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Cary Brunswick

January 8, 2013

We get fooled again on FISA amendments


Another doomed proposal would have required the government to get a warrant if Americans were involved. Gee, why don’t we just repeal the Fourth Amendment?

Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel at the ACLU, said, “the Bush administration’s program of warrantless wiretapping, once considered a radical threat to the Fourth Amendment, has become institutionalized for another five years.”

Clashing with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president in early 2008, Obama said he had serious reservations about the FISA amendments and could not support them. However, after locking up the nomination, he changed his mind and in the Senate voted in favor of them.

Now, it is even more disturbing that he would sign an extension. If you communicate with friends overseas, be aware the government could be spying. Worse yet, it does not have to be made public that Big Brother is watching.

Politics and television

Time Warner Cable almost immediately announced it was dumping the news and issues channel Current TV after it was learned that Al-Jazeera was buying it.

What is Time Warner afraid of? It’s not hard to guess.

The Al-Jazeera news service, based in Qatar, had been trying to gain a larger U.S. audience since it launched its English-language operation in 2006. The purchase of Current TV, of which Al Gore is part-owner, was expected to be a big step toward that goal by putting it into about 40 million American households.

The news service, which is paying $500 million for Current TV, said it would greatly expand its U.S. news reporting by adding bureaus and reporters in what will become Al-Jazeera America.

However, shortly after the deal was announced, Time Warner Cable customers switching to Current TV saw only a message that the channel is no longer available. While Time Warner insisted it was a business decision based on numbers of viewers, the timing tends to lead you to other conclusions.

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Cary Brunswick

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