Monday, May 21, 2007

FISA Redux

Congress has proposed an amendment to the current FISA rules to prohibit illegal wiretapping.

The American Civil Liberties Union today cheered an amendment to the House Intelligence Reauthorization Bill that would prevent illegal domestic wiretapping by the government.

The amendment, by Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), will reaffirm the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) as the only legal means of collecting electronic intelligence surveillance. The amendment was passed late last night by a vote of 245-178.

If this wasn't so serious, it would be laughable. They're going to pass a bill to prohibit illegal wiretapping. So now, illegal wiretapping will guessed it, illegal!

So the administration, which has engaged in some seriously questionable wiretapping in the War on Terra while it was simply "illegal", will now have to stop because illegal wiretapping is double-plus-really-really illegal.

Basically, they are reaffirming that the original wording of FISA must be adhered to, and efforts by the administration to "modernize" the law by clearing out legal oversights, will not be accepted or tolerated.

I find it interesting that congress is implicitly stating that they believe (know?) that the NSA has performed illegal wiretaps or is illegally monitoring communications they should not be listening in on...and yet all they can manage is to propose legislation to reinforce that it is already illegal. I suppose that every other effort to prevent it has failed, but this just seemed a little bit too 1984 to me. Ooh! Double-plusGood!

No comments: