President Obama and others have gone on record recently, as part of a damage limitations exercise following damning information leaks. They claim that "spying" on citizens was necessary to foil terrorists and was limited. A report in Friday's Washington Post puts paid to those claims.If the report image, shown here, is anything to go by Obama has been responsible for spying on citizens on a huge scale. Of course you could say he is only as good or bad as his operatives.
Whistle-blower Edward Snowden is safe for now, benefiting from temporary asylum in Russia but the NSA leaks continue. Edward blew the whistle on snooping activities of western governments, in particular the USA, and quickly became persona non grata of the world as America put pressure to bear on its allies. Snowden became a man without a country and passport until Russia threw him a life line. Supporters of Snowden do not care why Russia chose to do this, just that they did.
WP and the Guardian in the UK were the publications Edward leaked documents to. Both publications were deemed to be more independent than others.
According to WP the American Congress gave the NSA, National Surveillance Agency, broader new powers in 2008. That would tie in with President Obama coming to office as POTUS. An internal audit discovered that since 2008 the NSA broke privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year. And that information was forthcoming following an internal audit. Imagine if it had been an independent external audit, which of course it should have been. If the US administration and other politicians want to keep their cushy jobs and reassure the public that they act appropriately an independent inquiry should be launched.
WP reports "Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order." That does not mean that we in Europe and other countries are not on the radar. Just that we presumably have no right to privacy online under US law. They can do what they like with us.
We have to thank Edward for exposing the shifty shenanigans of politicians. Information he leaked to the WP would not routinely be available to even Congress in the USA. It seems the US has work to do in sorting out its politics and just who is accountable to whom.
Unbelievably some people became a target for the NSA due to the incompetence of NSA operatives. Incorrect phone numbers and dialling codes led to unnecessary snooping.
WP continues: "In another case, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has authority over some NSA operations, did not learn about a new collection method until it had been in operation for many months. The court ruled it unconstitutional."
Is the USA a police, military or political state where none of those agencies are accountable? Do they only feel a need to justify their actions if and when they are caught misbehaving? If that is the case thank the lord for whistle-blowers.
Read the full report at the Washington Post to keep up to date with the NSA, espionage and Edward Snowden. Refuse to fall for the propaganda spin and hype appearing in the mainstream media and being spouted by western politicians.