Supreme Court Tosses Last Chance for Telecom Accountability for Warrantless Wiretapping

By: Wednesday October 10, 2012 10:00 am

Yesterday, the Supreme Court shut the door on a legal odyssey that lasted over six years, when they refused to reopen a case attempting to hold private telecommunications companies accountable for their participation in the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. The justices, without comment, declined to review a lower court’s December decision (.pdf) dismissing the [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

Charlie Savage Files FOIA Complaint to Compel Release of DoJ Patriot Act Interpretation

By: Wednesday October 12, 2011 12:15 pm

For months now, Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have spoken out about the Justice Department’s interpretation – wrongful interpretation, in their view – of the Patriot Act, which has led to some unnamed manner of mischief in terms of civil liberties deprivation through mass data collection. Wyden and Udall have implored DoJ to explain [...]

9-11′s Surveillance State Legacy

By: Tuesday August 30, 2011 9:30 am

Amidst the inevitable 9-11 retrospectives, I feel like only the Los Angeles Times is putting the past ten years in the proper perspective. Because the longest-lasting legacy of the 9-11 attacks is clearly the terror industry it spawned. Over the weekend the LAT looked at the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on absurd [...]

Senate Poised to Extend Patriot Act Provisions With Little Debate

By: Monday May 23, 2011 12:59 pm

The Senate will vote later today on a motion to proceed to S.1038 which would extend three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for four years, with almost no debate. As David Waldman notes, this is the third cloture vote on a motion to proceed in the last four legislative days in the Senate, showing [...]

Appeals Court Overturns Dismissal of Lawsuit Challenging Warrantless Spying

By: Tuesday March 22, 2011 6:50 am

The ACLU won an appeal yesterday to continue their lawsuit against the US government for unlawful spying on Americans. The lawsuit specifically challenges the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which de facto legalized ongoing warrantless spying on Americans who communicate with parties overseas if a link to terrorism on either end can [...]

Government Acknowledges Continued Breaches of Domestic Spying Laws, While Going After Wikileaks for Privacy Invasion

By: Friday December 3, 2010 8:43 am

The press is seemingly relishing the attacks on Wikileaks, for publishing information that major news organizations publish every day. I’ve seen plenty of headlines similar to “the noose is tightening around Julian Assange.” As you may know, the US domain host EveryDNS dropped Wikileaks, claiming that their other websites were threatened because of multiple denial [...]

On the Gradual Loss of Liberty in the Bipartisan Age of Privileging Security

By: Monday September 27, 2010 9:22 am

I can outsource my commentary on the Administration’s moves to make their entire assassination program a state secret, to wiretap the whole Internet and to track every bank transfer in and out of the country to Marcy (here and here) and Glenn. Clearly we don’t have much intra-party disagreement on depriving civil liberties at the [...]

Al Haramain Plaintiffs Name Their Price: $612,000

By: Monday April 19, 2010 6:56 am

TalkLeft’s Jeralyn Merritt writes: Two American lawyers and an Islamic charity have submitted their bill for damages following a federal court ruling the Bush Administration subjected them and Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation to illegal wiretapping. The tab as of now (not including attorneys’ fees and costs): $612,000. Judge Vaughn Walker ruled on March 31 (pdf) they [...]

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