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NSA Review Panel Furloughed in Government Shutdown


Morell

A few days after most federal agencies shut down for the government furlough, the review group designed to see if the National Security Agency violated Americans’ privacy rights has decided to take a breather, too.

Former CIA head Michael Morell, one of the panel’s five members, told Politico that though the group was officially deemed essential to the country’s operations, he didn’t feel that was apt.

“[Our work] is no more important than — and quite frankly a lot less important — than a lot of the work being left undone by the government shutdown, both in the intelligence community and outside the intelligence community,” he said Saturday.

The panel formed in August, in the wake of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leak of scores of agency documents that detailed spy programs and public outcry that the agency was surveilling American citizens. It’s received substantial criticism for including intelligence insiders — like Morell. However, despite fears to the contrary, the panel doesn’t report directly to James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, who misled Congress on the NSA’s practices.

According to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), 72% of intelligence employees’ jobs have been put on hold due to the government shutdown. It’s unclear how much of the NSA is currently on hold. According to the agency’s website, it’s currently not responding to Freedom of Information Act requests, nor is it updating its website. When asked which other operations weren’t running, an NSA spokesperson directed the Daily Dot to Clapper’s office. The ODNI didn’t respond the Daily Dot’s multiple inquiries.

Image: Flickr, Chuck Hagel

This article originally published at The Daily Dot
here

Read more: http://mashable.com/2013/10/07/nsa-review-panel-furloughed/

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NSA Review Panel Furloughed in Government Shutdown

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