local aclu “stop spying on us” event this sunday

This Sunday, June 11, the ACLU of Michigan and the Cooley Law School are holding a town hall forum on the campus of the University of Michigan called, “Spying, Secrecy and Presidential Power.” It will be held in the 2nd floor amphitheater of the Rackham Building. Doors open at 6:30 PM and the event is scheduled to run from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Speakers will include former White House Counsel to President Richard Nixon, John Dean, and National Security Agency (NSA) expert, author and plaintiff in the “ACLU v NSA” case, James Bamford. (As seating is limited, it’s suggested that you reserve seats in advance. And, there’s a suggested donation of $5 – $20.)

As you may know, several of the speakers are scheduled to appear the following morning before the U.S. District Court in Detroit, to begin their case against the NSA for their illegal, warrantless sypying on American citizens. Here’s a clip from their June 6 press release:

…Oral arguments on the constitutionality of the NSA spying program are scheduled for June 12 before Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit. The hearing will mark the first time a federal court will hear arguments about the legality of the spying program. In an order issued May 31, Judge Taylor postponed until July 10 any argument on the government’s request to dismiss the case on state secrets grounds. The judge noted that the government had not bothered to submit briefs on the legality of the program, but said it would allow them to present arguments on June 12 “if they appear.”

Anyway, if you’re tired of being spied on, and if you don’t mind being photographed through the tinted windows of a government van as you enter an ACLU event, please paste on a fake beard and join me.

update: For those of you who can’t make it, the event will be webcast.

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  1. Ted Glass
    Posted June 9, 2006 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    From that last ACLU link:

    Some regulators have already replied to local ACLU filings and initiated proceedings to investigate companies who may be colluding with the NSA.

    ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero called the reported cooperation between telecom giants and the NSA a “massive, illegal and fundamentally un-American invasion of our privacy,” adding “we cannot wait for Congress to act. The ACLU is mobilizing its members and supporters nationwide to demand investigations into this shocking breach of trust.”

    The ACLU is also lobbying the Federal Communications Commission, urging the watchdog agency to reconsider its refusal to investigate the companies implicated in the recent reports. It is outrageous that the agency created to guard the people’s interest is burying its head in the sand during this massive attack on customer privacy.

  2. mark
    Posted June 11, 2006 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    OK, apparently I waited too long, and now it’s sold out (according to the ACLU site). I guess I’ll be watching it online… I could drive to Ann Arbor and wait outside, hoping to get an empty seat, but I don’t know that it would be worth it. The two hours are probably better spent here at the brewery.

  3. Kathleen
    Posted June 16, 2006 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I posted something at my site a few weeks ago about the U.S. becoming a police state and someone commented that they didn’t mind it if it kept her children safe from child molestors. I wanted to bang my head against the wall.

  4. Ted Glass
    Posted June 16, 2006 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Better to find the person who left the comment and bang his or her head into a wall.

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