Sunday, June 16, 2013
If you discuss what you learned in a “secret briefing” are you a traitor? If you don't reveal as much as Snowdon did, are you a mini-traitor or just not very well informed? On the other hand, if you simply repeat what you have been told you may be an ignorant dupe.
Declan McCullagh reports:
The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”
If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.
Read more on CNET.
I’m glad Declan is reporting on this as I was surprised when Rep. Nadler brought out an apparent contradiction between what members of Congress heard in classified briefings and what Director Mueller testified to. Here’s a clip of the interaction:
But how much does the government actually get? A document obtained by Reuters suggests that the government does not get details on many numbers in the course of a year:
The U.S. government only searched for detailed information on calls involving fewer than 300 specific phone numbers among the millions of raw phone records collected by the National Security Agency in 2012, according to a government paper obtained by Reuters on Saturday.
The unclassified paper was circulated Saturday within the government by U.S. intelligence agencies and apparently is an attempt by spy agencies and the Obama administration to rebut accusations that it overreached in investigating potential militant plots.
Read more on Reuters.
If you read only one article today, read Barton Gellman’s article in the Washington Post, “U.S. surveillance architecture includes collection of revealing Internet, phone metadata.”
As I read it, I found myself wondering, “How many members of Congress really knew/know about these programs – and of them, how many understood the programs?”
Did Congress totally abrogate its responsibility to us or did the Executive branch subvert our systems of checks and balances by misleading or flat-out lying to Congress?
In recent weeks, there have been calls for a Church-style commission. Sooner would be better than later.
Interesting. I wonder if anyone in Congress has read it recently?
NSA surveillance puts George Orwell's '1984' on bestseller lists
[If not, I can recommend this site:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: eText – Free Radio Dramatization (by Huxley himself) – Free Audio Book by Audible
Does anyone still print? I guess some teachers still want things on paper...
… Now, Google has released a free Android app for Cloud Print that enables you to print from any Android device with a Cloud Print connected printer.
… For the best expereince, Google recommends you have a Cloud Print ready printer. If not, Google Chrome has a setting that enables you to activate the Google Cloud Print connector. It’s a simple matter of signing in with your preferred Google account. Google’s support page shows you how to connect your classic printer with Google Cloud Print.