It's not just Rep Pete Hoekstra [R-MI] who switched sides in the surveillance debate when he discovered that his beloved NSA had been spying on him -- a whole raft of Congressional NSA cheerleaders have followed the path that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the entire UK Parliament blazed when they learned that, as far as spies were concerned, no one was exempt.
The House Intelligence Committee -- formerly a world-beating rubber-stamp factory -- is now considering "new safeguards" for the NSA when it wants to spy on Americans, especially elected officials (us filthy, untrustworthy foreigners are still fair game, of course).
Tim Cushing calls this "small batch surveillance reform." It's chief proponent is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, [R-CA] who, as spent most of 2015 trying to remove oversight from the NSA, cock-blocking the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and flapping his hands wildly, predicting doom if Congress stopped authorizing the NSA to wiretap every phone in the country.
The Office of the Director of the National Intelligence further clarified the proposed changes discussed during the closed-door briefing by declining to comment on the "classified" proceedings.
One thing is clear, though. Changes will be happening, presumably to further protect the content of legislators' phone calls from the NSA, or at the very least, toughen up minimization procedures. The official statement from the Committee appends "all Americans" after an ellipsis ("explore whether any additional safeguards are necessary when it comes to incidental collection—not only for members of Congress... but for all Americans") so the smart money is on trickle-down surveillance protection. Presumably, we'll all be apprised of any additional protections on a need-to-know basis.
After Spending Time As Surveillance Subjects, Intelligence Oversight Committee Suddenly Performing Some Oversight
Since 2009, the Chicago Police Department has seized $72M worth of property from people who were not convicted of any crime, through the discredited civil forfeiture process, keeping $48M worth of the gains (the rest went to the Cook County prosecutor’s office and the Illinois State Police) in an off-the-books, unreported slush fund that it […]
Despite the denials of its new CEO, Wells Fargo had a serious, widespread cultural problem that led it to commit at least 2,000,000 financial crimes. But the crimes and the culture are widespread across America’s banks, and they spread further than that, because the system is rigged to reward financial crime.
Yesterday, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf announced his “early retirement” from the scandal-haunted company, with the CEO seat being filled by former COO Tim Sloan.
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