Government Forced to Release Docs on Spying Program
by William Fisher
December 07, 2010
Last week’s release of 900 pages of U.S. government documents dealing with the implementation of the nation’s primary surveillance law suggests that the government has been systematically violating the privacy rights of U.S. citizens.
How many citizens is unclear, since the documents were extensively redacted. The previously secret internal documents were obtained through a court battle by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The government declined to disclose the number of citizens who had their telephone calls, e-mail, or other communications intercepted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act (FAA) of 2008. They also declined to discuss any specific abuses, the ACLU said.
The 900 documents were delivered in keeping with a previously agreed schedule.
Alex Abdo, a senior attorney with the ACLU, told IPS, “For two years now, the government has had the authority to engage in the dragnet and unconstitutional surveillance of Americans’ communications with little to no oversight of its actual surveillance decisions.”