Glenn Reynolds at USA Today:
.... Over the weekend, the Associated Press reported that the spying goes well beyond the Prism program reported by whistleblower Edward Snowden. As AP notes, "while Prism has attracted the recent attention, the program actually is a relatively small part of a much more expansive and intrusive eavesdropping effort. . . . documents show it is one of the major sources for what ends up in the president's daily briefing." From the descriptions available, it appears that the NSA basically just copies everything going over the Internet, and can look at it either in real time or later.
Meanwhile, according to a report from CNET, the National Security Administration has admitted, despite earlier denials, that it's listening to American phone calls without warrants. The calls are stored, but there's no warrant application. Instead, it appears -- though as I write this there's enough back-and-forth that it isn't certain -- that all that is needed is a decision by an analyst. So, in essence, the NSA may be writing its own warrants.
Is this true? Who do we believe? Despite denials, security expert Bruce Schneier saysthat the best assumption is that government just collects everything. "Everyone is playing word games. No one is telling the truth."