Just a week after Congress caved in and voted to expand the federal government’s ability to monitor ordinary Americans’ emails and phone calls, the Massachusetts legislature has voted to do something very similar.
Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, has an op-ed in today’s Globe called They Could Be Eavesdropping. It’s about the so-called Act to Further Protect Children. The bill is moving forward in the name of fighting sexual predators in a variety of ways, but one of its provisions (the amendment to section 17B of Chapter 271 of the General Laws) gives unchecked power to district attorneys and the attorney general to request records of anyone’s Internet use simply by asking for them, with no warrant, and with no notification to the person whose records are being requested.
As Rose points out, it’s shocking that the Legislature would do this, given the unanimous vote last week by the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to oppose the collapse on FISA.