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Tue Nov 12, 2013, 07:26 PM

 

The House Intelligence Committee's Misinformation Campaign About the NSA - EFF

The House Intelligence Committee's Misinformation Campaign About the NSA
BY MARK M. JAYCOX - EFF
NOVEMBER 12, 2013

<snip>

Rep. Mike Rogers, Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), is a busy man. Since June, he (and HPSCI) have been all over the media with press statements, TV appearances, and tweets, relentlessly trying to persuade the public that the National Security Agency (NSA) is merely doing its job when it collects innocent Americans' calling records, phone calls, and emails.

One such release is a "Myths v. Facts" page: http://intelligence.house.gov/myth-vs-fact-fisa-collection tackling the fact and fiction of the NSA's activities. In addition to collecting phone calls and emails, we now know these practices include deliberately weakening international cryptographic standards and hacking into companies' data centers, but, unfortunately, the page is misleading and full of NSA talking points. And one statement is downright false.

Wrong Information

In the "Myths v. Facts" page, HPSCI touts company cooperation with the spying programs, writing: the NSA is not stealing data from tech companies without their knowledge. But two weeks ago, the Washington Post reported the exact opposite: the NSA secretly broke into the main links connecting data centers within Yahoo! and Google. Time for an update?

HPSCI is supposed to be informed of significant intelligence activities—and given Rep. Rogers’ well-publicized concerns over cybersecurity (he introduced a bill called CISPA), we'd expect him to ensure the committee knew of such an attack if he’d been informed. Members of Congress must find out whether HPSCI knew about the attacks on private companies, and if they did, why they published such misinformation.

Word Games

The document also uses two different word games. First, it sets up a straw man...

<snip>

More: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/house-intelligence-committees-misinformation-campaign

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