“While the National Security Agency (NSA) has largely escaped the government shutdown, the panel investigating NSA spying practices has effectively been frozen,” Andrea Peterson reports for The Washington Post. “Politico reports that as of Friday, the five-member Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies lost its staff to the furlough associated with the government shutdown.”

“The group, which is largely comprised of intelligence community and White House insiders, was initially scheduled to remain running during the furlough,” Peterson reports. “However, former acting CIA director Michael Morell declined to attend a scheduled meeting Tuesday, citing the shutdown.”

Peterson reports, “By Friday, the office of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, which is facilitating the panel, reversed course and determined that panel members’ staff should be furloughed, according to Politico‘s sources. While in theory the members are unpaid, so the panel could continue without support staff or payment for travel expenses, that seems unlikely… So while it appears that the NSA will remain largely functional during the shutdown, the inquiry into the agency’s spying activities will not.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: United States Constitution, Amendment IV:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Join The Electronic Frontier Foundation in calling for a full congressional investigation here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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