Obama Administration Admits Use Of "Warrantless Searches" Of US Citizens

Tyler Durden's picture

Just over a month ago, we reported on the Supreme Court's ruling that police may search a home without obtaining a warrant thus denigrating the Fourth Amendment to the funeral pyre under the Obama Administration's totalitarian might. Today that decision (and the end of the 4th) were confirmed when the country's top intelligence official confirmed in a letter to Congress that the Obama administration has conducted warrantless searches of Americans' communications as part of the National Security Agency's surveillance operations. While efforts were made to suggest agencies do not deliberately track Americans' emails, phone calls, and online activity without a warrant, as Sen. Wyden notes, "the facts show that was misleading."


Via AP,

The Obama administration has conducted warrantless searches of Americans' communications as part of the National Security Agency's surveillance operations that target foreigners located outside of the U.S., the administration's top intelligence official confirmed in a letter to Congress disclosed Tuesday.


These searches were authorized by a secret surveillance court in 2011, but it was unclear until Tuesday whether any such searches on Americans had been conducted.



"Senior officials have sometimes suggested that government agencies do not deliberately read Americans' emails, monitor their online activity or listen to their phone calls without a warrant," Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado said in a joint statement. "However, the facts show that those suggestions were misleading, and that intelligence agencies have indeed conducted warrantless searches for Americans' communications."

We are sure this will help galvanize domestic and international sentiment against the Obama administrations policies...

Wyden has pressed the administration on whether these searches on Americans have occurred. In a March 28 letter to Wyden, James Clapper, the government's top intelligence official, said the NSA has searched for Americans' communications within information it collected when it targeted foreigners located outside the U.S. In his letter, Clapper also pointed to a declassified document released last August that also acknowledged the use of such searches and stated that these searches were reviewed, and there was no finding of wrongdoing. It was unclear how often these searches are conducted.


Documents disclosed last year by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden showed that the government collects mass amounts of data from major Internet companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook through one of its programs designed to target communications of foreigners located outside the U.S. The government is not allowed to use this authority to collect Americans' communications, but conversations of innocent Americans are collected inadvertently. When this happens, the NSA is required to take certain measures to hide the communications of Americans that have nothing to do with foreign intelligence.


In 2011, the government sought and received approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to search for Americans within the communications it already possessed through its collection of conversations of foreigners outside the U.S. Such searches would only be permissible if there were a foreign intelligence purpose.



A Back-Door Loophole around the Constitution!

Wyden, Udall and other civil liberties advocates call this type of search a back-door loophole in the law that governs surveillance of Americans.

"If a government agency thinks that a particular American is engaged in terrorism or espionage, the Fourth Amendment requires that the government secure a warrant or emergency authorization before monitoring his or her communications," Wyden and Udall said.

The Obama administration contends the searches are legal because they are searching information they lawfully obtained.

As we subtly suggested before,

Well there goes the fourth amen... oh look, over there: it's another all time high in the S&P 500. On paper, those who hold stocks have never been richer. Everyone else, barricade your doors, and the police come knocking, don't even bother answering - they will come in anyway. And also prepare your guns for return to the government: that particular "constitutional" amendment is the next to go.

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JJSF's picture

All these guys are the same. Here's what putin was doing in the 90's


LeisureSmith's picture

The blog pimping is strong with this one.

cossack55's picture

"You did'nt build that Fourth Reich".

NotApplicable's picture

Pardon the repeat, but I want this comment to stay at the top.

Reply to LeisureSmith:

Good catch!

Because, taking a look behind the covers and viola!... it's a nearly four year old account with only ten posts starting one month ago.

So now we know that we've got a sock-puppet, likely with it's own blog!

Joe Davola's picture

Hey, now that Zucker "new concept of privacy" owns WhatsApp - guess NSA has a direct feed from all those "non-permanent" messages.

pods's picture

WTF is up with this shit anymore?  

I can understand a sock puppet ala MDB, but these are spooks, plain and simple.  

I for one am truly blessed that my benevolent government went through the trouble to pay someone to screw up my time on ZH.


Dr. Engali's picture

I don't see them as screwing up my time. I see them as confirming what we always knew..... That they have always been here lurking in the background. Fuck em.

NotApplicable's picture

What I find humorous is how easy they are to root out.

Step 1) Observe blatantly obvious troll post from a name you don't recognize.

Step 2) Go to their user page and see they've been here for several years.

Step 3) Look up their comments and notice they only started a month ago.

Step 4) Thank God that government contractors are too lazy to do ANYTHING right.


I'm thinking whoever got the sock-puppet DOD contract made a whole bunch of accounts all at once, but failed at exercising them enough to appear human.

seek's picture

This is exactly the profile. I'd also suggest you use google (use the site:zerohedge.com keyword) to confirm posting history because ZH's own search cuts the history off.

I think the industry term for this is "seasoned" sock puppet accounts.

In addition to thin posting history, most of the posting history is fluff, e.g. one-line throwaways that mean nothing, usually agreeing with a comment.

I don't know about the rest of you, but no mainstream ZHer has ever used the "relationship request" function on me here, but it's happened a few times with accounts I strongly suspect are sock puppets, usually after a particularly strong/upvoted posting of mine that's analytical and not a joke or observation.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

I feel like an idiot, I didn't even know you could do that. I always click on their name when people post shit like that, and it's a name I've never seen, expecting it to say member for 2 weeks or something ( yes, I'm aware I haven't been here that long either). But that's pretty damn interesting that "someone" would bother creating a bunch of accounts years ago and not use them that whole time until a month ago. And what exactly is it that brings them out of hiding I wonder.

seek's picture

I've noticed the same.

I've also noticed a change in tactics; before they used to post propaganda independently, and now it appears that more of them are posting critical (but unsupportable) replies to highly esteemed/rational/power users (whatever label you want for "thought leaders" here). This is significant because propaganda only needs what amounts to a bot or hired monkey, whereas demeaning replies requires a smarter monkey on the keyboard.

Presumably this means ZH has been escalated on the threat list.

Deathrips's picture

We live an a regulated cage....No shit?


Independence comes from within. CHARGE....inward.




NotApplicable's picture

Good catch!

Because, taking a look behind the covers and viola!... it's a nearly four year old account with only ten posts starting one month ago.

So now we know that we've got a sock-puppet, likely with it's own blog!


Bioscale's picture

You are putting this bullshit here all day. Stop it.

I am more equal than others's picture






kchrisc's picture

But they are supposed to be constrained by the Constitution here.

I guess it's up the guillotines now.

AssFire's picture

"Here's what putin was doing in the 90's"... Well here is what Obama has been up to lately and this is just the lies, idiotic statements and obstructions we know of:

1. I will have the most transparent administration.
2. I have Shovel ready jobs.
3. The IRS is not targeting anyone.
4. There is not a smidgen of corruption involving the IRS targeting.
5. If four Americans get killed, it is not optimal.
6. If somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.
7. Under my plan of cap and trade system,electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.
8. ObamaCare will be good for America.
9. Your health insurance will be cheaper than your phone bill
10. You can keep your family doctor.
11. Premiums will be lowered by $2500
12. You can keep your current healthcare plan
13. Just shop around, for that healthcare I claimed you wouldn't lose.
14. I am sorry you lost your healthcare, (you know the health care you have to shop around for, ya the same health care I said you could keep, yup, that's the one).
15. I did not say you could keep your health care. (Regardless that 29 recorded videos show I did)
16. ObamaCare will not be offered to illegal immigrants.
17. ObamaCare will not be used to fund abortions.
18. ObamaCare will cost less than 1 Trillion Dollars.
19. No one making under $250,000 will see their taxes raised one dime.
20. It is Bushes fault. (this can be inserted in between every statement).
21. Benghazi... It was about a movie.
22. I will fundamentally transform America. (This one sadly is very true)
23. If I had a son.
24. We will reward our friends and Punish our enemies (When talking about foreign enemies?? Nope he was referring to fellow Americans)
25. The Senate's Immigration Reform bill will be good for Americans.
26 God bless Planned Parenthood
27. Those that refuse to play along will be punished (Again talking about fellow Americans)
28. The Constitution is a flawed document
29. I heard it in the news, just like everyone else did.
30. I am not a dictator.
31. I will put an end to the type of politics that “breeds division, conflict and cynicism".
32. You didn't build that.
33. I will restore trust in Government.
34. The Cambridge police acted stupidly.
35. I am not after your guns.
36. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. The BHO as a Senator referring to Bush (2006).
37. I have been practicing...I bowled a 129. It's like -- it was like Special Olympics.
38. "If I don't have this done in three years, then this is going to be a one-term proposition.
39. I do think at a certain point you've made enough money.
40. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.
41. The Public Will Have 5 Days To Look At Every Bill that lands On My Desk
42. It's not my red line it is the worlds red line.
43. Whistle blowers will be protected.
44. We got back Every Dime we used to Rescue the Banks, with interest.
45. I am good at killing people.
46. I will close Gitmo. (but instead built them a $750,000 soccer field).
47. The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't, but she is a typical white person
48. I am not spying on American citizens.
49. By, on, on, by, Friday uh afternoon things get a little uh, uh challenged uh, uh (when his TelePrompTer broke and he was left to think for himself).
50. I am a Christian.
51. John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith.
52. It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy.
53. UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems. (Attempting to make the case for government-run healthcare).
54. The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.
And the biggest lie of all…
I Barrack Hussain Obama pledge to preserve protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America...

kchrisc's picture

"28. The Constitution is a flawed document"

Bad boys bad boys, watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when the Constitution come for you...?


"If you like your head, you can keep your head."

Dr. Engali's picture

The shocking thing about this report is the fact that the Zero administration is admitting anything. I'm sure the "press" will do their duty and bury this story in the funny pages.

Shizzmoney's picture

Surprised they didn't release this on a Friday at 4:30pm, the classic "buried in the headlines" move for any PR maven.

You know why most people have no fucking idea what the NDAA is?  Because it was signed on 12/31, when 80% of the US is already 5 beers deep.

They don't hide this "warrantless search" thing....because they don't care.  It's been happening for years, just ask any black or latino person.  

The shit that happened in Watertown during the "Great Chechen Chase of 2013" proves that the people trust this corrupt government enough to let them into their homes without a warrant (although the police had sub-atomic machine guns, I don't blame those folks for not saying, "But the Constitution!!!!").  

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Great Chechen chase. Good one.

PlusTic's picture

real fukkin surprise...

Quus Ant's picture

Everything you can think of is true
Before the ocean was blue
We were lost in a flood
Run red with your blood
Nigerian skeleton crew

Everything you can think of is true
The dish ran away with the spoon
Dig deep in your heart for that little red glow
We're decomposing as we go

Everything you can think of is true
And fishes make wishes on you
We're fighting our way up dreamland's spine
Red flamingos and expensive wine

Everything you can think of is true
The baby's asleep in your shoe
Your teeth are buildings with yellow doors
Your eyes are fish on a creamy shore

SmilinJoeFizzion's picture

thats change you can believe in baby

Chupacabra-322's picture

And the consequences will be none. Precedent / Policy has already been set that supports Criminal lying to the American People while arming, funding & training Al CIA duh terror organizations. Much less, the Illegal Wire Tapping of the innocent American People.

Criminals Bush, Cheaney, Rice lied the American into war & got away with it. Criminals, Obama, Hillaery & Rice are just continuing the exact Criminal "Policy" which "National Security" protects. A big LIE.

pods's picture

Chup, down here in NC they arrested a couple guys that wanted to go to Syria to fight jihad.

I laughed cause I think they were going to fight on 'merika's side too.

This whole thing is so fucked up our foreign policy is now a Gordian knot.


ebworthen's picture

Seems the non-clapping Europeans know him better than Americans.

Get back to work, the plantation masters want tribute, tithing, and teeth for necklaces.

Omegaman2211's picture

Someone remind me why this President and his predecessor aren't in jail at this time?

NotApplicable's picture

Because government is the most organized form of crime.

fishmonger's picture

Obama is a cunt. That is all.

gamera9's picture

Dont blame him, its the repugninant voters fault. You know the dick with the Obama Biden bumbersticker on their stupid Prius.

Midnight Rider's picture

I believe we can blame his as he is not doing what said he'd do if elected. Massive bait and switch.

MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

Its not a Prius.

Its a Lada.

An Obama Biden Lada.

Geddit ;o)

dbTX's picture

"the facts show that was misleading"...why can't you call a spade a spade, it was a lie.

Philalethian's picture

 Can you imagine the world's leaders circled around campfires and having giant smoke-outs to see who had the very best in all the lands, instead of warmongering and encircling each other for world domination, greed, profits, and population elimination agendas?



WhiteWolf's picture

Just a lil love note for the future gun collection agency. I will give all of you brainless idiots lots of lead....but no guns.  And Connecticut there are many of us that are ready to help you out when the trainees begin there collecting efforts!

F u obUmble butt

exi1ed0ne's picture

Yes officer, all I had was this busted up .22LR missing the action and a rusted .308.  Yup, nothing else at all.

Emergency Ward's picture

Nasty, nosy Peeping Toms used to get arrested for creepy, perverted peeking.  Now they run for President.

Everybodys All American's picture

You have to admit this Marxist con man told you all he was going to transform America. He has ... Now grab your ankles because you now are living in a bannana republic.

rainingFrogs's picture

Obama et al have no intention of backing away from 24/7 surveillance and warrantless searches.  They intend to tough out the criticism, expecting (rightly, might I add) that the population will lose interest, roll over and accept it. 

Gamma735's picture

Welcome to our Brave New World Order.

Duc888's picture



New World Odor.

Frank N. Beans's picture

I've mentioned to my wife several times that we ought to think about the possibility of planning to move out of the US, maybe to Chile.  So far she's resisted the notion. 


kchrisc's picture

And what does it all mean?! What is the reason for all the spying?

Government is really a violent criminal syndicate of thieves controlled by an elite that is only interested in profiting off stolen labor and product. The associated "intelligence" agencies are nothing more than the protectors of that syndicate. Not enforcers, that's the gun and badge thugs’ area of purview, but protectors.

They work along the margins keeping those of the syndicate inline and protecting the syndicate from outsiders--They search out and destroy, "weed-whack," if you will, weeds on their farm.

The widespread and expanding spying is evidence that the syndicate's returns are diminishing and weed control is being jacked up in earnest to, at least temporarily, stave off collapse.

I am proudly one of the weeds, but I bite back.


"I'm not gonna try it—you try it! Let's get Guillotine, he hates everything."

NickVegas's picture

"the syndicate's returns are diminishing". Naw, just the opposite. They have found total information awareness if very profitable. It is nice to know exactly what your competitors are doing. It's also nice to know if someone is interested in your "illegal" business activities. If you couldn't make a profit with that type of information, you should become a monk.