Privacy and Liberty Oversight?
The whole Snowden scandal has started to die down a bit and now the focus is gradually turning to the underlying issues (whether Snowden is a traitor or hero is at this point a distraction). What have we wrought in the name of national security?
A board to review privacy and liberty concerns answers to the executive branch and is simply hamstrung from even getting off the ground for several years. Now that it has a chairman, will it be able to provide any real oversight or merely be another paper tiger dictated to by the White House? See the note on Bush's censorship (Obama seems just as uninterested in seeing this go forward, but has been forced by the Snowden leaks to move).
A few things that jump out as the NSA story evolves:
Tremendously powerful secret arms of the government operating in the cover of darkness infiltrating pretty much everything electronic they can get their hands on (even this forum!). Worldwide in scope, pretty much unhindered by any genuine oversight, and capable of destroying anybody who tries to out them through protocol or open violation of the law.
Was watching the Bourne Legacy the other day and while it was a mediocre sequel, the gist of the movie was absolutely portentous re how the secret powerbrokers in intelligence simply destroy anything and anyone who gets in their way. Might have been the usual Hollywood paranoia, but sadly was too accurate re the inner workings of our current government. Just feeling that something is deeply, terribly wrong with where we are headed...
Whatever the feeling about the ACLU, this was the best outline of events I found...