U.S. government panel recommends new limits on NSA spooks

“A panel of presidential advisers who reviewed the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices urged President Obama on Wednesday to end the government’s systematic collection of logs of all Americans’ phone calls, and to keep those in private hands, ‘for queries and data mining’ only by court order,” David E. Sanger and Charlie Savage report for The New York Times.

“In a more than 300-page report made public by the White House, the group of five intelligence and legal experts also strongly recommended that any operation to spy on foreign leaders would have to pass a rigorous test that weighs the potential economic or diplomatic costs if the operation becomes public,” Sanger and Savage report. “The decision to monitor those communications, it said, should be made by the president and his advisers, not the intelligence agencies. It also recommends new limits on surveillance of ordinary non-Americans. It argues for applying to foreign targets of intelligence the protections accorded to Americans under the Privacy Act of 1974, meaning the government could release very little information about them.”

“Taken together, the recommendations would remove from the N.S.A.’s hands the authority to conduct many of its operations without review by the president, Congress or the courts. But by themselves, they would terminate few programs,” Sanger and Savage report. “Taken together with a federal court decision this week that found some of the bulk collection of telephone data ‘almost Orwellian,’ and objections from Silicon Valley, the report adds to pressure on Mr. Obama to rein in the N.S.A. for the first time since its authorities began a rapid expansion after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks… It is not clear how many of the recommendations will ultimately become a reality. Some would require action by Mr. Obama alone, while others would require legislation from Congress.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The decision to spy on communications should be made by the president and his presidential advisers, a panel of presidential advisers told the president.

In related news, the henhouse should be guarded by the fox and his troop, the fox’s troop recommended to the fox.

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

Visit reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

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15 Comments

    1. Funny…..thats what I have been thinking the whole time. Catch22!

      But its not a surprise, I thought everyone knew the government spied on everyone. Maybe it was more of a conspiracy that people didn’t really believe or want to believe and then after Snowden confirmed it, thats why everyone is angry about it now. We finally have the proof!

      Mixed reaction though, he is a traitor to the country, but a hero to the people I guess!

      1. How can he be a traitor to the “country” and a hero to the people? The “people” is the country.

        He was a traitor to the Stasi “government” that has the country/people in a stranglehold of fear and greed. They feed their greed through whipped up fear.

          1. I don’t get this comment.
            Seems to me the opposite would be the case since the NSA is nearer in spirit to the military and secret services in general, all of whom are controlled by the establishment ‘powers that be’, sitting in the background pulling strings to manipulate and maintain their decades long power base. Which is almost the antithesis of liberal ‘thinking’.

    2. Snowden is a hero. Those who say he could have reported this internally and had an effect are either useful idiots or liars. Snowden knew in order to let this see the light of day he would have to run.

      What is amazing is how hard the DC Villagers, Pundits and MSM lapdogs have tried to kill this story from the outset. The truth is that most of the spying is being done by contractors for lots and lots of profit- truckloads of money. A more than insignificant amount is filtered back to Congressmen and insiders to fund campaigns, think tanks and all the rest.

      As with most things in Washington- follow the money. Supposed liberal Diane Feinstein is all in for the spies and is getting her contributions.

      http://maplight.org/content/73346?t=dXNlcmlkPTUyMzU0NjYxLGVtYWlsaWQ9MTY3MQ%3D%3D

    3. kind of a close call, isn’t it?

      he certainly didn’t do the american empire of any favors (even that conservative icon pat buchanan readily concedes we are an imperial power – one of the few points in which we are in agreement)

      but maybe that is the very nature and price of empire, of overstepping bounds, domestically and overseas to the point where it becomes unsustainable. and i think we all know the fate of empires – which pretty much tend to be self inflicted.

      but, he has awakened a slumbering nation to the fact that, over the years, the government, under both parties, has slowly put into place all the building blocks necessary to become a police state. all in the name of security.

      our government now has capabilities that herr hitler and uncle joe stalin could only have had wet dreams about.

      i don’t think this is the vision of america that our fathers and grandfathers fought for during the second world war, in fact i think it is the very antithesis of what nearly 400,000 of them died for.

      so, on balance i guess i would say that snowden is a hero, albeit one with very dirty shoes.

      he has told us what the score is, and we need to speak up and out loudly to our representatives and remind them of their sworn fidelity to the constitution.

      there is no denying that some of these revelations that benefit our enemies could possibly do us in, in the end, but frankly wouldn’t it better preferable to go down as a free people than ones wrapped safely in the blanket of a police state.

      the price of freedom isn’t free, there are risks and costs that we must all pay, eventually. lets not pay for security with our freedom

    1. The Constitution, luckily for us, is a set of tools that can be used to take down heavy-handed oppressors. It has proved handy in this regard for quite a long while. Honing the blades, now in progress.

      1. Yes, but like any tool, some may see it as rusted, dull and in need of replacement.
        Once this is allowed, the balance will be against those trying to maintain it.
        I hope I’m wrong, but the shrill up the Executive leg is piercing too many voices of reason with promises of a Peach Blossom Spring.

  1. Shoot me down if what I say is stupid but hasn’t Obama just given the OK to snooping but put the resultant snoops in private hands? I can see it now … “we can’t tell you ordinary Joes because it’s ‘commercially sensitive’ but we’ll tell the govmint because they’ll take away our licence!” It’s OK to snoop, even on foreigners, but we’ll just have different storage needs. And guess what… the privatised storage will cost more than govmint storage (at least here in the UK it will).

  2. Biggest Spies for Hire to the Feds- the usual suspects who have another revenue stream. Snowden has pissed off some very wealthy and powerful Defense Contractors.

    General Dynamics
    Northrop Grumman
    Lockheed Martin
    Honeywell International
    **L-3 Communications
    AECOM

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