Developing Story: Obama to Give 11 a.m. Speech Calling for Overhaul of NSA Data Collection Program

It has been announced that President Obama will speak at 11 a.m. regarding his plans to overhaul the NSA data collection program. Continue reading

Study Finds NSA Surveillance Programs Ineffective

This morning, the New America Foundation released a study entitled “Do NSA’s Bulk Surveillance Programs Stop Terrorists?”,  which concludes that the NSA surveillance programs are not as effective as the government purports them to be. After analyzing 225 individuals recruited by al-Qaeda or similar groups, the New America researchers found that the government’s claims regarding the NSA surveillance programs’ effectiveness are “overblown and even misleading.” Continue reading

FISC Reopens NSA Phone Surveillance Program

Despite the public’s hopes that the NSA’s telephone surveillance program would be deemed unconstitutional, the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) recently gave the Agency the go-ahead to continue collecting and analyzing millions of Americans’ private phone records. However, the extension may only be temporary as the FISC only granted the NSA three more months of surveillance. Continue reading

Happy Holidays!

We here at Transparent Policy and the Center for Policy & Research wish all of our readers a wonderful holiday season.

You have made this an exciting and fulfilling first year for our blog. From the NSA and the Snowden leaks to the recent events in the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it has been a busy year to cover our nation’s efforts to combat terrorism. But is our readers that truly motivate our team to spend the few extra hours they have to bring light to the challenges, problems, and possibilities that confront our leaders.

Thank you all for your readership, and have a happy and safe holiday season!

Could Online Fantasy Games be Used as a Networking Tool for Terrorists?

In today’s New York Times, Mark Mazetti and Justin Elliot discuss American and British spies’ use of the popular online fantasy games World of Warcraft and Second Life as tools to perform surveillance and undermine the networking efforts of terrorists and other criminals. Continue reading

Congress Battling Over NSA Reform

As the debate over the NSA surveillance scandal rages on, two Congressional committees are now in the midst of a battle that will determine who gets the first crack at reforming the NSA’s intelligence gathering policies.  The battle between the House Intelligence Committee and House Judiciary Committee will largely determine the extent to which the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will be modified in the post-Snowden era.  While much is still unclear, a historical comparison to the Pike and Church Committees from the Cold War era may well demonstrate which stance the government should take on NSA reforms. Continue reading

Posner Argues Foreigners Have No Right to Privacy From U.S. Surveillance

Prominent legal scholar Eric Posner argued on Slate this past week that foreigners should have no right to privacy from NSA surveillance. In an article entitled “Keep Spying on Foreigners, NSA”, Posner writes “They have no right to privacy from US surveillance- and they shouldn’t.” He argues that there will never be an international digital right to privacy (as Germany has proposed), because it “makes no sense.”  Continue reading