"Stasi-Like": Obama's Program to Thwart Unwanted Leaks Not Only Creepy, It Won't Work

What’s worse than a government program that “creates a culture of intimidation,” “represses creative thinking,” and acts to subvert the protections offered by the First and Fourth Amendments of the constitution?

Well, according to the growing number of critics of a White House program that asks government workers to spy on their colleagues, one that does all those things while also damaging the institutions the program is designed to protect. Namely, the government itself and the democratic principles which uphold it.

“…current and former U.S. officials and experts … ridiculed as overly zealous and simplistic the idea of using reports of suspicious behavior to predict potential insider threats.” -McClatchy

Following up on their groundbreaking report that exposed an internal Obama administration program designed to thwart would-be leakers by having government employees keep tabs on their co-workers, McClatchy reporters have now published a follow-up which shows that the plan, codenamed Insider Threat, is not only “creepy” and misguided but not “even likely to work.”

The existence of the Insider Threat program was first revealed by the news outlet last month and came amid the growing controversy caused by the revelations generated by leaked NSA documents that gave a detailed look at the mass surveillance being conducted on US citizens and people all over the world by the US intelligence agency.

In the debate that followed, many critics of the Obama administration pointed out that their pursuit of whistleblowers who leak, or discuss with reporters, information that reflects poorly on the US government’s intelligence apparatus has been the most aggressive in modern history.

In addition to its ongoing determination to bring recent NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden back to the US for prosecution for his disclosures, the Insider Threat program is seen as the icing on the cake of this trend.

As McClatchy reports:

Critics of the program immediately condemned it, saying Obama’s reaction to the existence of whistleblowers has done more harm to liberty than any of the revelations made public by the government whistleblowers.