Balanced reporting from Declan McCullah, who purports to be a tech news writer at CNet. The headline -- Obama, not McCain or Clinton, votes for electronic privacy -- captures the flava.
A U.S. Senate vote that took place two hours ago reveals how much three of our leading presidential candidates are committed to electronic privacy and the rule of law.
Barack Obama passes the test. John McCain failed. Hillary Clinton gets an incomplete.
The vote was on an amendment to deny AT&T and other telecommunications companies legal immunity if they are proven in court to have violated federal privacy law by opening their networks to the National Security Agency...
Quick quiz: which candidate does he favor?
Immediately after 9/11, when said wiretaps occurred, I don't recall many media types railing against the U.S. Government's invasions of privacy. It was perfectly obvious that the feds would begin (and the public was demanding) interception of calls leaving or entering the country if they were connected to known terrorist enclaves.
Furthermore, it is patently a legal practice, considering every time we leave or enter the country, we are subject to warrantless search and seizure of our persons and property.
It's called "Customs". Perhaps Mr. McCullah's heard of it.
I wonder how Mr. Partisan Tech Reporter could distinguish an electronic Customs bureau from a physical one.
As for the constitutionality of FISA, it strikes any serious observer as counterintuitive (putting it kindly) that the Commander-in-Chief can order terrorist camps in Afghanistan pulverized with bunker-busters... but can't listen to a phone call from the same camp to a safe-house in New Jersey!
Put simply: your right to privacy ends at the border. An international flight should put the question to rest for Mr. McCullah.
Also see: National Defense 101: A public service for "Progressives"