202 Chapters
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2 Edward Snowden and the NSA: Law, Policy, and Politics

David P Fidler Indiana University Press ePub


The disclosures by Edward Snowden have revealed a great deal about the National Security Agency, its surveillance activities, and the oversight provided by the president, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and Congress. Snowden’s disclosures, and subsequent responses (or lack thereof) by government officials, focus attention on five significant sets of issues that confront the American people and their government: the scope of the NSA’s legal authority, problems with the honesty of U.S. officials, the hypocrisy of the U.S. government concerning cyber espionage, the undermining of cyber security by U.S. actions, and the impact of U.S. surveillance activities on personal privacy.

The first set of issues concerns the authority under which the NSA has conducted the sweeping surveillance programs Snowden disclosed. Thanks to the documents Snowden leaked, we have learned about more and more NSA practices, including how it undertakes surveillance activities, introduces security vulnerabilities into products and services, or compels the private sector to cooperate in these activities. In each case, we want to know under what legal authority is the NSA acting. To date, the only surveillance activities we know about in legal detail are the ones the Obama administration has addressed publicly—compelling phone companies to disclose metadata about all telephone calls under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and the PRISM program operated under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is addressed elsewhere in this book.

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Medium 9781574411676

7 “Take that . . . ”

Gary M. Lavergne University of North Texas Press PDF

chapter seven

“Take that . . . ”

“The movies don’t even come close.”

—Norman* piano player for the Mike Harris Quartet



he Mike Harris Quartet had been playing soft music since

9 P.M., and by the time midnight came along, they were getting no requests or tips. “Hey, it was a Thursday night,” said Norman, the piano player. They played Duke Ellington’s C Jam Blues before taking a break just after midnight. Sherlyn, the featured singer, turned on taped music and went to the end of the bar where Mary and Dick were talking and laughing.

From the time Belachheb arrived to just after midnight, he had three or four Johnny Walker and 7Up. He roamed around the entire barroom and spoke to nearly all of the women. He even danced with a few, but he always came back to Marcell.

“Marcell was the kind of person if she was annoyed with somebody you could tell quite immediately,” Dick observed. He noticed, as did almost everyone else, that Marcell wanted less and less to do with Belachheb as the night wore on. Some of the other regulars, less than enchanted by her brusque ways, recall that she could, at times, be cruel. “I had seen her before come on to a man sitting next to her and then belittle him in front of people,” remembered a Ianni’s bartender.

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3 From Passivity to Eternal Vigilance: NSA Surveillance and Effective Oversight of Government Power

David P Fidler Indiana University Press ePub


Like most Americans, I cherish privacy on personal matters, and I do not like it when my privacy is invaded. But the threats against our country and the vulnerabilities of our government are real and need to be taken seriously. Our government has legitimate reasons to monitor cyberspace for national security and foreign policy reasons. Our democracy needs intelligence agencies that operate with a fair amount of secrecy. The disclosures made by Edward Snowden, however, demonstrate we have not had nearly the checks and balances on programs of the National Security Agency that we should have had and will need in the future. NSA surveillance programs should not be abolished; they are a vital national security tool. But they must be reformed and made subject to active, sustained oversight by Congress and the courts in order to ensure that such programs serve our national interests and keep faith with the privacy and civil liberties of the American people.

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Medium 9781574411522

Appendix G Parole Officials

Jorge Antonio Renaud University of North Texas Press PDF

Appendix G

Parole Officials

There are two distinct entities that concern themselves with parole in

Texas—the Parole Division of the TDCJ and the Board of Pardons and

Paroles. The first agency actually oversees inmates who have been released. Ex-cons report to them, and it is their staffers who visit homes and ensure that the provisions of parole (set by the Board) are actually met. The second is an independent agency whose primary role is the discretionary release of inmates from prison, along with revocation of released prisoners.

You may reach the Parole Division at:

TDCJ-ID Parole Division

8610 Shoal Creek Blvd.

P.O. Box 13401, Capitol Station

Austin, TX 78711

(512) 406-5200

FAX (512) 406-5858

The members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles are appointed by the governor to six-year terms, which are staggered so all do not expire at the same time. You may write or call the Board members, or the chairman, at the following addresses:

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles

209 W. 14th Street, Suite 500

Austin, TX 78701

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Chapter 18 – Lockdowns

Jorge Antonio Renaud The University of North Texas Press ePub



Rarely does TDCJ label anything so accurately. A lockdown is just that—every inmate in the locked-down wing, block, dorm, or unit is confined to his cell or cubicle, with no movement, no work, no recreation, no school, no visit, and with sometimes only cold sack lunches to eat for weeks on end. Lockdowns may last from hours to months and are imposed by wardens for different reasons. Although the ranking officer on duty has the authority to order a lockdown, anything lasting more than a few hours and affecting more than a few inmates will be ordered by a warden, and it must be justified to the regional and system directors.

Some wardens order lockdowns every six months or so to search the unit for tobacco, drugs, or weapons. These lockdowns are usually in the middle of the week, last only twenty-four to seventy-two hours, and do not disrupt visiting schedules. Many inmates welcome these lockdowns, as they offer three-day vacations from work. However, if a unit is plagued by continual violence, or if a riot is believed imminent, officials will order a lockdown that may last from a seventy-two-hour cooling off period to months. These longer lockdowns usually are on close-custody wings, where more violent inmates are concentrated.

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