OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Electronic surveillance
A bipartisan group of eight senators introduced new legislation Tuesday that would require the Attorney General to reveal how the administration interprets the laws governing the massive surveillance programs conducted by the NSA. It would require the declassification of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court's opinions, a press release from Sen. Jeff Merkley states, "allowing Americans to know how broad of a legal authority the government is claiming to spy on Americans under the PATRIOT Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act."
“Americans deserve to know how much information about their private communications the government believes it’s allowed to take under the law,” Merkley said. “There is plenty of room to have this debate without compromising our surveillance sources or methods or tipping our hand to our enemies.  We can’t have a serious debate about how much surveillance of Americans’ communications should be permitted without ending secret law.”
He's joined by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who along with Sen. Mark Udall (C-CO), has been trying for two years to have these secret interpretations aired. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mark Begich (D-AK), Al Franken (D-MN) and Jon Tester (D-MT) have signed on.

This effort might actually help in the long stymied efforts to get these decisions declassified. The Electronic Frontiers Foundation has been involved in a byzantine effort under the Freedom of Information Act to see one particular opinion and has been ping-ponged between a district court, the FISC and the Justice Department, as all three play hot potato with the request. The ACLU has also just sued the government to compel the declassification of its interpretation of section 215, the so-called "business records" provision of the Patriot Act. A key, though perhaps reluctant ally for this effort is the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In February, the chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), and four other senators, including Merkley, wrote the Fisa Court asking to "declassify opinions of this court that are assessed to contain a significant interpretation of the law." They continued: "We believe that decisions of this court contain important rulings of the law that, if declassified, would inform public debate over Fisa [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] that are subject to sunset in 2015 and 2017."
Feinstein is now on the record demanding this declassification. Her counterpart on Judiciary, Patrick Leahy, is now on board with this legislative effort. Which is bipartisan! Both sides want it! Red state senators and blue state senators and purple state senators all agree: The people have a right to know if the government is actually following the law.
Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 08:10 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.