Obama’s ‘efforts’ to reform the NSA may simply be smoke and mirrors. His new pick to head the agency defended spying on Americans on a massive scale, following the administration’s claim that it is a necessary tool to foil terrorist threats.
Responding to questions from Senators, Vice Admiral Michael Rogers stated that it is imperative that the NSA have access to vast amounts of metadata, in order that the government can keep Americans safe.
Rogers argued that section 215 of the Patriot Act should remain intact and the spooks should not be hindered from using it to justify mass surveillance.
“The telephone metadata program under Section 215 was designed to map the communications of terrorists so we can see who they may be in contact with as quickly as possible,” Rogers said.
Obviously, Obama’s nomination of Rogers is designed to maintain the status quo at the NSA, not to create any meaningful reforms. He intends to simply replace one agency head with another who will continue violating Americans’ right to privacy, under the shelter of vague suggestions this might, someday, stop a terrorist.
Photo: Gage Skidmore on Flickr