Friday, March 18, 2016

OpenStack 03/19/2016 (a.m.)

  • Tags: surveillance state, NSA, unanswered-questions

    • Nearly three years after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden gave journalists his trove of documents on the intelligence community’s broad and powerful surveillance regime, the public is still missing some crucial, basic facts about how the operations work.

      Surveillance researchers and privacy advocates published a report on Wednesday outlining what we do know, thanks to the period of discovery post-Snowden — and the overwhelming amount of things we don’t.

      The NSA’s domestic surveillance was understandably the initial focus of public debate. But that debate never really moved on to examine the NSA’s vastly bigger foreign operations.

      “There has been relatively little public or congressional debate within the United States about the NSA’s overseas surveillance operations,” write Faiza Patel and Elizabeth Goitein, co-directors of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, and Amos Toh, legal adviser for David Kaye, the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

    • The central guidelines the NSA is supposed to follow while spying abroad are described in Executive Order 12333, issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, which the authors describe as “a black box.”

      Just Security, a national security law blog, and the Brennan Center for Justice are co-hosting a panel on Thursday on Capitol Hill to discuss the policy, where the NSA’s privacy and civil liberties officer, Rebecca Richards, will be present.

      And the independent government watchdog, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which has authored in-depth reports on other NSA programs, intends to publish a report on 12333 surveillance programs “this year,” according to spokesperson Jen Burita.

      In the meantime, the authors of the report came up with a list of questions they say need to be answered to create an informed public debate.


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