Sham justifications of the mass surveillance programs in the US?

A disturbing review of the surveillance programs instituted by the Bush administration and continued by the Obama administration.   From the NYTimes Op-Ed The Criminal N.S.A. (written by Jennifer Stisa Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and Christopher Jon Sprigman, professor at the University of Virginia School of Law) :

We may never know all the details of the [United States’] mass surveillance programs, but we know this: The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a mockery of the government’s professed concern with protecting Americans’ privacy.

And from Al Gore (from an article in an IEEE journal):

[The NSA surveillance] in my view violates the Constitution…. The Fourth Amendment language is crystal clear. It isn’t acceptable to have a secret interpretation of a law that goes far beyond any reasonable reading of either the law or the Constitution and then classify as top secret what the actual law is.

Author: Ben Slade

I'm a software technologist with a political bent. My views tend toward the contrarian and slightly curmudgeonly end of the spectrum.