by Jason Ditz, originally published at AntiWar.com
Leaks of NSA documents from Edward Snowden have painted a grim picture of the American surveillance state, with the NSA collecting metadata on every American’s private phone calls, as well as blanket surveillance of Internet activity and seemingly everything else imaginable. It’s about to have a reckoning in Congress, however.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D – VT), the head of the Judiciary Committee is the author of a bill that would revoke the existing legal loopholes that have allowed the Administration to argue that such surveillance is at least nominally legal. It would make it clear the program must end.
On the other side is Sen Dianne Feinstein (D – CA), who despite being up in arms about NSA surveillance of overseas allies is perfectly fine with the domestic surveillance, and is pushing a bill that would turn the program from a quasi-legal one to an overtly legal one with even more authority.
Feinstein has argued intensely for the surveillance state, citing 9/11 repeatedly, and at times even arguing that the media should stop calling it “surveillance” despite using the same term in her own letters of defense to worried constituents.