Charles McCullough Called On To Investigate The NSA


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It's a well-known fact at this point that the NSA has violated the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans. The Snowden leaks and official disclosures have both pointed out that the agency has violated its own rules regarding the protection of Americans' civil rights numerous times. The big question now is whether or not these violations were intentional.

The Hill reports that nine Senate Judiciary Committee members have sent a letter to the Charles McCullough, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, asking him to conduct a thorough review of the NSA. In particular, the letter calls for McCullough to look into the following matters:

  • the use and implementation of Section 215 and Section 702 authorities, including the manner in which information – and in particular, information about U.S. persons – is collected, retained, analyzed and disseminated;
  • applicable minimization procedures and other relevant procedures and guidelines, including whether they are consistent across agencies and the extent to which they protect the privacy rights of U.S. persons;
  • any improper or illegal use of the authorities or information collected pursuant to them; and
  • an examination of the effectiveness of the authorities as investigative and intelligence tools.
  • McCullough has until December 2014 to publish a report about his findings. After the completion of his report, the Senate Judiciary Committee hopes to publicly publish his findings. The Committee hopes that a public report will "help promote greater oversight, transparency and public accountability."

    While you might be skeptical of any movement within Washington to investigate the NSA, this particular investigation might actually yield some results. The President's own NSA review panel is already starting to look like a waste of time, especially after an AP report published on Sunday found that the panel won't be doing what Obama said it would. Instead of investigating whether or not the NSA overstepped its boundaries, the panel will instead look into how the agency can plug leaks before they happen.

    [Image: Office of the Director of National Intelligence]