Saturday, June 29, 2013

Is N.S.A. Domestic Surveillance Criminal as well as Illegal?

Jennifer Stisa Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society & Christopher Jon Sprigman, professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, The Criminal N.S.A. (Op-Ed), NYTimes (June 28, 2013):

... Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House — and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught.


We may never know all the details of the mass surveillance programs, but we know this: The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a mockery of the government’s professed concern with protecting Americans’ privacy. It’s time to call the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs what they are: criminal.

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