What To Do With The NSA?

NSA spying. After all the leaks and revelations, does it get reined in?

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, prior to a special meeting of the parliament on US-German relationships, in Berlin, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (AP)

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, prior to a special meeting of the parliament on US-German relationships, in Berlin, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (AP)

When Edward Snowden went public with his trove of leaks on NSA spying last summer, he said his one big fear was that Americans would learn of the spy agency’s vast reach – overreach, he said – and do nothing to rein it in.  The world has learned a lot in the months since.  Astonishing leaks about astonishing data collection.  So now what?  Yesterday, the Supreme Court declined a request to get involved.  And the NSA itself released hundreds of pages of internal documents, trying to head off Congressional action to restrain.  Up next On Point:  after all the revelations, what should, what will happen with the NSA?

– Tom Ashbrook


Adam Liptak, covers the Supreme Court for The New York Times. (@adamliptak)

Orin Kerr, professor at George Washington University Law School. (@OrinKerr)

Jonathan Hafetz, professor at the Seton Hall Law School. (@JonathanHafetz)

Siobhan Gorman, terrorism, counter-terrorism and intelligence reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@Gorman_Siobhan)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Congress and Courts Weigh Restraints on N.S.A. Spying — “The intensifying push against the N.S.A. on both the legal and legislative fronts reflected new pressure being put on the extensive surveillance effort in the wake of the revelations by Edward J. Snowden, pressure that is running into stiff resistance from congressional leaders of both parties, as well as the Obama administration.”

SCOTUSBlog: NSA spying challenge turned aside — “The EPIC plea was filed directly in the Court, without prior lower court action.  The group requested that the Justices direct a judge of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to vacate an order he issued in April requiring a branch of the telephone giant Verizon to turn over to the government a vast array of data, including sweeps of U.S. telephone calls and Internet exchanges.  The Court very rarely grants such a ‘writ of mandamus or prohibition.’ EPIC had contended that no other court was open to hear a challenge to orders of the FIS Court, so the Supreme Court should consider its case now.  The Justice Department had answered that EPIC could attempt to pursue its case in lower courts first, although the government has attempted to thwart review of previous challenges.”

The Guardian: Yahoo to add encryption to all services in wake of NSA spying revelations – “Yahoo will add encryption to all its products by spring 2014, chief Marissa Mayer has announced, in a bid to tackle users’ privacy fears in the wake of reports that the National Security Agency had accessed the tech firm’s data centers. In a blogpost on Monday, Mayer said: ‘We’ve worked hard over the years to earn our users’ trust and we fight hard to preserve it. As you know, there have been a number of reports over the last six months about the US government secretly accessing user data without the knowledge of tech companies, including Yahoo.'”

150th Anniversary Of The Gettysburg Address

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln’s speech on the Civil War battlefield that would come to symbolize his presidency.  Filmmaker Ken Burns — whose forthcoming film highlights the address — has created a website, Learn the Address,where people can post videos of their own recitations of the address.

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