Monday, August 06, 2007

It's Monday. Do You Know Where Your Civil Liberties Are?

No, you don't, because over the weekend they were further eroded by a new law that expands the domestic wiretapping program. All the fun of the old wiretapping with none of the pesky judicial interference or justifiable reasons!

First, the law requires telecommunications companies to make their facilities available for government wiretaps, and it grants them immunity from lawsuits for complying. Under the old program, such companies participated only voluntarily -- and some were sued for allegedly violating their customers' privacy.
Second, Bush has said his original surveillance program was restricted to calls and e-mails involving a suspected terrorist, but the new law has no such limit.

Okay, so that sounds bad. Surely there is someone responsible in charge of deciding who can be wiretapped?
As a check against abuse, the law requires Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Michael McConnell, director of national intelligence, to design procedures for the program and to submit them for review by a secret national security court that normally approves warrant applications for intelligence-related wiretapping on US soil.

Well, Alberto Gonzales is such a bastion of justice and truth that this plan can't possibly be abused. Even though there's a provision that allows dirt found about American citizens to be kept if it could be evidence of a crime.

If you need me, I'll be deleting old incriminating emails and learning how to use a carrier pigeon to keep my messages private.

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