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View Diary: Congressman to Submit Bill to Make FISA Hearings Adversarial Proceedings (24 comments)

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  •  Then what do you suggest? (0+ / 0-)

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 11:47:25 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Transparency is going to be the only (1+ / 0-)
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      way out of this mess.  The fact that the government believes that their activities can be secret is just insanity.  A sophisticated IT tech - and some unsophisticated computer users - can read "Wired Magazine" and a few tech blogs for some period of time and figure out what the government is capable of doing as well as how they are doing it.  The fact that any of this is such a "big surprise!" is remarkable to me.  

      It is like saying that if we tell people how we are going to search their trunk - like tell them that we are going to open it and then rifle through it - we are giving away state secrets when everyone knows that's how you search a trunk.  

      We are at a tipping point in history where more people are going to intuitively understand the technology that they are using - knowing that a computer can break into your computer and track everything you do won't be some sort of "surprise" to anyone living within the next 20 years.  

      So, why can't we in the public not see what these secret laws allow?  Why can't we find mechanisms for citizens to defend themselves in the event that they are wrongly pursued?  Why isn't there a place where someone who finds themselves wrongly placed on the "No Fly List" to go and try to clear their name?  We need fixes that allow citizens to understand the law - if for no other reason than to allow them to follow it; for citizens to access the courts if they feel that they have been aggrieved; and a system whereby all Members of Congress can get truthful reports on the Executive Branch's activities.  There's more to it than just all that, but it is a start.

      •  In other words, no FISA court. (0+ / 0-)

        It likely will take a long time to achieve that outcome.  

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 12:04:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, I don't really see the FISA court (0+ / 0-)

          going away for various reasons, but I do think that the extremes to which the secrecy has taken hold of the entire process is untenable.

          Oddly, I think that the multi-national corporations are going to be the ones that ultimately rescue this country from this stranglehold.  There is going to be some moment in which theft of some incredibly valuable trade secret (or something along those lines) is traced back to the spying agency's activities that will create a watershed moment that will force the Executive Branch of the government to start to operate in a more transparent fashion.  

          Already, Google, Facebook, and others are pressuring the government to give them more latitude in reporting what they are doing with the government.  That's capitalism in action.  Google and Facebook as good examples of companies who have a vested stake in global reach and domination.  What if France or Germany got fed up and simply blocked them in their countries?  That's a lot of ad dollars lost to those companies.  But they won't get those ad dollars if they can't maintain their reach.

          In any case, with respect to government policy, the lack of transparency and outright lying that preceded the recent document disclosures is part of why they are having so much trouble right now with public opinion.  Had they disclosed their activities themselves and "sold them" to the public on their own schedule, they would not find themselves so far behind the eight ball right now.  

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