the U.S. senate approves the FISA amendments
Posted by Annie Tsai

Originally uploaded by goldberg on Flickr

On Tuesday's show, Zadi mentioned that the Senate recently passed legislation approving amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. These provisions strengthen the ability of intelligence officials to listen in on "foreign targets" and grant immunity to the telecommunications companies that cooperated with the White House wiretaps after September 11th. Most importantly, this bill weakens the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution. Many privacy advocates feel strongly about this issue because it gives the White House so much power when it comes to citizens' rights.

Obama, who was previously very vocal about his opposition to the bill, even threatening to filibuster it, actually voted to approve the amendments. Some of his supporters, feeling betrayed by his choice, wrote a letter to the Democratic presidential nominee lambasting his decision and asking him to revisit the bill if he becomes president. Obama responded in a blog post, pointing to changes in the bill since last year in defense of his vote.

McCain, on the other hand, did not vote on the bill at all. He was in Ohio, campaigning.

The New York Times has put together an excellent resource for learning more about FISA and the Huffington Post has plenty of commentary.

If you want to voice your support to the ACLU lawsuit, add your signature to the full-page newspaper ad they are planning to run. While you're at it, write to your state representatives and senators and let them know how you feel about FISA.

filed: politics
tags: fisa, legislation, privacy