Move over Edward Snowden, there’s a new surveillance whistleblower on the scene. His name is John Napier Tye and he’s warning Americans about illegal spying. Well, I don’t consider Edward Snowden to be a whistleblower but a leaker who fled to a country with a horrible human rights record. John Tye claims he filed a complaint with the State Department before leaving.
Tye, a former State Department official who served in the Obama administration from 2011 to 2014, said that ongoing surveillance abuses from the National Security Agency are occurring underExecutive Order 12333, which signed in 1981. In case anyone wants to blame President Obama, that’s way before his time and before the digital communications era. Tye accuses the Obama administration of violating the Constitution with very little oversight from Congress or the judiciary, The Atlantic reports.
“The order as used today threatens our democracy,” he wrote in The Washington Post. “I am coming forward because I think Americans deserve an honest answer to the simple question: What kind of data is the NSA collecting on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?”
If you’ve paid casual attention to the Edward Snowden leaks and statements by national-security officials, you might be under the impression that the Obama administration is already on record denying that this sort of spying goes on. In fact, denials about NSA spying are almost always carefully worded to address activities under particular legal authorities, like Section 215 of the Patriot Act or Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. An official will talk about what is or isn’t done “under this program,” eliding the fact that the NSA spies on Americans under numerous different programs, despite regularly claiming to be an exclusively foreign spy agency. Source: The Atlantic
Not sure what to make of John Napier Tye’s accusations, but I am pretty sure that the U.S. isn’t the only country engaged in surveillance activities. The fact is, they may have gone too far, but the criminals have also become technologically savvy, so what’s a country supposed to do?