The nice thing about having USA Today break a major story is that the important facts are set forth in simple, declarative, "what does it mean for me" sentences that defy presidential obfuscation.
From the paper's Q&A-style sidebar to its report on the NSA's call-tracking program:
Q: Does the NSA's domestic program mean that my calling records have been secretly collected?
A: In all likelihood, yes. The NSA collected the records of billions of domestic calls. Those include calls from home phones and wireless phones ...
Q: Can I find out if my call records were collected?
A: No. The NSA's work is secret, and the agency won't publicly discuss its operations.
Q: Why did they do this?
A: The agency won't say officially ...
Q: But I'm not calling terrorists. Why do they need my calls?
A: By cross-checking a vast database of phone calling records, NSA experts can try to pick out patterns that help identify people involved in terrorism ...
Q: Who has access to my records?
A: Unclear. The NSA routinely provides its analysis and other cryptological work to the Pentagon and other government agencies.
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog. MORE FROM Tim Grieve
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