The FBI is Spying on Us
The Washington Post reports that the FBI has been obtaining and reviewing records of ordinary Americans in the name of the war on terror through the use of national security letters that gag the recipients.
Merritt’s entire post is worth reading.
The ACLU has been actively litigating the legality of the National Security Letters. Their latest press release is here.
Also, the ACLU is less critical than I am of activity taking place in Congress now where conferees of the Senate and House are working out a compromise version of Patriot Act extension legislation that will resolve differences in versions passed by each in the last Congress. The ACLU reports that the Senate version contains some modest improvements respecting your privacy rights while the House version contains further intrusions. There is still time to contact the conferees. The ACLU provides more information and a sample letter here.
History shows that once new power is granted to the government, it rarely gives it back. Even if you wouldn’t recognize a terrorist if he were standing in front of you, let alone consort with one, now is the time to raise your voice.
EDITED TO ADD: Here’s a good personal story of someone’s FBI file.
EDITED TO ADD: Several people have written to tell me that the CapitolHillBlue website, above, is not reliable. I don’t know one way or the other, but consider yourself warned.