Re: perens-perpass-appropriate-response-01

On Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 9:24 PM, Tim Bray <> wrote:

> “The proposers and implementers of systems intended to hinder law
> enforcement are arguably a criminal or treasonous conspiracy.”
> Ooh... such glamor. I guess we can all wear black and adopt furtive
> expressions!
The NSA is not a law enforcement agency, it is a part of the US military
and answers to the Secretary of Defense.

Any NSA involvement in law enforcement is arguably criminal under US law,
the Posse Comitatus act is certainly intended to prevent military forces
engaging in law enforcement activities.

Needless to say there is very good reason for such restrictions. Including
the very peculiar mindset of some of the people who run the organization
(and yes, I have met them).

One of the concerns I have is precisely the risk of acts of treason, but by
the people with access to this information. During the Bush administration
the head of the CIA was forced to resign after a series of well planned
leaks concerning the activities of his second in command, two corrupt
Congressman later convicted of accepting bribes and some government
contractors. Had the scandal come to trial we might well have learned
rather more.

I have always been of the opinion that the leaks came from the NSA and that
this was evidence of a widespread surveillance operation and that at least
some employees were abusing access for political gain.

It seems to me that the risk that the information collected would be abused
in the same manner that Hoover abused his office is very high. And I will
continue to consider claims to the contrary as ridiculous as long as
Hoover's name is on the FBI headquarters building.


Received on Wednesday, 4 December 2013 04:30:58 UTC