Tuesday, August 13, 2013

GUARDIAN article about President Obama and "open debate" re NSA spying.

A couple of excerpts from the article by Jennifer Hoelzer:

"The NSA (along with the FBI, DEA and CIA) continually declares the law is on its side and portrays its opponents as ridiculous dreamers who believe safety doesn't come with a price."--Hoelzer quoting Tim Cushing writing about the NSA on techdirt.com.

This from Ms. Hoelzer (highlighted by me):
I think it's hard for the American people to trust their president when he says he respects democratic principles, when his actions over the course of nearly five years demonstrate very little respect for democratic principles.

I think the American people would be more likely to trust the president when he says these programs include safeguards that protect their privacy, if he – or anyone else in his administration – seemed to care about privacy rights or demonstrated an understanding of how the information being collected could be abused. Seriously, how are we supposed to trust safeguards devised by people who don't believe there is anything to safeguard against?

I think it's understandably hard for the American people to trust the president when he says his administration has the legal authority to conduct these surveillance programs, when one of the few things that remains classified about these programs is the legal argument that the administration says gives the NSA the authority to conduct these programs. This is the document that explains why the administration believes the word "relevant" gives them the authority to collect everything. It's also the document I'd most like to see, since it's the document my former boss [U.S. Senator Ron Wyden] has been requesting be declassified for more than half a decade.

Read the article in its entirety: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/13/obama-open-debate-nsa-spying

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