Stop White House/Specter Surveillance Bill
EFF's lawsuit against AT&T aims to expose and stop its collaboration with the NSA's massive spying program. But the White House and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) have reportedly come to a sham compromise that would sweep this illegal activity and any further government surveillance under the rug, shuffling legal challenges out of the traditional court system and into the shadowy FISA courts.URGENT: Tell your congressperson to vote against this bill!
Specter's draft bill would stack the deck against anyone suing to stop illegal surveillance, including the wholesale violation of the Fourth Amendment alleged in EFF's case. The FISA courts' secret proceedings -- where only the government gets to present arguments -- violate our nation's tradition of openness and transparency in the court system. Burying legal challenges in these secret courts will cut off meaningful judicial review.
Worse still, the bill tries to make an end-run around the Fourth Amendment by creating a secret, Congressionally-sanctioned approval process for future dragnet spying programs. Without the public ever knowing, the Attorney General would be able to covertly obtain general warrants that let the government spy on everyone.