Obama advisory committee whitewashes US spying programs


By Joseph Kishore
19 December 2013

A report released Wednesday by the Obama administration’s hand-picked presidential advisory panel on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) spying programs consists of minor reforms intended to preserve and legitimize the government’s illegal operations, while strengthening safeguards against leaks like those from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The administration’s decision to expedite the public release of the report, which was presented to the president over the weekend, comes in the wake of a US federal court decision earlier this week that referred to one of the principal domestic spying programs as “almost Orwellian.” Judge Richard Leon said that the bulk collection of telephone records of almost all US citizens is an “indiscriminate” and “arbitrary” invasion of privacy rights. The program was initiated under the Bush administration and has been strongly defended by Obama.

While the report is being presented in the media as a call for major…

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