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Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Deeper Issue with Spying on Verizon Callers

The explosive story, broke by The Guardian, detailing for the first time for the public the details of a seven year long court order forcing  Verizon to turn over information on tens of millions of American customers phone calls reveals the extreme disconnect between what our government elites know about America's national security policy and what us commoners know about it. This disconnect was seen clearly today when Senators Feinstein and Chambliss reacted in shock to the commotion that The Guardian story has caused. To them, this is very old news and therefore very unsurprising. As Chambliss put it, “This is nothing particularly new.... Every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this.” Of course, all this calls to mind the efforts of Senators who grasp the significance of this policy and believe it should not have been kept secret from the American  people. As the Washington Post puts it:

In a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. last year, Wyden and Udall said, “We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of . . . these secret court opinions. As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claim the law allows."

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