The Guardian reports: A participant in a White House-sponsored review of surveillance activities described as “shameful” an apparent decision to leave most of the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk spying intact.
Sascha Meinrath, director of the Open Technology Institute, said Friday that the review panel he advised is at risk of missing an opportunity to restore confidence in US surveillance practices.
“The review group was searching for ways to make the most modest pivot necessary to continue business as usual,” Meinrath said.
Headed by the CIA’s former deputy director, Michael Morrell, the review is expected to deliver its report to President Barack Obama on Sunday, the White House confirmed, although it is less clear when and how substantially its report will be available to the public.
National security council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said she would have no further comment “on a report that is not yet final and hasn’t yet been submitted to the White House”.
Should the review group’s report resemble descriptions that leaked late Thursday, the report “does nothing to alter the lack of trust the global populace has for what the US is doing, and nothing to restore our reputation as an ethical internet steward,” said Meinrath, who met with the advisory panel and White House officials twice to discuss the bulk surveillance programs that have sparked international outrage.
Leaks about the review group’s expected recommendations to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal strengthened Meinrath and other participants’ long-standing suspicions that much of the NSA’s sweeping spy powers would survive. [Continue reading…]