Civil libertarians and privacy advocates were applauding yesterday after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation to stop the National Security Agency from collecting Americans’ phone records. But they’d best not break out the bubbly.
The really big winner here is the NSA. Over at its headquarters in Ft. Meade, Md., intelligence officials are high-fiving, because they know things could have turned out much worse.
“What no one wants to say out loud is that this is a big win for the NSA, and a huge nothing burger for the privacy community,” said a former senior intelligence official, one of half a dozen who have spoken to The Daily Beast about the phone records program and efforts to change it.
Shane Harris writes:
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