Posts filed under “War/Defense”
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board – Which Congress Made An Independent Agency in 2007, But Which Just Became Operational – Says NSA Spying Is ILLEGAL AND UNNECESSARY
Major New Voice Slams NSA Spying
Officials in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government all say that the mass surveillance on Americans is unnecessary:
- 3 Senators with top secret clearance “have reviewed this surveillance extensively and have seen no evidence that the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records has provided any intelligence of value that could not have been gathered through less intrusive means”
- Another Senator with top secret clearance agrees, and so does the congress member who wrote the Patriot Act, and more than 100 congress members from both parties
- As does the official panel created by President Obama to review NSA spying, made up of top former White House officials and other government insiders, including the head of counter-terrorism under Clinton and Bush and former deputy CIA director Michael J. Morrell
- A non-profit, bipartisan policy group says that NSA mass surveillance has no impact on terrorism
- CNN terrrorism expert Peter Bergen says that mass surveillance is not needed to stop another 9/11
- Former president Clinton (and apparently Carter, as well), agree that mass surveillance is unnecessary
- As do the chairs of the 9/11 Commission which was created by Congress and the White House
- As does the counter-terrorism czar under the Clinton and Bush administrations, Richard Clarke. And see this
A major new voice has just weighed in to agree: the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which Congress made an independent agency in 2007, and which only recently became fully operational.
As the New York Times reports:
An independent federal privacy watchdog has concluded that the National Security Agency’s program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only “minimal” benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down. The findings are laid out in a 238-page report, scheduled for release by Thursday and obtained by The New York Times ….
In its report, the board lays out what may be the most detailed critique of the government’s once-secret legal theory behind the program: that a law known as Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows the F.B.I. to obtain business records deemed “relevant” to an investigation, can be legitimately interpreted as authorizing the N.S.A. to collect all calling records in the country.
The program “lacks a viable legal foundation under Section 215, implicates constitutional concerns under the First and Fourth Amendments, raises serious threats to privacy and civil liberties as a policy matter, and has shown only limited value,” the report said. “As a result, the board recommends that the government end the program.”
The report also … contains the first official acknowledgment that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court produced no judicial opinion detailing its legal rationale for the program until last August, even though it had been issuing orders to phone companies for the records and to the N.S.A. for how it could handle them since May 2006.
The privacy board was unanimous in recommending a series of immediate changes to the program.
In 2006, the Bush administration persuaded the surveillance court to begin authorizing the program based on the Patriot Act under a theory the Obama administration would later embrace.
But the privacy board’s report criticized that, saying that the legal theory was a “subversion” of the law’s intent, and that the program also violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
The report also scrutinizes in detail a handful of investigations in which the program was used, finding “no instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist attack.”
NSA Apologists Try to Smear Snowden as a “Russian Spy” … Exactly Like Authorities Tried to Smear Daniel Ellsberg, Ben Franklin and Samuel Adams ~~~ But Even the FBI and NSA Say There’s No Evidence that Snowden Worked With Others ~~~ While NSA apologists like Mike Rogers say that Snowden is a Russian spy, the…Read More
We Vanquish Terrorism When We Tap Into the Huge Reserve of Courage Within Each One of Us, and Refuse To Be Terrorized Northwestern professor Peter Ludlow writes in the New York Times: Philosophers have long noted the utility of fear to the state. Machiavelli notoriously argued that a good leader should induce fear in…Read More
NSA Spying On “Metadata” Is As Bad As Listening to the Content of Our Phone Calls … Or WORSE Why Spying On Metadata Is Even MORE Intrusive than Listening to Content The government has sought to reassure us that it is only tracking “metadata” such as the time and place of our phone calls, and…Read More
Only a FOOL Still Believes the NSA The NSA and other intelligence officials have been repeatedly caught lying about their spying programs. Officials in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government all say that the mass surveillance on Americans is unnecessary: 3 Senators with top secret clearance “have reviewed this surveillance extensively and…Read More
What It Really Means The NSA pretty much admitted to spying on Congress this week. It’s not the first time. David Sirota notes: When I asked U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) if the NSA was keeping files on his colleagues, he recounted a meeting between NSA officials and lawmakers in the lead-up to a closely…Read More
Work for Covert NSA Facility at University of Maryland May Be Hint Only a tiny fraction of Snowden’s documents have been published. What’s still to come? We believe one hint comes from Snowden’s past as a security specialist at one of one the NSA’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland. Pre-Crime and the NSA…Read More
Even Before 9/11, NSA Knew In Real-Time Which Countries Both Parties to Phone Calls Were In In finding the NSA’s metadata collection program legal today, Judge William Pauley III ruled: The September 11th terrorist attacks revealed, in the starkest terms, just how dangerous and interconnected the world is. While Americans depended on technology for the…Read More
How Can Obama Let Criminals Like Clapper Go … Yet Go After Snowden? Professor Jonathan Turley is one of the nation’s top military and constitutional law experts. Turley: Has held a top-secret clearance since the Reagan administration Is the second most cited law professor in the country Has worked as both the CBS and NBC…Read More
There’s An Easy Technical Fix To A Good Chunk of Our Spy Problems Bill Binney is the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information. A 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, Binney was the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of…Read More