Shortly after the Obama Administration announced its general support for renewing three sections of the USA PATRIOT Act, U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and six others today introduced the Judicious Use of Surveillance Tools In Counterterrorism Efforts (JUSTICE) Act.
It’s aimed to “reform the USA PATRIOT Act, the FISA Amendments Act and other surveillance authorities to protect Americans’ constitutional rights, while preserving the powers of our government to fight terrorism,” according to Feingold’s office.
— Norman Oder, Library Journal
I’ve already been contacted by a reporter asking what Get FISA Right will do.
It seems to me that this is an ideal time for a broad blog/social media coalition. During the New Strategies for Fighting FISA brainstorming session at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference, some of the allies we listed include the military and veterans community, students, migrant rights groups, the NRA and other gun rights advocates, faith networks, the AARP, libertarians. On the progressive side, TweetProgress/#p2 and the progressive blogosphere can provide critical mass if they work together with Get FISA Right effectively.
As to just what this coalition should do … when we talked about this at Computers, Freedom, and Privacy, Marcy Wheeler suggested targeting a few key congressional Democrats: Harry Reid, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Jane Harman. That makes sense to me. There was also a suggestion of getting celebrities involved; and we should also try to find ways we can align our work with whatever 501(c)3 groups like EFF, EPIC, Cato Institute, CDT, the ACLU, and others are doing.
It won’t happen on its own. Just as happened in June and July 2008, people will need to step forward. All year long, people have asked me whether Get FISA Right is dead, or just latent. I guess we’ll find out.
PS: My time is very constrained for the next few months so please don’t expect quick responses from me. About a dozen people have passwords to the blog, and about 30 people have admin rights on the MyBO group. If you need to track somebody down, probably your best bet is to send an email to the GetFISARight-discussion Google Group or to contact one of the admins of the Facebook group.