Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Libertarians on Warrantless Wiretapping

Kos asks where the libertarians are on fighting against the current FISA bill.

This is largely an important and fair question. Little is ever heard publicly from libertarian organizations on this issue, yet it is something going on - right now - that implicates libertarian values as much as anything else.

Libertarians have not been silent on this issue. Ron Paul - to the extent he is a legitimate representative of libertarianism (debatable) - is quite clearly opposed to warrantless wiretapping, and has been fairly vocal about it to my knowledge. Reason has also come out quite clearly against the wiretapping bill, including this article by Julian Sanchez. And of course Radley Balko has made a career of documenting abuses by law enforcement in general in a way that perhaps no one on the Progressive Left can really match. Unfortunately, Cato seems somewhat divided on the issue and has been far too silent.

A number of libertarian bloggers (myself included) have in fact been quite vocal in their opposition to the warrantless wiretapping.

Despite this, our primary institutions have not been vocal enough in trying to influence the debate. Thankfully, David Weigel at Reason is trying to take some steps to rectify this problem. But it's probably too little, too late.

More reactions at memeorandum.