The NSA “has become a four-letter word in the US” and Americans are irritated, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, Daniel McAdams, told RT while commenting on a ruling which states that the agency’s spying is legal.
RT: The hackers’ congress which is underway in Hamburg is seeking to raise awareness of encryption and privacy. We’re used to thinking about hacking as something illegal. Are hackers becoming the new heroes of our time?
Daniel McAdams: When the government is doing things that are illegal, it takes formerly illegal things like hackers to try to protect us. The only worry is [whether these are] all legitimate hackers or some [are] infiltrated. The whole world of encryption is also somewhat concerning as well.
RT: Assange called on hackers to fight back against the spy agencies. Is the job any easier these days, after all these revelations?
DM: I think there has been an enormous increase in awareness of what the government is doing. What is interesting is that this ruling by Judge Pauley on Friday said the ACLU does not have the right to challenge this collection of metadata because it was gotten illegally because of revelations by Snowden.
RT: Are you surprised by that ruling?
DM: The Washington Post called it ‘Kafkaesque,’ and I think that is right. One of their journalists pointed out that because Congress meant for orders under Section 2.15 of the Patriot Act to be secret, the ACLU has no right to challenge that. The implications are incredible. It means that if the government was illegally using 2.15 – something that we would objectively say was illegal use of 2.15 – we could never challenge that because we were not supposed to have known that they were doing it. And it really is like Kafka, it is absolutely chilling.
RT: How is the public mood in the US?
DM: Americans are very irritated. The NSA has become a four-letter word in the US. People never thought about it before. Someone like Peter King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said yesterday that he is glad of this ruling because maybe Americans will now stop being so mean and angry with NSA. I think that is wrong.
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