Insta police state

I am so busy I can't absorb all of this quite yet, so I'm going to set it down here for your comments and my later reflection.

In increasing order of alarm:

Arlen Specter bends over for the NSA. My first thought is that this will end up before the courts somehow, but maybe not until the first gross violation of civil rights resulting from this program becomes public.

An "expert on the NSA" says we should be terrified of what's happening. This would be more alarming if I knew whether Matthew Aid was credible and/or prone to exaggeration. When I have some time to investigate, perhaps I will be (more) terrified.

Kevin Drum is so alarmed he is talking very slowly:
The FBI is now harrassing [sic] reporters in a way that previously required the consent of a judge — which usually wasn't given except as a "last resort." NSLs, by contrast, are issued by the FBI itself. There. Is. No. Oversight. At. All.

Hey, on the other hand, here's some unexpected good news. FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps thinks the FCC...
... should initiate an inquiry into whether the phone companies’ involvement violated Section 222 or any other provisions of the Communications Act. We need to be certain that the companies over which the FCC has public interest oversight have not gone – or been asked to go – to a place where they should not be.

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