posted by United Liberty Guest
As the one-year anniversary of Edward Snowden’s liberation of NSA documents fast approaches, no one may refute the success of his stated goal of spurring public debate. “I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself,” Snowden said.
The headlines went out, Sunday morning interviews aired and re-played, yet the story isn’t going away as Glenn Greenwald still claims the overwhelming majority of leaks are yet to be published. The debate is ongoing, but to what end does it serve the public if real reform doesn’t result?
What then, is the proper course of action? Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who blew the whistle on her supervisors’ antics stalling pre-9/11 investigations of Zacarias Moussaoui, is now pleased to discover “a great start” for stopping the nefarious surveillance of all Americans by their own government. After a quick read of HF3173, a bill introduced in her home state of Minnesota, she has hope.
“It seems like it would reign in a lot of the warrantless collection of personal data, including the content of stored communications under the archaic Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA),” Rowley said in an email, ironically enough.
She explained the ECPA doesn’t require a showing of probable cause for police to get the content of communications stored over 180 days. Rowley continues, “[It] will put pressure on the federal government to limit the gathering of personal data to that which is relevant to commission of a crime instead of the current ‘collect it all’ practice amongst federal agencies.”
After all, it’s not just the NSA acting counter to the 4th Amendment, but her former employer as well. And it’s not just Minnesota fighting back. Variations of the Tenth Amendment Center’s model legislation the Fourth Amendment Protection Act are cropping up all over. Over 20 states have at least one bill introduced to interpose or nullify warrantless spying, searches and seizures. Coleen Rowley isn’t the only one excited. CBS called it “an incredible story.”
The other option on the table for restless Americans is to support the USA FREEDOM Act in Congress. While sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican who gave us the Patriot Act, the bill can only go so far.
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