If we ever want to put an end to the parade of lies the public (and Congress!) have been subjected to on surveillance, the only way to do it is to take some scalps. By undermining the democracy he thinks he is protecting, Mr. Clapper, however patriotic his motives, has made a good claim to be at the head of the line.
Category Archives: Civil Liberties
Two reminders of what freedom in action looks like:
- A responsible news organization, ProPublica, calmly and carefully explaining why they published the revelations about the NSA’s decryption capabilities.
- A citizen actualizing her First and Fourth Amendment rights, the sort established in Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78 (1st Cir. 2011).
Dear General Alexander and Secretary Hagel:
The undersigned individuals and organizations, concerned about the rule of law and the protection of Constitutional freedoms, hereby petition the National Security Agency to conduct a public rulemaking on the agency’s monitoring and collection of communications traffic within the United States. 5 U.S.C. § 553(e).
We believe that the NSA’s collection of domestic communications contravenes the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and violates several federal privacy laws, including the Privacy Act of 1974, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 as amended.
The NSA’s collection of solely domestic communications, which has been acknowledged by the President, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, also constitutes a legislative rule that “substantively affects the public to a degree sufficient to implicate the policy interests animating notice-and-comment rulemaking” under the Administrative Procedure Act. EPIC v. DHS, 653 F.3d 1, 6 (D.C. Cir. 2011). Accordingly, the NSA’s collection of domestic communications, absent the opportunity for public comment, is unlawful.
We hereby petition the National Security Agency, a component of the Department of Defense, for relief. We ask the NSA to immediately suspend collection of solely domestic communications pending the completion of a public rulemaking as required by law.
We intend to renew our request each week until we receive your response.
Read Jennifer Granick’s account of My Dinner With NSA Director Keith Alexander.
The two most striking things were, first, that General Alexander — the head of one of our biggest intelligence agencies — can’t even conceive that a member of the establishment might be to the left of Senator Wyden. Any world view that puts Senator Wyden as the leftmost pole of legitimate domestic politics is seriously impoverished, maybe dangerous.
Juan Cole’s Top Ten American Steps toward a Police State.
The amazing thing is that the war on photography didn’t even make the list, and it’s hard to see which item it should have displaced.
Biden looks awfully good compared to Obama here.