Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Surveillance news alerts

By Carol Gee

Big political controversies involving civil liberties are often the focus of my posts. I have come to depend on a set of favorite bloggers as reliable news resources. The following are the really good sources of information on national security, domestic surveillance, national intelligence and other such subjects.

The news this week is that certain conservative Democrats will no longer have a free ride with progressives on their domestic surveillance votes. Legislative work on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act needs to be finished before August. There are rumors that House leaders may be too willing to compromise as a result of pressure from these so-called "Blue Dog" Democrats. And a number of progressive bloggers have become active in opposition to these developments. Let's see what they have to offer today on the activism associated with the FISA legislation:

  • Glenn Greenwald @ unveils an civil libertarian activist ad campaign that will negatively target Democrats who are lax in their support for civil liberties protections in legislation amending existing current Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act law. The first to be in the glare of this spotlight supported by the blogosphere is Blue Dog Democrat Chris Carney of Pennsylvania. Donations from readers of several blogs, including his, will fund the campaign:

  • Firedoglake -- emptywheel's "bmaz" does a FISA Update (5/20/08) regarding the status of negotiations about the unresolved House FISA bill. There probably will not be anything happening until after the Memorial Day recess. But activists need to be prepared to do something to prevent a bad compromise after that.

  • Crooks and Liars -- If a Blue Dog Won't Fight for Our Freedom, We Will (5/20/08). Project overview plus a donation link.

  • downwithtyranny -- Warrantless Wiretaps and Retroactive Immunity Are Un-American (5/20/08). This post has a good index/overview of various candidate positions on this issue.

  • digbysblog -- Paper Training, best clever title in the bunch; focus on Greenwald's post.

  • theseminal -- Conservative Democrats Prepared to Cave on FISA, We Won't Let Them (5/20/08), by Jason Rosenbaum, reveals that this blog had a hand in designing the ad campaign.

TPM Muckraker's brilliant investigative journalist, upon whom I had also relied, Paul Kiel, has left for an exciting new job in June. He will be joining the impressive new non-profit organization specializing in investigative journalism, ProPublica, Journalism in the Public Interest.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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