I was stunned to see the silence from the left on the Verizon data grab. We’re talking about a broad use of a poorly-interpreted law that should never have been signed into law in the first place.
The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largesttelecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.
The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The law on which the order explicitly relies is the “business records” provision of the USA Patriot Act.
Minutes before a midnight deadline, President Barack Obama signed into law a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.
“It’s an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat,” Obama said Friday after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
With Obama in France, the White House said the president used an autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature. It is only used with proper authorization of the president.
Few Democrats were critical of the President’s “overreach:”
Two senators — two Democratic senators — are asking the Obama administration to disclose surveillance powers under the Patriot Act, saying citizens would be “stunned” to learn what the government says it can do.
More on the secrecy of the Patriot Act.
Democrats ran on a platform of change. Instead, they’ve taken the worst aspects of the big-government Bush era and expanded it beyond even Bush.
You get what you vote for.