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Who Really Runs the NSA?

Who Really Runs the NSA?

The NSA has been under fire for their blanket collection of American’s personal records. The unwarranted collection of an individual constitutes a violation in the American due-process system, but many Republicans and Democrats have not challenged these invasive programs. The general public, however, is mostly unaware how an undocumented, non-transparent advisory board has been allowed to take up permanent residence at the NSA – and make decisions regarding the privacy of every American.

According to the U.S General Services Administration, “The Federal Advisory Committee Act became law in 1972 and is the legal foundation defining how federal advisory committees operate. The law has special emphasis on open meetings, chartering, public involvement, and reporting.” FACA additionally calls upon federal agencies to carefully consider the need for new committees, as well as limiting the duration of the advisory board to two years.

The National Security Advisory Board (NSAAB) is a federal advisory committee, also known as the NSA Emerging Technologies Panel. With the duty of periodically advising the NSA Director on research, development and application of existing and emerging science and technology advances, the NSAAB committee is able to directly influence many of the NSA’s programs.      

USC 3617: National Security Agency Emerging Technologies Panel specifically mentions FACA is not to be applied to this National Security Advisory Board, meaning their meetings are completely secret – void of transcript submission or any public influence –  and able to indefinitely maintain their advisory status. Both of these aspects directly violate the 1972 act.

The members of the advisory board come from many different fields, and their opinions, indefinitely spoken and hidden from the American people, have a direct relationship to the ongoing violation of American privacy rights.
While some members of the group are publicly known, a full list does appear on any government site. The known members, such as COO John Harbaugh of Root9B and CEO Bob Gourley of Cognito, have active roles in companies who stand to make billions with increased cyber and physical security being instituted in America. The majority of members are unknown.

USC 3617 was established to allow a group of private sector businessmen to council a federal institution without any semblance of transparency. This act violates a nearly half – century old statute prohibiting the creation of such an advisory panel , and the American people and their representatives have silently watched as their privacy has continuously eroded from
underneath them.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” The tyrannical forces of oppression have made their move, and now the American people must choose whether or not they will stand up and fight for their rights.

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