Jan 052014
 January 5, 2014  Posted by  Surveillance, U.S.

Well, I didn’t post a news story about Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont writing to the NSA to ask if they also spy on members of Congress. After all, members of Congress often write letters and issue press releases about them for political posturing, right?

But when the NSA fails to deny spying on members of Congress, that seems a tad more newsworthy.

Spencer Ackerman and Martin Pengelly report:

The National Security Agency on Saturday released a statement in answer to questions from a senator about whether it “has spied, or is … currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials”, in which it did not deny collecting communications from legislators of the US Congress to whom it says it is accountable.

In a letter dated 3 January, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont defined “spying” as “gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business”.

Read more on The Guardian.

Will members of Congress be reassured that they have the same protections (or lack thereof) as the rest of us when it comes to the Section 215 bulk metadata collection program, or will they now start to worry more about collection and abuses…. and possible blackmail by rogue employees?

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