In the closing days of his presidency our president Obama has expanded the power of the NSA……and the chances of further abuses of our privacy…….a final shot, if you will…..
With just over a week left in office, President Obama has massive expanded NSA authority to share the personal communications swept up in their many warrantless wiretap schemes with America’s other 16 spy agencies.
The move aims to “relax” limits imposed by privacy laws by allowing the NSA to share raw data in a more or less limitless fashion with the other 16 spy agencies before the privacy laws are even applied to them. This is meant to get more eyes on the data collected.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who like Obama is out the door in about a week, defended the move, arguing that all the spy agencies will be bound by existing rules once they get ahold of and process the raw data. Privacy experts, however, note that the existing privacy protections aren’t great to begin with, and the expansion to so many different agencies just increases the risk of abuse.
But there is more on this presidential move……
the Obama administration finalized new rules that allow the National Security Agency to share information it gleans from its vast international surveillance apparatus with the 16 other agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community.
With the new changes, which were long in the works, those agencies can apply for access to various feeds of raw, undoctored NSA intelligence. Analysts will then be able to sift through the contents of those feeds as they see fit, before implementing required privacy protections. Previously, the NSA applied those privacy protections itself, before forwarding select pieces of information to agencies that might need to see them.
Will any of this be overturned by the incoming president….or will these abuses be further extended? All indicators point to the later.