10 Updates

Obama's First Privacy Chief Backs NSA's Right To Spy - With Reform

May 14 2014, 12:53pm CDT | by

“We are spying in a transparent world.” So claimed Timothy Edgar, President Obama’s first-ever director of privacy and civil liberties for the White House National Security Staff, at Britain’s...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

10 weeks ago

Obama's First Privacy Chief Backs NSA's Right To Spy - With Reform

May 14 2014, 12:53pm CDT | by

“We are spying in a transparent world.”

So claimed Timothy Edgar, President Obama’s first-ever director of privacy and civil liberties for the White House National Security Staff, at Britain’s Parliament today. Even with the emergence of new proposed limitations on the NSA’s unprecedented data collection, the crux was that nation-states engagement in broad-based surveillance is now an intrinsic component to realpolitik, in a digital planet running on big data.

Joined by Privacy International’s director Gus Hosein, and British MPs Julian Huppert, David Davis and Chi Onwurah, and hosted by Big Brother Watch, Edgar detailed the rise and rise of the secret surveillance state and its murky legal basis beginning with the Bush administration’s introduction of and exploitation of the Patriot Act to its continued use under the Obama administration. Edgar insisted in his address that now more than ever rules and reform are necessary in securing protections for American citizens and people all over the world.

Outlining his vision in line with a Guardian Op-Ed piece earlier this year , Edgar asserted that if America is to be at ease with its allies and act diplomatically first instead of using coercion, the civil liberties and private affairs of foreign citizens must be taken into account as well as those of Americans. This notion is beginning to take root within the intelligence community, which, he says, is a leap in thinking.

Despite the tough talk on balancing security and liberty, there was the sense of a whitewash. It’s hard to swallow the idea that more oversight alone will go a long way towards solving problems in a country unique in the extent of its oversight, as Edgar emphasized. Even if the NSA was subject to legal restrictions, the scale of state spying was unconfirmed until the actions of whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The collection of vast amounts of metadata was left essentially untouched in Obama’s proposed directive in January this year , and so the problem here is that applying these limitations presumes a legitimacy of the NSA’s methods.

In Edgar’s eyes, intelligence services have a mission that’s “broader than counter-intelligence,” and he believes that this is “appropriate.”

“That doesn’t mean that collection initiatives can’t be more limited than they are for counter terrorism,” he said. “We could distinguish between the reasons we need intelligence collection, and have stricter rules for a broader collection than we do for genuine security threats. But I think it would be naive to assume we are going to limit intelligence collection to only international security threats.”

Can even the smallest victories in reform be effective, so long as agencies operating in the dark are prepared to maneuver through legal loopholes to get what they want? The wheels may be in motion for a light touch of legislation, but what’s being proposed is not much more than damage control. Edgar was asked about the potential for stricter legislation but his answer was a quasi-vigilant wait-and-see.

“I don’t think we know yet,” Edgar said. “They haven’t actually implemented the entire directive. The Director of National Intelligence is putting together proposed limits, and the General Counsel is meeting with human rights groups next week I don’t think the world should trust the American government simply because Obama made a speech. Obama’s good at making speeches – the question is whether there are limits that result in effective reforms.”

“If, in 5 or 10 years, we have scandals about why the NSA broke the rules that protect the privacy rights of foreigners, that’s going to mean that the rules are taken seriously, that’s going to mean there’s an oversight system that’s catching potential violations of those rules.  But if in 10 years nobody remembers there was supposedly a directive in January 2014 to put some reforms in place, then you should probably be suspicious that nothing really has changed,” he said.

Privacy International’s Gus Hosein aired his own ominous predictions on the short and long-term potential effects if the Five Eyes nations, the USA, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, carry on as they are.

“There are dark implications of our actions,” Hosein explained. “Governments around the world are rubbing their hands with glee because this government paved the way for mass surveillance, and they are thinking we can do the same.

“The French are giggling, let alone every country in Africa, in Asia, in Latin America, who is buying British technology that does exactly the same thing.

“Not only are we inspiring, but we are providing the technologies to enable what this [Britain's] government is doing, what the US is doing. At least the US is being held to account to some extent. A lot more work needs to be done here, because if we don’t do it, it’s going to be disastrous.”

Perhaps what’s worth highlighting is that this conversation would not have seen the light of day without Snowden – who himself claimed to have exhausted all of the official channels for oversight before going public. And that suggests an altogether more radical approach may be required than slightly more oversight, even if the latter is a small step in the right direction.

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was brok ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat today ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Huss ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern states ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in compe ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving a ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Scheme 201 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kidex) toda ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Bangladeshi plane catches fire at Nepal airport, passengers safe
Kathmandu, July 28 (IANS) A Bangladeshi aircraft caught fire while landing at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Monday afternoon, officials said.
 
 
Shift work can worsen asthma, pneumonia
London, July 28 (IANS) A research has found that drugs widely used to treat lung diseases like asthma or pneumonia work better with the body clock.
 
 
Decoded: What triggers sexual arousal in you
New York, July 28 (IANS) Know why just looking at an attractive face stimulates sexual arousal? Well, it takes two to tango!
 
 
Turn your selfie into emoji with this app
New York, July 28 (IANS) Tired of seeing the same yellow-faced smileys? In an age of selfies, how can emojis be far behind?
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Hockey: India out to prove a point against Australia
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) Having registered consecutive victories against Wales and Scotland, India will be hoping to continue their winning spree when they face defending champions Australia in their next group game of...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
England declare first innings at 569/7
Southampton, July 28 (IANS) England declared their first innings at 569 for seven on the second day of the third cricket Test against India at The Rose Bowl here Monday. Ian Bell was the top scorer with 167 while Gary...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Hosts Scotland record best CWG gold haul
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) Hosts Scotland recorded their highest Commonwealth Games gold haul here by picking up their 12th yellow metal Monday. Alex Marshall and Paul Foster won Scotland's historic 12th gold medal in...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Shooters Meena, Lajja fail to win medals
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) A lot was expected from Indian shooters Meena Kumari and Lajja Gauswami but they failed to earn a medal from the women's 50-metre rifle prone finals at the Commonwealth Games here Monday. On a...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Gwen Stefani recommends acupuncture to pals
Gwen Stefani has been recommending acupuncture to all her friends. The 44-year-old mother-of-three started having the treatment after getting severe migraines while pregnant with her third son, Apollo, and has told all...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Tom Green's 'whirlwind' marriage to Drew Barrymore
Tom Green says his marriage to Drew Barrymore was a ''crazy whirlwind''. The MTV presenter tied the knot with the 'Charlie's Angels' star in 2001 but they separated just five months later and the 42-year-old host admits...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kim Kardashian accused of kissing Brandon Jenner
Brody Jenner claims that his brother Brandon Jenner and stepsister Kim Kardashian once shared a kiss. The 30-year-old reality star blurted out the shock news during last night's (07.27.14) episode of 'Keeping Up with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Renee Zellweger lists Connecticut farmhouse for 1.6m
Renee Zellweger has put her Connecticut farmhouse on the market for the second time in three years. The large four-bedroom colonial home first went up for sale in 2011 but failed to sell and now Renee has re-listed it...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
India back to square one at Southampton (Analysis)
Southampton, July 28 (IANS/RAY) It was virtually back to the ignominy of 2011, as England plundered runs against a hapless Indian bowling attack on the second day of the third Test to establish a dominant position in...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Shooter Mansher tops men's trap qualifications
Glasgow, July 28 (IANS) Indian shooter Mansher Singh topped the men's trap qualification while Manavjit Sandhu finished third at the Commonwealth Games here Monday. The qualification will continue Tuesday and will be...
Read more on Sport Balla