An Independent Federal Panel Report Finds NSA Surveleince An Infringement On Privacy Rights and Is Illegal...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

I've said all along that the NSA surveillance plan (data mining)was not only an infringement on the privacy rights of every American citizen but quite probably illegal as well. An independent federal agency has arrived at the same conclusion.

WASHINGTON — An independent federal privacy watchdog has concluded that the National Security Agency’s program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only “minimal” benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down.

The findings are laid out in a 238-page report, scheduled for release by Thursday and obtained by The New York Times, that represent the first major public statement by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which Congress made an independent agency in 2007 and only recently became fully operational.

The report is likely to inject a significant new voice into the debate over surveillance, underscoring that the issue was not settled by a high-profile speech President Obama gave last week. Mr. Obama consulted with the board, along with a separate review group that last month delivered its own report about surveillance policies. But while he said in his speech that he was tightening access to the data and declared his intention to find a way to end government collection of the bulk records, he said the program’s capabilities should be preserved.

The Obama administration has portrayed the bulk collection program as useful and lawful while at the same time acknowledging concerns about privacy and potential abuse. But in its report, the board lays out what may be the most detailed critique of the government’s once-secret legal theory behind the program: that a law known as Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows the F.B.I. to obtain business records deemed “relevant” to an investigation, can be legitimately interpreted as authorizing the N.S.A. to collect all calling records in the country.

The program “lacks a viable legal foundation under Section 215, implicates constitutional concerns under the First and Fourth Amendments, raises serious threats to privacy and civil liberties as a policy matter, and has shown only limited value,” the report said. “As a result, the board recommends that the government end the program.” {Emphasis Mine}

Irrespective of the self serving interests of the NSA specifically, and the Obama government generally, the independent agency's report is spot on and the Obama administration should end the illegal surveillance NOW.

Read the full article below the fold.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. Congress has the ball here. The President can end it or not, but it is up to congress to deal with this for the future.


  2. Good point jmj. We'll just have to wait and see if anyone has the smarts to DO the RIGHT THING.

  3. As a good goose-stepper, I feel I should say I disagree with RN on this issue... but I'd be lying. Of course, as a "canardo", that is something I do all the time... or so Dennis says. So I guess my response is that I'm OK with the Obama Administration doing whatever the hell it wants. Although, I would be strongly opposed to a Republican administration doing it. Hopefully there never will be another one. One party rule!

  4. I'll take your agreement in stride Mr. Sanders, take it as a indication of your fleeting ability to recognize truth, and shall consider it a possibility that one day you will break free from the rigid ideological box you usually find yourself. WAIT... Then you disappoint again with your regression back to the one party rule goosestepping bullsh*t.

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  6. I think a greater percentage of the plutocrats in the US are Libertarian than the population at large (think the Koch bros). I suppose there are those who are just Conservative. Is that the ideological nonconformity the fascist-leaning Dennis is saying he dislikes? Hard to understand what he was talking about in his muddled comment.

  7. "An oligarchy is government by "the few". The "few" could be due to being royal, wealthy, family, military, religious or anything else. Obviously the wealthy can often buy power but if a system of plutocracy and oligarchy occurred at the same time (government by a "few" wealthy people), this would be termed a PLUTARCHY. "

    I would argue that we are yet a oligarchy where the few (representatives and senators make the laws with a judicial elite determining the constitutionality of contested law), influenced my the mega wealthy determine policy and in some cases law.

    While we may at some point become a true plutocracy right now it is not the case IMNHO.

    I must check the relative wealth of democrats compared to republicans/libertarians in power and the wealth of say individuals like Soros et all. Because rule by wealthy democrats would be a plutocracy as well as rule by wealthy republicans according to Mr. Sanders.

    So, since we have a demlocratic senate, democratic president, wealthy democratic representatives in the house, all backed by wealthy democratic donors (like Soros) what kind of oligarchy or plutocracy would Mr. Sanders say exits?

    Rule by the few, or the wealthy few, regardless of party is by definition the same either a oligarchy or a plutocracy.

    Class warefare? Well I'll leave that to you all. What I think we're looking at is warfare between competing oligarchs and would be plutocrats in both paties..

  8. I clicked on Mr. Sanders' link, because for once it wasn't about male genitalia. What was contained was a snarky, very low brow (like written by 3rd graders) depiction of libertarians that has little to do with what libertarians believe. A perfect example of a straw man attack. Positive kudos for Mr. Sanders because (1) he didn't provide a porn link or a self-serving blog promotion, and (2) this untrue screed is not one he wrote.

    The last sentence in it asks an incorrect rhetorical question: "Don’t like the government working to redress injustice?"

    Libertarians have no problem at all with the government redressing injustice. They have a big problem with the government creating new injustices, and abusing power in the name of justice which they never pursue.

    RN: don't take Mr. Sanders' references to "plutocrats" too seriously. He has painted the term with very broad strokes, having in the past accused small business owners, doctors who are good at what they do, and school boards all of being plutocrats. I would suspect however, as you apparently do, that he doesn't apply such a label to very rich progressives who use their power to influence public policy. He also goes WAY overboard on "plutocrat" paranoia: opposing market-based decisions where the average person benefits due to some sort of claim that some plutocrats (a tiny minority of those involved) might also benefit.

    It's really a huge stretch to paint "libertarians" with the "entitlement" label,when this is the group that has the least problem of believing they have the right to steal from other people

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  10. I checked the link out as well. It obviously has a anti libertarian bias and pro government control slant/bias. Therefore it is understandable Mr. Sanders would chose the article to link to.

    I feel inclined to say that Mr. Sanders has never e-mailed me or provided a link in a comment here at RN USA that linked to either maile genitalia or porn. I want the record to be perfectly clear as to the nature of Mr. Sanders and my comunicatrions and interchanges.

    I take Mr. Sanders comments, musings, and arguments for as food for thought. On a very limited number of occasions even agreeing with him. If you canbelieve that!

  11. " I want the record to be perfectly clear as to the nature of Mr. Sanders and my comunicatrions and interchanges."

    Me too. His sexual fixation has been one way. The only time I recall emailing him was once about a subject of agreement.... pretty sure it was the Steve troll.

    The libertarian link WAS food for thought, in a way. A quick mental exercise, but not a challenge, as such.

  12. Does anybody else notice that on subjects and matters of real substance and importance to Americans and their civil liberties traffic is lighter, comments fewer, and the direction of a thread quickly veers off topic?

    Maybe it's just me that notices.

    Carry on.

  13. Dennis: ...because for once it wasn't about male genitalia. ...having in the past accused [blah blah blah] all of being plutocrats.

    Give ONE example of an instance where I've posted such a link. ONE. Dennis cannot because he lies. And, if I challenged him to produce a link in which I label any of the groups he mentions as "plutocrats" he wouldn't be able to do that either. These statements are both of the "pure imagination" variety. Also, Dennis is the one with the sexual fixation. For a while it was "weinergrams" and now it is homosexual porn and male genitalia that he references in many of his comments. The dude should just come out of the closet already. Denying who you are isn't healthy.

    As for the derailing of topics, you can blame Dennis, RN. Clearly he is fixated on spreading lies about me. I'd guess this has something to do with his being in the closet (which I already said isn't healthy).

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  15. Change a few words, and the comment by Dennis (above) reflects how I feel about a certain blog he loves to comment on (as follows)...

    I go to Mr. Hart's Blog and what I find is an inaccurate, very misinformed depiction of Keynesian economics that has little to do with what Democrats believe. A perfect example of a straw man attack.

    At least he admits that his writings are of a variety that might be produced by someone in a mental ward... so, kudos to him for taking this fist step.

    1. Mr. Sanders, let's keep to the subject matter and discuss it. This site is not interested in subjects on another site unless it is relevant to the specific subject being discussed here.

      I realize you have a mission to discredit everything Will and dmarks say. This is fine to attempt as long as it is relevent to the specifics of the post on this site (RN USA) on which you are commenting.

      Ad hominem is not appreciated by you, as you have indicated many times, so be true to your principles and avoid it yourself.

    2. The man has never opened an economics or history textbook and now he's suddenly an expert on Keynesianism. Pathetic.

    3. He may or may not have opened economic and history text book(s). This is something neither of us are in a posistion to know.

      We can however make judgements on whether or not we think he understands anything he may or may not have read based on his statements.


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