One of ABC News' reporters says that he's been warned that call
records, possibly even the ones that the major telecom companies are
now routinely turning over to the NSA, are being used to track down
the sources for reporters at several major news services.

I realize many people might disagree with me, but from my point of
view, the use of such heavy-handed counterintelligence tactics against
the press is a substantial threat to freedom in this country.

John Gilmore long ago warned us that once we'd built the total
surveillance state, all that would be needed to build a new
totalitarianism would be a change of attitude on the part of the
governors. Well, we've built CALEA into everything, and we've built
computerized systems for siphoning all call data in existence, and now
we have an administration with, to say the least, a serious change in
attitude about the law and morality. We have crossed a rubicon.

It can be argued by some who do not agree with me that the reporters
in question are somehow "helping the terrorists" by revealing things
like the fact that the US Government has SigInt operations, but in
fact anyone who isn't an idiot already knows we have SigInt
operations. What the reporters have done -- heroically, I might add --
is reveal that the government has far exceeded the bounds of legality
in performing such operations, even when legal methods existed to gain
the same information.

Some may call said reporters traitors, but it has become increasingly
clear to me that the real traitors are those who do not respect the
principles this country was founded on and who would sell our hard won
freedom and mortgage the rule of law, not for security but for
political gain. The surveillance against reporters is being used not to
save lives but to save the administration political embarrassment, and
there will be no end to the political uses of surveyance if it is not
stopped now.

I implore everyone who agrees with me not to be silent. If you do not
call your representatives to complain about this, it will eventually
be too late to complain. Tell them you want hearings with teeth, tell
them that you want a special prosecutor, tell them that you do not
want to see them rubber stamp universal surveillance with legal fig
leaves, and that you will work to see someone else elected, no matter
how much you like them otherwise, if they refuse to do anything about
this issue. Tell your friends and family to make those calls as
well. I do not know that screaming loudly about this will work, but I
know what silence will bring.


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