What About My Right to Privacy?
The U.S. Senate, on August 3, 2007, followed by the House of Representatives, on August 4, approved the expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
A link to the FISA states:
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 prescribes procedures for requesting judicial authorization for electronic surveillance and physical search of persons engaged in espionage or international terrorism against the United States on behalf of a foreign power.
Requests are adjudicated by a special eleven member court called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The Center for National Security Studies (CNSS) states, "The administration approach would allow the NSA [National Security Agency] warrant-less access to virtually all international communications of Americans with anyone outside the U.S., so long as the government declared that the surveillance was directed at anyone reasonably believed to be overseas,".
They further state that the new expansion "would allow massive surveillance of Americans with no meaningful judicial oversight or individualized probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment."
At present, my husband is on a work assignment overseas. Technically, this expansion means that my allegedly personal conversations with him will be collected and mined for information.
This expansion isn't about only trying to intercept Bin Laden's telephonic communications from his cave! This blanket is meant to 'collect' whatever from wherever, without a warrant.
I want to know more about this secret court; who sits on it, their exact duties, how long they serve, what criterion are used to appoint them to this court and many, many other questions!
I am aware of the African American community being specifically targeted by the F.B.I. under the CounterIntelligence Program or COINTELPRO, which supposedly only existed from 1956 to 1972. I expect the possibility exists that, given my attempts to voice my opinions as relate to what I see needs improvement in the U.S., my private conversations, with my husband, may be and could be collected and stored for possible future use.
Anyone speaking to anyone overseas may find themselves with some form of dossier making the rounds in some secret committee, with strategies crafted to continue surveillance.
Under Patriot Acts I and II, many of the actions taken under COINTELPRO have now been sanctioned. Telephone surveillance is, as that cliche goes, just the tip of the iceberg!
Talk about Big Brother!