Thanks to more documents leaked by Edward Snowden, this time to the Washington Post, we learned last week that a secret May 2012 internal audit by the NSA revealed 2,776 incidents of “unauthorized” collection of information on American citizens over the previous 12 months. They are routinely breaking their own rules and covering it up.
In 2001, the Patriot Act opened the door to US government monitoring of Americans without a warrant. It was unconstitutional, but most in Congress over my strong objection were so determined to do something after the attacks of 9/11 that they did not seem to give it too much thought. Civil liberties groups were concerned, and some of us in Congress warned about giving up our liberties even in the post-9/11 panic. But at the time most Americans did not seem too worried about the intrusion.
Had Amash’s amendment passed, it would have been a significant symbolic victory over the administration’s massive violations of our Fourth Amendment protections. But we should be careful about believing that even if it had somehow miraculously survived the Senate vote and the President’s veto, it would have resulted in any significant change in how the Intelligence Community would behave toward Americans.
Last week we saw dramatic new evidence of illegal government surveillance of our telephone calls, and of the National Security Agency’s deep penetration into American companies such as Facebook and Microsoft to spy on us. The media seemed shocked.
What have you got to hide? The answer may shock you: If you’re like most Americans, you have far more than you realize that you need to be hiding, and not doing so may be putting you and your family in grave danger. In his new book, Three Felonies a Day, attorney Harvey Silverglate holds
On Monday the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a Ninth Circuit appeals court decision which found that Americans do not have a “right to travel by any particular form of transportation’ and do not have the right to know the laws and regulations they must obey.
If you disagree with the policies of the U.S. government, or are a member of a group or association which expresses disagreement with government policies, an agent of the federal government is likely reading your web site and subscribed to your mailing list. Undercover officers of the Federal Protective Service subscribed to the mailing lists
One of the most fundamental, and sometimes annoying, principles of American law is described by the old adage, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.’ But the courts have held that in order for this to apply, and you to be responsible for a law, the government must provide “notice,’ for instance, publishing the law
The REAL ID Act of 2005 sets up a de facto national identification card for American citizens. Almost nobody actually wants a national identification card, though. For many, it brings up still-fresh memories of Nazi Germany, which used national identification to control, and later slaughter, its population. For others, the national ID is the mark
The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, places a few restrictions on how the federal government can compile dossiers on Americans. It was passed in response to multiple scandals in which, for instance, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director J. Edgar Hoover would spy on Americans for his own purposes. But does it go far