Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
March 30, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

The Art of the Con

What Is Sex For?
I Am Brian Wilson

Truthdig Bazaar more items

Ear to the Ground
Email this item Print this item

Fess Up, NSA: You’re Spying on Congress, Aren’t You?

Posted on Jan 6, 2014
(Nick Anderson)

An illustration by a Truthdig cartoonist, first published Sept. 7, 2013.

When Truthdig contributor Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked the National Security Agency if it is spying or has ever spied on Congress, the response he got was noncommittal. On Friday, the senator sent Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, a letter expressing his deep concern about revelations made thanks to whistle-blower Edward Snowden‘s efforts. The NSA’s response? We treat you like all other American citizens. As Mother Jones reporter Andy Kroll points out, these are the same people “the NSA spies on by collecting vast stores of metadata on phone calls and other communications.”

Though a more complete response is underway, here’s what the NSA has said so far:

NSA’s authorities to collect signals intelligence data include procedures that protect the privacy of US persons. Such protections are built into and cut across the entire process. Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all US persons. NSA is fully committed to transparency with Congress. Our interaction with Congress has been extensive both before and since the media disclosures began last June.

We are reviewing Senator Sanders’s letter now, and we will continue to work to ensure that all members of Congress, including Senator Sanders, have information about NSA’s mission, authorities, and programs to fully inform the discharge of their duties.

Kroll writes:

Based on the NSA’s statement, the agency appears to be preparing a fuller response to Sanders’ letter. Perhaps that might put to rest any worries about domestic spying on our nation’s most powerful lawmakers. If it doesn’t, and if concerns about spying on Congress fester, we might see the House or Senate haul Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, back to Capitol Hill to testify. That’ll make for exciting daytime television.

Who knows, maybe all of this excitement may actually lead to more legislation protecting Americans’ privacy now that policymakers are starting to become aware that they are likely not exempt from the agency’s all-seeing evil eye. And wouldn’t that be something to behold? 

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi



Lockerdome Below Article
Get a book from one of our contributors in the Truthdig Bazaar.

Related Entries

Get truth delivered to
your inbox every day.

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments
Right Top, Site wide - Care2
Right 3, Site wide - Exposure Dynamics
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

Like Truthdig on Facebook