CNET Updates Article, Continues to Make False Claims

Distortion continues
Media • Views: 16,455

CNET has finally gotten around to posting an update to their absurdly hyperbolic article, formerly titled: “NSA Admits Listening to U.S. Phone Calls Without Warrants.”

The new title: NSA Spying Flap Extends to Contents of U.S. Phone Calls.

But even though Rep. Nadler has now made it exceptionally clear that the NSA is not allowed to listen to phone calls without a warrant, the subtitle for CNET’s article still makes the false claim:

National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too.

Some points:

  • In the original video, Rep. Nadler never says this information was disclosed to him by the NSA. He refers only to a “briefing.”
  • The claim that “thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls” was completely made up out of thin air. Nobody said this, ever.
  • The first sentence of Declan McCullagh’s article still makes a claim that is now completely debunked: “The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls, a participant said.”

This is almost unbelievably sloppy, irresponsible reporting. As Josh Marshall tweeted:

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