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FISA Bill Vote Today, With Telco Immunity

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the freedom-on-the-march dept.

Privacy 465

Bimo_Dude writes "Today (June 20), Steny Hoyer is bringing to the House floor the latest FISA bill (PDF), which includes retroactive immunity for the telcos. The bill also is very weak on judicial review, allowing the telcos to use a letter from the president as a 'get out of liability free' card. Here are comments from the EFF. Glenn Greenwald, writing in Salon, describes the effect of the immunity clause this way: 'So all the Attorney General has to do is recite those magic words — the President requested this eavesdropping and did it in order to save us from the Terrorists — and the minute he utters those words, the courts are required to dismiss the lawsuits against the telecoms, no matter how illegal their behavior was.'"

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465 comments

Rep. Ben Dover (D/R - AT&T) (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874613)

"This is good for the bottom line. That's good for AmeriKKKa!"

Press the button labeled "Submit" (5, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874643)

My Quote Chain:

"Ah, this is obviously some strange use of the word "safe" that I wasn't previously aware of."
--Arthur Dent

"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
--Thomas Paine

"In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the 1990s it triumphed over democracy."
--David Korten

You feel a whole lot more like you do now than you did when you used to.

"Protection of Persons Assisiting the Government" (4, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874687)

Section 802(a) provides:

[A] civil action may not lie or be maintained in a Federal or State court against any person for providing assistance to an element of the intelligence community, and shall be properly dismissed, if the Attorney General certifies to the district court of the United States in which such action is pending that . . .

(4) the assistance alleged to have been provided . . . was --


  • (A) in connection with intelligence activity involving communications that was
    • (i) authorized by the President during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on January 17, 2007 and
      (ii) designed to prevent or detect a terrorist attack, or activities in preparation of a terrorist attack, against the United States" and

    (B) the subject of a written request or directive . . . indicating that the activity was

    • (i) authorized by the President; and
      (ii) determined to be lawful.
The rest of this Orwellian missive is available as a PDF file. [house.gov]

Re:"Protection of Persons Assisiting the Governmen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23875171)

Let's see if there's maybe a loophole in there. The acts have to have been "determined to be legal". Now, that's not the same as "arguably" legal, is it? And that's not the same as "legal, but only if you use a ridiculous notion that the president can do anything, so nothing is illegal for him to request".

Bush has said the actions were definitely legal, and this immunity is for civil lawsuits. Well, what I suspect is that Bush can dispense with any illegality by use of the pardon power. He can pardon himself and his whole administration, and any of their friends. I believe the pardon power is pretty absolute ("except in matters of impeachment," thank-you Nancy Pelosi for taking it off the table! Since there are so many civil suits, they had to be taken care of too, hence this bill. (Would the fact that Dennis Kucinich read 35 articles of impeachment into the Congressional Record be enough to void the pardon power? Well, maybe if the court was outraged enough.

If the broad pardon-everyone-for-everything scenario really comes true, I think we'll have nothing left to prosecute with. It would be the ultimate in loyalty payback, wouldn't it?

Other nations, stay tuned -- you may be needed for an International Tribunal.

Re:Press the button labeled "Submit" (5, Insightful)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874711)

"In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the 1990s it triumphed over democracy."

Corrupt government officials passing legislation favoring corrupt companies is the antithesis of capitalism.

Re:Press the button labeled "Submit" (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874825)

Four More Fears! [wikimedia.org]

Re:Press the button labeled "Submit" (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874865)

I'm not sure how to interpret your post... I'm not in favor of McCain or Obama...

Re:Press the button labeled "Submit" (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874971)

No implication that you are. :-)

Searching on "It's not illegal when the President does it" turned this image up. There's a gestalt realisation for the people of the US in the image.

Re:Press the button labeled "Submit" (5, Insightful)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874827)

It sounds like fascism to me. Just my .02$

Re:Press the button labeled "Submit" (3, Informative)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875357)

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
-Benito Mussolini

Re:Press the button labeled "Submit" (5, Insightful)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874855)

You forgot the most important quote that should be on your chain:

"Any government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take everything you've got." - attributed to Thomas Jefferson

To translate for those hard of reason: "Any government big enough to redistribute the fruits of other people's labor to YOU by force, is big enough to take everything it wants from you, also by force. It is also big enough to run your life, and kill you or enslave you on a whim or a trumped up charge. It can also watch you and make a panopticon of your daily life. And you will like it, and clamor for it to change only enough that you won't notice the ubiquity of the abuses. Yes indeed, you will... like it." - Me

Re:Press the button labeled "Submit" (4, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875085)

"Any government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take everything you've got." - attributed to Thomas Jefferson

Doesn't sound anything like him. Mark Twain perhaps.

Thing is, most of the "smaller government" people want government out of the places they want their private craven, corrupt, superstituous, hateful ideologies to rule instead. They consider it "judicial activism" when the courts say that government should stay out of proscriptive definitions of marriage, for example.

Re:Press the button labeled "Submit" (0, Troll)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875097)

Insightful?

Maybe Jefferson was, but the rant underneath is an extremist libertarian nonsense.

Libertarians of the world hear my voice - your proposed system sucks just as badly as everything else and would result in unprecedented concentration of power by the wealthy, with slavery for the rest.

Re:Rep. Ben Dover (D/R - AT&T) (1, Informative)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875201)

I don't understand why people are so eager to go after the telecomm companies instead of the administration that made the requests that the companies were hesitant to resist?

I definitely think the telecomm companies should have immunity for cooperating with the government. If laws were broken, go after the government that made the requests.

Re:Rep. Ben Dover (D/R - AT&T) (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875413)

No sir! I want to go after those who committed the act. The request means nothing without the following action. Remember, words are NOT deeds. They are only words. The sinner is the actor. The leaders have no power without the followers. That would include everybody all the way up to Hitler. There...Godwinned.

Treason (5, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874625)

As far as I'm concerned, every single member of Congress who votes in favor of this bill is guilty of treason.

Re:Treason (1, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874705)

It's really not possible to defend supporting something like this, but it's not useful to exaggerate and accuse them of high crimes, either.

Re:Treason (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874863)

Shut, the fuck, up! Where have you been the last 8 years?

Re:Treason (5, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875191)

They took an oath to uphold the constitution of the U.S.A. This is a violation of that oath. I would call this treason, yes.

Re:Treason (3, Insightful)

waa (159514) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875397)


Their oath of office is little more than "... to defend and protect the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic..."

Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution states:

"No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

Which means that just as the parent stated, each "representative" who voted YEA on this bill is guilty of violating their oath of office, for passing an illegal and UNCONSTITUTIONAL bill, and therefor is guilty of treason.

Re:Treason (4, Insightful)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874743)

Which is satisfactory evidence that you do not know the definition of the word in United States law. Start with the Constitution [archives.gov]--article III, section 3.

This is a monumentally stupid move, and (IMO, IANAL) illegal, but it is not "treason."

Re:Treason (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874817)

Then the definition of 'treason' needs to change.

Re:Treason (3, Informative)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875209)

What, you--a "technolibertarian," whatever that is--wants the government to do something for you? That's called hypocrisy where I come from, but maybe "technolibertarians" use language differently from normal people.

Treason is defined as it is in the Constitution precisely to prevent the "conviction by whim" that you seem to propose.

Re:Treason (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875359)

Then the definition of 'treason' needs to change.
Perhaps Congress could slip that into the bill that already redefines "illegal wiretaps"? If we're redefining things to suit our whims, let's be consistent.

Re:Treason (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875205)

Definition of treason from the Constitution:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
The Contitution is the United States -- it is the document that defines it. Betrayal of the Constitution is betrayal of the United States -- "adhering to their Enemies". Perhaps it is even tanatamount to declaring War.

Re:Treason (2, Informative)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875331)

The last time I saw an "argument" like yours, I was cleaning a catbox.

Rhetoric to the side, it might interest the more reasonable members of this discussion to note that the crafting of an unconstitutional law is not treason. It's not even a crime. It is, however, the reason for judicial review--and those of us who are able to eschew the excesses of rhetoric your post demonstrates are quite aware of this.

The solution to this issue is simple, though not inexpensive. If this law passes, then a person who has been the victim of a warrantless wiretap must bring suit against the telco and the government simultaneously. When the lawsuit is quashed/judged against, if the "immunity law" was used to rule against the original suit, appeal based on constitutionality of the provision.

That's what judicial review is all about, Morgan. Correcting unconstitutional laws is not accomplished by spouting useless rhetoric about "Enemies" and "declaring War"--it's accomplished by actually working within the legal system.

Re:Treason (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875405)

I think that might be the first comment you've made that I completely agree with.

Re:Treason (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874757)

That's fine, but are you going to do something about it or just bitch online? You yanks always make a big deal about your right to keep and bear arms. Well, that right isn't worth much if once in a while you don't start actually putting bullets through the brains of those treasonous authoritarian fucks.

Re:Treason (0, Flamebait)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874837)

I think you hate America so much that you would think that.
Ok lets put the partisan insults aside, and think of the big picture. If the government ever needs help from private indrustry, Indrustry needs to know that it can trust the government, and if it goes wrong the same government that they tried to help will protect them. Otherwise the goverment will need to go threw a lot of extra red-tape, and the company will need to extra red tape just to say no (because they need to make sure they can say no legally). If companies cannot trust the word from our government then more business will not do work in our government, as it would be considered too risky to do work, because if they say yes you can do that and then after they have put huge amount of capital then the government says no the voters don't like that anymore so you loose it all. Is very risky and companies don't like risk.

Google said No and good for them however when they did their stock took a tumble and faced different problems, the telcos said yes and didn't face those problems. Being that the cort took some time to determine that the governments actions were indeed illegal shows that it was in the gray area of right and wrong, so the person who made the decision of Yes or No didn't have a clear ovious path. If the lawsuit turned the other way the companies that said No would be in a lot of trouble.

Businesses are orginizations and have to deal with a lot of conflecting moral choices and mistakes are much to common. However to go for blood against them could have more of a negitive effect then not.

Re:Treason (5, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874967)

There's one small detail that you are overlooking.

Companies shouldn't be breaking the law just because the government tells them to!

And if they do, they SHOULD be punished! As should the people in the government that told them to break the law.

Re:Treason (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875023)

I don't see a single mention of the rights of the citizens of the USA in there, just a lot of talk about business and government becoming best buddies and scratching each others' backs.

What happened to by the people, for the people?

These days it seems to be more "buy the people".

Re:Treason (4, Insightful)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875207)

companies cannot trust the word from our government
Um, companies shouldn't blindly obey any order from the government without running by legal.
If your a stock holder in one of these telecoms wouldn't you think they had some obligation to verify that what they were doing was indeed legal (it wasn't) and that they did not face exposure due to it (they should be exposed, and face serious consequences)?

Being that the cort took some time to determine that the governments actions were indeed illegal shows that it was in the gray area of right and wrong
No, it was not a gray area - it was illegal, it was illegal when they did it, and it's still illegal. They knew it was illegal and they did it anyway - no legal dept. worth its salt could have possibly signed off on this sort of an action without knowing that it was never going to see the light of day. They were exposed from the inside - and they deserve to be punished for breaking the law, just because they are a corporation doesn't mean they get to skirt responsibility for their actions.

Re:Treason (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875313)

"If the government ever needs help from private indrustry, Indrustry needs to know that it can trust the government,"

And where does the public trust come into this, if at all?

Glenn Greenwald is Da Man! (3, Funny)

sponglish (759074) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874665)

Well if Glenn Greenwald said it, I agree with him. Glenn is always right and he's very smart and has LOADS of integrity. Yay Glenn!

Signed
Not a sock-puppet.

What right do they have to grant immunity? (4, Interesting)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874675)

What right does the government have to say that an individual or company who violated your rights cannot be held accountable. Has the government gone so completely backwards that now they're endorsing rather than preventing rights violations?

It's like a rapist asking God for forgiveness. Only the victim has the right to forgive.

Re:What right do they have to grant immunity? (3, Insightful)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874767)

You all talk here and you leave out streets and the congressmen.
I bet a month's salary (to be donated to ACLU) that the bill WILL pass.
Because none of you guys protested like your dads and moms did during Vietnam War.
Sitting on your collective asses will not achieve anything.
God save you guys from your president.

Re:What right do they have to grant immunity? (1)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875367)

You all talk here and you leave out streets and the congressmen. I bet a month's salary (to be donated to ACLU) that the bill WILL pass. Because none of you guys protested like your dads and moms did during Vietnam War. Sitting on your collective asses will not achieve anything. God save you guys from your president.

God save us from their president. If the government of any country is willing to oppress its own citizens in what regard do you think hold the rest of us? I don't know where you're from but over in Britain we've got our own human-rights-defying [bbc.co.uk] issues to worry about, the Swiss have theirs [slashdot.org]. Does your country have nothing to worry about from its government? If so could you tell me your nationality so I can seek citizenship?

Re:What right do they have to grant immunity? (2, Informative)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874847)

They don't have the right. The constitution actually forbids it.

Re:What right do they have to grant immunity? (1)

cryptodan (1098165) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874981)

Our Constitution can be amended to allow it, which makes our Constitution somewhat retarded.

Re:What right do they have to grant immunity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23875387)

Good luck with that.

A successful constitution amendment requires (1) 2/3rds majority in the house (2) and 2/3 majority in the senate (3) and ratification by 3/4 of all state legislatures (4) and the supreme court (4.a) has to interpret it as it was intended (4.b) and deem it more important than other parts of the constitution.

There is also the Constitutional Convention process, (1) that has never happened before and (2) the federal government can't initiate that process.

Um, yes... (2, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874993)

The US (and other) gov. has been endorsing and even encouraging this for years. Look at Echelon, Carnivore, etc., etc.

Re:What right do they have to grant immunity? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875435)

What right does the government have to say that an individual or company who violated your rights cannot be held accountable.

Nine Eleven (crowd mumers in approval)

Has the government gone so completely backwards that now they're endorsing rather than preventing rights violations?

Nine... (audience gasps) ... Eleven! (audience roars in praise)

Oh, and Hitler is conspiring with the Legion of Doom to assassinate Jesus so toss me some money to stop them. Also, Darth Vader is trying to buy uranium from unwed teenagers.

(The "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One" episode of Family Guy was on last night and it seemed appropriate.)

Stunning ignorance from my Rep (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874677)

I've been writing and calling my Congressman, Elliot Engel, on this issue for months. Yesterday I received an email from his staff stating he was happy to tell me there was no telecom immunity as of the March FISA vote. Upset that this completely neglected to mention how he planned to vote on this bill today, I called his office. The staffer said she'd never heard of FISA or telecom immunity. I called a different office, and they said they didn't know where he stood on the issue but they'd be happy to call me back once he voted. Talk about a joke. This has really been eye-opening to me.

Re:Stunning ignorance from my Rep (1)

pkbarbiedoll (851110) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874745)

This is why I am not motivated to make phone calls or write letters. I've received snail mail from congresstraitors saying they appreciated my support of a bill that I originally wrote to oppose. It's a freaking joke.

Game over man, game over! (5, Informative)

the_macman (874383) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874695)

Done and done. The house just voted to pass the bill. Kiss telco prosecution goodbye, kiss accountability goodbye, kiss your civil liberties goodybye.

I was watching it live on CSPAN, pretty disgusting. Just remember who voted for this when elections come up.

Re:Game over man, game over! (2, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874765)

"Just remember who voted for this when elections come up."

We're talking about Congress here. They have a better chance of dying of old age and/or indicted than of being voted out of office.

Re:Game over man, game over! (3, Informative)

danzona (779560) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874915)

We're talking about Congress here. They have a better chance of dying of old age and/or indicted than of being voted out of office.

Don't forget that two of the members of the Senate are running for president this November. Maybe one of them will impress / surprise us. Let's watch.

Re:Game over man, game over! (3, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875115)

"Maybe one of them will impress / surprise us. Let's watch."

Nah, they'll be too busy campaigning to show up to vote.

Re:Game over man, game over! (5, Informative)

KevinKnSC (744603) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875305)

This is a vote in the House of Representatives. Obama and McCain are members of the Senate, which voted on this issue months ago. For the short-memoried among us, Obama opposes telecom immunity, and McCain supports it.

Re:Game over man, game over! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874843)

One more reason to leave the country. America has a lot going for it but it's getting less and less as time goes on.

I know two people who left the US of A for brighter pastures.

One's happy, married and now has 3 kids and the other is on his way to becoming a millionaire.

If the founding principles of this nation are being subverted into a big daddy state, it just might be time to check what else is out there.

So as a summary, I'm pretty bullshit on this immunity AND I work for a telco.

Re:Game over man, game over! (1)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875411)

Just remember who voted for this when elections come up.
Absolutely! I already put money into the Strange Bedfellows coalition budget [actblue.com]. We already have $250k to go after the people behind this. Please donate!

I think the first order of business is just to make sure the people who elect these buffoons know that they were sold out by their elected reps. Put personally, I hope there's enough left to help fund primary-election opponents for these authoritarian yutzes.

Lets fund some primary challengers (5, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874699)

On both sides of the isle. Both parties have lost their way and are now off in despotic cuckoo-land. Whatever we have become, if they have their way we will certainly be no Republic any longer. The only option is to boot every damn representative who votes for this bill regardless of party. They clearly do not represent a constitution of a nation ruled by laws and not men.

I say we start with Representatives Pelosi, Hoyer, and Bond.

Judicial Review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874701)

The Judiciary can still just throw the law out as unconstitutional, which they hopefully will do if it passes.

Welcome to the USSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874703)

Well...sad day indeed...the USA has died, and the USSA has been born.

The reason the wall was torn down had nothing to do with the communist giving up...they had won, but we didn't know it until now.

Click your heels together and thrust out your flat hand and scream "Heil Bush!"

Good Luck with that (2, Interesting)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874707)

As a Canadian, I have come to expect the worst from the US Government in most cases, and in most cases it has failed to disappoint. I sincerely hope your representatives listen and this bill is defeated, but I expect it will pass with flying colours. After all the US has "the best government money can buy" :P

Whatever happens down there south of the border, we can expect the Tories to enact similar legislation up here sooner or later. Finlandization is well underway, sadly...

these telcom execs should be JAILED (1, Insightful)

justdrew (706141) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874713)

they are lawbreakers. our president is guilty of high crimes and TREASON. impeach, jail for life.

tar and feather the sob's (5, Insightful)

Spacepup (695354) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874727)

Since both presidential candidates are in congress, they way that they vote on this bill should be the tipping point for anyone on the fence between the two. Unless of course they both vote for this, then they should both be tarred and feathered.

Heck, we should tar and feather them anyway...every presidential candidate should learn what it feels like before they reach that office.

Re:tar and feather the sob's (3, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874867)

Heck, we should tar and feather them anyway...every presidential candidate should learn what it feels like before they reach that office.
Um...tar and feathering is lethal. Not that I'm against it. Just saying.

Re:tar and feather the sob's (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875083)

OK, let me be the first to correct myself. SOME forms of tar and feathering are lethal, while others merely severely burned. I read recently how the dipping or covering in boiling tar killed most people, however wikipedia lists far more variants than with which I was previously familiar.

Re:tar and feather the sob's (2, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875011)

Heck, we should tar and feather them anyway...every presidential candidate should learn what it feels like before they reach that office.
Hazing, as such, is generally seen as bad, not legal, and one of those things you are not supposed to do but in this case, I agree.

I think starting their term with 30 days in county jail, and a required 30 days service year in any of the lower ranked civil service jobs available in any district. Yes, that was 6 work weeks. It might help them stay just a little more humble and in tune with the people that they are representing. If you have to eat your PB&J with joey who has three kids and a mortgage, and the secretary that can't afford a car, I'm willing to bet you remember it.

Sure they can do it, we have plenty of police and secret service to guard those who need it. No, they are NOT too busy to do this as it is directly related to the job they were voted in to do. when they are too busy to meet with the public they represent, they are too busy to be in office... recall vote etc. is then required.

Re:tar and feather the sob's (4, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875229)

Sounds like anti-American terrorist talk to me, attempting to incite/support violence against a standing congressman.

Please come with us, we have a few questions for you.

Re:tar and feather the sob's (1)

orielbean (936271) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875237)

they will probably both vote for it to not be tarred and feathered for being weak on terror/security theatre.

What will Obama do ? (5, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874831)

As the new de facto leader of the Democratic Party, and as a Senator, Barack Obama could stop this with a word. What will he say ? Will he stand up for liberty ? Or betray it before he even gets elected ?

Re:What will Obama do ? (-1, Troll)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874873)

The faggot didn't even mention this as an issue.

Re:What will Obama do ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874963)

Yup. McCain may be a neocon but atleast he stands for his beliefs (however wrong he might be).
This faggot will talk and talk and betray us tomorrow.

Re:What will Obama do ? (0, Troll)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875025)

He stands for nothing. He will auto-fellate, if that's what you mean. Doing so is how he justifies the bending-over.

Re:What will Obama do ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23875441)

It doesn't help that McCain is pushing this.

Obama has voted against it in the past. I just hope he'll find a way to kill it.

When we Dems start tracking down GOP "terrorists" (0, Flamebait)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874833)

It's going to be fun using the lack of warrants to trick them into long stays in GITMO for some 24/7 waterboarding without trial ...

(don't think we won't do it)

Re:When we Dems start tracking down GOP "terrorist (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875415)

"We Dems?" Under Nancy "Off the Table" Pelosi?

Ever wonder how this bill passed with flying colors through a House with a clear Democrat majority?

Boxes... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23874869)

Many people have been on their soap boxes for a while now, and nothing is changing.

We'll be using the ballot boxes in a few months, and the two major choices will change nothing.

Looks like it's time to start stocking up on ammo boxes.

You Deserve It (5, Insightful)

geggam (777689) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874949)

You gave up your weapons to feel safe because you don't want the responsibility.
You gave up your rights to feel safe because you don't want the responsibility.
You feel safe because you abdicated your responsibility to ensure the govt did not run over the people.
Look ! Its American Idol. You can quit reading now.
You are safe.

Final vote in the House (5, Informative)

Goobergunch (876745) | more than 5 years ago | (#23874959)

YEA 293
NAY 129

The full breakdown, showing which way each representative voted, will be available at Roll No. 437 [house.gov] in roughly an hour, when the Clerk of the House posts it.

Re:Final vote in the House (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23875093)

Jesus H. Christ! Since when can Congress vote away accountabilty?

The only excuse for passing this is that a criminal trial was upcoming to punish the guilty Government officals rather than their boot-licking lackies. I guess that would only happen in the America of my grandparents. I am disgusted.

Re:Final vote in the House (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875333)

To all those who bashed the 'evil' republicans the past 10 years... will you now bash the 'evil' democrats with equal fervor? And its not just FISA... check out H . CON . RES . 362

(3) demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran's nuclear program;
And yet they claim nothing in the resolution "shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran." Nah.. Naval blockcades aren't a use of force nor an act of war. Obama = McCain = the same crock of shit

nixon is not dead (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875047)

he's alive and well. in spirit, at least.

didn't FISA come from nixon era wiretapping?

so all the 'progress' we made since the nixon days has been overturned.

so, would that make bush the 'new nixon'?

Who will protect us from Big Brother? (1)

KozmoKramer (1117173) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875125)

Who will protect us from Big Brother? My advice is to go out and report EVERYONE as a "TERRORIST". Your neighbor, the banker, the high school principal. They will eventually run out of funding while they chase down all of the worthless leads.

Re:Who will protect us from Big Brother? (2, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875257)

They will eventually run out of funding while they chase down all of the worthless leads.

Too bad they would be spending the money the took from me while doing that.

Which telecoms (1)

partypants69 (1294046) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875147)

Which telecom companies were involved with the spying? Anyone who uses them should cancel their service.

Re:Which telecoms (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23875221)

All of them except Qwest complied with the government's requests.

Should we really expect any less?? (5, Insightful)

crazytisay (1283264) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875163)

This type of encroachment on civil liberties was commonplace during the Red Scare and through the Vietnam era. There was backlash, some high profile scandals, and we got the FISA. 9/11 was the impetus for changing the balance of power back to the state. Since the passage of the PATRIOT Act, the government has been steadily grabbing at more (unconstitutional) powers to surveille its citizens. Hopefully there will be public backlash, but the power structure of the country is quite a bit different from previous eras. I would argue the US is more corporatist than in any previous era, and now we're fighting on two fronts. Hence the telco immunity provisions. Corporations and the state are getting a bit too cozy for my taste, and capitalism be damned, I don't want to end up in a facsist state.

Upshot of immunity (4, Interesting)

nuzak (959558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875199)

Now they can be subpoenaed as a material witness against the Executive, and they'll enjoy far less protections against their having to produce evidence. No fifth amendment protections for one, since it couldn't incriminate them.

Not that this will actually happen, but it's a nice fantasy.

What Congress Giveth, Congress Taketh Away (1, Insightful)

grocer (718489) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875243)

It is possible that the Democrats will sweep into Congress as well as the White House in Nov. and purge the influence of Bush and his legacy from the hallowed halls of Washington...although not particularly likely considering Obama is merely a tool of the Chicago political machine and the democratic leadership... What this really means is we'll get touchy-feely torture and compassionate wiretapping by our new Democratic Overlords...oh joy! I'm officially ashamed to be an American let alone admit I've voted...at least if I didn't vote, I wouldn't be part of the problem. Has anyone of these clowns ever read the Constitution? What is so challenging about English? No unreasonable search and seizure. Not a hard concept.

New laws (4, Insightful)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 5 years ago | (#23875423)

I think we need a constitutional amendment. It should read:
"Any bill that comes before the Congress to be passed into law must be able to be summarized accurately and without loss of detail into 50 words or less. Once this is accomplished, the original multi-thousand page document shall be thrown out, and the 50-word summary presented for passage into law."

And perhaps another one:
"Anyone who attempts to add text to a bill that is completely at odds with or irrelevant to the bill's title shall be considered guilty of treason and put to death immediately in as brutal a way as possible."

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