They say politics makes strange bedfellows. It looks like egregious, possibly illegal invasions of privacy do, too. “The National Rifle Association on Wednesday filed an amicus brief in federal court supporting an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging a government phone-tracking program that collects the telephone records of millions of Americans.” To no one’s surprise, the primary concern that motivated the NRA to throw in with the ACLU is the potential for the .gov to cobble together a list of gun owners . . .
The NRA argues in the brief that it would be “absurd” to think that Congress would take steps to prevent the creation of a national gun registry while simultaneously allowing the NSA to gather records that “could effectively create just such a registry.”
“If programs like those currently justified by the government’s interpretation are allowed to continue and grow unchecked, they could also—contrary to clear congressional intent—undo decades of legal protection for the privacy of Americans in general, and of gun owners in particular,” the brief states.
They’re also worried that the prospect (likelihood?) of boffins at Ft. Meade listening in would provide a disincentive for the NRA’s membership to contact them via phone, email…anything short of carrier pigeon.
The brief argues that the National Security Agency’s phone records collection program could “allow identification of NRA members, supporters, potential members, and other persons with whom the NRA communicates, potentially chilling their willingness to communicate with the NRA.”
Other brief filers include such luminaries as Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Fox Television Stations, Courthouse News Service, The McClatchy Company and The E.W. Scripps Company. All of which are no doubt thrilled to be counted in the same company as the nation’s leading gun rights org.