Brian Sonenstein

About Me:
Campaign Director at Firedoglake. Follow me on twitter @bsonenstein
About Me:
Campaign Director at Firedoglake. Follow me on twitter @bsonenstein

Whistleblower Mark Klein: Oppose the USA Freedom Act

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 3:46 pm

I support the letter calling on Congress to reject Senator Leahy’s so-called USA Freedom Act. The bill is a fraud, a pretense at “reform” which leaves in place all the main elements of the NSA’s surveillance program. (Needless to say, Senator Feinstein’s alternative bill is even worse.) The bill tinkers around the edges of the phone call records collection while leaving untouched the meat of the “program,” the vast, unconstitutional dragnet collection of internet data which I helped expose. To top it off, the bill now includes the renewal of the Patriot Act, thereby institutionalizing the entire monstrous apparatus.

It’s no wonder that James Clapper, the current Director of National Intelligence who lied to Congress about what the NSA was doing, has now endorsed the Leahy bill–evidently he feels no threat from it, and that should be a warning to all who defend civil liberties.

NSA Reform – Real or Imaginary?

By: Tuesday September 16, 2014 4:25 pm

The ACLU noted in November that approximately 30 bills had been proposed in Congress to reform National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) processes that authorize such programs. Few provide for the complete restoration of freedoms guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The amended Leahy/Sensenbrenner USA Freedom Act actually perpetuates the retroactive “legalization” of unconstitutional activities Congress has permitted since 2006. Speaker Boehner’s favored House Intelligence bill sponsored by Reps. Rogers and Ruppersburger and labeled the Stop Bulk Collection Act also perpetuates the nebulously low standard of “reasonable articulable suspicion” for analyzing metadata of private U.S. citizens.

Both bills were drafted by the Intelligence Committees charged with overseeing the operations of the NSA and upholding the U.S. Constitution.

Bureau of Prisons Should Consider Ohio Inmate Protest Before Renewing Private Prison Contract

By: Thursday August 14, 2014 4:40 pm

140 prisoners at CCA’s private immigrant prison in Ohio protested this week against violence, abuse and substandard food at the facility.

But with CCA’s contract up for renewal this spring, Warden Mike Pugh may have violated protocol to keep it under wraps.

Support Just Say Now’s Marijuana Policy Coverage and Activism

By: Tuesday July 29, 2014 4:43 pm

Just Say Now has experienced explosive growth over the last few years, with nearly 3 million followers worldwide!

We are so happy to see the momentum behind reform is very strong, and people are growing hungry for more information and action. We want to be there fighting for this important change. But we need your support to fund our reporting and cover the expenses we need to stay online.

Support independent media and activism: donate to keep Just Say Now online.

Detroit Residents Face Water Crisis as 36 Detroit Businesses Owe Over $4.2 Million in Back Bills

By: Thursday July 10, 2014 2:14 pm

After facing international condemnation for shutting off access to clean water for thousands of Detroit residents, the Detroit Free Press reported yesterday that the water department will finally begin pursuing corporate debts.

But it’s too little, too late. Over 7,000 residents already had their service cut off in June alone, before a single business faced the threat of collection.

Stop Corrections Corporation of America From Profiting Off Ohio Private Immigrant Prison

By: Monday July 7, 2014 3:16 pm

Corrections Corporations of America — the nation’s largest private prison company — is bidding to renew its contract for a troubled immigrant detention center in Youngstown, OH.

But a new study uncovered insect-infested and overcrowded cells, understaffed medical personnel, and a ‘warehouse and forget’ attitude at for-profit prisons.

Is “Smart Track” the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing That Could Restart #TPP Negotiations?

By: Thursday June 26, 2014 3:01 pm

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is looking to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade agreements after stiff opposition to “Fast Track” trade promotion authority stalled negotiations.

He is planning to introduce a new TPA bill called “Smart Track,” and while there are few details available about it, some are already worried the plan could be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Bulk Surveillance Lives On in USA Freedom Act; Senate Should Oppose Bill in Favor of True NSA Reform

By: Thursday June 5, 2014 1:01 pm

The USA Freedom Act passed the House, but it has been so seriously gutted that we can no longer support it.

It’s so bad now half of the bill’s co-sponsors voted against it.

#ResetTheNet Today With These Simple Privacy Measures

By: Thursday June 5, 2014 7:45 am

Thanks to Edward Snowden’s disclosures, we know that the NSA’s internet dragnet relies on two things to easily collect information. First, most people use services provided by major tech firms like Google, Apple and Facebook that can, willingly or by force of a national security letter, be tapped. And two, most people don’t take steps to encrypt and secure their private information and communications.

Yet these two things can be easily changed.

Victory! House Votes to End War on Medical Marijuana

By: Friday May 30, 2014 3:59 pm

We’re one step closer to ending the federal war on medical marijuana.

In a vote late last night, the House of Representative approved Rep. Rohrabacher’s amendment to stop federal law enforcement resources from being used against state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs.

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