Obama’s James Clapper’s Committee To Make You Love the Dragnet Has a Kiddie Table

Spencer Ackerman has a review of how the first two meetings of Obama’s Non-Tech Tech Review panel have gone. And while they went about as horribly as I suspected — certainly there was no talk of actually fixing obvious problems with the dragnet — there are a few details that show how “most exceptional” this effort is.

The White House, having taken pains to pretend James Clapper is not in charge of the Director of National Intelligence Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, referred comment to James Clapper.

The White House deferred comment to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which did not respond.

The Non-Tech Tech Review Panel comes with a kiddie table — or rather, a conference room almost two miles away from the White House, where the tech giants got to eat.

During its first round of meetings, the panel, known as the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, separated two groups of outside advisers. One group included civil libertarian organizations such as the ACLU and the Electronic Privacy Information Center. It met in a conference room on K and 20th Streets. Morrell and Clarke did not attend.

The other, which met in the White House Conference Center, included technology companies that have participated – sometimes uneasily and at court behest – in NSA surveillance. All five panel members participated.

I’m not surprised the CIA’s representative on the Committee to Make You Love the Dragnet refused to be seen at the kiddie table with civil libertarians. But Richard Clarke?

Finally, the tech companies appear not to have sent tech experts.

The meeting itself struck [New America Foundation VP Sascha] Meinrath as bizarre. Representatives from the technology firms were identified around the table not by their names, but by placards listing their employers. There was minimal technical discussion of surveillance mechanisms despite the presence of technology companies; Meinrath took the representatives to be lawyers, not technologists.

When it appeared like the meeting would discuss a surveillance issue in a sophisticated way, participants and commissioners suggested it be done in a classified meeting.

Apparently, Cass Sunstein didn’t even have to get caught proposing weird conspiracy theories to make this thing a laughingstock.

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15 Responses to Obama’s James Clapper’s Committee To Make You Love the Dragnet Has a Kiddie Table

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Could imagine benevolent dictator saying: free transport, worse jobs, all-time monitoring. Like Soviet subway, great! Uber you gotta pay!
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @gregorylent Yes, right. Did no one READ those books?
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I mean, at least with Google you're getting the service for free. But Uber, you gotta pay to let them monitor your every move & kill jobs
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel So Uber wants to eliminate all drivers, and track its customers locations all the time. Is more efficient taxi service really worth that?
15mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @BaFana3 Will the Storm Troopers be divvying up the aid?
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel This Mullar Omar thing is bizarre: BREAKING: Mullar Omar died TWO YEARS AGO. & because we made that public all hell is breaking loose now
18mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @matthewstinar Hey, I'd rather Congress be FOIAble. But I'd start with whistleblower protection.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @BradMossEsq @benjaminwittes Well Brad, you do work your ass off giving people every reason to say just that.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Jeebus, even cranky old John Dowd thinks #Deflategate is a travesty of process against Brady. #FreeTomBrady https://t.co/S0vO8cR5u5
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @gideonoliver Sweet!
8hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @makarov__ I've actually raised that as a possibility. But you don't think we have as much to lose there, too? @thegrugq
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @peter_donnelly Precisely. Thus the problem with trying to retaliate. @thegrugq
9hreplyretweetfavorite
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