Monday, March 17, 2008


The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) has been a topic at CFP for over a decade ... this year, it's on YouTube and the front pages of the papers, complete a multi-month political battle over expanding authority and introducing retroactive immunity for telcos who complied with warrantless searches. (Current status here.) So it's especially timely.

What to discuss? Who to invite to discuss it?

On a thread on Facebook, Ben Masel mentioned that he had talked to Russ Feingold and (subject to Senate scheduling) he's interested in attending. If something like this can happen, it opens up a lot of possibilities: a fiery keynote, or a debate with a Senator or administration representative on "the other side" or perhaps a combination of sessions.

More elaborately, how about the idea of a workshop on Tuesday involving press, policy people, activists, and congressional staff on all sides of the issue, trying to break the logjam, with a two-part session later in the week: initially presenting the results, and then hearing a response from one or more Senators.

Or of course there's always a good ol' panel discussion, with different people focusing on aspects of the issue: a historical perspective (how have things changed from back in the 90s?), the status of email searches, the reinvention of TIA, whistleblowers, telco immunity ... this could be either a standalone session, or an introduction to a keynote or part of a larger workshop.

Or ... there are a lot of other possibilities.


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