The EFF on Wire-Tapping
The Electronic Freedom Foundation has just released their newsletter, and has this to say about Bush’s illegal wire-tapping:
* Action Alert: Demand Congress Investigate Illegal Wiretapping!
In last week’s EFFector, we pointed you to the New York Times’
report that President Bush personally authorized the National
Security Agency (NSA) to wiretap the international phone and email
communications of people within the US — without getting search
warrants. We’ve gotten several inquiries from people wondering
what EFF thinks about this and whether we plan on suing anyone.
The short answer is that we think the newly-revealed NSA
wiretapping is completely illegal, violating both the Fourth
Amendment and criminal statutes that prohibit unauthorized
electronic surveillance. However, without a client who has
actually been spied on as part of the NSA program, it is possible
that neither we nor anyone else will be able to bring a civil
lawsuit. There’s still the possibility of a criminal prosecution,
but the Attorney General has argued that the wiretapping is legal
and clearly doesn’t plan on pursuing a criminal investigation, The
White House has made it clear that it intends to continue the
wiretapping program. So what can be done?
The most important step now is to make sure that Congress holds
full hearings on the matter and gets to the bottom of this illegal
scheme to invade Americans’ privacy. Such hearings may generate
enough political pressure to force Attorney General Gonzales to
appoint a special prosecutor, who would be authorized to conduct
an independent investigation and bring criminal charges against
those who violated the law. There’s already some bipartisan
support in Congress for hearings after the holiday recess, but we
could use your help to ensure that those hearings actually happen.
So visit our Action Center today to send a message to Congress
showing your support for hearings and your opposition to illegal
eavesdropping by the NSA.