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What If The NSA Was Treated Like The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?

Yesterday, a coalition of Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a series of bills (H.R. 4315, H.R. 4316, H.R. 4317, H.R. 4318, and H.R. 4319) that would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to increase the transparency of its already open process by:

  • publishing on the Internet the basis of the determination that species qualify for protection under Endangered or Threatened status
  • to augment the disclosures already made by the USFWS to the public about the way it spends money
  • to require greater communication with state governments the basis of the determination that species qualify for protection under Endangered or Threatened status
  • to make determinations of Endangered or Threatened status subject to more citizen lawsuits
  • to require the Secretary of the Interior to publish analysis of the economic impact of species’ status determinations earlier than it already does

    What if the National Security Agency was asked to hold to the same standard?

    Currently, the NSA

  • does not even publicly acknowledge that determinations of eligibility of targeting of Americans for spying even have been conducted, much less reveal the basis of those determinations to the American people
  • does not tell the American public, or even most members of Congress, how it spends the money it is given
  • does not tell state governments how it is spying on their citizens
  • is, according to the Obama Administration, exempt from citizen lawsuits
  • conducts no analysis of the economic impact of its massive programs to spy against Americans

    Why aren’t members of Congress writing legislation to make the NSA as transparent and accountable as the National Fish and Wildlife Service?

    Apparently, the United States Congress has collectively decided that programs to protect endangered species are a more serious abuse of the public trust than NSA programs to conduct daily surveillance operations on the private activities of law-abiding, peaceful American citizens.

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