Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Two Issues on Communications: The Bush Administration in the Wrong on Both

Martin expounding
Joe Marquette -- Bloomberg News
via the Washington Post

"FCC's Contested Cross-Ownership Rule Set for Vote"
By Frank Ahrens, The Washington Post, December 18, 2007
Kevin Martin, the Chair of the FCC, a Republican appointed by the Bush administration, seems ready to give big media still more control of our urban media channels. Apparently the other two Republicans appointed by the Bush administration will join him in ignoring the objections of the Senate to the ruling and more importantly to the lack of consultation that the FCC has allowed in its deliberations on the ruling. "Martin's action is backed by the White House, which over the weekend successfully headed off a House Democratic attempt to deny the FCC money to implement the new rule, according to a number of sources."
"Telecom Immunity Issue Derails Spy Law Overhaul: Reid Pulls Legislation, Citing Insufficient Time Before Recess"
By Jonathan Weisman and Paul Kane, The Washington Post, December 18, 2007
The Bush administration and Republican allies in the Congress are supporting legislation to grant immunity to telecom companies retroactively from infringements of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The protection would apply in case they help the administration to illegally conduct surveillance on American citizens. I suppose that it the administration has lead people or corporations to inadvertently break the law, the remedy is a pardon, not to change the law retroactively. Two hundred years of American tradition and effort have gone into protecting our individual liberty from government invasion of our privacy.
Comment: New information and communication technologies make possible unimagined infringements of our liberty. Changes that are coming with the Information Revolution threaten our democratic processes. It is critically important that at this time we protect our democracy and our liberty.

It seems ironic that the Bush administration which has sought to impose freedom and democracy on other peoples in Iraq and Afghanistan appears to willing to diminish those rights at home!

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