Barack Obama

Human Rights Watch: Obama's NSA Reforms Don't Go Far Enough



Human Rights Watch is the latest organization to criticize President Obama's NSA reforms.

From Reuters:

(Reuters)—U.S. President Barack Obama has not gone far enough in reforming the monitoring activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) and is continuing to violate the privacy rights of individuals, the head of Human Rights Watch told Reuters.

On Friday, Obama banned eavesdropping on the leaders of allies and began reining in the vast collection of U.S. citizens' phone data, seeking to reassure Americans and foreigners that the United States would take into account privacy concerns highlighted by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's revelations.

But Kenneth Roth, executive director of the New York-based group, told Reuters in Berlin that Obama had provided little more than "vague assurance" on the monitoring of communications.

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  1. …told Reuters in Berlin that Obama had provided little more than “vague assurance” on the monitoring of communications.

    Unlike the specifics with verification we’re normally given from the administration.

  2. “If you like your privacy, you can keep your privacy. Period.”

  3. You know what’s just being glossed over in all this?

    The fact that the NSA routinely shared tips with the FBI and DEA and agents then lied about the source of their information.

    This should be the biggest scandal in a generation. It should be bigger than Watergate. There should be teams of attorneys putting a long parade of FBI and DEA agents on trial for perjury and civil rights violations.

    But there isn’t a sound.

    Until we see that parade, we can be absolutely sure nobody is serious about reform. Nobody.

    1. Or it’s an indication that nearly everyone has no problem with this, which is even more depressing.

      1. That’s what I mean.

        The President is asking us to trust him that the information gleaned from surveillance will not be abused.

        But having that information used in criminal prosecutions and withheld from the defense by the mechanism of having LEO’s routinely file false reports and make false statements is a gigantic abuse.

        So if the President says, “This information will not be abused!” but the existing cabal of abusers is not hauled up on charges, we can thereby know that he cannot be trusted.

        1. Why do you want to protect the criminals?

      2. “Everyone” meaning whom? The sycophantic press or the unwashed masses? Because I imagine that the media’s tune would be different if Mittens or Buck Turgidson were in the Whitehouse.

        1. Only time will tell, Hugh. If the next president is GOP we’re going to find out in a hurry. What does your mom think about all this? I think that’s what we all really want to know.

          1. You realize of course that by unwashed masses I mostly meant Seahawks fans.

            1. Your mom is a Seahawks fan? Awesome. Go Sherm!

    2. Fluffy, do you want the drug lords/terrorists to win?

      Who cares about little things like due process? We live in the 21st century, not the idyllic, but racist, 18th century when white slaveowners wiled away the time pondering such frivolities as natural rights and due process.

      Safety. Discipline. Order. These are the true freedoms.

    3. The end justifies the means.

    4. Between the baby boomers who have generally grown up to be the biggest nannystate, fascist, “just do anything, but keep me safe” wimps, and the gen-Xers and beyond who have grown up with Facespace etc. and have no concept of privacy or anonymity, there are only a few of us left to be scandalized.

      I guess we’re going to have to make some more noise!

    5. Well… better that a few criminally criminals are rail roaded into prison using tipoffs from the NSA than go free because of technicalities like “lack of evidence.” /DERPITY DERTY DUMB

    6. Speaking of which. How is the parade starting to line up in Massachusetts after that lab tech admitted to faking her drug test results for years?

  4. On Friday, Obama banned eavesdropping on the leaders of allies and began reining in the vast collection of U.S. citizens’ phone data

    Shocking, ain’t it, that immediate action is taken wrt eavesdropping on foreign governments and their heads of state (a legitimate function of government), while us peons must be satisfied with vague promises that an Orwellian program is being “reined in” (whatever the hell that means).

  5. There’s a proposal on the table to reform the NSA that I really like; it’s called “the Fourth Amendment”.

    It says that “no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched” and that, otherwise, I have a right to be free from unreasonable searches.

    If anyone at the NSA is looking into my “effects” without a properly issued warrant, then some federal law enforcement agency should investigate, and the Fourth Amendment rights of all the perpetrators at the NSA should be completely respected.

    …and they should have the right to a jury trial, the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, etc.

    1. Huh. Someone in government should really look into this “Fourth Amendment”.

      1. I have it on good authority that the authors of this “Fourth Ammendment” were rich white racists, so it must be part of some TEATHUGLIKKKAN obstructionist plot to undermine our Nubian God of a president.

    2. The problem is that “unreasonable” thing. Nowadays, it’s deemed “reasonable” to do a lot of things the FF would have objected to.

    3. goddamn bunch of radicals. Next thing you’ll be telling me that there are three other amendments prior to this oddly-named fourth. And maybe some after it, too. What, are they contained in some document outlining govt’s powers?

  6. …”Obama […] began reining in the vast collection of U.S. citizens’ phone data,”…

    Nor from what I saw, he didn’t. He merely outsourced the storage of the data.

  7. Even if Obama Obama’s NSA reforms don’t go far, there will be another reforms be there replace it.

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