The Guardian continues to expose the extent to which we are all beautiful tropical fish swimming in the electronic aquarium of the NSA's surveillance systems. According to a top-secret report by the NSA's inspector general obtained by the Guardian (presumably from Ed Snowden) the Obama Administration continued a Bush-era program that collected U.S. email records in bulk.
After 9/11 the Bush Administration began a data-mining program known as "Stellar Wind," which conducted warantless data mining of American citizens. At first it required one of the communicants be outside the U.S. Eventually the program was allowed to examine the data of purely domestic communications.
The Guardian now reveals that the NSA continued collecting similar data for two years under the Obama Administration, stopping in 2011 "for operational and resource reasons." The Guardian explains:
The internet metadata of the sort NSA collected for at least a decade details the accounts to which Americans sent emails and from which they received emails. It also details the internet protocol addresses (IP) used by people inside the United States when sending emails – information which can reflect their physical location. It did not include the content of emails.
The outlines of Stellar Wind have already been known, but the fact Obama continued much of the program's data-mining shows his 2008 promise to "leave behind the era of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and 'wiretaps without warrants,'" was bullshit.