The 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) gave retroactive immunity to telecomm companies accused of participating in a then-illegal, warrantless wiretapping program under the Bush administration. But the amendments were temporary, and are set to expire. Obama wants them renewed. And then some.
As written, FISA monitors e-mails and phone-calls going through the U.S. made by overseas terrorist suspects. However, FISA makes it so authorities don't need a warrant for each suspect so long as a surveillance court says the procedures are "reasonably designed" - a standard that's ambiguous thanks to the "state secrets" privilege.
Salon's Glenn Greenwald opposes renewing FISA, laying out how Obama seeks to strengthen what he calls "the symbol of Bush radicalism." Others, such as Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., consider the wiretaps necessary to combat terrorism.
The ACLU successfully challenged the 2008 amendments. Courts said citizens can challenge the warrantless wiretapping law, even when the federal government claims the oft used "state secrets" privilege. But the Obama administration wants to fix that mistake, and is seeking to block efforts to have federal courts rule on the constitutionality of FISA's proposed amendments.
If they have a good reason to wiretap they can get a warrant. There is no reason for warrantless wiretapping. I generally have liberal views, but I will not vote for a candidate that supports warrantless wiretapping. If Romney stepped forward and said he was against this I would vote for him on that alone. Or maybe Obama will change his mind. Otherwise I will be voting Green or Libertarian this November.
If it's worthy of tapping, then why should there be an issue getting the warrant? MINIMUM GOVERNMENT...MAXIMUM FREEDOM. What ever happened to the "LAND OF THE FREE"? We need to change the National Anthem, probably one or two aspects of that Constitution thingy also.
I'm overwhelmed at the amount is things this president has his hands in. From Gibson guitars using the wrong kind of wood to listening in on our phone conversations. This is crazy.
Is he going to tell me when I can take a doodoo next?
What's he going to do to me when I say over the phone to uncle bob or aunt sue, "Oboma needs to butt out of some things, or vote against Oboma"? Is that going to be considered a terrorist act? Is he going to send his goonies to my home and shoot me? Whew.