Reuters is reporting that, "Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said he has negotiated a proposed bill with the White House" regarding the NSA's illegal spying program. This bill has not been made public yet. The draft bill seen by EFF (which is likely similar if not identical to the proposal reported by the press) would sweep the spying program and any further government surveillance under the rug, shuffling legal challenges out of the traditional court system and into the shadowy FISA courts. This is a bill gone bad -- while Specter has consistently urged oversight of the spying program, this proposal would do nothing of the sort. In fact, it would cut off meaningful judicial review and stack the deck against anyone suing to stop illegal surveillance, including the wholesale violation of the Fourth Amendment alleged in EFF's case against AT&T.
If your Senator is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, it's critical that you take action immediately and urge Congress to let cases like EFF's have a fair hearing in court.
You can learn more about the Specter bill in part two of this week's Line Noise podcast, featuring EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien. In part one, Lee updates the status of our case against AT&T.
Line Noise is available, as ever, from our MP3 or OGG podcast feeds, or as direct MP3 or OGG downloads.
[Updated 4:40 PM to include link to latest available version of reported draft bill]