May 3, 2002
In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress gave the executive branch new powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which permits super-secret wiretapping and searches in espionage and national security cases. . . . Surveillance under FISA is the most intrusive the government does - and it involves the least accountability. Particularly given the government's increased powers under [the new laws], there is a real risk it will be used to end-run the more stringent requirements of criminal surveillance.
May 26, 2012 |
Americans who pick up the phone to call overseas have no way of knowing whether they're on the modern-day equivalent of a party line. For that, they can blame the unwarranted expansion of U.S. antiterrorism surveillance in the wake of 9/11. More than a decade after the terror attacks, the constitutionality of spying on untold numbers of likely innocent citizens — including by monitoring their e-mail messages — has yet to be tested by the courts. Now, though, the Supreme Court could clear the way for that long-overdue legal review with a ruling granting citizens the right to challenge secret wiretapping of international calls and messages out of the plausible fear that their privacy rights are being breached.
December 6, 2007
Having been freed briefly by a timid Democratic Congress to spy on millions of Americans' overseas communications without warrants, President Bush now hopes to lock in most of these powers before the year ends. The president and his aides say their antiterror effort requires unfettered intelligence-gathering tools to spare America from another 9/11 attack. So he's pressing Congress to loosen the nation's domestic surveillance law permanently. But federal agents since long before Sept.
June 24, 2008
The cover-up is nearly complete. With congressional approval, the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping on Americans' overseas phone calls and e-mail for nearly six years will be spared the third-degree treatment by any judge or jury. At the same time, Bush or his successor would have virtual free rein to continue the massive antiterror surveillance sweeps of communications to and from this country. Whatever the risk from another terror attack, Americans' privacy would be the assured casualty from these antiterror tactics.
February 7, 2006
WE'RE SENDING U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter a copy of Daily News cartoonist Signe Wilkinson's latest collection, "One Nation Under Surveillance," as our way of thanking him for taking on the unhappy task of holding the Bush administration accountable for its domestic spying program. Based on his testimony before Specter's Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, we're thinking of sending a copy of the U.S. Constitution to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Just like Specter and other senators on the Judiciary Committee, we believe Bush and his administration violated the law by ignoring the clear provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and more broadly the U.S. Constitution, by tapping into the telephone conversations of thousands of Americans without court order.
April 18, 2006 |
The nation is in the midst of its worst constitutional crisis in the last 30 years, Democratic U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews of Camden County told a group of Rutgers University-Camden law students yesterday. During the two-hour forum, Andrews called for congressional review of President Bush's approval of warrantless eavesdropping on Americans. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing this month on a motion to censure Bush for the eavesdropping. The resolution has a slim chance of passing the Senate.
June 13, 2008
Listen. What you are about to hear is the sound of John McCain flip-flopping his position on one of America's most cherished ideals. A top McCain advisor says the Republican presidential candidate agrees with President Bush's outrageous program of wiretapping Americans' overseas conversations without warrants. McCain previously had been critical of the Bush administration's unilateral decision, following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, to let the National Security Agency eavesdrop on untold numbers of citizens.
July 20, 2006
Star-chamber secrecy is no way to resolve the legality of President Bush's troubling, antiterror eavesdropping program. Nor should judicial scrutiny of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping be optional - not for this president, nor any future American leader who wants to play this fast and loose with the Constitution. Those are just the two most obvious ways in which the compromise hammered out last week between the White House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R., Pa.)
December 1, 2006 |
Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) said yesterday that attempts to legislate review of the government's domestic surveillance program were virtually dead for this year and expressed doubts that a solution would soon be found under a Democratic-controlled Congress. "We could legislate on the subject next week, but we're not going to for a great many reasons," Specter said, referring to the remaining weeklong session on the congressional calendar. "Why Congress can't come to grips decisively, eludes me. "I think it would be ideal to have congressional oversight on the program in detail, and I look forward to what will happen next year," he told an American Bar Association gathering.