Glenn Greenwald is close to releasing more Snowden documents. The next group will reveal “what kinds of citizens are being targeted by the NSA.”
Washington super-lawyer Plato Cacheris is representing Edward Snowden in talks with the Justice Department, seeking a plea deal that would let Snowden come home. If anyone can get Snowden a decent deal, it’s Plato.
Glenn Greenwald is going to do a piece from his Snowden documents disclosing actual names of Americans targeted by the NSA. It will be very interesting to see who they’re going after and why.
The House passed the USA FREEDOM Act today, which is supposed to fix the PATRIOT Act and rein in the NSA, but falls far short of what we need to get our rights back. The vote was 303-121, with 179 Republicans and 124 Democrats in favor. The bill now goes to the Senate, but I doubt it will get fixed enough to keep this from being a huge wasted opportunity to restore our privacy.
Here’s James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), the chief sponsor of the bill: “Let me be clear: I wish this bill did more. To my colleagues who lament the changes, I agree with you. The privacy groups who are upset about lost provisions, I share your disappointment.”
Here’s Zoe Logren (D-California), who supported the bill that came out of the Judiciary Committee, but voted against the final bill: “This is not the bill that was voted out of the Judiciary Committee unanimously. Regrettably, we have learned that if we leave any ambiguity in the law [on bulk data collection], the intelligence agency will run a truck through that ambiguity.”
Companies like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and Facebook had supported the original bill, but did not support the final version, believing that it contains a loophole for government surveillance of our Internet data.
The bill also dropped the provision creating an independent public advocate at the FISA court. It removed provisions about public reports from the government about its targeting activity and FISA court requests.
The bill requires phone companies to keep records for 18 months, with the NSA having to get a court order to access those records.
“Certainly, many of the Snowden-fueled disclosures following the original NSA revelation have been gratuitous and harmful; those, and his sheltering in Russia rather than arguing his case in a U.S. court, raise doubts about his motives. But the original NSA leaks were justified because U.S. intelligence officials had misled the public and members of Congress about the program. There’s no value of ‘oversight’ if the overseers are being fed lies.”
Dana Milbank, WaPo
Guardian US and The Washington Post have won Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting of Edward Snowden’s NSA disclosures.
The U. S. and British governments are spying on us through online games like Angry Birds. I liked our government better when it was just wasteful and inefficient, now it’s really creeping me out.
“[T]he administration wants to give the public ‘greater assurance,’ ‘greater confidence’ in the wake of a historic scandal. It’s a game of political optics that asks for trust without structurally shifting the techniques of government that rightfully bred distrust when revealed.”
Natasha Lennard, “Obama’s NSA reforms: The devil in the details,” Salon
“No one expects China to have an open debate about their surveillance programs, or Russia to take the privacy concerns of citizens into account.”
President Obama in his NSA speech today
Yes, we’re collecting all your phone calls and emails, but hey, people, you could live in Russia or China!
The Justice Department is changing its charging policies so that those who commit low-level, non-violent drug crimes will not face harsh mandatory minimum sentences.
And in Floyd v. New York, a federal judge has found New York City’s minority-heavy stop-and-frisk policies unconstitutional (Duh!). The judge noted that 88% of those targeted by the NYPD are released without being charged with anything, which told her that there wasn’t sufficient suspicion to stop them in the first place.