Thursday, July 11, 2013

And Senator Feinstein (actually, her staff, I'm sure) Responds to my email:

In an earlier post I shared copies of emails I recently sent to my state senators and the president.  Today I got a response from Senator Feinstein's office.

I tried several times to include the text of the email in this post, but it turns out that Blogger's editor really doesn't have an easy way to make it look nice, or even readable. Kind of a problem.  And since I couldn't manage to do that I didn't even bother trying to include the contents of the PDF file here either.

Instead, I've posted both the email and the attachment on my personal website.  You can read them over there:

http://www.bangtherockstogether.com/nsa_flap/

As you'll see, I didn't write up my response just yet.  For now, suffice it to say that I think her email and the PDF embody the same, tired reply the government has been giving the press for weeks.  "These programs really do work." "There really is effective oversight." You know the drill.

In short, in my opinion, it's a crappy canned response that some harried senate staffer decided was the most appropriate given what little s/he read of my email and the choices they had available.  If I am lucky they added one to some total of complaint letters they got about the NSA issue as well.  If I am unlucky, they forwarded my email to both the FBI and the CIA, and I am now undergoing "additional scrutiny", since I am such a threat to the security of our homeland.

That said, something funny happened when I tried to reply directly to the message I got.

The senator's email came from senator@feinstein.senate.gov, so that is where my reply was going to.  Amusingly, it bounced with the following error message:

550 5.1.1 <senator@feinstein.senate.gov>... User unknown

If only it was the case that Senator Feinstein was unknown, and that someone who cared about civil liberties was in her place.  And I love the fact that my own senator is sending email with forged headers.  Cool, eh?  I wonder if the CAN-SPAM act makes that a crime?  I may have to look that up.

I will mark up Senator Feinstein's response and share it here in a few days, when I can make the time.  It will wind up on my website as well, no doubt, but I'll publish a link here when it's ready to go.

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