Monday, November 07, 2005

Letters to Capitol Hill

I don't usually write letters to my legislative representatives-- it feels marginally more useful than signing online petitions-- but I just read a news article that chills me to the bone. I've sent the following letter by email to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Representative Anna Eshoo (Democrat, 14th Congressional District of California).
Dear _____:

Yesterday's Washington Post contained a story titled "The FBI's Secret Scrutiny" which details that agency's use of National Security Letters (NSLs) to obtain private information not available through other, legal means. That article is available online at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/05/AR2005110501366_pf.html

After reading this, it seems clear to me that NSLs are a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment guaranteeing U.S. Citizens freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. Not only is the person under investigation unaware of his or her private information being disclosed, but the third party making the disclosure is barred from telling anyone else-- thus preventing any possibility of legislative oversight-- and the gag order never expires.

I would appreciate your attention to closing this loophole. It seems rife with potential for abuse.

Thank you for your time.
Thanks to Saheli Datta's blog for linking me up in the first place. IANAL, and I know nothing about politics, so I may just be venting here. But I feel better now. I feel better than James Brown.
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