In other words, NSA hires its future scapegoat
January 29, 2014
Instead of reading and understanding the Fourth Amendment, the National Security Agency hired a former Homeland Security employee today as its first “Civil Liberties and Privacy Officer.”
In a statement released this morning, NSA Director Keith B. Alexander said that “well-known privacy expert” Rebecca Richards will “provide expert advice” and “oversight” of the NSA’s “privacy-related activities” and that she recently worked as the “Senior Director for Privacy Compliance” at the Department of Homeland Security.
Richards’ hiring is simply a PR stunt by the NSA to make the agency appear that it actually cares about the privacy of millions and it’s especially amusing considering her previous employment at DHS.
“An internal privacy officer does not solve the privacy and other problems revealed in the last seven months,” Michelle Richardson, legislative council for the American Civil Liberties Union, told Mashable. “It will take legislative changes and court rulings to make real substantive improvements to the law.”
The NSA hired her so it could have someone to take the blame once more leaks about its domestic surveillance are revealed; the agency has no intent of stopping its abuse of the Fourth Amendment.
For one thing, after whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the massive extent of the NSA’s dragnet, Alexander told Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that the NSA wanted to collect even more phone records than ever before.
“I believe it is in the nation’s best interest to put all the phone records into a lockbox that we can search when the nation needs to do it,” he said.
Alexander doesn’t just limit his abuse to the Fourth Amendment, either: he also targets the First.
“I think it’s wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these [Snowden] documents, the 50,000 – whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these – you know it just doesn’t make sense,” Alexander stated in an interview with the Defense Department’s “Armed With Science” blog. “We ought to come up with a way of stopping it.”
But let’s ignore all these statements for a second and assume that Alexander is not a liar.
If we were to believe his claim today that the NSA cares about privacy and that he simply needs a “privacy officer” to tell him that eavesdropping on private conversations is wrong, wouldn’t that, in itself, suggest he is too incompetent to manage the NSA?