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Despite NSA Review Panel Recommendation, Public Advocate Position at FISA Court Goes Nowhere

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is supposed to stop abuses of warrantless surveillance power. But out of the thousands of requests for warrantless surveillance made this decade by the administration of President Barack Obama, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has not rejected a single request. Not one. This isn’t surprising; all of the members of […]

Before you jump on the H.R. 2399 Libert-E Bandwagon, Read the Bill: Reform or Institutionalization?

This morning, the Twitterverse is filled with replicating messages of support for H.R. 2399, the self-titled “Libert-E” bill introduced by Rep. John Conyers and Rep. Justin Amash. Four typical Tweets:

Amash leads challenge to NSA surveillance with LIBERT-E act: http://wtim.es/11KVGSC

Action Alert: Stop NSA Snooping with the LIBERT-E Act http://wp.me/p2fInh-WJ

Thanks @repjohnconyers & @justinamash for […]

Bipartisan Coalition Emerges to Support Geolocation Privacy Bill in Congress

As time passes, the usefulness of the party labels “Democrat” and “Republican” as a reliable shorthand for policy preference seems to be falling away. Bipartisan coalitions for bills are there in the 113th Congress, if you look beyond the headlines for them.

Consider the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (also known as the “GPS Act”), […]

Mostly Consistent Support for Al Franken's Location Privacy Bill

Last year, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota introduced a location privacy bill to the U.S. Senate that cleared the Senate Judiciary committee but didn’t make it onto the floor. The bill (read the text here) would have stopped the pernicious practice by corporate America of selling information about your location that you generate when you […]

Perhaps the Most Unfortunately Titled Bill in the 112th Congress is…

… the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2012 (H.R. 4120).

Can you do better?

When Will Kirsten Gillibrand Keep Her Don't Ask Don't Tell Promise?

“I am firmly committed to repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. To that end, I am working closely with Congressman Murphy and Senator Kennedy’s offices to develop support for repeal legislation and will be among the original co-sponsors of the bill when it’s introduced.”

— Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, making a promise on June 18, 2009

Go […]

Oops! Amy Klobuchar Inadvertently Speaks in Favor of Civil Liberties Amendment to Explain Why She's Voting Against It

“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent” — Proverbs 17:28

Senator Ted Kaufman may be dumb in the old sense of the word, but he’s not stupid. He’s an interim senator who knows his job: not to open his mouth, but to do the bidding of his long-time boss, Joe Biden, and Biden’s […]

Oops! Amy Klobuchar Inadvertently Speaks in Favor of Civil Liberties Amendment to Explain Why She’s Voting Against It

“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent” — Proverbs 17:28

Senator Ted Kaufman may be dumb in the old sense of the word, but he’s not stupid. He’s an interim senator who knows his job: not to open his mouth, but to do the bidding of his long-time boss, Joe Biden, and Biden’s […]

Senators Who Voted Against FISA But Aren’t Supporting FISA Reform

S. 1686, the JUSTICE Act, is a bill that would begin to undo the damage to civil liberty wrought by the USA Patriot ACT and the FISA Amendments Act. The bill, introduced last week by Senator Russell Feingold, adds a number of checks on executive power: S. 1686, if passed, would:

* Restrict information collected […]

Senators Who Voted Against FISA But Aren't Supporting FISA Reform

S. 1686, the JUSTICE Act, is a bill that would begin to undo the damage to civil liberty wrought by the USA Patriot ACT and the FISA Amendments Act. The bill, introduced last week by Senator Russell Feingold, adds a number of checks on executive power: S. 1686, if passed, would:

* Restrict information collected […]

Legislation to Eradicate R.O.U.S. in Senate

Rodents Of Unusual Size? No, this is no fairy tale. I’m referring to Rodents Of Unusual Snacking. The South American coypu, introduced throughout the southern coastal United States in the 20th Century as a source of fur or a weed-controller, is now known here as the nutria. That name makes it sound like some kind […]