TPMmuckraker asks the following question today: "Quick, has anyone you know emailed anyone who's called Pakistan lately?"
The question reflects the Bush administration's new standard for permitting the federal government to illegally spy on your phone records. If you have been in contact with Party X, and Party X has been in contact with Party Y, and Party Y has contacted anyone in Pakistan, then any conversations, email or phone or otherwise, that you've had with Party X can be turned over to the government by our friendly phone companies in violation of federal law.
Let me put this in simpler terms. Anyone of you who have ever emailed me, or chatted with me by phone, may very well have had your name included in the government's domestic spying sweep.
Why? Because a good friend of mine is Pakistani-American, and she regularly chats with folks in Pakistan. And under our government's new standard, if you chat with me, and I chat with someone who chats with someone in Pakistan, then the government has the right to look at the details of your communication with me.
Let's see, whose specific phone and email records that would cover in just the past couple of days? My emails and phone calls with folks at...
- CNN, ABC, NBC (including the folks at Hardball), TIME, Newsweek, National Journal, Salon, NewsmaxAre you starting to get the picture as to what exactly the Senate Democrats are about to approve by law?
- Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post
- Harry Reid's office
- Nancy Pelosi's office
- The House Committee on Homeland Security
- John Edwards', Hillary's, and Obama's campaigns
- The DCCC and DSCC
- Folks at both HRC and NGLTF, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Media Matters
- A number of big PR firms in town, including Fleishman-Hillard and Edelman
- The good folks at MTV, MySpace, Amazon.com, YouTube, Google, Macworld
- My friends and family around the country and abroad
- Our friends at DailyKos, ThinkProgress, TPM and lots of other blogs
- Every single one of you who has ever emailed me
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.