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 Post subject: Intel Chief Expands Spy Satellite Access
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:40 am 
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For those of us who are alarmed by Google Maps’ satellite-generated views of our homes and favorite stomping grounds, a recent decision made by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell ought to stand some hairs on end.

Intel Chief Expands Spy Satellite Access

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:05 pm 
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[url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/11/AR2008041103655_pf.html]Administration Set to Use New Spy Program in U.S.
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The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation's most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon, rebuffing challenges by House Democrats over the idea's legal authority.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department will activate his department's new domestic satellite surveillance office in stages, starting as soon as possible with traditional scientific and homeland security activities -- such as tracking hurricane damage, monitoring climate change and creating terrain maps.

Sophisticated overhead sensor data will be used for law enforcement once privacy and civil rights concerns are resolved, he said. The department has previously said the program will not intercept communications.

"There is no basis to suggest that this process is in any way insufficient to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans," Chertoff wrote to Reps. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and Jane Harman (D-Calif.), chairmen of the House Homeland Security Committee and its intelligence subcommittee, respectively, in letters released yesterday.

"I think we've fully addressed anybody's concerns," Chertoff added in remarks last week to bloggers. "I think the way is now clear to stand it up and go warm on it."

His statements marked a fresh determination to operate the department's new National Applications Office as part of its counterterrorism efforts. The administration in May 2007 gave DHS authority to coordinate requests for satellite imagery, radar, electronic-signal information, chemical detection and other monitoring capabilities that have been used for decades within U.S. borders for mapping and disaster response.

But Congress delayed launch of the new office last October. Critics cited its potential to expand the role of military assets in domestic law enforcement, to turn new or as-yet-undeveloped technologies against Americans without adequate public debate, and to divert the existing civilian and scientific focus of some satellite work to security uses.

Democrats say Chertoff has not spelled out what federal laws govern the NAO, whose funding and size are classified. Congress barred Homeland Security from funding the office until its investigators could review the office's operating procedures and safeguards. The department submitted answers on Thursday, but some lawmakers promptly said the response was inadequate.

"I have had a firsthand experience with the trust-me theory of law from this administration," said Harman, citing the 2005 disclosure of the National Security Agency's domestic spying program, which included warrantless eavesdropping on calls and e-mails between people in the United States and overseas. "I won't make the same mistake. . . . I want to see the legal underpinnings for the whole program."


[smilie=real mad.gif] CALL YOUR CONGRESS CRITTERS!

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That's all there is to it."

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:24 am 
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Quote:
"I think we've fully addressed anybody's concerns," Chertoff added in remarks last week to bloggers.


Anybody they care about, that is. Apparently the powers that be are satisified.

Wonder if they will be if/when Democrats are running the show?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:11 am 
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I only hope the Democrats locate their spines when/if they get to run the show. They've not been allowed the opportunity to do that much during the last few years, even with their 2006 win.

If Obama and Clinton don't stop the fisticuffs, though, McCain will be running the show, and we all know what that means.

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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