Get FISA Right: Proposed 2009 strategy

After discussions with people in Get FISA Right as well as others (including EFF, ACLU, privacy advocates, and journalists), I’ve put together a proposal for a 2009 Strategy.  There’s also a Strategy Backgrounder, with a brief history, and a discussion of our strengths and challenges — as well as challenges for the anti-FISA forces in general.

This is the first published draft, so it’s far from final.  Feedback, suggestions, criticisms, all very welcome!  There’s a thread on the wiki here; replies to to this post are welcome too.

A quick overview:

Key goals for the year for anti-FISA forces

  • Obama living up to his campaign promises: acting against immunity, respecting privacy and the rule of law
  • Significant change in public opinion to the point where there’s strong evidence that the vast majority of Americans (60%+) oppose continuing the “national surveillance state” approach to providing the illusion of security
  • Congressional action: repeal of the PATRIOT Act and FISA reform

Summary of proposed strategy

January: lay groundwork (communications, reconnect with MyBO, Ideas for Change competiation, SaysMe ad, …)

January 20-May 1 (first 100 days): remain a group of Obama supporters and continue our conversation with him attempting to influence his initial executive actions.  Key asks:

  • stay immunity lawsuits until after the Inspectors’ General report in July
  • comply with FISA and other legislation (including the warrant requirements) and clarify that he will not assert “Article II” power
  • defer bulk surveillance of Americans, even though it has been authorized by the FAA
  • maybe also something about appointments to NSA, CIA, DHS, etc?

May/June: decide on our longer-term organization (partisan or non-partisan?  merge with an existing organization?  etc.)

July-end of year: pressure Congress and Obama; with sections 206 and 215 of the PATRIOT Act expiring at the end of the year, this is the most likely situation for legislative action

There’s much more at … please discuss!