The Washington Post has revealed, via Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency has violated existing privacy restrictions thousands of times during the past five years. Barton Gellman’s work uncovers not only the number, but the types, of incursions. Unsurprisingly, a significant number have been accidental. Given the raw number of searches going on, it is indeed inevitable that simple human error, either directly or through a computer, will matter much. It is also true, according to Gellman, that in relative… Continue Reading ››
Kevin Williamson, roving correspondent for National Review, has written an important column on the relationship between the federal government and its citizens. Essentially, he argues, that the NSA’s actions have eroded trust. Essentially, a limited government has a deeper reservoir of trust and should be able to target resources more efficiently into activities like spying and intelligence-gathering. Read it.
Edward Snowden, the man behind the PRISM leak that has turned elite America upside down, discussed his reasons for the leak here. How do we deal with Snowden if we examine him from a biblical perspective? Let’s be clear that my sympathies lie with Snowden. I agree with his basic position regarding the impropriety of PRISM and its incompatibility with democracy. Even if it is compatible, we should arrive at this conclusion collectively. While we, the people, can never know… Continue Reading ››
We are, I hope, at the beginning stages of a thorough and conscious debate about the nature of government intelligence gathering. There is, and there has always been, a tradeoff between our freedoms and the amount of security we demand. Rarely has the discussion been this open, and as events unfold, it is difficult to know where we, as a nation, might land. For those paying close attention to the news, none of this is new. I am not going… Continue Reading ››
The scandals continue to evolve. We now know the Department of Justice targeted James Rosen, Fox News’ chief Washington, D.C. correspondent, for his possible role in releasing sensitive, leaked information. After Rosen published a report on North Korea’s possible response to international sanctions, he was suspected of meeting with Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a State Dept. security adviser. According to Politico, the FBI named Rosen a co-conspirator for publishing the story, and based on this classification, a judge granted a warrant… Continue Reading ››
Congress is set to begin hearings on the Benghazi attack, in which four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christoper Stevens, were killed. The 9/11/12 assault, which was initially blamed on a YouTube video that defamed Mohammed, is now seen as a full-scale act of terror on a relatively soft target, the U.S. Consulate. The primary controversy seems to stem from the possibility that military assets, that could have provided aid to the Ambassador and the security personnel protecting him, were available,… Continue Reading ››
There are forthcoming stories, and now video, surrounding the house-to-house search for Tsarnaev in Watertown, MA. The video is interesting for several reasons. First, notice the harshness of the interactions. Citizens are yelled at and berated as soon as they are visible to the law enforcement agents. Second, the use of force is implicit. Everyone within the citizens’ view is armed and with weapons drawn and at the ready. Third, and I am clearly no expert on how close quarter… Continue Reading ››