Though at this point it shouldn’t come as any surprise, the early word out of President Obama’s planned “reforms” to the NSA surveillance state are not good, and seem to amount to very little concrete change.
Those privy to recent briefing on the impending announcement say Obama is going to stop well short even of the modest reforms called for by his own review panel, which was nominally supposed to be advising him on the matter.
The NSA will keep its meta-data, and the FISA court system will go on more or less unchanged, with the exception of a possible appointment of a single “public advocate” with no real power who could express “privacy concerns” to the secret courts.
The FISA “reform,” despite being a virtual non-change, is already drawing heavy fire from the courts, which say they like the cover of darkness very much as it already is, and think a public advocate would either waste their time or, on the off chance he was given real power, would bring the system to a screeching halt.
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