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United States

U.S. Spy Panel Is Loaded With Insiders 330

schwit1 writes "After a public backlash to government spying, President Barack Obama called for an independent group to review the vast surveillance programs that allow the collections of phone and email records. The members of the review group are:
Richard Clarke, the chief counterterrorism adviser on the National Security Council for Clinton who later worked for Republican President George W. Bush
Michael Morell, Obama's former deputy CIA director
Geoffrey Stone, law professor who has raised money for Obama and spearheads a committee hoping to build Obama's presidential library in Chicago
Cass Sunstein, law professor and administrator of information and regulatory affairs for Obama
Peter Swire, a former Office of Management and Budget privacy director for Clinton

'At the end of the day, a task force led by Gen. Clapper full of insiders – and not directed to look at the extensive abuse – will never get at the bottom of the unconstitutional spying,' said Mark Jaycox, a policy analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group. The panel's meetings are closed after Clapper exempted it from the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee Act, which would have required it to keep the public informed and hold open meetings, for 'reasons of national security,' according to a statement from the group sent from Clapper's office. 'While we are exempt from the FACA, we are conducting this review as openly and transparently as possible.'"
The Courts

Supreme Court Rules For Monsanto In Patent Case 579

Pigskin-Referee writes in with news of the Supreme Court's decision in a dispute between Monsanto and an Indiana farmer over patented seeds. "The Supreme Court has sustained Monsanto Co.'s claim that an Indiana farmer violated the company's patents on soybean seeds that are resistant to its weed-killer. The justices, in a unanimous vote Monday, rejected the farmer's argument that cheap soybeans he bought from a grain elevator are not covered by the Monsanto patents, even though most of them also were genetically modified to resist the company's Roundup herbicide. Justice Elena Kagan says a farmer who buys patented seeds must have the patent holder's permission. More than 90 percent of American soybean farms use Monsanto's 'Roundup Ready' seeds, which first came on the market in 1996."

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