Government now has unregulated wiretapping against the people {UPDATED}

politics.png Funny. This should be a rude awakening for those on the left that have always said that the Democrats are always for the bigger picture, and for privacy, and for the people. It also bolsters my opinion that the bipartisanship is a crock and they’re all in the same boat for the same cause.
The Senate on Friday voted to expand the wiretapping powers to allow the intelligence community to tap suspected terrorists. Here’s the key word to note: “suspected”. This means that from a legal perspective, if the government labels you as a suspected terrorist, they are able to wiretap your conversations through U.S. based communication firms without a warrant. What’s even more frightening is the fact that there should be an alarm ringing here after the courts found that the FBI used National Security Letters incorrectly and applied NSLs to thousands of cases even though those cases did not warrant NSLs. This just goes to show you that if you give someone an easy way to do something regardless of if it’s the correct way, it WILL be abused. Have we not learned our lessons as the American people?
What’s more is that most people are more than totally willing to give up their privacy rights for security, even though it’s been shown time and again that it’s abuse continues without question. The usual response is: “What do I have to hide?” They need to read Professor Daniel Solove’s essay, ‘I’ve Got Nothing to Hide’ and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy and understand why it doesn’t pan out. There is no reason for us to have to give up liberties that our forefathers fought so hard to win for us, and after two centuries, we just up and give them up? For what? Bruce Schneier’s essay, Refuse to be Terrorized should be required reading for all of Congress. If people realized that the state of being frightened all the time, and giving up was the goal of those people, would American citizens be so forthright in just handing over their liberties? I doubt it:

The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to recognize that terrorism is just one of the risks we face, and not a particularly common one at that. And our job is to fight those politicians who use fear as an excuse to take away our liberties and promote security theater that wastes money and doesn’t make us any safer.

Wish everyone else saw it for what it is and didn’t allow things like what just happened in the Senate to go further.
UPDATE (1:44PM EST): Washington Post writes this little tidbit:

The 60 to 28 vote, which was quickly denounced by civil rights and privacy advocates, came after Democrats in the House failed to win support for more modest changes that would have required closer court supervision of government surveillance. Earlier in the day, President Bush threatened to hold Congress in session into its scheduled summer recess if it did not approve the changes he wanted.

So why did the Democrats cave? They didn’t want to not get their summer “recess”. That’s just plain pathetic. What happened to all the big talk about working five days a week by the Senate Majority leader? It’s time that the American people just to vote anyone that is in there for more than one session out. If you can’t do your job correctly, we’ll put in people that can. Amusingly, in the 2006 elections, most voters wanted the Democrats in there to replace what was in there that seemed to already be the new lows. There were promises of this and that, and the other… but here we are again, almost a year later. What’s going on? There’s not much of the big talking anymore. Plain pathetic.
UPDATE 2 (8/6): You thought I was kidding about the whole recess thing, right? Nope. Look at what the House passed 227: 183. Even worse, read what Speaker Nancy Pelosi has to say:

Speaker Pelosi said that S. 1927, the bill passed tonight by the House to temporally amend FISA for six-months, after H.R. 3356, the Improving Foreign Intelligence Surveillance to Defend Our Nation and Our Constitution Act bill failed last night, contains many provisions that are unacceptable and she does not believe that the American people will want to wait that long before corrective action is taken. In a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes, Speaker Pelosi requested that the Committees report to the House “as soon as possible after Congress reconvenes,” legislation to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

See that part about Congress reconvening? Oh no… they thought they might have given up their vacation. Personally, this just makes me more pissed off. Forget you Dems… you just screwed yourself for my vote. I’m voting you out with whomever is your contender. Pelosi and Reid can’t even hold the party together. What did I say before? Oh yes. Plain pathetic.

  • “Funny. This should be a rude awakening for those on the left that have always said that the Democrats are always for the bigger picture, and for privacy, and for the people. It also bolsters my opinion that the bipartisanship is a crock and they’re all in the same boat for the same cause.”
    Confuseus sez, Wise man once tell me Darkmoon very smart. Me thinks wise man correct. In 2000 Confuseus Republican, in 2004 Confuseus Democrat, come 2008 Confuseus be Independent and stay that way.

  • “Funny. This should be a rude awakening for those on the left that have always said that the Democrats are always for the bigger picture, and for privacy, and for the people. It also bolsters my opinion that the bipartisanship is a crock and they’re all in the same boat for the same cause.”
    Confuseus sez, Wise man once tell me Darkmoon very smart. Me thinks wise man correct. In 2000 Confuseus Republican, in 2004 Confuseus Democrat, come 2008 Confuseus be Independent and stay that way.