In a not-so-startling revelation, the declassification of three secret court opinions on Wednesday show that the NSA hasn't just been collecting communications related to terrorism investigations. It's been collecting all kinds of stuff from unsuspecting Americans.
The details don't exactly instill confidence in our nation's intelligence sector. As the Associated Press explains, the NSA "scooped up as many as 56,000 emails annually over three years and other communications by Americans with no connection to terrorism," according to the secret FISA court. We've been led to believe—not that we've necessarily believed it—that the NSA's snooping into Americans' phone records and "internet communications" is necessarily part of the larger fight against terrorism. That detail, after all, is what makes the snooping legal.