This blog is not just about technology, it is also a blog about freedom and rights. Because if you are not free then you are not free to use technology in the ways you want. In a totalitarian regime it is illegal to communicate freely, so you can't share cool hacks with each other. It becomes illegal to use encryption, or to program micro-controllers, except under the watchful eye of a political officer.
We are finally finding out just how far down the rabbit hole we have fallen. Last month we found out how many reporters were being electronically surveilled. https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2013/05/virtually-everything-government-did-wikileaks-now-being-done-mainstream-us-reporters This month we get to find out exactly how many American Citizens are being monitored daily, and it appears that anyone with a phone is being tracked. The EFF organization has a great write up regarding this entire issue which arrived in my inbox tonight. The subject line begins with two words. "Stunned. Angry."
This is not a Republican issue, or a Democrat issue, since the same thing has now happened under two different administrations, one of each party. This is an American issue that we should all care about.
I doubt very much that the Feds would just make Verizon hand over all their records everyday, so this must be happening with every telecom company in America. It appears that every phone call in the USA; local, state, interstate, and international, is being illegally tracked without a warrant. How many of those calls are also being listened to, authorized by a judge that will rubber stamp literally anything that crosses his desk, is anyone's guess.
If they track who you are calling then they have a list of your friends, family, and business associates. For what purpose they need lists like this I have no idea, but the purposes that such lists have been used historically is sickening.