Tag Archives: Mass Surveillance

On the media and #FISA702

My latest post looks at the horrible job the media did on covering #FISA702 earlier this month (they basically ignored it until after the fact). Here’s an excerpt from Hot Air.

The reauthorization of FISA was a blip on the radar in DC last week, with most of the media discussing the votes after the fact, or in reference to Sara Carter’s story on a possible House Intelligence report looking into FISA abuse. It’s an extremely frustrating and irksome reality for privacy advocates who have been discussing the problems with the spying program in the days leading up to the votes. Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Elizabeth Warren, and Ron Wyden should have been all over the media on Monday and Tuesday explaining why it was awful Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn’t allow amendments on the bill. The fact the Senate barely approved the legislation via procedural vote should have been the lead, or at least warranted greater discussion, especially since the White House had to send National Intelligence Director Dan Coats to Capitol Hill to twist arms.

But that didn’t happen. The focus Monday and Tuesday was on whether Trump actually said “sh*thole countries,” and then whether Trump was physically and mentally fit to be president. CNN had Dr. Sanjay Gupta discuss Trump possibly having heart disease, while Sean Hannity crowed on Fox News Trump was healthy and it was the media which needed to have its heads examined. The debate was on whether Trump weighed what he claimed to weigh, instead of issues which were more important…

The rest can be read here.


FISA reauthorization bill to be discussed Tuesday

My latest piece at Hot Air looks at the FISA reauthorization bill the House Rules Committee is scheduled to discuss on Tuesday.  It’s not a pretty picture. Here’s an excerpt:

The rules would allow the National Security Agency to restart collecting messages Americans send to foreign intelligence targets barely a year after ending the practice. The bill is promising lip-service to the Fourth Amendment by saying “The Attorney General, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall adopt querying procedures consistent with the requirements of the fourth amendment to the Constitution of the United States for information collected pursuant to an authorization…” but CATO Institute policy analyst Patrick G. Eddington called the language complete make-believe.

“It’s meaningless because the AG and DNI are allowed to make up the rules and decide what the phrase “consistent with” means vis a vis the 4th Amendment,” the former CIA analyst told me. “If it isn’t one person/one warrant/probable cause only standard, it’s a sham.”

The Fourth Amendment is the key part of the Constitution which proclaims the federal government cannot violate the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” and warrants can’t be issued without “probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The rest can be read here.