Blog of Rights


FISA Debate III - Cloture's Coming...

By Amanda Simon at 5:52pm
Wyden's on the floor. God love ‘im. Says the president's wiretapping program was built on "legal quicksand." Coming from one of the very few people who have actually seen the Office of Legal Opinion memos, that's quite a statement. He also says the administration "overreached and had fallen short." Nice wordplay, sir!

Now the Senate Hits FISA - Debate, Part II

By Amanda Simon at 3:35pm

Leahy and Bond just spoke. Not to be predictable, but a big fist bump (terrorist fist jab?) to Leahy and an exasperated head shake to Bond. In his first of what will likely be many victory laps, Bond told us the process of getting this bill has…

FISA Hits the Senate. Again. Sigh.

By Amanda Simon at 1:19pm

That whistling you're hearing is the slow release of air from the ACLU's tires. As the moments tick by, the grim reality is we're headed towards a total capitulation on FISA and telecom immunity. Well, I hope you weren't too attached to the Fourth…

FISA Debate: Not So Much a Debate as a Death March for the Fourth Amendment

By Amanda Simon at 12:30pm

Depressing, I know, but it's the truth. Get ready to lose all faith in government. Maybe an overstatement. Maybe not. To get our official line on this bill, read our letter to the House.

Watching the debate on the floor has given a few memorable…

FISA: Deal or No Deal?

By Amanda Simon at 3:45pm
Here in Washington, rumors are swirling about a deal on FISA being brokered by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Ranking Intelligence Committee Member Senator Kit Bond. We're taking the news to heart and getting ready for the other shoe to drop in…

A Federal Shield Law for Journalists. Now, OK?

By Amanda Simon at 11:59am
Earlier this week, Senators John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama all signaled their support for a federal shield law. Hopefully, the combined voices of three presidential nominees will spur Congress into action. Last year the House passed…

Quantico Circus

By Amanda Simon at 4:21pm
Today the Washington Post took us further into the Quantico Circuits and the problems inherent within. The circuits link together the FBI and phone companies and are used during wiretap investigations. Last month, a whistleblower named Babak Pasdar…

Spring and Surveillance in the Air

By Amanda Simon at 1:54pm
Congress has come back to town (and so has baseball!) and with it comes renewed debate on updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or FISA. We left off two weeks ago with the House refusing to take up the Senate bill and passing its own version…

More NSL Abuse? Color Us Shocked.

By Amanda Simon at 5:11pm
Today the FBI Director, Robert Mueller, let slip in a Senate hearing that there has been more (yes, more) FBI abuse of the National Security Letter (or NSL) statute.NSLs allow agents to obtain personal information on Americans as a part of ongoing…

House Committee to Friends: "Immunity? Really?"

By Amanda Simon at 5:31pm
In a 12th-hour plea today, key members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee urged their fellow members to reject telecom immunity when legislation "updating" the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) heads back their way after the Senate…
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