Technology and Business Law Blog

Surveillance Oversight Bill

Since 9/11/01 under the name of safeguarding the nation against terrorist attacks and tracking down terrorists our personal freedoms have been and are being slowly but surely stripped, the freedoms that form the pillars of this country which the founding fathers envisioned and built this country on. Almost any action of even ordinary citizens can now be labeled as a threat to the country and under this guise the government has placed most of our civil liberties under scrutiny.

After nearly seven years of this behaviour pattern the tides seem to be turning… The House has approved a new Democratic Intelligence Bill  and the new bill called the “Responsible Electronic Surveillance That is Overseen, Reviewed, and Effective Act” or RESTORE Act. This bill deals with the warrant-less monitoring of phone calls and e-mails of ordinary citizens by telecom companies without the permission of the secret court which was created for this purpose about 30 years ago. The essence of this bill is that it allows warrant-less eavesdropping on non-U.S. citizens, but a warrant must be obtained from the secret court if intelligence agencies believe that a foreigner is likely to be in contact with an American citizen. The new bill tightens rules on the sharing of identifying information gleaned from electronic surveillance that involves Americans. It provides protections against “reverse targeting” _that is, using unfettered foreign surveillance to secretly monitor Americans. It increases the size of the secret court that oversees intelligence. It also prohibits future presidents from conducting electronic surveillance outside the procedures established by the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Read here.

The Bush  administration has managed to stay in power by playing on people’s fears and beaten the terrorist trump card to death and blatantly ignored time tested laws or invented their own “Acts” as a facade to justify its unethical and even illegal actions and activities. Now, finally everyone is tired and sick of this charade, are waking up and have mustered the courage to speak up and do something.

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November 16, 2007 Posted by | FISA, privacy, Wiretapping | Leave a comment