In a rare public ruling, a secret federal appeals court has said telecommunications companies must cooperate with the government to intercept international phone calls and e-mail of American citizens suspected of being spies or terrorists.
Where are we, for crying out loud, Saudi Arabia, North Korea? What is this "secret" business anyway? Plus, weren't we supposed to be getting away from this kind of thing now that we're on the threshold of a new era?
After much debate about whether this actually violates the 4th Amendment's Guarantee to the Right to Privacy, the court decided it meets the criteria for an exception.
Coming in the final days of the Bush administration, the ruling was hailed by the administration and conservatives as a victory for an aggressive approach to counterterrorism. The Justice Department said in a statement that it was “pleased with this important ruling.”Didn't Obama promise to lessen the power of executive privilege? Didn't he criticize President Bush for secretly ordering the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on the international communications of American citizens without the approval of Congress or the courts? I guess we'll soon see if he sings a different tune as President.
What do you think he'll do? Do you think he'll live up to his promises? Do you think this is too much power invested in one branch of government and therefore too much temptation for abuse?
Please feel free to comment.