The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

June 20, 2013

Oversight board concerned about NSA surveillance

WASHINGTON — In an interview this week with television talk show host Charlie Rose, Obama said he planned to meet with the oversight board and “set up and structure a national conversation” about the NSA’s surveillance programs and also “about the general problem of these big data sets because this is not going to be restricted to government entities.”

The board’s mandate includes privacy as well as national security concerns. In theory, it could veer into questions about how Internet companies such as Google and Facebook as well as hundreds of other data-mining companies deal with privacy and how government might regulate those entities.

But as Sharon Bradford Franklin, a senior counsel at the Constitution Project, a bipartisan civil liberties watchdog group, and other civil liberties experts said, the board’s role is largely advisory, identifying problems and suggesting possible solutions.

The board has existed since 2004, first as part of the executive branch, then, after a legislative overhaul that took effect in 2008, as an independent board of presidential appointees reporting to Congress.

Hindered by Obama administration delays and then resistance from Republicans in Congress, the new board was not fully functional until May, when Medine was confirmed.

“They’ve been in startup mode a long time,” Franklin said. “With all the concerns about the need for a debate on the issue of surveillance, this is a great opportunity for them to get involved.”

“They have statutory authority in two main areas,” Franklin said. “One is evaluating whether safeguards on civil liberties are adequate and the other is in transparency — informing the public and ensuring the government is more transparent.”

But there are still limits on the group’s independence when it comes to the public disclosure of classified material. While the board has leeway in scrutinizing classified material and referencing top secret documents, it can only make those materials public if they are first declassified by the government, said Lanny Davis, who was one of the first board’s five members.

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • GROUNDED U.S., other countries ban flights to and from Israel

    A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel’s main airport, prompting a ban on all flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot down over Ukraine.

    July 23, 2014

  • REPORT: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre.

    July 22, 2014

  • Veteran's Ducks Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks

    An Army veteran who hurt his back during the Iraq War is worried a citation will result in him losing his 14 pet ducks, which he says are therapeutic.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stacked Apartment.jpg New York building shows how mod design stacks up as cool

    In a city piled high with ambitious architecture, a seven-floor structure off the beaten path boasts a distinction of its own: It’s billed as the first multistory, modular-built apartment building to open in the nation’s apartment capital.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scores dead in first major ground battle in Gaza

    The first major ground battle in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting exacted a steep price Sunday: It killed 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers and forced thousands of terrified Palestinian civilians to flee their neighborhood, reportedly used to launch rockets at Israel and now devastated by the fighting.

    July 21, 2014

  • Traditional lottery games hold their own

    Ohio’s traditional lottery games are mostly doing well despite competition from their electronic counterparts at four racinos.

    July 20, 2014

  • HIV diagnosis rate fell by third in U.S. over decade

    The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States each year fell by one-third over the past decade, a government study finds. Experts celebrated it as hopeful news that the AIDS epidemic may be slowing in the U.S.

    July 20, 2014

  • Suddenly, the sun is eerily quiet: Where did the sunspots go?

    The sun has gone quiet. Almost too quiet.

    July 20, 2014

  • Monitors try to secure Ukraine plane crash site

    International monitors moved gingerly Saturday through fields reeking of the decomposing corpses that fell from a Malaysian airliner shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, trying to secure the sprawling site in hopes that a credible investigation can be conducted.

    July 19, 2014

  • Israeli bulldozers destroy Hamas tunnels in Gaza

     Israeli bulldozers on Saturday demolished more than a dozen tunnels the military said were being used by Hamas gunmen to sneak beneath the southern border of the Jewish state and carry out attacks on its soldiers and civilians.

    July 19, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video