EPIC, joined by over 3,000 members of the public, leading privacy experts, and journalists, has petitioned the National Security Agency for the ninth time, urging the suspension of the NSA domestic surveillance program pending public comments. EPIC first petitioned the agency on June 17, 2013. Because the NSA has failed to respond, EPIC has renewed the petition on a weekly basis. EPIC's petition states, "NSA's collection of domestic communications contravenes the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and violates several federal privacy laws, including the Privacy Act of 1974, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 as amended." The petition further states that the NSA's domestic surveillance "substantively affects the public to a degree sufficient to implicate the policy interests" that require public comment, and that "NSA's collection of domestic communications absent the opportunity for public comment is unlawful." By law, the NSA is required to respond. General Keith Alexander, NSA Director, has publicly stated that the agency is interested in receiving public comments: "Help us defend this country and protect our civil liberties and privacy. And if anybody has a better way to do it than what we are doing today, we want to hear that." EPIC intends to renew its request for a public rulemaking each week until the NSA responds. For more information and to join EPIC's petition, see EPIC: NSA petition.
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Machines of Loving Grace by John Markoff