Did the NSA Wiretap Supreme Court Justices?

August 1st, 2013

The PBS News Hour had an interview with a former NSA employee-turned-whisteblower, who reveals that the government wiretapped the communication of high-ranking government officials–including members of the Supreme Court.

RUSSELL TICE, former National Security Agency analyst: The United States were, at that time, using satellites to spy on American citizens. At that time, it was news organizations, the State Department, including Colin Powell, and an awful lot of senior military people and industrial types.

JUDY WOODRUFF:   So, this is the early 2000s.

RUSSELL TICE: This was in 2002-2003 time frame. The NSA were targeting individuals. In that case, they were judges like the Supreme Court. I held in my hand Judge Alito’s targeting information for his phones and his staff and his family.

But…Alito was not on the Supreme Court in 2002. I doubt they targeted Judge Alito on the 3rd Circuit. I’m going to guess he meant Scalia (they have been confused before alas).

Tice also said that every domestic communication, “word for word,” is captured:

RUSSELL TICE: Well, two months ago, I contacted some colleagues at NSA. We had a little meeting, and the question came up, was NSA collecting everything now? Because we kind of figured that was the goal all along. And the answer came back. It was, yes, they are collecting everything, contents word for word, everything of every domestic communication in this country.