So, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced his precious FISA deal today and I’m sure it will not come as great shock to this general audience that we at the ACLU think it’s crap. And by “crap” I mean unconstitutional.
Remember that horrible bill the Senate passed earlier this year? The one that had virtually no Fourth Amendment protections? Ok, now imagine Congressman Hoyer and Senator Bond putting a really pretty, really meaningless bow around it to distract you from what’s actually inside. Then they added a giveaway to the phone companies. There. Now you have the current FISA bill. Let me explain.
So, Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights and presumption of privacy are both teetering on the verge of irrelevance and guess who wins? The telecoms and the re-election coffers of all the members who vote for this. For those of you around at the end of last July, this is eerily familiar. The administration working behind the scenes with congressional leadership, false deadlines, general cowardliness…Protect America Act anyone? Maybe that’s too harsh. Oh wait…no it’s not. This bill has immunity.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth and better written look, God bless Glenn Greenwald. And if you happen to be a member of Congress trolling the ACLU Blog of Rights, maybe you should read yesterday’s New York Times editorial for instructions on how to behave during this vote.