Tim Cushing's article on the GAO's scathing report on the failure of the CBP to update their computer system (TECS) already made me suspect a direct reliance of the CBP on the NSA's resources. Looks like that could very well be the case.
It's incredible how Stewart Baker, and those who defend the indefensible acts of the intelligence community generally, assume that appealing to the most extreme authority-worshipers could win them anything. It says a lot about the environment they're used to.
The lack of concern on the part of ICE and CBP about their inadequate systems leads me to suspect that they have a relationship with the NSA to fill the gaps in their capabilities. What with the NSA's data being used by the military to launch drone strikes, and by the DEA to catch drug dealers, among others, it would be unsurprising.
The intelligence agencies don't have the same burdens as other agencies, so related tasks are delegated to them.
If I recall correctly, this very thing happened in the 90's when the FBI lobbied for a law compromising the security features of American technology. For the gazillionth time, our "intelligence" community has failed to learn from its mistakes, and our "representatives" have failed to inform us of how our interests have been sacrificed to build an intelligence system explicitly designed to criminalize dissent and undermine the rule of law.
If it were not for patriots like Snowden, Manning, and others, we would never have the opportunity to fix the system. Refusing to pardon or grant amnesty to them can only be an endorsement of authoritarianism, as that is the only basis for the behavior they brought to light and the only basis of their prosecution.
I can only hope that the possession of illicit media does not become in the future what the possession of illicit drugs is today. Let's nip this one in the bud before we end up with police doing anal cavity searches to find our thumb drives.
I don't think there's a precedent in history (or sanity, for that matter) for a court to make a secret ruling based on the secret legal arguments of the defense and the plaintiff. But I wouldn't be surprised to see it, revealed ex post facto, in the FISA court.
Maybe an effective measure to curtail this sort of madness is to tax companies slightly less (whether by creating a tax penalty or a tax break) in exchange for applying sane copyright limits (less than 15 years until expiration, for one) to their IP. The point being that they'd have to weigh the dubious gains of copyright ownership against the certain benefit of the tax break. Most would probably prefer the latter.
Companies would still argue for maximizing copyright, but many would simultaneously argue that the enormous economic benefits of more limited copyright deserves a larger tax incentive. It would be a lot harder for copyright maximalists to set the terms of the debate.
...when he said "rebuild". Rebuild the massive domestic spying network of such dubious usefulness that puts everyone at greater risk? Why would we want to, after realizing what the NSA did in our name?
Inman believes, as Hayden and Alexander clearly do, that the political controversy is temporary, and whatever law is passed to constrain the NSA will be ineffective, either by its own wording or the NSA's capability to secretly flout it, and there will be no real consequences for NSA officials. Having seen and experienced the results of the Church committee (creation of the secret rubber-stamping FISA court) they may well be right.