Strange Op-Ed By Chris Hedges:
The new FISA amendments compare to last year's Protect America Act by expanding judicial review dramatically, clarifying that the law cannot be used to monitor individuals inside the United States without a warrant, and imposing, for the first time, a warrant requirement on the surveillance of Americans overseas (in addition to the preexisting warrant requirement on the surveillance of Americans inside the United States). It is a major improvement over last year's law from a civil libertarian perspective. So how does former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges describe the new law? Let's take a look:
If the sweeping surveillance law signed by President Bush on Thursday — giving the U.S. government nearly unchecked authority to eavesdrop on the phone calls and e-mails of innocent Americans — is allowed to stand, we will have eroded one of the most important bulwarks to a free press and an open society.I don't know Chris Hedges, but I'm genuinely curious about whether he has actually read the law. I tend to doubt he has.
The new FISA Amendments Act nearly eviscerates oversight of government surveillance. It allows the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review only general procedures for spying rather than individual warrants. The court will not be told specifics about who will be wiretapped, which means the law provides woefully inadequate safeguards to protect innocent people whose communications are caught up in the government's dragnet surveillance program.
Related Posts (on one page):
- Assessing Surveillance Laws in An Era of Sunset Provisions:
- Strange Op-Ed By Chris Hedges:
- The New FISA Law -- and the Misleading Media Coverage Of It: