The House N.S.A. bill is an ultra light version of surveillance reform — tens of thousands of Americans still need to worry that the details of their lives will end up in a database. The Senate must fix it.
On the surface, the battle between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA looks to be a classic he said/she said story. But even if the CIA's version of events is accurate, it is the agency's conduct that should concern us.
Traditional arguments between left and right have to be thrown in a tizzy for change to happen high emotional issues like terrorism. But there is a model for how this kind of change occurs – and it is the waning of the crime issue.
President Obama said Americans shouldn't just trust he is “doing the right thing" on surveillance because we have congressional and judicial oversight. Recent FISA Court documents and a hindered Senate investigation are proving otherwise.
Obama announced an end to the NSA's bulk collection "as it currently exists." But he must hold himself to this and reaffirm the principle that law-abiding citizens have a right to be free from government surveillance.
The adoption of NSA recommendations purposed by the President's task force would not solve all the problems with NSA’s surveillance activities, but it is an auspicious starting point for a national discussion about intelligence reform.