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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:59 PM

Senate set to approve FISA spying bill

http://rt.com/usa/news/senate-fisa-faa-act-947/

U.S. Senate.(Reuters / Jim Young)

With less than a week until a powerful legislation expires that lets the government eavesdrop on the phone and email conversations of Americans, the Senate has convened in DC to discuss whether or not to renew the FISA Amendment Act.

The 2008 FISA Amendment Act, an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of the 1970s, allows the government to wiretap any conversation involving US citizens, without obtaining a warrant, as long as investigators reasonably suspect those talks to involve at least one party located outside of the United States. Despite demands from members of Washington’s intelligence committee, though, very little information if any has been made available about how the government uses the FISA Amendment Act, or FAA, and whom they target.

“Everyone becomes suspect when big brother is listening,” Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said recently while arguing against renewing the FAA in the House of Representatives.

Despite pleas from Rep. Kucinich and others, the House has agreed to support renewing the FAA, a decision that has met the approval of the Obama White House as well.

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6 replies, 584 views

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Senate set to approve FISA spying bill (Original post)
Coyotl Dec 2012 OP
msongs Dec 2012 #1
Coyotl Dec 2012 #2
byeya Dec 2012 #3
rhett o rick Dec 2012 #5
woo me with science Dec 2012 #4
Coyotl Dec 2012 #6

Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:01 PM

1. our freedom loving president will veto this, of course nt

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:01 PM

2. Slowing down the surveillance state: a guide to warrantless government spying

http://rt.com/usa/news/surveillance-government-spying-warrantless-484/

Reuters / Samantha Sais

If the growing use of governmental tip-toeing to wiretap phone lines and emails doesn’t seem serious, think again. So heightened lately are concerns over surveillance that two major organizations have published a primer on federal spy programs.

Both ProPublica and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have released thorough guides this week that explore what the US government can and can’t do in terms of tracking US citizens using an array of weirdly-worded wiretap laws currently on the books.

The EFF, a long-time opponent of the expanding evasive spy state, published on Thursday a collection of information they’re considering “Warrantless Surveillance 101: Introducing EFF's New NSA Domestic Spying Guide.” Just two days earlier, the independent journalism project ProPublica released their own breakdown, “No Warrant, No Problem: How The Government Can Still Get Your Digital Data.”

Although both the EFF and ProPublica reports highlight the history of federal surveillance going back to the start of the United States, it’s no coincidence that they are just now offering insight into the government’s spy programs. In recent months, Congress has considered an array of legislation that allows for different types of surveillance, and the Senate and House are expected to soon weigh in even more heavily.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:02 PM

3. Trashing constitutional rights: The bipartisan thing to do.

 

Why can't a Senator put a secret hold on this until this Congress is history?

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Response to byeya (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:20 PM

5. Great question. nm

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:04 PM

4. Constitutional Scholar President.

Good god.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:19 PM

6. Why the FISA Amendments Act is Unconstitutional

Why the FISA Amendments Act is Unconstitutional
http://t.co/sfITkNZo = PDF

The FISA Amendments Act allows the mass acquisition of U.S. citizens’ and residents’ international communications. Although the Act prohibits the government from intentionally“targeting” people inside the U.S., it places virtually no restrictions on the government’s targeting of people outside the U.S., even if those targets are communicating with U.S. citizens and residents. The law’s effect – and indeed, the law’s main purpose – is to give the government nearly unfettered access to Americans’ international communications.

Government surveillance that sweeps up the communications of U.S. citizens and residents should be conducted in a manner that comports with the Constitution, and in particular with the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits “general warrants” and unreasonable searches. Yet the FISA Amendments Act permits the government to acquire the international communications of U.S. citizens and residents without requiring it to identify the people to be monitored; to specify the facilities, places, premises, or property to be surveilled; to comply with meaningful limitations on the retention and dissemination of acquired information; to obtain individualized warrants based on criminal or foreign intelligence probable cause; or even to make prior administrative determinations that the targets of government surveillance are foreign agents or connected in any way, however tenuously, to terrorism.

While the new law is complex, some of its principal deficiencies are clear ...

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