Obama, Congress and the Surveillance State

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Britain's Guardian newspaper and the Washington Post broke the stories last week about the National Security Agency collecting metadata on virtually every phone call made in this country and overseas and on Internet communications overseas. The leaker is 29-year old Edward Snowden, who worked for the CIA and as a contractor for the National Security Agency, and is now hiding out in Hong Kong. Privacy advocates are outraged over the revelations, and everybody's astonished at the volume of phone calls and personal data now in government hands. Many members of Congress say 'they didn't know', although President Obama insists that they did. Is there a violation of constitutional rights? Has he vastly expanded practices begun by President Bush — and which he denounced during his own campaign for the White House?




Warren Olney