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Tag Archive: Congressional Oversight

Whistleblower Retaliation: A Governmental Accountability and National Security Crisis

The role of an Inspector General (IG) office in a federal agency or department is to root out waste, fraud, and abuse, and where necessary refer criminal conduct to the Justice Department for prosecution. But what happens when the IG itself is corrupt, especially in a national security context where secrecy can be used to conceal malfeasance?…   continue »

Just Security Event: Surveillance and the Trump Administration

Join Just Security for a fireside chat on U.S. surveillance and a celebration of Jennifer Granick‘s new book, American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, And What to Do About It. Opening remarks by Senator Ron Wyden, followed by a discussion between Granick and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Washington Correspondent Charlie Savage on U.S.…   continue »

Norms Watch: Tracking the Erosion of Democratic Traditions (Feb. 3-10)


Threatening judicial independence and American constitutional principles, Trump attacked a federal court judge this week in an unprecedented move which generated critique from Democrats, Republicans, and even Trump’s own nominee for the Supreme Court.

Trump Attacks Judge on Twitter

After Judge James Robart, a federal judge in Seattle, blocked Trump’s immigration ban nationwide on Friday, Trump launched an attack on Judge Robart the next day, referring to him as a “so-called judge” and declaring his decision to be “ridiculous.” Trump wasn’t finished blasting the judge, and on Sunday stated that Judge Robart would be to blame “if anything bad happens.” In what became a whirlwind weekend, the Justice Department filed a notice on Saturday night that it would formally appeal the order and on Sunday morning, the U.S.  continue »

Congressional Oversight in the Trump Era: Strategic Choices

Republican congressional leaders face stark strategic choices as Donald Trump assumes control of the White House. A period of acrimonious divided government will be supplanted by unitary Republican control. And the political salience of casting President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton as the cause of real and imagined government failures will evaporate as Republicans control both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.…   continue »

National Security-Related Congressional Hearings, November 14–18

Tuesday, November 15

10:30am – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform – Oversight of the Secret Service (here)

Wednesday, November 16

10:00am – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform – Subcommittee on Information Technology– Federal Cybersecurity After the OPM Data Breach: Have Agencies Learned their Lesson? …   continue »

Correcting the Record on Section 702: A Prerequisite for Meaningful Surveillance Reform, Part III

In our previous posts, we’ve argued that the NSA is collecting massive amounts of data about US citizens under conditions that have nothing to do with terrorism or national security, thanks to the authorities granted to the US government by section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.…   continue »

Correcting the Record on Section 702: A Prerequisite for Meaningful Surveillance Reform, Part II

Last week, we argued that the public discussion surrounding two of the government’s most controversial mass surveillance programs – PRISM and Upstream – has not sufficiently acknowledged the broad scope of collection under these programs, which take place under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).…   continue »

No More Snowdens? Start by Reforming the House Intelligence Committee

Last Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) issued a report condemning Edward Snowden and its members unanimously urged President Obama to decline public calls to grant him a pardon. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barton Gellman, who received NSA documents from Snowden, damned the HPSCI’s report as “aggressively dishonest,” ticking off a fistful of errors that swell by the day.  continue »