I have been a fan of Steven Aftergood for quite some time. If you go to www.fas.org and find Secrecy News, you can get yourself subscribed to an eMail or two a week – on US Government secrecy. Often you will have access to Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports that are not available to the general public – except through Secrecy News.
Since my (Canadian) government is, imho, in the pocket of the US Government, and is following in its footsteps in terms of destroying environmental regulation and stepping up intrusion into people’s lives (for example, allowing telecoms to give out information without a warrant, and making them non-prosecutable and non-suable if they do so), because of this ongoing intrusion in Canada and its role model in the USA, I think it is important for citizens of both countries to wake up and start some citizen action.
Here is a joint article by Holt and Aftergood on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HSPCI). Their opinion is, imho, scathing.
Here is a quote: Nowhere in the committee report is there any acknowledgement of the public’s concern over mass surveillance. Nowhere is there a hint that the NSA has acted improperly in subverting encryption standards used in software installed on personal computers nationwide. Nowhere does the committee note the NSA’s practice of breaking into shipping boxes that contain American electronic products, inserting covert surveillance technology, resealing the boxes, and sending them on to the purchasers, to the detriment of U.S. industry.
As Holt and Aftergood point out, the watchmen are angered that bad practices got caught, not that surveillance in the USA is totally out of hand.
You may recall an earlier post here, where somehow electronic bugs got into foreign embassy staff computers. Maybe the underlined text above explains how this could happen.
You may recall the James Travers post about ‘imagine a country.’ We live in that country, and it’s not going to get better if none of us do anything about it.