I got an email alert from the ACLU about how California Senator Diane Feinstein, as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is about to meet with Administration Officials to consider an expansive version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The expansion under consideration would grant blanket and retroactive immunity to Telecom companies for cooperating with the Bush Administration's illegal wiretapping program, and would give the President the authority to seek "basket" warrants that would let them collect and keep forever the communications between any American and anyone outside the US without satisfying the 4th Amendment requirement for probable cause. If you are interested, read more about the campaign on ACLU's website. Here is my letter to Sen. Feinstein:
Dear Sen. Feinstein, I am writing you both as a constituent and as a concerned American weary of expansion of governmental power that trample on the Constitutional liberties of the American people. I am writing to urge you to use your influence as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee to block any legislation that could retroactively grant immunity to America's largest telecommunications companies for their cooperation in illegal wiretapping of Americans, and/or grants to the President the power of "basket or blanket warrants" that would require anything less than the 4th Amendment standard of probable cause in its issuance for every American it targets. It is easy to expand the government's power because of a threat to our security, Senator. It is difficult and yet far more necessary to vigorously defend our liberties precisely at the moment such expansions are tempting. Our bill of rights were written not during peacetime, but during wartime, at a time when America did truly face an existential threat. I urge you to take the path of our founders and expand, not contract, the rights and liberties of the land of the free.
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