's unimportant to the overall point of this post.
Now, if there is one thing Libertarians get correct it is that the Power of Government is different than other types of power. Facebook, Target Stores, Google Inc. may collect data on me but if I refuse their services I am free of their yoke*. The Government has the "legal" authority to collect information to detain or incarcerate me.
What makes Snowden's claims all the more troubling is that he wasn't a sworn Government employee but was working for Booz Allen Hamilton, a Corporation which made $1.3 Billion in Government contracts for "Intelligence Work. MotherJones has an analysis of the steady infestation of Private Contractors into the Intelligence Analysis side of the MIC.
It appears the data collection/analysis wasn't being done by nefarious Obama Bureaucrats looking for dirt on Teabaggers but, because of the Republican Legacy of Outsourcing and Privatization is being done by Corporate Stooges who work for the MIC.
The biggest Coup pulled off in US History has been the outsourcing of Government functions to Private Contractors. And those Corporate employees seem to have access to the information easier than Government Workers.
What's been going on for the last 33 years has been the steady erosion of the Progressive Advances of the 20th Century Government by the Reactionary Neoliberals and Warmongering Neoconservatives to be replaced by the Neo-Feudalist State controlled by the 1% and interested only in using Government Power in Quelling Domestic Dissent and Opening up Foreign Markets for Exploitation.