JESSELYN RADACK – It is the leakiest of times in the Executive Branch. [A little over a week ago], Wikileaks published a massive and, by all accounts genuine, trove of documents revealing that the CIA has been stockpiling, and lost control of, hacking tools it uses against targets. Particularly noteworthy were the revelations that the CIA developed a tool to hack Samsung TVs and turn them into recording devices and that the CIA worked to infiltrate both Apple and Google smart phone operating systems since it could not break encryption. No one in government has challenged the authenticity of the documents disclosed.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The morning after final passage of the USA Freedom Act, while some foes of mass surveillance were celebrating, Thomas Drake sounded decidedly glum. The new law, he told me, is â€œa new spy program.â€ It restarts some of the worst aspects of the Patriot Act and further codifies systematic violations of Fourth Amendment rights. Later on Wednesday, here in Oslo as part of a â€œStand Up For Truthâ€ tour, Drake warned at a public forum that â€œnational securityâ€ has become â€œthe new state religion.â€ Meanwhile, his Twitter messages were calling the USA Freedom Act an â€œitty-bitty stepâ€ â€” and a â€œstop/restart kabuki shell gameâ€ that â€œstarts w/ restarting bulk collection of phone records.â€