President Obama, the Democrats, and Republicans cannot agree on how to cut spending or save the economy, but they can agree on this: they want to read your emails and listen to your calls without getting permission from a judge.
On Friday, the Senate voted to extend the FISA Amendent Act for another five years, effectively giving the Obama administration the ability to listen in on communications and read the email of any American without a public warrant process. The House had previously passed the bill, and President Obama has promised to sign it.
Several Republicans tried to offer amendments to address concerns, including the contention the law violates the Fourth Amendment, that protects Americans from unlawful search and seizure. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) saw his amendment fail. Amendments by Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley failed as well.
Passage of the bill was hardly a partisan affair; it was widely supported by both Democrats and Republicans. Opposition to the bill was also bi-partisan; the American Civil Liberties Union opposed it, as did a number of conservative groups who believe it constitutes an intrusion of government into the privacy and free speech of American citizens.
Victor Medina writes for Yahoo News and his political blog WhenLiberalsAttack.com. His other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News and SportsIllustrated.com. He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum. You can follow him on his blog, VictorMedina.com or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To be notified of future stories by Victor Medina, click the SIGN UP or SUBSCRIBE button at the top of this page.