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
They told the public everything would be okay with the virus outbreak. Then they privately dumped stocks. Over the past 24 hours, news has spread that various U.S. lawmakers received advance private briefings about the severity of an oncoming coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic — then, they sold stocks before the public knew how bad it would get, […]
President Trump today announced that he is commuting the prison sentence of Rod Blagojevich, a former Illinois governer jailed for corruption, and pardoning Bernard Kerik, the former New York Police Commissioner jailed for tax fraud. Blagojevich attempted to sell Barack Obama’s senate seat; Kerik was found to have accepted a $250,000 bribe from a billionaire […]
“What does this guy worth $60 billion own, who wants to be president?”
While all the downsides of stay-at-home orders and social distancing are evident, there are at least a few small silver linings to come out of all this. For many, this time spent indoors has meant a happy reintroduction to your very own kitchen. You know your kitchen. It’s usually the place that holds all your […]
Have you ever had more time to hone in on fine details than right now? Sure, at first glance, this might not seem like the time to get tripped up on the nitty-gritty of minutia. But how often are you ever going to have this much time to really stop and think about hows and […]
There are plenty of productive ways to spend time while stuck indoors. While it’s undoubtedly fun to binge all 15 seasons of Supernatural or sink days of playtime into an Overwatch campaign, learning something new is definitely a more meaningful and long-term beneficial use of open hours. And if you’re going to invest time in […]