Say what you like about the US government’s ever expanding need to simplify the surveillance of her own citizens (hint: It’s *supposed* to be challenging, that’s why it’s detective *work*), but to retroactively change laws is absolutely and criminally wrong.
Maybe you can change the law from now going forward, I’m still steadfastly against ANYTHING that makes it easier for ANY government to collect and mine for wrongdoings that aren’t wrongdoings….yet, but changing the rules of the game after the game has been played erodes confidence in the government and the law. AT&T (and others) broke the law as it was at the time and they need to be taken to task for it. When they should have been using their not inconsiderable lobbying clout and corporate might to protect their customers, they were kowtowing before the federal government and participating in larceny of the absolute and most unforgivable kind: abuse of our trust.
My father was once stung by this kind of unforgivable betrayal by the Canadian government. It was not for something so egregious as what the US Federal government is currently hemorrhaging out of both the senate and the house of representatives, but in his case it was to do with taxation. At the end of the year the Canadian government felt that certain business perks should be taxable where before they were not. Again, it’s OK to pass such laws, but not retroactively like that. So he had a wholly unanticipated extra burden placed on him that he could neither plan for nor, should he have felt the need, avoided completely by simply not accepting the perk. That is just plain wrong.
What is the line where we find that our representatives’ (and I must use that term lightly) abrogation of, not only the constitution, but the very essence of fair play, honor and justice to be beyond our tolerance? Acting with indifference to the sanctity of the individual, pandering to nanny state philosophies without concern for the principals and foundations upon which America was created and made great. Generating new laws and shackling her citizens with overwhelming commitments (criminally mismanaged social programs, crippling deficit spending, short sighted – illegal if private enterprise attempted to behave similarly – social security).
We really need to take a serious look at deconstructing our government and rebuilding her upon the far more more modest and less sweeping social doctrines that our founding fathers envisioned. Rebuild representative government to get career politicians the hell out of dodge and get real, productive citizens with a knowledge of something other than politics or law into our congress so they can create laws for, by and of the people.