As I'm sure you know, Tucker Carlson has announced that a "whistleblower"--which, in this context, I take to mean simply an informed source--has told him that he (Tucker) is being "spied on" by the National Security Agency (NSA):
I assume that the NSA collects all communications that it's able to collect--phone calls, emails, texts, whatever. If it's technically possible for NSA to collect some category of data, they do:
Whether and how that data gets put to use is a longer story. We're all familiar with the fact that the FBI for years appears to have been accessing the NSA databases for routine checks on people, without the legally required predication for running such checks. The exact parameters of this illegal activity aren't clear, except that it appears to have definitely occurred in politically sensitive situations and for political reasons. Some may wish to disagree with that conclusion, but that the activity was in fact illegal is inarguable, whatever the motives. Also inarguable is that there have been no known consequences for the actual individuals who were responsible.
I mention this background because Tucker seems to understand that, while NSA does the data collection, it's almost certainly the FBI that would be the agency of the government putting the data to investigative use. From a legal standpoint, this would need to be authorized under FISA. That means that, since Tucker is a USPER, the FBI would need to convince the FISA Court (FISC) that there is reason to believe that Tucker is a foreign agent who
knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence gathering activities for or on behalf of a foreign power, which activities involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States;
The FISA rules with regard to international terrorism are a bit different. I won't say it's impossible that Tucker could be investigated under some pretext involving alleged terrorism in the expansive sense that word is now used, but it seems less likely than the alternative cited. If you wish to consider the terrorism alternative you can read up on it here. Tucker does point out that the GWOT--which is a war on international terrorism--has, in the circumstances of America morphing into a total National Security state, been redirected at domestic political opposition of the Zhou Baiden regime. That's certainly true in a rhetorical sense--we recently witnessed the spectacle of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff appearing before a House committee and describing harmless protesters in exactly the same terms one would ordinarily use to describe foreign enemies. However, to my knowledge, for FISA to be involved, there would almost certainly still need to be some international nexus.
All of this would seem wildly far fetched in ordinary circumstances in a normal country, but of course the USA is no longer a normal country and current circumstances are no longer ordinary. Tucker is convinced that what his source is telling him is true, and he offers evidence that it is:
That's a shocking claim, and ordinarily we'd be skeptical of it. It's illegal for the NSA to spy on American citizens--it's a crime. It's not a Third World country. Things like that should not happen in America--but unfortunately they do happen and, in this case, they did happen. The whistleblower--who's in a position to know--repeated back to us information about a story that we are working on that could only have come directly from my texts and emails. There's no other possible source for that information. Period.
Now, as we said above, NSA captures all that data, routinely. The real question, then, is under what predication or pretext that information was accessed by an investigative agency--most likely the FBI? Is Tucker working on a story that involves contact with foreign powers? Is he in contact with "right wing" groups or individuals in foreign countries? Legally speaking, for this to be going on there needs to be an investigation--a Full Investigation, not a Preliminary Investigation.
No doubt Tucker has access to excellent legal counsel. He states that he has already made FOIA requests. We'll need see how this develops.