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article imageAnti-NSA organization is secretly taping NYC conversations

By Michael Thomas     May 20, 2015 in World
New York City - Be careful what you talk about in New York City — your private conversation might be recorded as part of a prank an anti-NSA group is pulling across the city.
Wired explains a group is claiming to be "third party contractors" for the NSA, but are clearly nothing of the sort. As a protest of the NSA's bulk data collection program, a group called We Are Always Listening has launched a new "pilot program."
The anonymous group is carrying out the program apparently by hiding microcassette players beneath tables and benches across New York City. The group then publishes on its website the recordings it's able to retrieve.
At the time of writing there are five recordings on the site; in one, a woman at a gym talks about finishing House of Cards. In another, an artist explains what he does as he attempts to hire an assistant. Each recording comes with a mocking "terrorism status" designation based on the conversation and says whether the recorder has been removed.
The group, Wired points out, is likely remaining anonymous because New York City's wiretap laws prohibit recording conversations unless one of the parties to the conversation consents.
We Are Always Listening alerted Wired to its activities with an encrypted email followed by a physical package with a tape-less tape recorder and USB stick with this video:
On its "About us" page, the group says American citizens often use the argument that they're not doing anything wrong, so they don't care if the NSA records their conversations. These private, publicly available chats may make them reconsider the argument.
The group claims New York City is the home of the "pilot program" but it hopes to "roll the initiative out all across The Homeland."
Understandably, these recorded conversations may make people angry, and the website in fact has a button that says "Angry?" at the top of the site. Clicking it will bring users to an ACLU page calling for Congress to kill section 215 of the Patriot Act.
As Digital Journal has previously reported, section 215 allows the director of the FBI to request "any tangible things" (be it paper records, books, photographs, etc) if it's in the interest of potentially stopping a terrorist threat.
Congress is set to debate whether or not to renew the Patriot Act on June 1.
More about Nsa, we are always listening, Patriot act
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