7/8/ What do you call it?

How liberal fascist democracy 'special needs' justice rules: that the state is now revealing a few bits of reality should burst any residual liberal delusions

NYT omits info too strongly suggesting a fascist dictatorship, including that:
* Gen. Keith B. Alexander: Director National Security Agency (DIRNSA) within U.S. Department of Defense. Concurrently Chief of the Central Security Service (CHCSS) and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM)

the digest boiled the obscurantist mush down to its essentials
In Secret, FISA Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.
The 2008 FISA Amendments Act passed by Congress... the FISA surveillance court created by Congress in 1978 as a check against government wiretapping abuses ...created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency (NSA) power to amass vast collections of data on Americans pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but possibly involved in other national security concerns... FISA secret decisions go far beyond a classified surveillance order leaked by former NSA contractor Snowden...FISA expanded the use in suspected terrorism cases by a “special needs” legal exception to the Fourth Amendment requirement of a warrant for secret searches and seizures...by concluding that collection of enormous volumes of “metadata” if the government establishes a valid reason for examining contents of US communications ..does not violate the Fourth...using a relatively narrow legal area...to justify airport screenings for instance...broadly in pursuit of terrorism suspects...“The definition of ‘foreign intelligence is very broad..." the official said ...all of whom discussed classified FISA rulings and trends on condition of anonymity... FISA court's current 11 judges, serving seven-year terms, were appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.... the ultimate arbiter will shape intelligence practices for years to come...Reggie B. Walton, presiding FISA court judge, wrote in March that he recognized the “potential benefit of better informing the public” about FISA decisions but there are “serious obstacles” because of the potential for misunderstanding caused by omitting classified details.
* Gen. Keith B. Alexander, N.S.A. director, was noncommittal when pressed at a June Senate hearing to put out some version of the court’s decisions....“I don’t want to jeopardize the security of Americans by making a mistake in saying, ‘Yes, we’re going to do all that.’ ”

U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement
WASHINGTON — Leslie James Pickering noticed something odd in his mail last September: a handwritten card, apparently delivered by mistake, with instructions for postal workers to pay special attention to the letters and packages sent to his home.“Show all mail to supv” — supervisor — “for copying prior to going out on the street,” read the card. It included Mr. Pickering’s name, address and the type of mail that needed to be monitored. The word “confidential” was highlighted in gree “It was a bit of a shock to see it,” said Mr. Pickering, who with his wife owns a small bookstore in Buffalo. More than a decade ago, he was a spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group labeled eco-terrorists by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Postal officials subsequently confirmed they were indeed tracking Mr. Pickering’s mail but told him nothing else.... targeted by a surveillance system more than a century old called mail covers, forerunner of a vastly more expansive effort, the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, in which Postal Service computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail that is processed in the United States — about 160 billion pieces last year. It is not known how long the government saves the images. Together, the two programs show that postal mail is subject to the same kind of scrutiny that the National Security Agency has given to telephone calls and e-mail.
At the request of law enforcement postal workers record information from the outside of letters and parcels... information is sent to the law enforcement agency that asked for it....The Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program was created after the anthrax attacks in late 2001 that killed five people, including two postal workers. Highly secret, it seeped into public view last month when the F.B.I. cited it in its investigation of ricin-laced letters sent to President Obama and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. It enables the Postal Service to retrace the path of mail at the request of law enforcement. No one disputes that it is sweeping.
“In the past, mail covers were used when you had a reason to suspect someone of a crime,” said Mark D. Rasch, who started a computer crimes unit in the fraud section of the criminal division of the Justice Department and worked on several fraud cases using mail covers. “Now it seems to be, ‘Let’s record everyone’s mail so in the future we might go back and see who you were communicating with.’ Essentially you’ve added mail covers on millions of Americans.”...
There are two kinds of mail covers: those related to criminal activity and those requested to protect national security. Criminal activity requests average 15,000 to 20,000 per year, said law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The number of requests for antiterrorism mail covers has not been made public.
Law enforcement officials need warrants to open the mail, although President George W. Bush asserted in a signing statement in 2007 that the federal government had the authority to open mail without warrants in emergencies or in foreign intelligence cases. Court challenges to mail covers have generally failed because judges have ruled that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for information contained on the outside of a letter. Officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations, in fact, have used the mail-cover court rulings to justif y N.S.A.’s surveillance programs, saying electronic monitoring amounts to the same thing as a mail cover. Congress briefly conducted hearings on mail cover programs in 1976, but has not revisited the issue... Postal officials refused to discuss either mail covers or the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Correction: July 3, 2013 An earlier version of this article misstated the Justice Department position once held by Mark Rasch. He started a computer crimes unit in the criminal division’s fraud section, but he was not the head of its computer crimes unit, which was created after his departure.