"A landmark victory against the abuse of power"

CNN.com: NSA eavesdropping program ruled unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government’s warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency’s program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.

“Today’s ruling is a landmark victory against the abuse of power that has become the hallmark of the Bush administration,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “Government spying on innocent Americans without any kind of warrant and without Congressional approval runs counter to the very foundations of our democracy. We hope that Congress follows the lead of the court and demands that the president adhere to the rule of law.”

ACLU v. NSA federal court decision

3 thoughts on “"A landmark victory against the abuse of power"

  1. I was wondering how long it would be before we saw the entry on this news 🙂

    When I saw the article on CNN, I was almost as happy as when the Dover verdict came in!

    I say almost because I’m sure of two things:
    – It will only be a matter of hours before we hear Bush or one of his cronies commenting on how this decision means the terrorists have won and we’re no longer safe.
    – It will be less than a day before the Republican Congress kicks into high gear trying to figure out how to make the darned thing legal retroactively again.

    But for right now, we have the satisfaction of knowing that Bush and his people really were stepping all over the Constitution.

    So, yea for the Constitution!

  2. Two items:

    The first is a good interactive website. It provides an overview of the process in gaining warrants. http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/allpolitics/0512/explainer.eavesdropping/frameset.exclude.html
    I found it helpful.

    The second is a clarification question. I’ve noticed in the news lately that there have been quite a few court cases where it was revealed that the government was spying on Americans who were engaged in domestic activities only (not neccessarily terrorist activity). Do these court findings fall under this ruling or do they not? I have not heard much news on the domestic front, just that this Michigan ruling impedes the ability to monitor international communication. Hopefully this question makes sense, as I am a bit too confused to even narrow down the question.

  3. Responding to the above comments:

    Sadly, this is only the beginning of a much larger war on privacy rights and it’s far too early in the process to celebrate (or to smugly Bush-bash, for the snarky Bush-haters out there–you don’t have to agree with policy, but anyone who blames this solely on Bush and Republicans are fooling themselves).

    The truth is that far too many Americans are incredibly fearful of terrorists that they want programs like this.

    On one hand, monitoring suspected terrorist activity is a good idea. On the other, where is the line drawn when monitoring? The issue is not really the program itself but of oversight, and it has nothing to do with party lines. The present administration has lost credibility in handling the “war on terror”, if it ever had it, and therefore cannot be trusted to oversee a program like this. But let’s be clear: it’s not only the administration, it’s the entire elected government that is responsible, and all should be held accountable, not just the majority party and the President.

    Fighting this program, I believe, is a good idea, since we don’t know enough about its oversight processes. Yet it is incredibly disingenuous of anyone to honestly state that Democrats had no foreknowledge, when any rational, logical person knows that it is far from the truth.

    Isn’t it time to begin to think for ourselves rather than toe the party line? I’m not saying that you should like Bush. I don’t particularly like the man. Indeed, I feel that anyone who wants to run the country isn’t someone we want running the country, regardless of party. Both Democrats and Republicans are responsible. Let’s at least own up to that much.

    And we, all of us Americans, living in the post-September 11th world, are to blame for being fearful of terrorists in the first place and allowing our elected representatives to pass moronic bills like the Patriot Act, which has stripped away more of our civil rights than anyone free, intelligent person could possibly tolerate.

    Let’s stop moaning about who did what and actually go out there and do something. Shall we? I may not agree with everything the ACLU does — a good lot of it I find incredibly unsettling — but at least they are out there doing something, trying at least, instead of only Bush-bashing and gloating at his every misstep like far too many people.

    It is not time for all of us to grow up and act accordingly? School children point fingers. Adults should be solving problems.

    Let’s stop gloating! There is far too much work to do. The battle has hardly begun.

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