Police Commissioner Ray Kelly launched a stinging rebuke to the federal government’s secret phone and Internet monitoring campaign – and suggested leaker Edward Snowden was right about privacy “abuse.”
“I don’t think it ever should have been made secret,” Kelly said today, breaking ranks with US law-enforcement officials.
His blast came days after the Obama administration and Attorney General Eric Holder outraged New York officials by endorsing a federal monitor for the NYPD.
Kelly appeared to firmly reject Holder’s claim that disclosure of the monitoring campaign seriously damaged efforts to fight terrorism.
“I think the American public can accept the fact if you tell them that every time you pick up the phone it’s going to be recorded and it goes to the government,” Kelly said. “I think the public can understand that. I see no reason why that program was placed in the secret category.”
“Secondly, I think if you listen to Snowden, he indicates that there’s some sort of malfeasance, people . . . sitting around and watching the data. So I think the question is: What sort of oversight is there inside the [National Security Agency] NSA to prevent that abuse, if it’s taking place?”
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