Give me 6 lines in the hand of the most honest man...
October 27, 2013 8:55 AM   Subscribe

After the rollicking success of Saturday's Rally Against Mass Surveillance in DC [ 2, 3 ] and Friday's Congressional Internet Caucus hearing , Internet privacy advocates begin pushing for the bipartisan "USA FREEDOM ACT" which would curb the worst excesses of the USA PATRIOT ACT and FISA amendments. Can a new Church Committee -type hearing be far behind? Will indictments of agents follow, as they did in 1978? Perhaps this would be a good time to listen to a detailed history of America's shrinking Fourth Amendment. .mp3
posted by warreng (6 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Sorry for the delayed delete, but this is pretty editorial framing, and we have no shortage of open NSA posts; plus possibly more to come later this week. -- LobsterMitten

That's an optimistic interpretation of current events. Is there any evidence that anyone in Congress is interested in starting a new Church Committee? The rally seems to have been a bust; a few thousand turned up. It didn't make the NYTimes; all the Washington Post has is some colorful photos that I'm guessing didn't make it into the print edition.

I'm as upset about the NSA's illegal surveillance of US citizens as anyone. But I'm pessimistic that my concern is shared by even a significant minority of Americans. Fortunately constitutional rights exist whether a majority agrees or not, but so far NSA has managed to escape meaningful judicial or congressional review. Executive branch is gonna execute, you know?

Related: Federal Prosecutors, in a Policy Shift, Cite Warrantless Wiretaps as Evidence. Seems to be a setup of a test case by DoJ. Why bother with parallel construction?
posted by Nelson at 9:08 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think shit and fan are only just beginning to meet.
NSA surveillance: Merkel's phone may have been monitored 'for over 10 years'
As German officials prepare to travel to the US, Der Spiegel cites a previously secret NSA document.
Politicians who shrugged when it was other people are now getting twitchy as they discover that they have been bugged by a foreign power. There will be diplomatic fallout.
Also maybe US journailists are frightened considering their notes are being seized. via this recent thread.
Some congress critters are getting pissed.
it seems as if the Guardian should be the media choice for Americans who need to know how fucked up their country is. (If they cared of course).
Greenwald only has a week to go, so I expect a few more bombshells to be dropped later this week which might shake the complacency up.
posted by adamvasco at 9:22 AM on October 27, 2013

Not sure if it qualifies as irony or what that the most political pressure exerted so far is by a foreign leader who is a former member of the DDR (no, not Dance Dance Revolution).
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:35 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

"rollicking success"??? Not even worth an FPP. Especially not one that is half discussion-leading questions.
posted by Ardiril at 9:39 AM on October 27, 2013

it seems as if the Guardian should be the media choice for Americans who need to know how fucked up their country is.

Yes. As opposed to, say, Russia Today or Reason.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:43 AM on October 27, 2013

I don't think there's any irony in Germans being particularly upset about state spying. Totalitarian surveillance of citizens is not theoretical to people who lived in the DDR. When I was in Germany recently everyone I talked to about NSA made the direct connection to the Stasi history and expressed dismay and confusion the US would even consider flirting with something that was such a personal, hated memory for them.

The closest American experience is probably the abuses of McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee. But that's a different kind of government abuse of civil liberties, and I fear it's one that's being forgotten.
posted by Nelson at 9:45 AM on October 27, 2013

« Older Anytime I hear the wind blow, it will whisper the...   |   Wes Anderson's The Midnight Coterie of Sinister... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments