January 18, 2006

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (free link) has a roundup on the NSA intercept issue, and notes that nobody in a position to talk knows enough about what actually went on to know whether it was legal or not — though, of course, that isn’t stopping lots of people from offering opinions. (More on this at Volokh, and also here, plus further thoughts from Tom Maguire.)

Meanwhile, TalkLeft has more on cellphone companies’ willingness to sell your data to pretty much anyone, and observes, “A cellphone company must surely be concerned about its own civil liability to its customers for invasion of privacy or theft of trade secrets.”

As I said a while back, David Brin’s The Transparent Society is looking more prophetic all the time.

UPDATE: Max Boot:

I CAN CERTAINLY understand the uproar over President Bush’s flagrant abuses of civil liberties. This is America. What right does that fascist in the White House have to imprison Michael Moore, wiretap Nancy Pelosi and blackmail Howard Dean?

Wait. You mean he hasn’t done those things? All he’s done is intercept communications between terrorists abroad and their contacts in the U.S. without a court order? Talk about defining impeachable offenses downward. . . . If the president’s critics want that part of the nation that doesn’t read the Nation to believe that he’s a threat to our freedom, they’d better do more than turn up the level of vituperation. They’d better find some real victims — the Eugene Debses and Martin Luther Kings of the war on terror.

The anti-Bush brigade hasn’t had any luck in turning up actual instances of abuse, despite no end of effort. The ACLU compiled a list of supposed victims of the Patriot Act. After examining each case, however, Sen. Dianne Feinstein — no friend of the administration — said “it does not appear that these charges rose to the level of ‘abuse.’ “

Read the whole thing.

MORE: Lots more links from Hugh Hewitt.

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