NSA Whistleblowers Release Real Surveillance Reform Recommendations: Ask to Meet with President Obama

NSA spyingA group of former NSA executives and
intelligence agents have released a document detailing how the
National Security Agency should be reformed so that the agency no
longer violates the constitutional rights of American citizens. The
group, which includes former NSA insiders
William Binney
, Thomas
Kirk Wiebe
, and Edward Loomis, has asked to meet with President
Barack Obama to
brief him on the manifold illegalities and failures
of the

They offer
21 recommendations on how to reform the NSA
in ways that
protect the rights of American citizens while still enabling the
agency to gather intelligence on possible threats to the U.S. Their
recommendations go much further toward protecting Americans from
unconstitutional surveillance than the
46 proposed by the president’s handpicked review board

The group’s recommendations chiefly aim to force the NSA to end
bulk collection of electronic data on innocent American citizens.
The agency would be required to respect the Fourth
rights of Americans to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and
seizures and would need a warrant based on probable cause to search
data relevant to individual citizens.

Another crucial feature of their recommendations is much
increased transparency, including the installation of technology
that automatically tracks all accesses to and manipulations of NSA,
FBI, and CIA databases. This enables the establishment of audit
trails so that an outside oversight body, consisting of members of
Congress, tech industry and privacy experts, would be able to trace
how agency bureaucrats handle information obtained through

In addition, oversight would be enhanced through the creation of
a Signals Technical Team (none of whose members can ever have
worked for any intelligence agency) that would have unfettered
access to all NSA, FBI, and CIA databases to monitor compliance
with privacy protections. Whistleblowers would have full
confidential access to the STT.

In an attempt to prevent further lying and
misdirection by agency officials, the group recommends that when
spies testify before Congress about any aspect of inteliigence
collection that they use the terminology as defined by theĀ 
Department of
Defense’s Architecture Framework Dictionary

Some specific recommendations are:

(1) Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC):
Reject ability to interpret Constitution, requiring that FISC rely
on US District, Appeals and Supreme Court precedents; make all
rulings public, with the legitimacy of any security redactions
verified independently; revoke 2008 FISA Amendments Act and other
restrictions on FISC so that it may again reject applications for
warrants on substantive grounds; provide for expert attorneys
arguing the case for US residents’ privacy and for application of
the national security qualification regarding foreign

(4) Immediately outlaw the business records, un-notified
searches and general warrants practices under PATRIOT Act, FISA,
FISC and any other precedents, requiring individual court warrants
based on probable cause to acquire the records of US residents.
Mandate that individual companies turning over records to the
federal government publish annual statistics on the number and
types of records and they notify their affected customers as a norm
within [90] days and in exceptional circumstances within [180]

(9) Outlaw national security letters and for US citizens require
a Federal District Court warrant based on individual probable cause

According to the New York Times, President Obama is
seeking balance in plan for spy programs
. He should meet with
them and he would do well to adopt the recommendations made by this
group of former NSA officials.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/nsa-whistleblowers-release-surveillance

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