Glenn Greenwald reports on the behind-the-scene battle over an amendment that would have confined NSA data mining only to those who are actually under investigation rather than allowing them to collect massive amounts of data on all of us in the name of stopping terrorism. That amendment failed in the House, but the vote was …
Category Archive: Privacy
Jul 30 2013
Jul 29 2013
Rep. Justin Amash, a Tea Party Republican from Michigan but one that actually does care about civil liberties, tried to add an amendment to this year’s defense appropriations bill to prevent the NSA from using the Patriot Act to seize phone records of those who are not under investigation. The White House, a sizable number …
Jul 15 2013
Rick Herzberg has an essay in the New Yorker discussing the most recent revelations on the NSA’s data mining programs. To say he shows an astonishing naivete for a guy who has been covering Washington politics, and writing intelligently about it, for as long as he has.
Jul 09 2013
I was not aware until recently how the judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court were chosen for that job, but as Ezra Klein points out they are appointed entirely by the Chief Justice, with no input from either the executive or legislative branches.
Jun 26 2013
Rep. James Sensenbrenner has an op-ed in the Guardian about the recent revelations by that newspaper that the NSA is getting all the metadata on nearly every cell phone call in the country every day. There’s a lot of hypocritical partisan posturing in it, predictably, but the core seems undeniable to me:
Jun 19 2013
Guess who said in 2006, “If I know every single phone call you made, I’m able to determine every single person you talked to. I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive.” If you guessed Joe Biden, come on down. And he didn’t stop there:
Jun 18 2013
I have a lot of respect for Larry Lessig of Harvard Law School and I agree with him completely when he tells Bill Moyers that Edward Snowden’s fear that his leaks about the NSA’s illegal data mining won’t really change anything. He’s right, they won’t.
Jun 16 2013
Like Bill O’Reilly and many others, including many liberals unfortunately, Sean Hannity’s position on government surveillance has taken a mighty swing in the other direction now that Obama is in office instead of Bush. When Bush was in office, questioning NSA data mining makes one “weak on national security.” Now that Obama is in office, …
Jun 16 2013
Chris Hayes has been doing an excellent job of examining the recent revelations about illegal government spying, including this segment explaining why history teaches that we should be very concerned about the abuses of government surveillance, especially when it’s done without serious checks and balances. He makes many of the same points I’ve made about …
Jun 15 2013
Someone put together this video contrasting candidate Obama’s hammering of the Bush administration for giving us the false choice of either fighting terrorism or upholding the Constitution with his defense of illegal surveillance on the grounds that we can’t have 100% security and 100% privacy as well (as if either of those things could possibly …
Jun 15 2013
Conor Friedersdorf expresses my own thoughts on the question of our obsessive focus on terrorism far better than I could. He points out that in the real world Americans have very little to fear from terrorists and far more to fear from other things that we would never use to justify such a massive growth …
Jun 14 2013
Goeffrey Stone is a law professor and former dean at the University of Chicago Law School, a generally well-respected one. But his reaction to Edward Snowden’s leaking of the details of the government’s illegal spying is breathtakingly ridiculous.
Jun 14 2013
In addition to the cell phone metadata seizures (not just Verizon but the other major cell companies too) and the PRISM program, it appears that a third program was also revealed in the original documents leaked by Edward Snowden, codenamed Blarney.
Jun 14 2013
Andrew Sullivan has, much to my disappointment, reacted to the recent revelations of government spying with a yawn. And his readers are emailing him some absolutely terrible arguments about why they are unconcerned about it, particularly this inane argument comparing private companies to the government. Here’s one of his readers:
Jun 13 2013
A new Pew survey shows exactly what I would have predicted, that one’s views on illegal government surveillance often changes significantly depending on whether you support the party in the White House. Overall, 56% said they’re okay with the government tracking all our phone calls in order to stop terrorism.