Don’t let the acquittal of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning on aiding the enemy charges or the temporary asylum Russia granted to NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden fool you. The harsh treatment of whistle-blowers will likely continue into the foreseeable future in pace with the needs and expansion of the surveillance state itself.
A top U.S. intelligence official has confirmed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court on Friday extended the National Security Agency’s authority to gather the telephone metadata of tens of millions of Americans.
As the larger part of American culture seems ready to surrender its claim to privacy without question, organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation are riding like Paul Revere through the digital Massachusetts night.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case against the nation’s telecommunications companies for cooperating with a once-secret wiretap program enacted by the Bush administration to monitor suspected terrorists.
The U.S. Congress—one of the branches intended by America’s founders to balance the president’s power—is showing just as much and in some cases more interest in preserving a growing culture of secrecy as its executive counterpart, says Steven Aftergood, secrecy researcher at the Federation of American Scientists.
This might be a moment when Democratic supporters wonder what all the “changing of the guard” fuss was about when Dems took control of Congress in 2006: On Tuesday, the Senate effectively voted in favor of granting telecommunication companies retroactive immunity for their cooperation in the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program.