NSA Defenders Claim 'All 3 Branches' Of Gov't Have Approved Its Programs — But All 3 Are Now Demanding Reforms

from the times-change dept

Ever since the Snowden documents started revealing the massive overreach by the NSA, defenders of the agency and the programs have stuck by their mantra that the program is “legal” and that it was “approved by all three branches of the government.” That line has been repeated over and over again. Of course, as we noted back in August, it quickly became apparent that the three parts charged with oversight were all being misled by the NSA. However, at this point, the claim that the programs have been approved by all three branches is demonstrably false.

In fact, as The Wire points out, you can now say that all three branches of the government are actually demanding NSA reforms, thanks to Judge Leon’s decision on Monday. On the executive branch side, we have the the intelligence task force, which while recommending mostly cosmetic changes are clearly demanding reforms. And, over in Congress, there’s the USA Freedom Act, which isn’t perfect but certainly would roll back many of the worst overreaches.

Of course, you can expect that defenders of the NSA programs will continue to ignore all this and insist, yet again, that the programs have been approved by all three branches of government, but at that point, hopefully people will remind them that, even if that was true (and it was already misleading), all three branches of government appear to have changed their minds about it.

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Comments on “NSA Defenders Claim 'All 3 Branches' Of Gov't Have Approved Its Programs — But All 3 Are Now Demanding Reforms”

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16 Comments
Frankz (profile) says:

Of course

Of course all 3 branches approved of it….in secret, when they thought the public wouldn’t find out about it.
But now that the public knows and is yelling for reform and lots of the elected officials fear for their jobs and want to get re-elected, they will publicly claim that they want reforms. But it will be the same as all the rest of their security theater: make it all look good (as in theater), but don’t actually do or accomplish anything real.

Anonymous Coward says:

Approved by 3 branches when you are directly involved with and are to the benefit of the executive, which then gets to cherry pick the single court that only hears your side in secret for the judicial then have a handful of those on the intelligence committees in the legislative that are in the pockets of your biggest contractors to be your cheerleaders and run interference for you with the rest of Congress. That’s some definition of approval you have there.

out_of_the_blue says:

It's PR, Mike. Sheer baloney. No one will even be "thrown under the bus".

Sheesh. You people actually think that trillions were spent over decades building the military-surveillance state only for it to fall apart when the public finds out? Sheesh. Wish I had even one percent of your optimism; must be nice to have rather than forced to endure not only NSA but optimists. — I’m still going with the whole Snowden “leak” being a psyop precisely to inform the public, the better to control.


What is this? A political blog? Where’s the tech?

08:42:22[j-765-4]

Anonymous Coward says:

all 3 branches didn’t give a fuck previously! now all this ‘spying’ has come to light and the fact that it is being used for just about any purpose there is except preventing terrorism, all 3 branches want to try to exonerate themselves! all 3 branches need to be told ‘it’s too late for this now! you are the ones that screwed up even more than the NSA because you gave them the go ahead!!’

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Slavery was legal too...

thank you…

what galls me is, it took ONE OUTLIER judge to actually do his job and defend the constitution which the kongresskritters, admin, spooks themselves, etc HAVE NOT DONE TO DATE…

NOW it is ‘suspect’ ? ? ? where was your fucking brain (not to mention ‘oath’ to uphold/defend the constitution) this whole time, feinstein, king, etc ? ? ?

no, the problem is that NO ONE stood against this EXCEPT for the few like snowden, manning, kiriakou, browning, hammond, etc, who are being persecuted for doing their patriotic duty which the kongresskritters and emperor failed to do…
repeatedly…
over decades…

fuck’em…

Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:

Or...

that the programs have been approved by all three branches of government, but at that point, hopefully people will remind them that, even if that was true (and it was already misleading), all three branches of government appear to have changed their minds about it.

To be slightly fair to the NSA (and at this point I see no reason for it, but hey-ho), it’s not totally impossible that all 3 branches of government did approve these programs and the mind-change represents rats leaving the sinking ship.
Are the bits of the US government that would approve this stuff that much less corrupt and over-reaching than the NSA?

Anonymous Coward says:

I agree that technology and encryption are the most effective and likely answer for private electronic communication. Unfortunately, the NSA also knows this to be true, which is why hardware manufacturers are required, by law (CALEA), to design government backdoors into the silicon, firmware, and drivers of any telecommunication device.

It doesn’t matter how cryptographically secure the encryption ciphers are, if the underlying hardware and software the encryption process is happening on top of is compromised.

Which is why the Chinese and the American governments, are refusing to let each other sell their backdoored hardware devices in each others domestic markets.

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