Bill Introduced To End NSA Bulk Telephone Records Collection

By: Thursday September 26, 2013 6:06 am

A bipartisan bill was introduced yesterday that would to finally start regulating the NSA including ending the bulk collection of Americans’ communication records. The bill is authored by Democrats Ron Wyden, Mark Udall and Richard Blumenthal, and Republican Rand Paul. This is one of the first attempts to rein the NSA in after abuses by the [...]

FISA Court Ruled NSA Program Unconstitutional, Said NSA Misled Them

By: Thursday August 22, 2013 6:00 am

The initial defense of the NSA spying program echoed by everyone from Congress to the agency heads to the White House was that the program was “legal.” But newly declassified material shows that even the secret court stacked with Chief Justice Roberts’ judges recognized the NSA was conducting a domestic spying program when the NSA [...]

Documents Show NSA Violated Court Orders

By: Thursday August 1, 2013 6:29 am

One of the key deflections over the ethical questions related to domestic spying by the government is that “it’s legal.” Stated ad nauseum, this defense was supposed to reduce violations of Fourth Amendment protected privacy to technical misunderstandings. However, it turns out the NSA did, in fact, go beyond technical limits by violating court orders. [...]

NSA Admits To Even More Surveillance

By: Thursday July 18, 2013 11:17 am

@normative If you don't want to share your contact lists with the government, maybe you just shouldn't know people. — Jon Henke (@JonHenke) July 17, 2013 In the government nexus of public and legally disclosed information there is a surreal pocket of time where something that everyone knows cannot be legally admitted to. We know, [...]

Secret Laws Govern NSA

By: Monday July 8, 2013 5:40 am

Nothing exemplifies an open society like secret laws. According to a report by the New York Times, an entire new body of law has been created, in secret, to govern the NSA’s operations. The FISA court, under dubious pretexts, has rewritten the Fourth Amendment. In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court [...]

Lame Duck Congress Has Lots of Work to Do Even Without Fiscal Slope

By: Friday November 9, 2012 7:45 am

Among the many other reasons not to engage in a grand bargain during the lame duck session is that Congress actually needs to get busy with other matters. For a variety of reasons, mainly that they’re not good at their job, Congress left a multitude of items on the table for the lame duck, many [...]

FISA Amendments to Be Renewed By House Today

By: Wednesday September 12, 2012 1:39 pm

Today, the House will vote on the extension of the FISA Amendments Act, a bill that was well-known to most Americans, especially on the left, in 2008, but which has gotten little if any notice these days. The bill not only granted retroactive immunity to telecom companies that cooperated in the warrantless surveillance of US [...]

You Shall Know Our Velocity: Political Priorities Measured in Time Frames

By: Wednesday May 23, 2012 1:41 pm

You can pretty well judge priorities in Washington simply by a matter of speed. If issues sit out there forever without being addressed, the political powers that be don’t really care about them. If they get attended to right away, they must have a certain importance attached. And this isn’t about lip service, but follow-through. [...]

Pervasive Cell Phone Tracking Performed Even By Local Law Enforcement

By: Monday April 2, 2012 6:54 am

Eric Lichtblau, one of the reporting team who exposed President Bush’s warrantless surveillance program, takes a look at its aftermath; with telecoms receiving immunity, police departments feel no compunction against tracking people by their cell phone. Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used [...]

Ninth Circuit Upholds Legal Immunity for Telecoms in FISA Case

By: Thursday December 29, 2011 12:56 pm

A federal court has upheld on appeal a ruling that telecom companies can receive legal immunity from Congress for participating in the warrantless wiretapping program under George W. Bush. A U.S. appeals panel on Thursday upheld the constitutionality of a federal law that grants immunity to telecommunications companies that assist the U.S. government in conducting [...]

The Importance of the Al Haramain Case

By: Thursday April 1, 2010 7:09 am

I know Marcy has covered the hell out of this already, but clearly Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling in the Al Haramain case is a huge deal. There never was going to be before, or likely will be again, a case as cut and dried as Al Haramain. In this instance, the government accidentally handed over [...]

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