Posts Tagged ‘Constitution’

Will Obama protect the CIA, as he has the NSA? (Part I)

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm by
(Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Yesterday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to seek the declassification of less than 10% of its 6,000 page report documenting CIA torture crimes vastly beyond those previously acknowledged. The vote could be the most significant accountability moment for our nation’s intelligence agencies in the last 40 years.

But don’t hold your breath. The decision over declassification now goes to the White House, where despite his rhetorical support for transparency, the President has repeatedly aligned himself with the intelligence agencies despite documented crimes and bipartisan congressional opposition.

Snowden calls on tech community to join the fight against mass surveillance

Monday, March 10, 2014 at 2:58 pm by

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 1.02.43 PM

Edward Snowden, the man who initiated the debate on mass surveillance and the National Security Agency (NSA), further added to this critical dialogue on March 10 at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival. Through a video conference, Snowden spoke with two technology experts from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on the role that the technology community has in the fight against the NSA.

Held in Austin, Texas, the Festival brought together the digital-oriented and Snowden, joined by Christopher Sogholan and Ben Wizner, argued that this tech community might be the most effective protection we have from mass surveillance.

“SXSW and the technology community are the folks who can really fix our rights, even if Congress hasn’t yet gotten to technical legislation,” said Snowden. “The NSA is setting fire to the future of the Internet and the people in this room now, you’re the fire fighters. We need you to fix this.”

BORDC Legal Fellow Matthew Kellegrew appeared on RT America to talk NSA reform

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:03 am by

BORDC Legal Fellow Matthew Kellegrew made an appearance on RT America following the President’s speech on the need to reform the National Security Agency (NSA). Among the many topics discussed, Matthew commented on the absence of meaningful change offered in the President’s address:

Washington State next in line to take on unconstitutional federal surveillance

Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm by


Yesterday, January 15th, a bi-partisan group of elected officials in Washington State introduced legislation that would restrict the state from providing material support to federal agencies engaging in warrantless, bulk meta-data collection. House Bill 2272 is based on model legislation put forward by the OffNow coalition led by BORDC and the Tenth Amendment Center.


California bill to make life hard for the NSA

Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 11:14 am by

On Wednesday January 9 BORDC executive director Shahid Buttar was featured on RT news.


Stop the assault on the Constitution and restore your rights

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 9:09 am by


This year has transformed the debate on surveillance issues. But dragnet NSA domestic spying still continues, and other assaults on your constitutional rights show no signs of stopping.

We’re not done yet: NSA spying remains merely one piece of a far more vast civil liberties crisis including aerial surveillance drones, FBI infiltration of activists groups and faith institutions, regional fusion centers and local intelligence collection, routinized racial & ideological profiling, torture with impunity, and the executive secrecy that allows these abuses to recur.


One small step for privacy, one giant leap against surveillance

Monday, December 23, 2013 at 8:45 am by

Original commentary by Steven Rosenfeld and published to Alternet on Decemer 17, 2013.

Pundits across the political left should be careful about heaping too much praise on U.S. District Judge Richard Leon for this week’s dramatic ruling that the National Security Agency’s electronic dragnet capturing Americans’ online activities is “significantly likely” to be unconstitutional, even though it is a powerful rebuke to America’s spymasters.

That’s because Leon, a longtime Republican  warrior, is as much of a legal loudmouth and rightwing activist judge as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. More importantly, his elbows-out 68-page  opinion is not going to be the last word on the government’s data mining. Leon’s ruling is one of several NSA-related suits moving through the federal courts, including rulings that have reached the opposite conclusion.


News Digest for 12/17/13

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm by

Current News 

12/17, Jon Queally, Common Dreams, Snowden: ‘I Would Rather Be without a State than without a Voice’

12/16, Bill Mears and Evan Perez, CNN, Judge: NSA domestic phone data-mining unconstitutional

12/16, Shahid Buttar, TruthOut, Beyond the NSA: Other Agencies Spy on You, Too

12/16, Tom Foremski, ZDNet, ‘Shame on Feinstein’ group warns of tech sales impact from unchecked NSA operations

12/12, WSJ Staff, Wall Street Journal, How Could the NSA Change?

12/12, William Taft IV, Washington Post, Reveal what U.S. torture cost us

Dropping in on the NSA

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 10:55 am by

As Congress considers dozens of bills to curtail NSA domestic surveillance, the grassroots firestorm opposing dragnet spying has continued to escalate. Coalitions across the country have employed creative tactics to display visual  dissent, reaching beyond the incremental reforms considered by Congress and calling for the National Security Agency (NSA) to be closed entirely.

On December 6, grassroots activists from across the DC / MD / VA area dropped banners reading “Save America. Close the NSA” off a highway overpass outside the NSA headquarters in Ft. Meade, MD. (more…)

Cops in fatigues, the war on terror and Federalism on the ropes

Monday, December 9, 2013 at 9:00 am by

copsfatiguesThe militarization of the police has its roots in the war on drugs, and has been accelerated rapidly by the present war on terror. The effects have not only been detrimental to the entire Bill of Rights but have also dealt yet another blow to states’ rights.

Federalism means balancing the powers of a central government with those of semi-autonomous states. Aside from slavery and fear of the ignoble masses, federalism was the topic that most visibly revealed irreconcilable differences between founding constitutional factions.

There has always been a dispute between those that prefer a strong central government and those who insist on equally strong states. The evolution of this debate has clearly favored notions of strong federal power in statute, in practice, in decree and via gavel. Has this centralizing trend provided more justice, greater liberty or more security?