ACLU petition - Journal of Omnifarious
Aug. 8th, 2007
04:21 pm - ACLU petition
Well, Congress, a Congress controlled by the Democratic party with a Republican president with the lowest approval rating of all time caved in and passed a bill allowing NSA spying on any telephone conversation in which one end of the conversation isn't on US soil. Basically, talking to foreigners (evil by definition apparently) is enough to consider you suspect and to start listening to everything you say to the evil foreigner.
Additionally, it gives telecom companies complete immunity from any kind of legal action if they hand over their client's communications without the proper kinds of authorization. This removes any incentive these large corporations might have for resisting any sort of 4th amendment violations.
Personally, I think the corporate immunity is even worse than the license to spy on US citizens. The previous opens up a well defined set of behavior that should be horribly illegal and calls it legal. The second makes it much easier for all kinds of secret illegal behavior to take place completely unchecked.
There is more information at this ACLU FAQ about the bill.
I think this is quite plainly against the 4th amendment. But the Constitution is just a piece of paper. It's what's in people's hearts and what they demand of their government that's important. I'm sort of surprised the Democrats would cave in on this.
I'm not so sure a petition is going to help, but the ACLU is circulating a petition sharply critical of Democrat congressional leaders for failing us. I signed it. You might also want to sign the We Won't Let Congress Fail Freedom petition. Who knows, maybe someone will listen.
Edit 19:40 - Fixed some factual errors and added more facts.