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In April, a federal appeals court held that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) can search laptops, and even copy their entire contents, as a routine part of border searches. The ruling held that the CBP does not need probable cause, or even the lower standard of “reasonable suspicion.”

Read on.

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Neil Gaiman also posted about this today, citing an article from the LA Times.

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Aaaaaaaaand with that, back to HR 6304.

No, I'm still not letting the FISA issue go. Its too goddamn important, and its shocking to me how little the American people seem to care about their Constitutional rights.

That said... Chris Dodd is, once again, my fuckin’ hero.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) tonight voted against a Senate motion that would bring the FISA Amendments Act to the floor for consideration. Despite Dodd’s objection, the motion passed by a vote of 80 to 15. Dodd made the following statement after the vote:

“I am deeply disappointed that the Senate has voted to move forward with the consideration of this misguided FISA legislation. If passed, this legislation will ratify a domestic spying regime that has already concentrated far too much unaccountable power in the president’s hands and will place the telecommunications companies above the law.

“I stand ready to offer an amendment that strips the retroactive immunity provision out of the bill. I implore my colleagues to support of the rule of law and join me in voting against retroactive immunity.”

The entirety of Dodd’s fantastic speech.

Chris Dodd's speech and a glimmer of hope for stopping the FISA bill -- commentary by Glenn Greenwald

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Chuck Schumer: another one of my fuckin’ heroes.

Chuck Schumer's spokesman tells us that he's going to oppose the current version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act legislation, which immunizes telcom companies for past implementation of Bush's requests and expands the government's capacity to surveil without court approval.

If Schumer backs an effort to remove the immunity provisions, that could be a big deal. Obama has come out against those provisions, but Schumer is a strategic signal caller in the Senate. The key question: Will Schumer support a filibuster on removing immunity from the bill?

If the provisions come out, the compromise legislation could fall apart. But civil liberties advocates have mounted a strong campaign against the idea of Democrats retroactively approving Bush's exercise of surveillance powers outside the FISA law's statutory scheme.

No signal yet from Sen. Clinton on her position, and it's not clear whether the Democrats will have enough votes to successfully attack the immunity issue. All of Long Island's House members supported the bill with telcom immunity in it, except for Steve Israel.

Kick ass, Chuck! I knew you were a good man ever since I read Positively American.

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I have little love for Olbermann lately (ah, but I used to love you so much, Keith!), but yeah – I still TiVo Countdown. I’m still hanging onto the hope he pulls back from his seemingly imminent downward spiral into becoming the left’s answer to Bill Windbag Fucksack O’Reilly.

Yeah, I said it.

Anyway, his coverage of the FISA issue is worthwhile. Have a gander:


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2008 06:16 am (UTC)
As Neil Gaiman pointed out today, the border agents have the right to inspect a book he is carrying across the border, but not copy it. Why would they have the same right to data?
Jun. 26th, 2008 06:51 am (UTC)
I hadn't read that! Strange. I hadn't heard a damned thing about this until I saw it on ThinkProgress today. I'm going to edit my post to add Neil's link.
Jun. 26th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
This FISA shit is frightening.

And am I missing something? Why is the CBP laptop search news getting so little attention if it passed in April??

Jun. 26th, 2008 06:52 am (UTC)
I didn't know about it til today. =(
Jun. 26th, 2008 06:53 am (UTC)
...and I probably wouldn't have known about it far longer if you had not posted about it.

Jun. 26th, 2008 08:11 am (UTC)
...if CBP wants copies of my porn that badly, all they have to do is ask.

This gives me the heebie-jeebies. Quick! Let's have California succeed and form our own nation. They'd be fucked without us anyway.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )