I am not an attorney and I don’t play one on TV

Patriot Act: BAD. Section 215 very bad.

We’ve known this for a long time (thanks, Snowden). But now the appeals court for the Second Circuit has ruled that the bulk collection of phone metadata is illegal. Finally.

I’m emotional about this because the executive branch has used a bad law to threaten dire consequences and force people and businesses into complying with its manic invasion of personal privacy. Plus, it lied about the very existence and scope of the bulk data collection program. (DNI Clapper outright lied to Congress). The executive dissembled on every point: what metadata is, how much they were collecting, how useful the information was, what they are actually using it for.  I haven’t believed a word from the Obama administration since.

And Congress? The most dysfunctional branch of government has reauthorized Section 215 at least 41 times.

Into this trashing of citizens’ liberties stride the judges on the appeals court, who today issued their decision calling the NSA program illegal. I’ll bet you don’t often read judicial decisions. This one, however, is a must read. It destroys the government’s arguments to continue violating us point by point.

It’s so compelling, so instructive that after you finish it, you might just be ready to play a government lawyer on (a really bad) TV show.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *