#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – October 20 – Critics of the government’s spy agencies are worried that Colorado’s hotly contested Senate race could end the public career of one of their best allies in Congress.
Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-Colo.) possible defeat would leave a void in the Senate and on the powerful Intelligence Committee, civil liberties and anti-secrecy advocates fear.
“I do think it would be a significant loss for the movement,” said Laura Murphy, the head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington office.
“What Udall has is the institutional memory, and the relationships in the civil liberties community, in the Democratic Party and in the tech industry so that we don’t have to start over again with someone new,” she added, while noting that her concern would be the same if Republican civil liberties advocates were also at risk of losing their seats.
Udall has long been one of the Senate’s biggest fighters against government secrecy, tough spying programs, the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and other issues important to civil libertarians.
He was the first lawmaker to call for CIA Director John Brennan to resign this summer, following his agency’s confirmation that some officials gained unauthorized access to Senate staffers’ files.
He also criticized the Senate bill to reform the National Security Agency (NSA) for not going far enough to stop “back-door” searches of Americans and opposed a contentious cybersecurity bill on the grounds that it would shuttle people’s personal data to the NSA.
“Were Sen. Udall to lose, I think he would be sorely missed,” echoed Scott Roehm, a senior counsel at the Constitution Project. “He was one of the earliest voices for meaningful surveillance reform even before the Snowden leaks.”
By Julian Hattem @ The Hill
#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – October 20 – The State Department is renewing its global terrorism alert for Americans travelling abroad, saying it sees a heightened risk of reprisal attacks from the Islamic State group and its supporters.
In a new “worldwide caution” issued on Friday, the department said terrorist groups continue to plot strikes against Americans and U.S. interests in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
It said authorities believe there is “an increased likelihood” of reprisal attacks from Islamic State militants since the U.S. and its coalition partners launched military action against the group in Iraq and Syria.
The alert replaces an existing warning issued in April and also notes the growing threat of kidnapping perpetrated by terrorists.
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