Civil Rights Makes a Comeback: Total Info Awareness Blocked by Congress

From SmartMobs:

Congress Nixes Total Information Awareness

Is there still a pulse in the badly injured body of American democracy? Cynics will say that it will go underground, but I choose to believe that the US Congress has succeeded in shutting down the ultra-panoptic Total Information Awareness program -- the scheme to protect Americans from tyranny through total dataveillance of our every move. I say yay. Maybe those telephone calls you and I made to our Congressional representatives made a difference.

Virtually without dissent, the House conferees accepted a bipartisan Senate provision written by Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, stipulating that the program cannot be used against American citizens. The conferees also agreed to end research on the program � in effect shutting it down � in 90 days unless the Pentagon submits a detailed report on the program's cost, goals, impact on civil liberties and prospects for success against terrorists. What this means, in effect, is that if the program continues at all, it will be as a low-intensity research project under close Congressional supervision.

Not much to add. Just finally some good news. Though I'm sure there's probably something even worse hiding in some highly-classified bunker where Cheney goes on his weekends...

Okay, I'll cut it out. I'm becoming one of those conspiracy nuts. I'll just enjoy a win for once...


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