Search Mailing List Archives

Limit search to: Subject & Body Subject Author
Sort by: Reverse Sort
Limit to: All This Week Last Week This Month Last Month
Select Date Range     through    

[liberationtech] EFF's new lawsuit against the NSA

Shava Nerad shava23 at
Wed Jul 17 00:58:06 PDT 2013

Couldn't be prouder to see a Unitarian Universalist church heading up the
plaintiffs. ;)

James, I was thinking today, this is something you might know who should be
thinking about it.  Or anyone else DC oriented, here.

There's a major potential culture jam to be wedged regarding the national
security TLAs, if there were a way to change their oversight.

Originally, the House and Senate committees were set as close and intimate
venues because there were only a few people in the country with Top Secret
clearances, and very few programs requiring it.

Now, there are over four million Americans with Top Secret clearances (down
to whole crews of shipping clerks in Crypto City's mailrooms -- they have
their own zipcode, and the NSA is the largest employer in Maryland).

Each of the scores of private contractors on the beltway -- Booz Allen,
CCA, whoever -- who do business with the NSA spends more time each year on
the blackline budget items individually than I suspect all the
congresscritters on both committees do in aggregate.  And no wonder!  It's
their lifeblood, and probably what, nine or so figures of lifeblood in the
local economy.

Not touching the CIA, FBI, and the rest of DHS.

It's insane to think that the equivalent of two nonprofit boards, meeting a
few times a year, without sufficient domain experience in tech, military,
diplomacy, or legal issues and without access to external advisory could
adequately oversee these functions on behalf of the public.

With all respect, I suspect any one of us could stump Senator Feinstein on
the public elements we understand of these programs just on the basis of
what I see of her lag in tech and milsec.

Except for perhaps a few specific programs of great confidentiality, why
couldn't we have a joint commission say, between congressional and
executive appointees,  to oversee this work to the better satisfaction of
the people of the United States (and perhaps, even by extension, the rest
of the viewed world ;)?  Maybe even get a few privacy mavens on there.  O V
E R S I G H T.  Make it mean something.
Seems we haven't really reflected on why and how these oversight mechanisms
were set up, and how radically the landscape has changed.

If we want to ask, "who will watch the watchers?" why not ask it most

Would one have to sponsor this through the separate Rules Committees?  I am
thinking someone should talk to the WaPo about an op/ed, but it's likely
not me, no one outside a small circle of friends really knows who I am.  If
we found a champion on the floor, we might want to consult their
preferences on a way forward.

But I can't think of a better, more efficient infusion of Brandeis' elixir
into the process, and even if it didn't go through, it's an amazingly
illuminating question as to why it would not.  It highlights any numbers of
teachable moments, don't you think?
I just like to give people the opportunity to do things that I think make
sense, and then they tell me in great detail why they decline, sometimes.
I learn so much through a humble attitude. ;)

Shava Nerad
shava23 at
On Jul 16, 2013 7:46 PM, "James S. Tyre" <jstyre at> wrote:

> For those interested, we filed a new lawsuit against the NSA today.  We
> have another still
> in litigation, but this one focuses on a specific aspect of the new
> revelations.
> Intro, FAQ and a link to the Complaint at
> --
> James S. Tyre
> Law Offices of James S. Tyre
> 10736 Jefferson Blvd., #512
> Culver City, CA 90230-4969
> 310-839-4114/310-839-4602(fax)
> jstyre at
> Policy Fellow, Electronic Frontier Foundation
> --
> Too many emails? Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password by
> emailing moderator at companys at or changing your settings at
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the liberationtech mailing list