Today brings two “All Hail” posts to relinquishment.org. I did receive a couple of comments that “All Hail” is a little much – fair enough. But I don’t dole praise a lot, so when I do I like to go big.
I met John Tye at law school. We became friends. He decided to move to New Orleans after law school (for his first time) while I also was moving there (for my second time). We ended up living in the same house for a year. He plays the guitar better than I sing.
Since then, he’s spent his career trying to make government better, first as a housing right lawyer, and then at the State Department.
And now he’s a whistle blower – a category of people for whom I have tremendous respect.
A State Department official, Mr. Tye worked on Internet freedom issues and had top-secret clearance. He knew the Obama administration had also considered a proposal to impose what an internal White House document, obtained by The New York Times, portrayed as “significant changes” to rules for handling Americans’ data the N.S.A. collects from fiber-optic networks abroad. But Mr. Obama said nothing about that in his speech.
So in April, as Mr. Tye was leaving the State Department, he filed a whistle-blower complaint arguing that the N.S.A.’s practices abroad violated Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. He also met with staff members for the House and Senate intelligence committees. Last month, he went public with those concerns, which have attracted growing attention.
I encourage you to read the whole piece, but I’ll drop this line from John:
“Regardless of the use rules in place today, this system could be abused in the future.”
I’ll go one step further: it’s not that they could be abused, it’s that they will be abused.