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The new technology at the root of the NSA wiretap scandal When the NSA wiretapping story first hit the pages of the NYT a few days ago, there were clearly a huge number of unanswered questions. Is the wiretapping that the President has authorized illegal under the FISA act? Is it unconstitutional? If it's illegal, does the President have the authority to violate the law if he's acting in the best interests of the republic? And then there's the question of why the NYT sat on this story for over a year before going public with it.
I'm not really going to make any attempt to answer questions of legality and constitutionality, because the Internet is full of armchair constitutional scholars right now who're fighting tooth and nail over these questions, generating much heat but very little light. Instead, I'd like to point your attention to some later developments in this case that clearly indicate that there's much more going on here than we initially assumed. When the truth comes out (if it ever does), this NSA wiretapping story will almost certainly be a story not just about the Constitutional concept of the separation of powers, but about high technology. (Ars Technica)
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