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BLOG: Former CIA, NSA director sounds off on PRISM, spying tools

Ms Smith (via Network World) | July 2, 2013
Former NSA, CIA director Gen Hayden said Snowden's leaks highlight 'balance between privacy and security' debate, but law professors call NSA mass surveillance 'criminal.'

For reasons that escape me, the American public as a whole is not worked up into a frenzy over the mass and invasive NSA surveillance exposed by Snowden's leaks. Several "polls" seem to indicate that many Americans are "fine" with it, so long as it is stopping terrorism. But it's not OK, as law professors Jennifer Stisa Granick and Christopher Jon Sprigmanwrote in the New York Times. Regarding the NSA's collection of Americans' phone calls and other electronic communications, they said:

The two programs violate both the letter and the spirit of federal law. No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance. Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House - and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught.

It's an excellent piece that I highly suggest you should read, pointing out that "we may never know all the details of mass surveillance programs" that "make a mockery of the government's professed concern with protecting Americans' privacy. It's time to call the NSA's mass surveillance programs what they are: criminal."


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