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WashPost: "NSA weighs its options"

After a near defeat in the House this week for the NSA “metadata” program, NSA and its supporters might want to wonder why so many Republicans voted against what they think is essential for national security. (Of course having “block monitors” as the former East Germany had and Cuba now has would also help national security.)

Today’s Washington Post had a column by David Ignatius that reviews possible compromises that both protect national security as well as restore the rule of law and order and respect the Bill of Rights.

The article states:

To NSA officials, this access to calling records is supremely valuable. The problem is that many Americans are uncomfortable with it, despite repeated NSA assurances that, under the program, only the calling data are collected, not the calls themselves. Public uneasiness was suggested by a Washington Post-ABC News poll this week showing that 74 percent of those surveyed believe NSA surveillance of telephone records intrudes on the privacy rights of some Americans.

So how could the NSA reassure the American public? The agency keeps the calling records in what’s described as an electronic “lockbox” that can only be accessed by a small number of people when there is a “reasonable, articulable suspicion” that numbers need to be checked.

It then goes on to give several alternatives, some similar to thoughts we have discussed previously.
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