I’m Christy, also with BuzzFlash.com. This is a guest entry.
Aren’t there any limits to the government’s “right to know” what I’m up to? Not anymore, if the FISA Amendments Act of 2007 (S. 2248), currently before the Senate Judiciary Committee, becomes law. It would let companies like my internet service provider, AT&T, off the hook for sharing the content and patterns of use of all my emails — and those of every American citizen who pays them for internet service — with the National Security Agency, aka Big Brother. But that’s not all.
Elliot Cohen’s insightful article Senate Judiciary Poised to Pass Total Information Awareness Bill analyzes the bill and details the reasons it must be blocked. At the top of the list is that it enables a sitting government to spy on political opponents, thus wreaking havoc on free and democratic elections. Kind of a biggie. We did impeach President Nixon for trying to get his hands on that kind of information.
But Bush and his Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence for the U.S., Donald Kerr, don’t see why our privacy matters.
I’m a pretty law-abiding person, but I find this intimidating. And I’m not alone. AT&T was hit with 40 lawsuits over their actions that made widespread domestic spying a reality. All those suits will be dropped in a trash bin if this law moves out of committee and back to Bush’s desk. And we’d never know if the telecoms’ complicity was real or imagined, lawful or nefarious.
In January of this year, the Congress approved a Bush-friendly law while promising to revisit it and give it more scrutiny before making it permanent. Now is the time for us to hold them to that pledge. If we don’t, “Total Information Awareness” will become firmly entrenched as the law of the land.
Government shouldn’t be snooping on citizens this way. Let’s stop it now. Get busy lobbying the Senate Judiciary Committee and all of Congress. There are places to turn if you need help, go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) or the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.