Another shoe drops: USA Today breaks the story that NSA has been getting call records for every phone call placed in the US on AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth networks. Only Qwest has refused to go along with this massive illegal invasion of citizen (and customer) privacy.
Traffic analysis is a very powerful technique. All you need to know are when calls are made, from whom, and to whom. Apply a little statistical analysis and out comes an amazing picture of social networks. Want to know which hookers Cunningham has been using? NSA knows. Want to catch the White House jamming phones during an election? All you need are call records.
NSA used to be limited to foreign surveillance only. It was a necessary balance on a secret organization with so much leeway. It's clear now that restriction is gone. So, apparently, is any sort of judicial oversight via the FISA court. In addition to this traffic analysis revelation, we also have the warrantless domestic wiretaps (with low yield) and the EFF lawsuit against AT&T's cooperation with NSA (which will presumably be killed because it's "a state secret"). Where does this stop?