Sep 29

Sen. Ron Wyden: NSA ‘repeatedly deceived the American people’ (Guardian, Sep 27, 2013):

About the Snowden disclosures, the Oregon Democrat told the NSA chief: ‘the truth always manages to come out’

(updated below – Update II [Sat.])

The Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday held a hearing, ostensibly to investigate various issues raised about the NSA’s activities. What the hearing primarily achieved instead was to underscore what a farce the notion of Congressional oversight over the NSA is.

In particular, the current chair of the Senate Committee created in the mid-1970s to oversee the intelligence community just so happens to be one of the nation’s most steadfast and blind loyalists of and apologists for the National Security State: Dianne Feinstein. For years she has abused her position to shield and defend the NSA and related agencies rather than provide any meaningful oversight over it, which is a primary reason why it has grown into such an out-of-control and totally unaccountable behemoth.

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Aug 17

NSA revelations of privacy breaches ‘the tip of the iceberg’ – Senate duo (Guardian, Aug 16, 2013):

Leading critics of NSA Ron Wyden and Mark Udall say ‘public deserves to know more about violations of secret court orders’

Two US senators on the intelligence committee said on Friday that thousands of annual violations by the National Security Agency on its own restrictions were “the tip of the iceberg.”

“The executive branch has now confirmed that the rules, regulations and court-imposed standards for protecting the privacy of Americans’ have been violated thousands of times each year,” said senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, two leading critics of bulk surveillance, who responded Friday to a Washington Post story based on documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

“We have previously said that the violations of these laws and rules were more serious than had been acknowledged, and we believe Americans should know that this confirmation is just the tip of a larger iceberg.”

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Aug 03


Senator Ron Wyden Says There’s a Secret Patriot Act: ‘I’m talking about instances where the government is relying on secret interpretations of what the law says without telling the public what those interpretations are, and the reliance on secret interpretations of the law is growing.’

Senate Panel Keeps ‘Secret Patriot Act’ Under Wraps (Wired, August 2, 2011):

The secret Patriot Act is staying secret.

Two Senators have been warning for months that the government has a secret legal interpretation of the Patriot Act so broad that it amounts to an entirely different law — one that gives the feds massive domestic surveillance powers, and keeps the rest of us in the dark about the snooping.

“There is a significant discrepancy between what most Americans – including many members of Congress – think the Patriot Act allows the government to do and how government officials interpret that same law,” wrote the Senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall. “We believe that most members of the American public would be very surprised to learn how federal surveillance law is being interpreted in secret. ”

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