Aiming to Scare Congress into Authorization, NSA Claims Surveillance Program ‘Winding Down’

Justice Dept Issues Memo to Key Congressmen

The news that the NSA is preparing to begin winding down their bulk surveillance program against Americans would be welcome to the general public, but it’s probably not true, and the claim is certainly not directed at us.

Rather, the Justice Department has issued a memo in which they claim the program will begin winding down over the weekend, carefully released to surveillance-friendly Congressmen.

The House has already passed the do-nothing “reform” bill the USA Freedom Act, which effectively extends the authority that the NSA has been (illegally according to courts) using as a pretext for the program. The Senate has not, however.

And while there are some expectations that the Senate will eventually sign off on the scheme, an ongoing filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) makes the vote far from certain, and there is considerable resistance both from surveillance opponents and from pro-surveillance Congressmen who want a “clean” reauthorization.

The “threat” to wind down the program may likely backfire, and rather than lighting a fire under pro-surveillance Congressmen may instead, having gone public, increase expectations among the voting public that the program will actually end.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of