10/8/12

Grimm Votes to Extend FISA Amendments Act

Michael Grimm (R-11) our congressional representative, recently voted to renew a sweeping Bush-era law, known as the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, enabling warrantless surveillance of American citizens in the name of "national security."
Unless the law is renewed by the end of this year, it will expire. 
Rather than review the effects of the law or try to safeguard American citizens from warrantless spying, Grimm voted in lockstep with the House Majority to extend the law for another 5 years.
Supposedly designed to target foreign nationals -- not American citizens -- the law gives government spy agencies the power to collect and store vast amounts of electronic data on everyone in the US. Due to legal loopholes in the law, innocent American citizens get caught up in the dragnet.
No one knows how many Americans have been subjected to warrantless surveillance under the law, but by all indications, the number is vast. The Director of National Intelligence, under interrogation by a US Senate committee, admitted he couldn't tell how many Americans have been spied on.
The law could be fixed to balance legitimate national security needs against Americans' constitutional rights, but Grimm didn't even try to do that. 

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