By Martin Bosworth
I warned you last month that although Chris Dodd and a grassroots push from the blogosphere succeeded in stopping the reauthorization of laws that grant the government vast new spying powers (and immunity from prosecution for telecoms that abet and provide them), this bill would be back, and the fight would come again.
CREDO Mobile has already cranked up an action alert campaign powerful enough to crash Barack Obama’s campaign servers, urging him and Clinton to come off the campaign trail and stand forth to speak against granting these companies protection for their illegal spying on the American public.
But as Matt Browner-Hamlin (who’s masterminding the CREDO campaign) points out, the telecoms’ deep pockets are showering the three remaining Senators running for office with lots of dough. You would think that standing up for the Constitution and the freedoms of the American people outweighs telecom dirty money on principle, but like it or not, it’s going to take a push from the electorate to get these people to do right.
And they must do right. If they don’t, they will be responsible for passing into law some of the most invasive, intrusive, and unsettling new data-mining and surveillance techniques ever devised (via Glenn Greenwald). You remember Mike McConnell saying how he wanted carte blanche to spy on the Internet? This is another piece of the puzzle–building a massive database containing comprehensive records of everything you’ve ever said on the phone or in an e-mail. It will do little to stop terrorism, but it’ll sure be a deterrent to “dissidents.”
As Jane Hamsher puts it, there are no excuses this time. Take five minutes out of your day and write a letter telling The Powers That Be that you oppose retroactive immunity for lawbreaking corporations and illegal spying on your lives. Then contact Clinton, Obama, and even McCain, and tell them that Chris Dodd is ready to fight for our freedoms–will they stand with him?