Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 11:46am
GREATER USE OF PRIVILEGE SPURS CONCERN
[SOURCE: Washington Post, AUTHOR: Josh White]
The U.S. government has been increasing its use of the state secrets privilege to avoid disclosure of classified information in civil lawsuits, prompting legislation in the Senate that would provide more congressional oversight of the practice. Though there have been modest increases in the use of the state secrets privilege every decade since the 1960s, some legal scholars and members of Congress contend that the Bush administration has employed it excessively as it intervened in cases that could expose information about sensitive programs. These include the rendition of detainees to foreign countries for interrogation and cases related to the National Security Agency's use of warrantless wiretaps. The privilege allows the government to argue that lawsuits -- and the information potentially revealed by them -- could damage national security. It gives judges the power to prevent information from reaching public view or to dismiss cases even if they appear to have merit.
* The US federal government is given increased authority to monitor the Internet
[SOURCE: C-Net|News.com, AUTHOR: Matt Asay]
[Commentary] Earlier this month President Bush signed a directive that gives the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies to monitor Internet traffic to protect all government computer systems. As the Washington Post reports, this is causing particular concern because the NSA's focus has traditionally been on overseas activity, not domestic.
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