ACLU: Obama Worse Than Bush On Civil Liberty Issues

“I don’t think the burden should ever be on the American people to say why they want their privacy preserved,” said Daniels. “The burden needs to be on the government as to why they need to invade our privacy in such a way.”

The associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says the Obama administration is worse than its predecessor on issues of transparency.

“We were hopeful when Obama came into office that some of what we had seen in the Bush years would be reversed,” said Gary Daniels of the ACLU. “Instead, not only has it continued but it has expanded. We can’t look to any one political party to solve or get us out of this mess. They’re equal opportunity offenders.”

Daniels says the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency this week because its phone surveillance program violates constitutional rights of free speech and privacy.

“We’ve maintained all along it’s unconstitutional,” said Daniels. “We’ve sued the federal government, the Bush administration and the Obama administration over these types of things more than once. What unfortunately happens a lot of times with these lawsuits is that they get knocked out of court. The Bush and Obama administrations have taken a very wide view and shut down lawsuits using a state secrets privilege. If the surveillance is secret, and you can’t quite prove you’ve been surveilled, a lot of courts ask ‘Why are you here challenging it?'”


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