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Holt: On Surveillance Reform, Obama Offers "Far Less Than Meets The Eye"

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Barack Obama announcing NSA reforms
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(Washington, D.C.) -- U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), a former member of the Intelligence Committee who has introduced legislation that would repeal the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act, released the following statement on the President's remarks today about reforming the National Security Agency's surveillance programs:

"The President's speech offered far less than meets the eye.
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"His proposals continue to allow surveillance of Americans without requiring a Fourth Amendment determination of probable cause.  They continue to regard Americans as suspects first and citizens second.  They continue to allow the government to build backdoors into computer software and hardware.  They fail to strengthen protections for whistleblowers who uncover abusive spying. 

"The President spoke about navigating "the balance between security and liberty.'  But this is a faulty and false choice.  As Barack Obama himself urged in his first inaugural address, we must "reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.'

"The Fourth Amendment and other civil liberty protections do not exist to impede police or intelligence agencies.  To the contrary, they exist to hold to hold government agents to a high standard -- to ensure that they act on the basis of evidence, rather than wasting time and resources on wild goose chases. 

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"Even the modest improvements announced today are subject to reversal at a stroke of the President's pen.  A standard of "trust my good intentions' isn't good enough.  Congress should reject these practices and repeal the laws that made the NSA's abuses possible."

thanks to Glenn Greenwald for the story on his blog site.

 

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http://holt.house.gov/
 U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), a former member of the Intelligence Committee who has  introduced legislation  that would repeal the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act

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Holt: On Surveillance Reform, Obama Offers "Far Less Than Meets The Eye"