March 6, 2007

nightline-nsa.jpg Yesterday Nightline featured a story about former AT&T technician and whistleblower Mark Klein. While working at AT&T headquarters in San Francisco, Klein discovered (and had the courage to speak out about) a secret eavesdropping room that all of the company's traffic was routed through. With the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mr. Klein went public back in April 2006, but alleges John Negroponte and Michael Hayden pressured the LA Times to kill the story.

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Should we really worry about our government spying on us? President Bush's hand-selected secret "White House privacy board" assures us this week that everything is fine and dandy. Nothing to worry about. Case closed.

A White House privacy board is giving its stamp of approval to two of the Bush administration's surveillance programs - electronic eavesdropping and financial tracking - and says they do not violate citizens' civil liberties.

Democrats newly in charge of Congress quickly criticized the findings, which they said were questionable given some of the board members' close ties with the Bush administration.

"Their current findings and any additional conclusions they reach will be taken with a grain of salt until they become fully independent," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee.

It's nice to have responsible, liberty-protecting Democratic committee chairmen. The rubber stamp Republicans would have rolled over and played dead after this White House stamp of approval. Senator Leahy will surely need a tad more verification.

Longtime NSA insider Russell Tice came forward in January 2006 about illegal spying as well.

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