Enter your email address to subscribe to Irregular Times and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 329 other subscribers

Irregular Times Newsletters

Click here to subscribe to any or all of our six topical e-mail newsletters:
  1. Social Movement Actions,
  2. Credulity and Faith,
  3. Election News,
  4. This Week in Congress,
  5. Tech Dispatch and
  6. our latest Political Stickers and Such

Contact Us

We can be contacted via retorts@irregulartimes.com

The Hearing You Didn’t Hear About on Illegal FBI Surveillance

If you get your news from — oh, call me crazy — the news, you’d have no idea that last Wednesday the House Judiciary Committee held contentious hearings on illegal FBI surveillance of thousands of people, from everyday schmoes to American news bureaus. This hearing has had no coverage from professional journalists, despite all kinds [...]

Sign Open Letter to Barack Obama: Roll Back the Surveillance State

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee has posted an open letter written to Barack Obama on the subject of spreading surveillance by the United States Government. The letter reads:

Dear President Obama,

In your response to Get FISA Right’s July 2008 Open Letter on my.barackobama.com, you promised to run “a White House that takes [...]

America's Librarians Call for Patriot Act Surveillance Reform in Congress

Don’t mess with librarians; they’re organized and they take notes.

The American Library Association and California Library Association have released statements in which they decry the current regime of government surveillance and call for significant reforms to the Patriot Act before any reauthorization of its powers this year.

The CLA’s resolution articulates multiple areas in [...]

America’s Librarians Call for Patriot Act Surveillance Reform in Congress

Don’t mess with librarians; they’re organized and they take notes.

The American Library Association and California Library Association have released statements in which they decry the current regime of government surveillance and call for significant reforms to the Patriot Act before any reauthorization of its powers this year.

The CLA’s resolution articulates multiple areas in [...]

H.R. 3845: Some Weak Tea. Support Positive Change to the Bill

Yesterday afternoon, Rep. John Conyers released advance copies of H.R. 3845, a bill to reauthorize the Patriot Act provisions regarding national security letters and “sneak and peek” searches again until December 31, 2013.

We know this much to be true: a majority of Democrats and Republicans in Congress seem determined to pass some form of [...]

Most Democrats Vote Against Protecting Americans From National Security Letters

8 out of the 12 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against protecting Americans’ constitutional rights from known abuses of the Patriot Act. The following is a transcript of the speech Senator Dick Durbin gave explaining why the abuses of the Patriot Act called for a restriction of National Security Letter powers. [...]

Durbin Introduces Amendment To Control National Security Letter Abuses

Senator Jon Kyl responded that Durbin’s amendment would threaten investigations in their earliest stages, because people conducting terrorism investigations cannot be expected to know whether the people they are investigating are suspected of involvement in terrorism. [...]

Dianne Feinstein Reveals Government Dragnet Approach to Finding Terrorists

Speaking just now to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein has just declared that the FBI cannot possibly succeed in using national security letters if it is limited to engaging in warrantless surveillance in cases when it’s only limited to surveillance of suspected terrorists or spies.

Why cannot warrantless surveillance possibly succeed if [...]

Transcript: Senator Dick Durbin on Surveillance, Terrorism and the Constitution

On October 1, 2009, Senator Richard Durbin made remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee, remarks that contain an explosive allegation for those who carefully listen (see minute 63 to minute 69 of this video archive). At the beginning of those remarks, Senator Durbin declined to request that his remarks be made part of the official [...]

National Security Letters: On the Rise and Used Against Americans

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy described warrant-free National Security Letters in committee proceedings this morning:

They don’t require approval by a court, a grand jury or even a prosecutor. They are issued in secret, with a recipient’s silence under penalty of law. But they allow the government to collect sensitive information such as personal financial [...]

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 [...]