"Unmasking": The NSA monitors the communications of spies and terrorists. If you're talking with them and your communication gets collected, your name is protected automatically, or "masked" on any transcripts.

BUT that mask can be removed. https://twitter.com/UnstableGenius1/status/1260662149095063556
Let's say you're talking with Sergey the Spy and the NSA picks up the conversation. They'll have a transcript of what was said between Sergey and U.S. Person #1, or USPERS1 for short.

Your identity is still masked even if your words are recorded.
If you're just delivering a sandwich to Sergey the Spy, you'll be USPERS1 on any transcript of the call where he orders it; no big deal.

BUT - if you sound like *you're planning to harm America*, a U.S. official in national security might ask, "Whoa, who is USPERS1?"
If the U.S. official tried to get your name just for the sandwich call, the intel agency I believe would say "no." (Cannot recall the procedure)

But if you're talking to Sergey about stealing nuclear secrets, the agency will say "USPERS1 is really Bobby Smith."
So remember: when Trump's lickspittles are crying about "unmasking" they're saying that *every* American should have the right to plan attacks on the United States with spies and terrorists no matter what!

And you, like I, might disagree with them.

You can follow @ericgarland.
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