I’m in the middle of prepping for a podcast…but I stopped for a quick, blatantly political post, because time is short. Congress expects to vote on H.R. 6304 probably tomorrow (I just spoke to my Congressman’s office, and they said they expected the vote on Friday), and telecom immunity for warrantless spying just scratches the surface of the problems with this bill. It basically takes judicial review completely out of the loop on surveillance of phone calls, emails, and all sorts of communications by the American public. There’s a judicial process described, but it’s been completely defanged, and leaves the government basically able to do what it will. It’s blatantly unconstitutional, but the judicial review of the legislation itself will take years to work out.
The bill is so new that I can’t even link to it’s text above via Thomas, the Library of Congress’ legislative repository. Enacting legislation in this fashion isn’t deliberative…it’s an arm-twisting, secretive attempt to increase executive branch authority, and gain immunity from prosecution for the telecommunications companies that need to instead have their day in court. You may or may not agree with me 100% on this, but I urge you to call your Representatives to vote ‘No’; this is wrong. This is not a compromise.
- ACLU Condemns FISA Deal, Declares Surveillance Bill Unconstitutional
- Opencongress Blog: Huge Opposition to the New FISA Compromise
- NYT Editorial: Mr. Bush v. the Bill of Rights
- EFF Urges Congress to Reject Final ‘Compromise’ on Telco Immunity
UPDATE: The EFF guys are on it; they’ve got the text of the bill available (http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/att/FISAINTRO_001_xml.pdf), as well as an analysis piece (http://www.eff.org/files/AnalysisHR6304-v5.pdf). Thanks, EFF!!