Tag Archives: NSA

Republican leadership works to renew FISA rules that violate 4th amendment

The Constitution is such an inconvenient thing! The House Republican leadership has attached new FISA rules into a bill that will allow the National Security Agency to once again seize the phone records of Americans, without a warrant, in direct violation of the 4th amendment.

The rules would allow the National Security Agency to restart collecting messages Americans send to foreign intelligence targets barely a year after ending the practice. The bill is promising lip-service to the Fourth Amendment by saying “The Attorney General, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall adopt querying procedures consistent with the requirements of the fourth amendment to the Constitution of the United States for information collected pursuant to an authorization…” but CATO Institute policy analyst Patrick G. Eddington called the language complete make-believe.

“It’s meaningless because the AG and DNI are allowed to make up the rules and decide what the phrase “consistent with” means vis a vis the 4th Amendment,” the former CIA analyst told me. “If it isn’t one person/one warrant/probable cause only standard, it’s a sham.”

Americans must continually remind themselves that almost no one in Washington, from either party, is working for the interest of the nation. No, what they are working for to increase their own power, at everyone else’s expense. This is only another example.

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Rubio and Bush move to extend NSA snooping of Americans

While Jeb Bush said this week that he strongly supports NSA snooping, Marco Rubio introduced legislation in Congress to permanently extend the program.

I consider the Patriot Act and this particular issue a good “canary-in-the-mine” blood test for determining which candidates for President are really conservative. Bush, Rubio, and also Christie have come out in support of warrantless searches by the NSA of your private electronic communications. All three reveal to me that they are not really conservative by this position. However,

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has called for the end of the NSA’s domestic dragnet surveillance program and has indicated he will try to block reauthorization of those core provisions of the Patriot Act later this year. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, meanwhile, was one of just four Republicans to join with Democrats last year in backing the USA Freedom Act, a bill that would have essentially ended the bulk metadata program. The measure fell two votes short of advancing, failing to overcome a Republican-led filibuster.

This is very good information about these candidates.

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New bill would repeal Patriot Act

Some good news: Two Congressmen have introduced legislation to repeal the Patriot Act as well as end all unconstitutional domestic spying by government agencies.

The article notes that there is bi-partisan support for “doing something” about the out-of-control surveillance of federal agencies like the National Security Agency. I agree. Expect something like this to get passed. Whether Obama will veto it is another question. Despite what he says (which no one should every believe), he likes the idea of prying into the lives of private citizens.

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The senator who aggressively supported the federal government’s illegal spying on innocent Americans is shocked and offended that they also spied on her.

The senator who aggressively supported the federal government’s illegal spying on innocent Americans is shocked and offended that they also spied on her.

For liberals, the rules are never meant for them. Instead, the rules are made by liberals to be imposed on everyone else, whom they consider too stupid to deserve either privacy or freedom.

Update: I have to amend my previous sentence. It isn’t just liberals who think the rules should never apply to them. We also have to include pompous power-hungry politicians on the right as well.

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The Obama administration demands the right to snoop on American private communications, but it specifically forbids any spying in mosques.

The world upside down: The Obama administration demands the right to snoop on American private communications, but it specifically forbids any spying in mosques.

Which might explain why this administration completely failed to catch the Boston marathon bombers, despite plenty of evidence that they were a threat.

No matter. They’ve got us covered. If anyone decides to criticize Obama they will be right on the case!

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The whistleblower who leaked the NSA surveillance program to the press has gone public.

The whistleblower who leaked the NSA surveillance program to the press has gone public and is talking. Key quote:

Q: Does your family know you are planning this?

A: “No. My family does not know what is happening … My primary fear is that they will come after my family, my friends, my partner. Anyone I have a relationship with

I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I am not going to be able to communicate with them. They [the authorities] will act aggressively against anyone who has known me. That keeps me up at night.” [emphasis mine]

It tells us how far the United States has fallen if this man fears our government so much he thinks that government will go after his family.

Read the whole interview. It is quite horrifying, especially now that we know there are federal agents willing to use their power to target specific people solely because of their politics.

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The National Security Agency can secretly access user data provided by as many as fifty American companies, ranging from credit rating agencies to internet service providers.

The National Security Agency can secretly access user data provided by as many as fifty American companies, ranging from credit rating agencies to internet service providers.

The furor this week over this NSA snoop scandal is fascinating to me. The snooping really isn’t news, as it has been known for years that the NSA delves into these kinds of records in its effort to identify terrorist activity.

So, why the sudden furor and outrage? Up until a few weeks ago, most Americans assumed the federal government restricted this kind of snooping to foreign sources and to specifically hunting for terrorists. Now, however, after the IRS scandal, the public realizes that this government, under Obama at least, is quite willing to abuse its power for partisan political reasons. Under Obama, the IRS was used to target innocent Americans, merely because they disagreed with Obama. The public now realizes that it is also likely that this administration will abuse its access to the private information gathered by NSA, and that sends chills up people’s spines.

Thus, the furor. This kind of snooping is suddenly perceived as a real threat to Americans.

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