NSA Rorschach Event
On one hand-
“These materials show, over a sustained period of time, the depth and rigor of NSA’s commitment to compliance,” read a statement on the NSA’s website. “By emphasizing accountability across all levels of the enterprise, and transparently reporting errors and violations to outside oversight authorities, NSA protects privacy and civil liberties while safeguarding the nation and our allies.”
On the other hand-
In one instance, an analyst who surveilled her own spouse was merely “advised to cease her activities.” In another, an analyst “mistakenly requested” surveillance “of his own personal identifier instead of the selector associated with a foreign intelligence target.” But the NSA maintained that employees who conducted improper surveillance were adequately held to account.
“Results returned from improper queries may be deleted, and the analyst who submitted the query may be subject to additional training or administrative action as appropriate,” the agency said.
But my favorite passage of all-
The USA Freedom Act, which would have ended the NSA’s controversial domestic call tracking program, died in the Senate earlier this year despite support from an unlikely alliance that included Facebook, the ACLU and the National Rifle Association.
Why my favorite? It best illustrates the fact that a consensus of the public wanted that bill passed, and that was thwarted despite the allegedly always overwhelming lobbying power of the NRA and the considerable academic and legal resources the ACLU
We got screwed. By now we understand so many of the claims these programs are “essential” but proof remains necessarily secret are the emperors clothes of our day. We heard this song before. Yes on our watch. But in the end this will just be another psych/attitude test. Nothing more as per the set up by the timing of the release.