May 12, 2007

What Do You Know About the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)

Mmodernization' Bill?
The Bush Administration is pushing legislation that would legalize its National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless wiretapping program and other secret spying programs it may develop in the future. The Senate Intelligence Committee may consider adding the administration's bill to its 2008 intelligence spending bill when it meets on May 17.

Washington, D.C. - infoZine - Here is what the proposed bill would do:

By changing the definition of "surveillance," the bill would exempt wiretapping of Americans' communications into or out of the United States from approval by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
It would also let telephone companies off the hook for illegally complying with the NSA's requests for Americans' phone records, without insisting on warrants.
Finally, it would also give blanket immunity to anyone who collaborates with government spying in the future.

Should this bill become law? Missouri Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond, is on the Senate Intelligence Committee. You can call the senator now, if you have not already done so:

Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond: (202) 224-5721

Or contact the Senator from your state:

2007-2008 Members
John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia, Chairman
Dianne Feinstein, California
Ron Wyden, Oregon
Evan Bayh, Indiana
Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland
Russell D. Feingold, Wisconsin
Bill Nelson, Florida
Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island

Christopher S. Bond, Missouri, Vice Chairman
John Warner, Virginia
Chuck Hagel, Nebraska
Saxby Chambliss, Georgia
Orrin Hatch, Utah
Olympia J. Snowe, Maine
Richard Burr, North Carolina

Harry Reid, Nevada, Ex Officio
Mitch McConnell, Kentucky, Ex Officio
Carl Levin, Michigan, Ex Officio
John McCain, Arizona, Ex Officio

Contact information links for each of the Senators:

Here are some suggested talking points from our April 26 action alert:

Suggested Talking Points. Tell the person who answers the telephone your name and that you are a constituent and you vote. Choose one or two points to make about the proposed bill, such as the following examples:

The Bush Administration's bill rewriting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is a radical step backward that will actually expand the NSA's surveillance of Americans' conversations and communications without any judicial oversight.
You are troubled by the bill's revised definition of "electronic surveillance," which would exempt surveillance of millions of Americans' communications that currently require FISA warrants, despite the Fourth Amendment's promise of privacy and warrants.
You oppose the bill's pardoning of phone companies and Internet service providers that violated long-standing federal law by giving the NSA access to their customers' conversations, e-mails, and phone records without the required warrants.
FISA should not be weakened. The 1978 law was written to protect Americans from government spying, while giving the government tools to conduct surveillance on spies and foreign terrorists. The Bush Administration is once again asking for a blank check, following its violation of the public trust by illegally creating the warrantless wiretapping program in the first place.
At the administration's request, Congress has "modernized" FISA several times since 9/11, beginning with the USA PATRIOT Act. New technologies that make it much easier for the government to vacuum up whole streams of our communication data and other personal information call for stronger protections-NOT more sweeping government spying powers.

The administration has not made a case for the sweeping changes it is requesting, other than repeating the same fear-inducing terms it has used to expand executive power--such as claims about "weapons of mass destruction." The law already provides ample authority to monitor terrorist plots, with court supervision of surveillance on these shores. Clearly the requested changes go too far

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On Friday the Senate passed the bill by a 60 to 28 vote. 16 Democrats voted in favor of the measure. Then on Saturday 41 Democrats joined Republicans to pass the bill in the House.

I believe we need a list showing the names of each of these traitors so that they all may be targetted for removal from office.

Richard Owl Mirror