Burghardt, the San Francisco Bay Area-based activist reports :
The National Security State's
assault on our right to privacy comes hard on the heels on moves in Congress,
spearheaded by troglodytic Republicans (with "liberal" Democrats
running a close second) to criminalize whistleblowing altogether.
2011, the Muslim-hating Rep. Peter King (R-NY) introduced the SHIELD Act in the
House, a pernicious piece of legislative flotsam that would amend the Espionage
Act and make publishing classified information, and investigative journalism, a
Also in February, legislation was introduced in the Senate that "would broadly criminalize leaks of classified information," Secrecy News reported.
by Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), the bill (S. 355) "would make it a
felony for a government employee or contractor who has authorized access to
classified information to disclose such information to an unauthorized person
in violation of his or her nondisclosure agreement," Secrecy News
Orwellian twist, Cardin, who received some $385,000 in campaign swag from free
speech advocates such as Constellation Energy, Goldman Sachs and Patton Boggs
(Mubarak's chief lobbyist in Washington)
according to OpenSecrets.org, said that the bill would "promote Federal
whistleblower protection statutes and regulations"!
News points out, the bill "does not provide for a 'public interest'
defense, i.e. an argument that any damage to national security was outweighed
by a benefit to the nation." In other words, you don't need to know about
government high crimes and misdemeanors. Why? Because we say so.
2010, shortly after WikiLeaks began publishing Cablegate files, King fired off
a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder
demanding that WikiLeaks be declared a "foreign terrorist
organization" and the group's founder declared a "terrorist
ringleader." We know the fate reserved for "terrorists," don't
Obama Wants to Read Your
U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) also wants another new law too. This one would
require Internet companies to retain data and records of user activity online.
In doing so, the Obama administration is supporting measures advocated by the
Bush administration that pose a grave threat to free speech and the freedom of
the Internet. The sweeping legislation would cover cell phone service, Internet
records, and email.
retention legislation would jeopardize the privacy of millions of Americans who
use the Internet. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) notes, "A legal obligation
to log users' Internet use, paired with weak federal privacy laws that allow
the government to easily obtain those records, would dangerously expand the
government's ability to surveil its citizens, damage privacy, and chill freedom
congressional Republicans are more than happy to cooperate in passing such a
dangerous law; anything to go after those awful terrorists -- even if it shreds
the U.S. Constitution.
Laptops Galore 
they can cite no legal basis for their high-handed actions, the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security claims that its agents have the right to look though the
contents of a international traveler's electronic devices, including laptops,
cameras and cell phones, and to keep the devices or copy the contents in order
to continue searching them once the traveler has been allowed to enter the
U.S., regardless of whether the traveler is suspected of any wrongdoing.
obtained by the ACLU in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit
for records related to the DHS policy reveal that more than 6,600 travelers,
nearly half of whom are American citizens, were subjected to electronic device
searches at the border between October 1, 2008 and June 2, 2010.
authorizes this power nor is there any judicial or congressional body
overseeing or regulating what DHS is doing.
And the citizens to whom this is done have no recourse -- not even to
have their property returned to them.