J. Michael McConnell, the director of national intelligence, has in part explained Congress’ hurry to revise domestic surveillance law. It seems that the FISA court, established three decades ago to keep the government from abusively spying on American citizens, decided that the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program was illegal—and that just wouldn’t do.
The Bush administration’s domestic spying program has depended on the willing participation of America’s telecommunications giants, and all but one, Qwest, were willing to comply. Truthdig contributor Onnesha Roychoudhuri investigates the complex world of national security and regulation to find out whether Qwest’s extraordinary bad luck in recent years has been more than a coincidence—and what it means for what’s left of your privacy.
Although a judge recently ruled Bush’s warrentless wiretapping program unconstitutional, a federal court unanimously agreed to keep the program running until an appeal is decided, though the three judges involved gave little explanation as to how they reached their decision.