The rubber stamps are hard at work in Washington DC as a newly established White House panel examining the legal ramifications of the NSA spying on US citizens says such efforts are “close to the line of constitutional reasonableness” but still lawful.

NSA

NSA spying continues to remain largely un-discussed

This comes as the real issue in NSA spying continues to remain largely un-discussed.  As the Guardian’s Trevor Timm notes, the mass collection of meta data is really a distraction issue.

The real issue is warrantless searches of US citizens on grounds that have nothing to do with terrorism, made possible thanks to Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.  Tim writes that this act “allows the NSA to do all sorts of spying on Americans and people around the world – all for reasons that, in most cases, have nothing to do with terrorism.”

Political activism, for instance, could now be at risk in the “nation of liberty.”

People involved in exposing government wrongdoing considered terrorists?

The US, a country based on freedom and the ability to question its government rulers, may be facing a new stealth force that is succeeding in suppressing those who expose government investigative cover ups regarding powerful big bank executives, for instance. People involved in exposing government wrongdoing might be considered terrorists by those working in the “con artist wing” of the political establishment, but that’s about all. The constitution was designed so that different branches question one another. The media, the only private interest mentioned in the Congress, has a key role — one that appears to be a target of manipulation. At its core what is being attacked is what the USA is all about, its core. And this is being lost, pushed aside to make way for a surveillance state showing every sign of wanting to manipulate emotions through mass media experiments and silence anyone who questions the wisdom of elites.

As if to rubber stamp the NSA’s historic intrusion into once sacred territory, placed by the framers of the constitution to limit government’s ability to absolutely control its citizens, the draft report from the independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Board (PCLOB) failed to tackle issues of government overreach with any robust consideration.

No systematic changes

The new report recommends no systematic changes to what is becoming history’s most aggressive spy state and was treated with disgust, particularly since the group had issued a scathing report on the Patriot Act surveillance months ago, Tim notes. The PCLOB report is “legally flawed and factually incomplete” and saying it ignored the “essential privacy problem … that the government has access to or is acquiring nearly all communications that travel over the Internet,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a scathing PCLOB rebuke issued late Tuesday night.

At what point will the NSA’s spy apparatus, with the potential to be the most repressive in the world, be held to account? When it spies on individuals uncovering government crime?  Will that be the point at which the system is questioned? Not likely. Something would be required to threaten the elite command and control center for any real change to occur. The subjects of government rule are not the apparent concern.