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The Online Movement Against Warrantless Spying, 2008 and Now

In the 6-day period between July 2 and July 7 2008, as the Senate prepared to pass a regime of warrantless surveillance under the auspices of the FISA Amendments Act, ten thousand Americans added their names to a declaration opposing the legislation and calling upon presidential candidate Barack Obama to vote NO.

In the 6 day period between November 23 and November 28 2009, as the House and Senate prepare to reauthorize warrantless surveillance in the United States (with the support of Barack Obama), 351 Americans added their names to an open letter opposing the reauthorization of warrantless surveillance and calling on President Barack Obama to roll it back.

Is your name on the open letter? What has changed?

6 comments to The Online Movement Against Warrantless Spying, 2008 and Now

  • ramone

    yes.
    well????
    can you keep a secret?
    i’m not sure, but… jim, they may be watching you.

    • Jim

      The crows outside? Definitely. The feds? Well, they’re data-mining us all, but other than that, probably not. I make sure to buy Weetabix cereal at least once a month, which sources tell me lowers the assessed threat level. ;)

  • Tom

    My name should be on it since i recall signing it, but perhaps many have reached the same conclusion – that it doesn’t matter what we think or do (so why not sign?), the government is now controlled by powers (such as corporate interests) who want us contained so that we can’t affect any change that they don’t approve. It’s been this way for a long time (some would argue that the whole “electoral college” idea is similar or an early version) and only since Bush (for most) has the veil been dropped and the actual government workings exposed for the fraud that it is.

  • There are now 360 signatures, but here’s one possible reason that more people aren’t signing. It made me rather reluctant myself, though I did sign:

    “Legislatively, we ask for your public support of H.R. 3845 and 3846, and amendments adding similar protections to S. 1692. “

    I don’t want H.R. 3845 and H.R. 3846 to pass. I don’t want S. 1692 to pass. What I want is a complete repeal of the Patriot Act, the FISA Amendments Act and the Military Commissions Act, not piecemeal, halfway reforms.

  • ramone

    if obama repealed the patriot act, left the FISA act, could we feel better? there are safegaurds with FISA, i don’t know about the military commissions act. if it’s military i suspect we got no say.

    • Jim

      I’m sure there are safeguards when jumping out of a plane with a hanky, but it’s still not a good idea. The “safeguards” of the FISA Amendments Act are not substantial. No judge reviews or approves any incident of warrantless wiretapping (hence, warrantless). Judges may only review the procedures by which surveillance agents decide themselves to engage in warrantless wiretapping, and even if those procedures are eventually found to be inappropriate, the government can keep the information it obtains. Finally, these aren’t just regular ol’ judges we’re talking about. They’re FISA court judges, who are picked for their authoritarian, pro-surveillance leanings.

      The FISA Amendments Act is a smearing of rat dung across the text of the Constitution and a hot piss across the face of Americans. So no, I wouldn’t feel better if Obama repealed the Patriot Act and left the FISA Amendments Act intact.

      And this is a hypothetical consideration, anyway, ramone. The Obama administration has assertively acted to preserve the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act and to combat attempts to amend those acts with civil liberties protections. In this case, the Obama administration is not “trying to do the right thing,” so you’re right in your comment from this morning that you’d be deluded to think I’ll be satisfied in that regard. I don’t care if he’s got a prettier face and a bigger vocabulary than George Dubya. When Bush did it, it was wrong. When Obama does it, it is wrong.

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