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Obama breaks promise on surveillance





deanhills
This criticism comes from the Dems themselves. Obama promised during his election campaign to ensure that civil liberties are maintained and to "reign in abuses" by Government in the name of fighting terrorism. He has broken his promise.

Quote:
It is just a technical matter, the Obama administration says: We just need to make a slight change in a law to make clear that we have the right to see the names of anyone’s e-mail correspondents and their Web browsing history without the messy complication of asking a judge for permission.

It is far more than a technical change. The administration’s request, reported Thursday (29-Jul-10) in The Washington Post, is an unnecessary and disappointing step backward toward more intrusive surveillance from a president who promised something very different during the 2008 campaign.


Quote:
President Obama campaigned for office on an explicit promise to rein in these abuses. “There is no reason we cannot fight terrorism while maintaining our civil liberties,” his campaign wrote in a 2008 position paper. “As president, Barack Obama would revisit the Patriot Act to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like National Security Letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision.”

Where is the “robust oversight” that voters were promised? Earlier this year, the administration successfully pushed for crucial provisions of the Patriot Act to be renewed for another year without changing a word. Voters had every right to expect the president would roll back authority that had been clearly abused, like national security letters. But instead of implementing reasonable civil liberties protections, like taking requests for e-mail surveillance before a judge, the administration is proposing changes to the law that would allow huge numbers of new electronic communications to be examined with no judicial oversight.

Democrats in Congress can remind Mr. Obama of his campaign promises by refusing this request.
Source: New York Times
Quote:
To critics, the move is another example of an administration retreating from campaign pledges to enhance civil liberties in relation to national security. The proposal is "incredibly bold, given the amount of electronic data the government is already getting," said Michelle Richardson, American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel.

The critics say its effect would be to greatly expand the amount and type of personal data the government can obtain without a court order. "You're bringing a big category of data -- records reflecting who someone is communicating with in the digital world, Web browsing history and potentially location information -- outside of judicial review," said Michael Sussmann, a Justice Department lawyer under President Bill Clinton who now represents Internet and other firms.
Source: Washington Post
jwellsy
Another step towards tyranny.
menino
I do believe that most politicians break their promises, and Obama has already broken some of them, or not yet delivered on some of them.

But regarding the civil liberties of people, I think that they are doing it, to crackdown on terrorists mainly, as there are signs that terrorism exists, and needs to be found at any cost... that cost being privacy of people also.

I understand what they are trying to do, but I dont fully condone it, but if you were in their place, would you do the same?
The Dems are against it, because they don't want to be found if they are really corrupt or not, in my opinion.
If you have nothing to hide, what would be the need to hide your information?
deanhills
menino wrote:
I understand what they are trying to do, but I dont fully condone it, but if you were in their place, would you do the same?
No, I won't. Considering that (as stated in the articles) they won't be implementing it always in a positive sense, i.e. for terrorism; the FBI has just received license for not needing a court order to get into people's e-mails period.
ocalhoun
menino wrote:

But regarding the civil liberties of people, I think that they are doing it, to crackdown on terrorists mainly,

Even if that is true today, how long will it stay true with no oversight and no accountability?
There is evidence that the Clintons used IRS and FBI files to get info used to silence whistle-blowers and intimidate enemies... What will prevent future administrations from using this new information in the same way? (or even worse ways?)
Quote:
as there are signs that terrorism exists, and needs to be found at any cost... that cost being privacy of people also.
?

NO.
It does not need to be found at any cost.

In this safety-first world, many people forget that there ARE things more important than safety.
If you give up your freedom for security, eventually the loss of the former will cause the loss of the latter as well.
This country was founded by people who gave up their safety in order to gain freedom... It's saddening and terrifying to see people so willing to do the reverse now.
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