Wednesday, June 3, 2015

NSA Reform - What The USA Freedom Act Means

Upon hearing that the Senate GOP and Senate Democrats passed the USA Freedom Act, I'm kinda mixed about it. Yeah, in some cases it does something to curb some of the most egregious abuses by the National Security Administration, but doesn't really go far enough to ensure that domestic spying doesn't happen on the same magnitude again. For the most part it did allow the Patriot Act to finally expire in some sense, thus ending part of the insidious legacy that the Bush Administration left behind. I still give Edward Snowden a ton of credit for having the balls to speak out on these abuses back in 2013 and he does deserve the title of patriot, not traitor. Hearing about the disclosures back then made me understand that we were heading back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover (the first director of the FBI) where he along with other intelligence agency heads directed their subordinates to spy on the American people. If anyone can remember Frank Church (the powerful Democratic Senator from Idaho [1957-81]), he warned of the consequences of an all-powerful intelligence apparatus that had the tendency to run amok if left without vigorous oversight. Snowden reminds me of him, and of those who leaked the Pentagon papers back in 1971.

The USA Freedom Act is a symbolic law in the sense that it proved Snowden right.





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