With indispensable ally Angela Merkel, still peeved about U.S. spying and arriving in the United States next week, reform of the rapacious NSA stalled and a June 1 deadline looming for reauthorizing the Patriot Act (which gives the NSA much of its existing powers), the White House yesterday released proposed changes to U.S. data collection that have been under discussion for 18 months. Not surprisingly, the Guardian reports that the changes suggested by the office of James Clapper, America’s disgraced Director of National Intelligence who violated his oath of office by lying to Congress and the American people – are almost entirely cosmetic. Sensing that much of the pressure to stop collecting data on innocent Americans has lessened in recent months, U.S. intelligence is in ‘no mood’ to stop its violations of the Constitution under laws approved in secret.
Correspondent Dan Roberts write in part:
“Many of the alleged ‘restrictions’ remain so broad as to be practically meaningless, such as the six new criteria under which bulk collection remains permissible: ranging from fighting spies, terrorists and nuclear proliferation through to criminals, hackers and loosely defined threats to the military. … Resistance to more substantial change has only grown within the intelligence community in recent months. Emboldened by the declining pressure from Congress and a clutch of new terrorist threats to worry about, America’s spies are in no rush to fundamentally alter the elaborate surveillance apparatus whose scale was first revealed by Snowden.”
“‘When the intelligence community performs surveillance under Section 702, it sweeps in the communications of millions of Americans without a warrant,’ said Mark Jaycox, a civil liberties campaigner with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. ‘The president’s review group recommended the government obtain a warrant before it searched for communications of US persons contained within its vast database. The president rejected that proposal.’”
Obama Attempts to Sell ‘Weak’ NSA Reform to Congress – and Merkel (Guardian Unlimited, U.K.)
Then, Dan Roberts and Dominic Rushe detail the proposed changes from the office of the disgraced James Clapper:
Proposed Changes to U.S. Data Collection Fall Short of NSA Reformers’ Goals (Guardian Unlimited, U.K.) http://bit.ly/1BUVHWp
And finally, the misleadingly titled report of proposed changes from our shameful Director of National Intelligence. Click on this at your own risk:
Strengthening Privacy & Civil Liberties Protections (Director of National Intelligence, U.S.) http://bit.ly/1AsWVgh
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