I would like to remind you of one thing, regarding your majority vote last week in favor of shielding the corrupted telecom companies, which we understand have spied on Americans illegally in conspiracy with the President of the United States. Look what similar thing happened in Russia in 2001.
In 2001, the U.S. State Department issued a report on Russian human rights abuses, complaining that Russian "authorities continued to infringe on citizens' privacy rights."
The basis of that complaint, the State Department said, were Russian regulations that:
"require Internet service providers and telecommunications companies to invest in equipment that enables the [Foreign Security Service] to monitor Internet traffic, telephone calls, and pagers without judicial approval caused serious concern."
In 2006 as well, the U.S. State Department's report condemned Russia:
"The law states that officials may enter a private residence only in cases prescribed by federal law or on the basis of a judicial decision; however, authorities did not always observe these provisions.
The law permits the government to monitor correspondence, telephone conversations, and other means of communication only with judicial permission and prohibits the collection, storage, utilization, and dissemination of information about a person's private life without his consent. While these provisions were generally followed, problems remained. There were accounts of electronic surveillance by government officials and others without judicial permission, and of entry into residences and other premises by Moscow law enforcement without warrants. There were no reports of government action against officials who violated these safeguards."
So now I have a question for you, the members of the U.S. Congress. What kind of monsters would spy on their own citizens without warrants even when the law requires warrants, and then not even punish those who broke the law?