Main | Monday, August 06, 2007

Bush Erodes 4th Amendment

Yesterday Dubya signed a law expanding the ability of the government to eavesdrop on our international phone conversations and emails without warrants. The law was enacted in order to protect the major telecommunication companies that are now facing numerous lawsuits for having secretly cooperated in previous warrantless wiretappings. These companies have been pressuring the Bush administration to enact legislation freeing them of their responsibility to protect the privacy of their customers - and they got it. Now they can be compelled to cooperate by the attorney general or the director of national intelligence. The 1978 Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) previously controlled how the government could listen to private conversations. Under FISA, the government needed warrants. But thanks to 2001's Patriot Act and now this, not any more.

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