Mike German is the senior policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Unions Washington Legislative Office, where he develops policy positions and pro-active strategies concerning national security and open government. Prior to joining the ACLU, he served for 16 years as a special agent with the FBI, where he specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations. He also served as an adjunct professor for Law Enforcement and Terrorism at the National Defense University and is a senior fellow with GlobalSecurity.org. Germans first book, Thinking Like a Terrorist, was published in January 2007. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from Wake Forest University and a J.D. from Northwestern University Law School.
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Snowden's information shows this is not just a violation of our rights, but a waste of resources.
The actual facts make clear that the NSA doesnt need an enormous database of everyones phone records to track a discrete number of terrorists -- the NSA just needs to use the traditional tools it has to investigate its targets.
For years, the ACLU have been warning that the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative would lead to violations of our privacy, racial and religious profiling, and interference with constitutionally-protected activities . The ACLU, joined by 26 other organizations, the Justice Department, FBI and two other agencies responsible for Suspicious Activity Reporting to adopt stricter standards so that individuals' innocent activity will cease being reported, shared and maintained for decades in anti-terrorism databases.
This ubiquitous government surveillance harms more than just our personal privacy, and American businesses need to pay particular attention.
The official verdict is finally in, thanks to a congressional report out today: state and local law enforcement intelligence fusion centers funded by the Department of Homeland Security are failing to safeguard both our constitutional rights and our security.