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The spying administration of President Barack Obama is determined to keep snooping into the lives of any and all Americans while it considers charges against the government contractor who leaked the story to a British newspaper reporter.
Obama is not apologizing for the program that snoops 24/7 into the lives of U.S. citizens and is not backing down in his apparent determination to ignore privacy and other rights that used to be guaranteed by the Constitution.
“The President is venturing into dangerous territory but he doesn’t seem to care,” privacy expert Brian Callings told Capitol Hill Blue Monday. “He is taking the invasions of privacy of the George W. Bush administration and going where no administration has gone before.”
Obama’s actions completely ignore the promises of his campaign for President in 2008 when he openly criticized the anti-privacy of outgoing President George W. Bush and promised to roll back the abuses of the USA Patriot Act, the post-911 attack laws that stripped Americans of basic protections and took government spying of its citizens to new levels.
Instead of rolling back the Patriot act, Obama as President embraced the law and increased its ability to invade the lives of American citizens. Government snooping has increased tenfold under his Presidency.
Reports Lara Jakes of The Associated Press:
The Obama administration considered whether to charge a government contractor with leaking classified surveillance secrets while it defended the broad U.S. spy program that it says keeps America safe from terrorists.
Facing a global uproar over the programs that track phone and Internet messages around the world, the Justice Department continued to investigate whether the disclosures of Edward Snowden, 29, an employee of government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, were criminal.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament planned to debate the spy programs Tuesday and whether they have violated local privacy protections. EU officials in Brussels pledged to seek answers from U.S. diplomats at a trans-Atlantic ministerial meeting in Dublin later this week.
The global scrutiny comes after revelations from Snowden, who has chosen to reveal his identity. Snowden has fled to Hong Kong in hopes of escaping criminal charges as lawmakers including Senate intelligence chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California accuse him of committing an “act of treason” that should be prosecuted.
Officials in Germany and the European Union issued calm but firm complaints Monday over two National Security Agency programs that target suspicious foreign messages — potentially including phone numbers, email, images, video and other online communications transmitted through U.S. providers. The chief British diplomat felt it necessary to try to assure Parliament that the spy programs do not encroach on U.K. privacy laws.
And in Washington, members of Congress said they would take a new look at potential ways to keep the U.S. safe from terror attacks without giving up privacy protections that critics charge are at risk with the government’s current authority to broadly sweep up personal communications.
“There’s very little trust in the government, and that’s for good reason,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. “We’re our own worst enemy.”
A senior U.S. intelligence official on Monday said there were no plans to scrap the programs that, despite the backlash, continue to receive widespread if cautious support within Congress. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive security issue.
Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2013 Capitol Hill Blue