The Need for Clarity on PRISM and the NSA

Rather than let these questions linger or operate in a reactive manner, the Obama administration should seize the initiative.  While Presidents are guarded of executive privilege and classified information, in this case clarifying what is being done benefits the Administration since where there is uncertainty his opponents will assume the worst anyway.

In  Sunday’s The Hill – Brendan Sasso outlines “Five unanswered questions about the NSA’s surveillance programs” that need to be addressed (see article for details):

1. What other data is being collected under the Patriot Act?

2. How broad are the programs?

3. What’s the legal rationale?

The NSA has insisted the surveillance programs comply with the law and are overseen by independent FISA courts. But the opinions of those courts are secret, so little is known about how the courts are enforcing privacy protections or why they signed off on certain surveillance methods.

4. Is the NSA still collecting email records?

5. Are there other programs that we don’t know about