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Telecom Immunity Bill Hides Spying Provisions

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the some-compromise-means-capitulation dept.

Privacy 202

Corrupt notes an Ars analysis of the FISA bill of which the telecom immunity provision has been getting all the attention. Timothy B. Lee enumerates the ways in which the bill loosens current protections on domestic wiretapping and opens up whole new areas to government eavesdropping. "The legislation eliminates meaningful judicial oversight of eavesdropping between American citizens and foreigners located overseas, and effectively legalizes dragnet surveillance of domestic-to-foreign traffic. It stretches out the judicial review process so much that the government will in many cases be able to complete its surveillance activities before the courts finish deciding on its legality."

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nice work (0)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102851)

well shit if they were trying to hide it and people find it, I say nice spy work.

Re:nice work (3, Insightful)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103229)

It's the government's own idiocy that jeopardizes security. They almost immediately abuse such laws to go after non terrorists. Maybe they should also ask for Telecom Throttling Immunity so they can secure enough bandwidth (a DOUBLING) to copy every data bit into analysis programs (hmmm ISP network stress overload coincidence?), and also secure Copyright Infringement Immunity to mass violate everybody's copyrighted content. I nominate the agency be honorably named ThePirateGov. They should also perhaps budget 999 TRILLION dollars a year to compensate for the government legal liability.

How are citizens supposed to keep their ears and eyes open for terrorism unless they upload and download *everything*, to make sure that every data bit isn't overlooked for possible terrorist activity? We can now clearly see that copyright and ISP throttling is aiding and abetting terrorist activity. How do we know there aren't secret terrorist plans in files named mileycyrus.mp3? Don't let the terrorists win -- end copyright now!

Re:nice work (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103617)

How do we know there aren't secret terrorist plans in files named mileycyrus.mp3?

Which reminds me, they're also out to get the pedophiles(who just happen to be Vanity Fair [shallownation.com] and 80% of the world's population).

Re:nice work (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104213)

Quite frankly, Miley Cyrus is too young for me. Children do not turn me on. Do I need to worry about being deviant now?

Re:nice work (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104789)

Well, maybe not. But as far as 2 adults' play is concerned; the schoolgirl outfit ranks right up there with the nurse, french maid, and dominatrix outfits.

Re:nice work (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104237)

How do we know there aren't secret terrorist plans in files named mileycyrus.mp3?

It would have to contain terrorist plans--it's certain no one wants it for the singing!

Judicial oversight (1, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102879)

The legislature can try to eliminate judicial oversight, but its still up to the courts what evidence they will accept. If they decide it was obtained in an unconstitutional manner, they can throw it out.

Re:Judicial oversight (5, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103241)

Who says it ever gets to the courts?

Re:Judicial oversight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103923)

Your head looks cold. Want some tin foil?

Re:Judicial oversight (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104461)

Actually what it comes down to is, will it get to the right court.

Re:Judicial oversight (4, Insightful)

hypnagogue (700024) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103313)

its still up to the courts what evidence they will accept.

When would the courts decide this? You are implying that there would be a trial.

Seriously? (2, Insightful)

nil0lab (94268) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103367)

You think the intent is to gather evidence to take to court? For this rev of the executive branch? Seriously?

Re:Judicial oversight (30+ days of spying w/o) (5, Insightful)

gothmogged (161673) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103467)

You're missing the point. The oversight process in this bill permits spying to take place for thirty days to four months before being forced to stop. The govt can spy for thirty days (plus the 1 week before submission of certification) even if judicial oversight rejects their case the moment it is presented.

The timeline assuming the agency's goal is maximizing the spying time:

0 day - spying begins without any preamble
1 week - Gov must submit certification for review
1-30 days + 1 week - judge must returns review
if judge objects
  30 days after review- the govt must stop spying
  unless they appeal to FISA
      then they could have another 30 days

If the judges and courts have full queues that could push the whole thing to four months.

Assuming it gets rejected they presumably (IANAL) cannot use the evidence in court. Nonetheless they were legally empowered to look through your internet/telephone underwear drawer for over a month. How are you feeling about your 4th amendment rights now?

The article goes on to describe how the constraints make this law very easily abused to include spying upon americans for a wide variety of pretexts. That is the other half of the problem.

This is a terrible law even if you ignore autocracy being implemented by the telecom amnesty provisions.

Only overseas? (2, Funny)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102891)

Does this bill loosens the rules for US-to-Canada communications? Because, oh my god, what if the NSA did know about my next vacation to Quebec City...

Re:Only overseas? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103389)

America is becoming more like Sweden, and not in the good way.

Re:Only overseas? (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104777)

Well, I fully expect that AT&T et al will soon announce, for efficeny purposes, all calls/data will be routed through a station in Mexico/Canada. Hey, I bet the AG could then categorize them as "international" calls and spy on them!

Yello (belly) alert (5, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102899)

More murders are committed every year on American soil than all the American terrorist deaths in the 21st century. The difference between terrorism and ordinary murder is the intended victim - politicians.

It wasn't the world trade center or even the Pentagon that created the hysteria over terrorists. It was the plane that didn't make it out of Pennsylvania, the one aimed at Congress.

My government is run by cowards.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (5, Funny)

Tenrosei (1305283) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102989)

I like to believe that the reason we have more murders then terrorist deaths is because we want to prove that we can do it better than outsourcing can.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (3, Insightful)

SputnikPanic (927985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103041)

The difference between terrorism and ordinary murder is the intended victim - politicians.

This is a vast oversimplification. Try telling that to the families of those killed in a certain Israeli pizza shop or in the WTC.

I agree that we should not tolerate the constant creep in executive powers, all of which is being made in the name of national security, but let's not lose our perspective on the nature of terrorism either.

And about the FISA bill, make the effort, call your senators and let them know where you stand.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103277)

Wake the fuck up. Our senators don't give a flying shit about you and nor have they ever cared about what citizens believe. They are not there to represent you, me, or anybody, except they are there to represent the government of your state, nobody else. It is the house that represents you, not the senate. The house has already passed the law therefore the senate will just pass it as well since clearly the people that were suppose to represent us has failed us all.

Senators only care about one thing, money and power, and they're getting both with this bill. So, we're fucked and there is nothing we as citizens can do anything about it cause the government went corrupt a long time ago and it just continues to get bigger and bigger.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (1)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103985)

Can't we, as citizens, vote?

Re:Yello (belly) alert (1)

internetcommie (945194) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104399)

Just one word: Diebold.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104755)

Can't we, as citizens, vote?

When the corporate press convinces voters that a vote for any candidate not in either wing of the corporate party (Republican wing and Democratic wing) is wasted, you effectively have a one-party system.

As Mojo Nixon said in Burn Down the Malls, "you can vote for one fool or another". As the late Walt Kelly said via Pogo, "we have Tweedle dumb and Tewddle dumber".

The only vote wasted is a vote not cast. Any candidate on enough ballots to win should be in any debate and his/her views should be aired by the media. But the corporations and their media are happy with our one party system.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (1)

SputnikPanic (927985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104311)

Well, AC, since you're the self-appointed genius here, what do you suggest? All I can do is work within the framework of a representative democracy. I call and write my representatives and I try to vote the bums out every opportunity I get. What would you have me do? Stew, however uselessly, in my contempt for Washington? Or perhaps there's a bastille I ought to be storming?

Re:Yello (belly) alert (5, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103311)

let's not lose our perspective on the nature of terrorism either

We already did. Forty thousand people die on American highways every single year. Those deaths are no less traumatic to the families than the WTC deaths to those families, or those murdered by non-political murderers.

I want some of that homeland security money to go to guard rails.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (2, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104611)

We already did. Forty thousand people die on American highways every single year. Those deaths are no less traumatic to the families than the WTC deaths to those families, or those murdered by non-political murderers.

There is a difference between a terrorists attack or murder and accidents. Accidents, while unfortunate, do not leave the grieving yearning for revenge. Grieving is bad enough, but adding the rage that comes from knowing that ones who killed your loved one still live and breathe just makes it that much worse.

I want some of that homeland security money to go to guard rails.

I agree that highways should get much more funding, but there is a highway fund for that. Rather than using national security money for that purpose, how about we eliminate something like corn, dairy of tobacco subsidies and use THAT money instead.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24104823)

I agree that highways should get much more funding, but there is a highway fund for that. Rather than using national security money for that purpose, how about we eliminate something like corn, dairy of tobacco subsidies and use THAT money instead.

There is only so much money they can tax out of us. I agree that we should do away with the pork, but even if we did, there is more than enough legitimate spending for roads, schools and energy research to make up the slack and then some. And there is still plenty of "and then some" that should be ahead of spending a billion dollars for an unconstitutional surveillance apparatus.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103429)

The difference between terrorism and ordinary murder is the intended victim - politicians.

This is a vast oversimplification. Try telling that to the families of those killed in a certain Israeli pizza shop or in the WTC.

How is it a vast oversimplification?

Generally speaking, the entire point of terrorism is to further political or ideological goals.
Most people define terrorism by the motivation and intent of the attack, not by the scale.

As an example, the difference between terrorists (Beltway Snipers) and mass murderers (Columbine HS shootings) is entirely one of motivation and intent. Or another example would be hostage taking. What differentiates bank robbers who take hostages from Hezbollah or Hamas taking hostages? Why do we not call hostage-taking-bank-robbers terrorists?

The GP is 100% correct.
The difference between terrorism and ordinary murder is the intended victim - politicians.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (2, Insightful)

SputnikPanic (927985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103725)

I live in the DC area and I very vividly remember what those three weeks of the Beltway snipers were like. But the snipers were not terrorists; they were spree killers. They had no political agenda or ideological goals. They may have had a terrorist-like effect on the DC area, and I'm sure they were thrilled by that, but mostly they were twisted fucks that got off on killing people.

In any case, I'm not entirely sure what your point is. You say yourself that terrorism is typically defined by the motivation or the intent of the attack -- and I agree with you on that -- and then in the next breath you then define terrorism as having to do with the intended victim. Which is it? What politician was targeted in that Sbarro's in Israel?

Re:Yello (belly) alert (3, Informative)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104441)

But the snipers were not terrorists; they were spree killers. They had no political agenda or ideological goals.

According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , "A series of trial exhibits indicated that Malvo and Muhammed were motivated by an affinity for Islamic Jihad."

Re:Yello (belly) alert (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104893)

I live in the DC area and I very vividly remember what those three weeks of the Beltway snipers were like. But the snipers were not terrorists; they were spree killers. They had no political agenda or ideological goals.

The idealogical goal came out during the trials.
4th paragraph down http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks#Malvo_testimony [wikipedia.org]

In any case, I'm not entirely sure what your point is. You say yourself that terrorism is typically defined by the motivation or the intent of the attack -- and I agree with you on that -- and then in the next breath you then define terrorism as having to do with the intended victim. Which is it?

Both.
The politicians are victimized (harmed) every time their constituents get blown up or slaughtered because they (the politicians) refuse to accede to terrorists' political/ideological demands.

What politician was targeted in that Sbarro's in Israel?

Hamas' goal is the removal of the Israeli State. It isn't much of a leap to see that all Israeli politicians were the target of that attack, and every other attack.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (2, Funny)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103495)

Yes, it would be cool to Slashdot our senators . . .

Re:Yello (belly) alert (4, Insightful)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104005)

This is a vast oversimplification. Try telling that to the families of those killed in a certain Israeli pizza shop or in the WTC.

That is a vast oversimplification as well. The fact that people died in the 9/11-attacks is very very tragic, but they were not the target of the attacks, they were collateral damage. I'm pretty sure the attackers didn't care about the deaths of "infidels", but they were attacking the symbols of Americanism (note that I'm not writing America/USA or Americans here). Collateral damage was acceptable for them. Just as it was when "the Coalition" invaded Iraq. Just as it has been in every major conflict.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24104413)

Try telling that to the families of those killed in a certain Israeli pizza shop

That's sad, and I am sorry for their loss, but we are talking about the U.S. government, not the Israeli government. Israel is not part of the U.S., no matter what AIPAC says.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (0, Flamebait)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103049)

And how many billions does it cost for those murders? 9/11 may have "only" killed 3,000 people, but it cost us several billion in clean-up, insurance, legal costs et al and sent our economy into a tailspin. All these pathetic analogies to deaths from bee-stings or bath-tub accidents or homicide ignore the devastating economic costs of terrorist attacks.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (5, Insightful)

palladiate (1018086) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103163)

How about the billions in chasing phantom terrorists, waging two wars, creating the DHS, funding a massive wiretapping dragnet, new TSA security crackdowns, general security crackdowns, and plenty of pricey court cases arguing against the 4th Amendment.

Your pathetic attempt at distraction ignores the devastating cost of our overreaction.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103397)

Let's see,

The DHS, TSA, etc. were the brain child of YOUR political heros the dumbasscrats.

The bogeyman of 4th Amendment violations is nothing more than paranoid slashdoters worried that the government will stop them from downloading porn and illegal music and perhaps listen in to their overseas phone sex calls.

Dude! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103665)

I totally agree! I tried editing the wikipedia articles to reflect this truth, but those idiots apparently don't accept reference sources from the bizarro world. Liberals and Commies, all of 'em.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103223)

And how many billions does it cost for those murders? 9/11 may have "only" killed 3,000 people, but it cost us several billion in clean-up, insurance, legal costs et al and sent our economy into a tailspin. All these pathetic analogies to deaths from bee-stings or bath-tub accidents or homicide ignore the devastating economic costs of terrorist attacks.

I would say that say "several billion" more than covers the clean-up, insurance and legal costs. While the hit to our economy is way into the trillions - how much have we wasted on Iraq alone, and then there is the sum of all the time wasted by TSA theatrics.

The difference is that the economic cost of terrorist attacks is largely self-inflicted - we do it to ourselves out of irrational fear. That's why the bee-sting and bath-tub death comparisons are apt -- they are meant to illustrate that our society does not have an irrational response to bees despite them killing more people than terrorists, so maybe we should get a grip and stop reacting irrationally to terrorism too.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (3, Insightful)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104199)

9/11 didn't send our economy into a tailspin. An ill-planned war, and greed (mortgage "investment") sent our economy into a tailspin. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (0, Troll)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104299)

9/11 didn't send our economy into a tailspin. An ill-planned war, and greed (mortgage "investment") sent our economy into a tailspin.

Well, technically the ill-planned war was the demented and completely incompetent reaction the 9/11 masterminds wanted. So terrorism is actually partially to blame for the economic situation. Of course stupidity by the political actors is what made it possible. This stupidity is now so pronounced, that it is completely obvious to people from a massively different culture with completely different world-view. Truely pathetic. I expect that the survivors of the 9/11 team still have not stopped laughing.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104665)

9/11 didn't send our economy into a tailspin. An ill-planned war, and greed (mortgage "investment") sent our economy into a tailspin. Nothing more, nothing less.

Don't let the facts [wikipedia.org] get in your way of your politically motivated theory.

The attacks had a significant economic impact on the United States and world markets. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the American Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ did not open on September 11 and remained closed until September 17. When the stock markets reopened, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (âoeDJIAâ) stock market index fell 684 points, or 7.1%, to 8921, its biggest-ever one-day point decline.[162] By the end of the week, the DJIA had fallen 1,369.7 points (14.3%), its largest one-week point drop in history.[163] U.S. stocks lost $1.4 trillion in value for the week.[163] In New York City, there were approximately 430,000 lost job months and $2.8 billion in lost wages, which occurred in the three months following the 9/11 attacks. The economic effects were mainly focused on the city's export economy sectors.[164] The GDP for New York City was estimated to have declined by $27.3 billion for the last three months of 2001 and all of 2002. The Federal government provided $11.2 billion in immediate assistance to the Government of New York City in September 2001, and $10.5 billion in early 2002 for economic development and infrastructure needs.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103073)

Your government is the one who orchestrated all those planes craches in the first place.

Governments ares run by people even more deceptive than you could ever imagine.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103129)

And nations are made up of people so pathetic, idiotic and divorced from reality that they invent these sorts of conspiracy theories. I'm assuming you're a Muslim from a Middle Eastern country or one of the US's homegrown borderline paranoid schizophrenic conspiracy theorists. If the former, remember that your governments lie every bit as much, and you don't have the benefit of a free press. If the latter, go to your doctor and seek treatment, because you're very very ill.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (2, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104323)

And nations are made up of people so pathetic, idiotic and divorced from reality that they invent these sorts of conspiracy theories.

What happens is that in the absence of credible news, people make up their own. It has nothing to do with being 'pathetic,' 'idiotic' or 'divorced from reality.'

It is similar to the way religions play the role of explainer of the unexplainable. Due to the government control of the media in most middle-eastern countries, the 'news' there is very unreliable and everybody there knows it. So they try to figure out a plausible explanation given what they know and believe.

The quality of news reporting in the west has been in steady decline. It is no wonder we see more and more conspiracy theories here too. People are the same everywhere.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (4, Funny)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103281)

Your government is the one who orchestrated all those planes craches in the first place.
Governments ares run by people even more deceptive than you could ever imagine.

...are you talking about the same people that couldn't even keep a simple blow-job quiet?

Re:Yello (belly) alert (1)

Madball (1319269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103123)

Wow. Just Wow.

The difference between terrorism and ordinary murder is the intended victim - politicians.

Not that I don't think our government is stupid, prejudicial, reactionary, fascist, et cetera. But the above statement is just plain ludicrous. I can buy that the definition of terrorism is up for debate depending on who is oppressed/in-minority, but saying that this overreaction is only because there was a plane headed for congress is silly.

Re:Yello (belly) alert (2, Interesting)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104089)

It was the plane that didn't make it out of Pennsylvania, the one aimed at Congress.

Admittedly off-topic, but I'm curious. You really think that the 4th plane was aimed at Congress? I've always assumed that it was a second striker for the Pentagon. The first Pentagon plane hit an area that was under repair and didn't house any top brass. That was easily obtained information - Something that I assume that the planners knew. But putting a second plane into the other side would have made a mess - Heavily populated especially during an evacuation due to the impact from the first plane. And the style kind of fits based on the twin towers - 2 planes per site. Just my speculation.

Back on-topic.

The difference between terrorism and ordinary murder is the intended victim - politicians.

I'm not so sure that you're correct in assuming that the push against terrorism is based on a fear of death by the politicians. They're not trying to save their skins, just their jobs. There's no fundamental difference between the war on terror and the war on drugs - It's a popular platform for politicians to rally on or rail against. It's exciting, it's patriotic, and it wins votes. Disgusting? Yes. Cowardly? Yes. But not a literal attempt to survive.

Slashdot community helped to keep a lid on it. (2, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102903)

I pointed this out in a recent story about revolts among the BO community, and was modded troll for daring to question the integrity of his holiness.

Thanks slashdot for helping them cover it up until it was too late.

Barack is incapable of evil, so supporting this like he is must be good, right?

Re:Slashdot community helped to keep a lid on it. (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103181)

"...modded troll for daring to question the integrity of his holiness."

You are forgiven my son. [fist bump]

Re:Slashdot community helped to keep a lid on it. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103415)

didn't you mean [terrorist fist bump]?

Re:Slashdot community helped to keep a lid on it. (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103905)

Is that a "terrorist fist jab" I see?

Re:Slashdot community helped to keep a lid on it. (2, Interesting)

gQuigs (913879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103245)

www.pledgebank.com/AS-IF-Privacy

I drew the line on telecom immunity, although maybe I should not have been so specific. I would prefer if others would draw the line with me..

"I will Vote Third Party for President If Telecom Immunity Passes Into Law but only if 100,000 other registered voters will do the same."

Re:Slashdot community helped to keep a lid on it. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103295)

Barak Obama: Change you can believe in (as long as you pay no attention to the man behind the curtain)

BO? (2, Funny)

nil0lab (94268) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103403)

Get some deodorant.

Mod parent up (2, Insightful)

akzeac (862521) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103425)

Having also been downmodded for critizing Obama, I think it's definitely time to end the witch-hunt against detractors that has begun to permeate this community.

Re:Mod parent up (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103967)

I've suffered the same fate from misguided moderators. It would be great if people realised that flamebait/troll/overrated does NOT mean 'I don't agree with this guy'.

Obama scares the hell out of me. He's no different, and possibly worse, than your average politican yet his followers seem to think he can walk on water and part the Red Sea. What really scares me is not that he's hoodwinked so many people though; it's his absoulte lack of experience combined with his absolute dishonest that scares me.

Re:Mod parent up (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104045)

I've suffered the same fate from misguided moderators. It would be great if people realised that flamebait/troll/overrated does NOT mean 'I don't agree with this guy'.

Obama scares the hell out of me. He's no different, and possibly worse, than your average politican yet his followers seem to think he can walk on water and part the Red Sea. What really scares me is not that he's hoodwinked so many people though; it's his absoulte lack of experience combined with his absolute dishonest that scares me.

I don't think he's absolutely dishonest, but he's misrepresenting himself as a "principled" person.

He's just like everyone else on the hill. He may not be a bush, but he's closer to clinton than he is to kennedy.

Re:Mod parent up (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104049)

What we need is a moderation "-1, I Don't Agree" that will let us override that to +/-0 in our preferences. That way they have something that will fit, will do the same thing, and will allow troll/flamebait to actuall function properly.

Hey, they added over/underrated - why not this?

Re:Slashdot community helped to keep a lid on it. (4, Insightful)

shipbrick (929823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103597)

That's something that scares me about Obama. He seems to be capable of doing no evil, according to many of his supporters. When some negative aspect regarding him is brought up, it is simply dismissed without regard. Which, in some sense, is reminiscent of Bush and his supporters. I'm not saying Obama is or will be as atrocious as G.W.(I pray to zombie-jesus that no president during the rest of my lifetime will be as bad as W). I'd just like to point out that we shouldn't exempt Obama from the scrutiny and skepticism that should always be employed.

Re:Slashdot community helped to keep a lid on it. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104015)

Mod this up people, this is far from troll.

Re:Slashdot community helped to keep a lid on it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103819)

I'd say any BO community is revolting...
Get a shower you hippies!

Join the club (0, Offtopic)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103879)

I've been modded troll 3 times now for pointing out that Obama is just another hyper-ambitious politician, not the fucking messiah. The tide seems to be turning since this telecom amnesty fiasco though. A lot of people here are finally seeing him for what he really is.

Re:Join the club (1)

akzeac (862521) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104035)

Nope. The Obama police has arrived already. GP went from +5 interesting to +2 in 15 minutes.

Re:Join the club (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104075)

One of those was me deciding to post, and my +1 interesting going away.

What are you so worried about? (5, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24102913)

What do we have to be so darned worried about? It's not like the President would compile an "Enemies List" of people to wiretap, or something. This is America, right?

oh crap [wikipedia.org]

Re:What are you so worried about? (1)

aeskdar (1136689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103179)

21 Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO: Nixon hated MS-DOS.

From the link above...

Re:What are you so worried about? (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103205)

Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO: Nixon hated MS-DOS.

21 is clearly the best.
On another note, This is America - where presidents make lists of American citizens to spy on, the House will hold hearings on who is unamerican and vilify whoever they have to to maintain control over the people through constant fear mongering. Its the American way!

Re:What are you so worried about? (1, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104771)

What do we have to be so darned worried about? It's not like the President would compile an "Enemies List" of people to wiretap, or something. This is America, right?

oh crap [wikipedia.org]

With respect to the fairness doctrine, I present the following:
FileGate [wikipedia.org]

The incident caused a firestorm of criticism because many of the files covered White House employees from previous Republican administrations, including top figures such as James Baker, Brent Scowcroft, and Marlin Fitzwater.

Is it just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24102937)

or does this crap always seem to happen right before and H2K conference?

Oh well, yet another thing for Jello to rant about ^___^

Is it just me? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103037)

Is it just me, or does anyone else remember how in the 80s we were always being told that the Russian government (oooh, these evil Ruskies!) spied on their people and that the US was above that sort of behavior? And is it any surprise that it's essentially the same people in power now who are FOR this sort of governmental behavior? I guess as long as they got a boogeyman somewhere......

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103195)

Is it just me, or have we forgotten that the President, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, has the right and the duty to authorize agences to conduct intelligence operations to allow our military (and others) to effectively fight against our enemies?

Or are we just expecting that actionable intelligence will fall into our laps, like manna from heaven?

I don't remember reading about how Roosevelt and Churchill ran to the courts to set up Bletchley Park, and I see no reason to do so now.

Re:Is it just me? (2)

andruk (1132557) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104289)

>>Or are we just expecting that actionable intelligence will fall into our laps, like manna from heaven?

We fucking had actionable intelligence, so did everybody else. It told us that Iraq was NOT a threat. But, our benevolent dictator decided to lie to the American people to go get oil and make his buddies rich. How about, instead of wishing for actionable intelligence, you wish that the government would actually USE the intel they have APPROPRIATELY.

Fear is not a valid reason to do anything.

Re:Is it just me? (3, Insightful)

a_real_bast... (1305351) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104639)

Well, considering that Bletchley Park (and all the XX Committee efforts) were used in the interception and decryption of encrypted military communications from a country on the other side of a declared war, I don't see the comparison.

Perhaps you were thinking of the Mail Censor? People's post was read, any "secrets" redacted, and the letter forwarded.
Why is this different? Because it was international mail that was censored, and it was known to be happening (usually there was a nice big stamp "Cleared by the Censor" on the envelope, which rather gave it away), and they weren't holding what they found against you (mainly); they merely wanted to make sure you weren't posting "information useful to the enemy" (say a frontline soldier mentioning his unit, and where he is). Very different to the current surveillance.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24104647)

is it just me or do the unthinking, unquestioning, bend-over-and-take-it-because-they-say-so idiots that our government wishes there were more of need beaten severely about the head and neck with a large wooden club that says "National Fuckstick" on the side?

Re:Is it just me? (1)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104721)

Don't forget about how we view China today. It's the same thing. They have the "Great Firewall of China" and do a lot of active listening to their citizens and we view them in a negative way.

This is classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103287)

I thought we had all the information we needed to stop the 9/11 attack but we just didn't connect the dots.

The government's solution?

More Dots!

What a bunch of assholes.

So it's even worse than we thought... (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103371)

If people don't start swamping their representatives with letters, calls and e-mails telling them to strangle this evil piece of legislation in its cradle, a lot of the things that make the United States a place worth living in will start sliding away.

Bin Laden must be laughing himself sick. One terrorist act that kills fewer people than died every single day during WWII, and the US starts throwing the rights and freedoms its heroes bled and died for down the nearest toilet...with enthusiastic applause from hysterical soccer moms and authority-worshiping lackwits.

Re:So it's even worse than we thought... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103633)

Bin Laden must be laughing himself sick. One terrorist act that kills fewer people than died every single day during WWII, and the US starts throwing the rights and freedoms its heroes bled and died for down the nearest toilet...with enthusiastic applause from hysterical soccer moms and authority-worshiping lackwits.

And the most depressing thing is that he, himself, predicted it whie the rubble was still smoldering.

"I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The US Government will lead the American people - and the West in general - into an unbearable hell and a choking life."
- Osama bin Laden [cnn.com] , as quoted in his only post-9/11 interview, ca. November 2001, and as aired on CNN in early 2002.

Re:So it's even worse than we thought... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24104181)

...with enthusiastic applause from hysterical soccer moms and authority-worshiping lackwits.

As opposed to the anarchy-worshiping lackwits like yourself?

Wait, what's that, you say? A drastic overgeneralization? You object to having a label slapped on you? More than a matter of black and white? You shouldn't be treated like a polarized nutjob? It's only right to make overbroad, insulting assumptions when it's not you?

Huh.

Re:So it's even worse than we thought... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104595)

Guess you missed all the demographic surveys offering fairly detailed profiles of people who lent significant swing support to the would-be goose-steppers. You were probably too busy trying to write ill-conceived rhetorical questions to do any research before you shot off your mouth.

"Anonymous Coward"...good description, though I lean more toward "F*ckin' moron".

Re:So it's even worse than we thought... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104453)

...a lot of the things that make the United States a place worth living in will start sliding away.

I think you misspelled "continue."

Re:So it's even worse than we thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24104757)

How about this alternative to your first sentence: If people don't start swamping their ballot boxes with votes against every incumbent (and those like John McCain who are functionally equivalent to incumbents), a lot of the things that make the United States a place worth living in will continue sliding away.

OBL had nothing to do with the reaction we've seen in the past seven years. al Qaeda just gave Washington the excuse it needed to embark on this campaign. Many in D.C. have privately desired such measures for a long time, particularly those that were around before the post-Watergate reforms (including the original FISA) were passed. If a successor to Tim McVeigh (i.e. a domestic group) had carried out the 9/11/01 attacks, the reaction would be at least similar and probably even more extreme.

At least it's somewhat more difficult to have the executive branch carry out long-term campaigns against rights (or any other campaign, good or bad) because of term limits. To continue such a campaign after 8 years, a president needs to find someone who (a) expresses very similar ideas to his own, and (b) is electable on the potential successor's own merits. Possible, but compare that to Congress. Bully your state legislature into gerrymandering "safe" districts overwhelmingly in favor of the incumbent's party (something that both sides of the aisle naturally agree on), and have a pulse every two years to remain in office. How many seats out of 435 are now "too close to call" for November? Perhaps 50, probably even fewer?

Unless state legislatures get serious about calling for a constitutional amendment on Congressional term limits, this country's going to be a republic (or democracy, if you prefer) in name only in 20 years. Gerrymandering has been around for generations, but software developed in the past 30 years has made the process much more efficient and effective. It was much more common in the 1970's for someone in Congress to call out a member of his/her own party on major issues than it is today. And with all the stuff that matters to the U.S.: dramatically rising energy prices, two wars, a Medicare and Social Security system on a path to collapse, and many other substantial issues, what is Congress debating, or expressing desire to debate. Steroid use among baseball players? Whether football coaches illegally taped other teams practices? Give me a break.

Until term limits are put in place or at least competition is restored at the end of each term, there's little hope to reversing the trend. It seems nearly everyone in Congress, as well as the White House, wants to see a surveillance society, even though their justifications may differ. It's amazing how quickly a critic's opposition to a bill such as this can be silenced when a small pork project for his district's included as a rider. And until term limits are enacted and competitive elections restored, it doesn't matter what a Congresscritter's principles are or even whether he has any at all. No wonder why compared to Congress (one study puts their approval rating at 9%), on average the public considers Bush to be not-so-bad (approval rating in the 20's; still the lowest ever for a president).

To hell with letters and calls to D.C. Those won't do diddly without further action. In November, vote against all incumbents (for the President, I haven't decided between Obama or a minor party yet). In the mean time, start sending letters, calls, and e-mails to your state legislators calling for a constitutional convention for a term limits amendment for members of the U.S. Congress. It'll take a long time to get there, but if one state calls for such a convention, it'll become a nationwide trend before you know it.

Checks and Balances (5, Insightful)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103441)

When I was in school I learned that our government is a system of Checks And Balances. What the article is telling me is that the Telcom bill is removing all of that as unnecessary.

Re:Checks and Balances (1)

AnalogyShark (1317197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103571)

Montesquieu's political beliefs based on years of inspection, thought and philosophy are clearly inferior to the well though out political apporoach of the Bush adminstration. 1984 was a book on how to run the government, right?

Re:Checks and Balances (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24104147)

What's worse, kids in school today, probably are not going to learn even that. The year after I was finished my American Government class, which I was required to pass to graduate, the class was removed and no longer a requirement based on the Federal Education Standards. I'll let you draw your own conclusion as to why....

Re:Checks and Balances (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104359)

Hey, at least we have The System left. That's the most important part, right?

Re:Checks and Balances (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104405)

When I was in school I learned that our government is a system of Checks And Balances.

Ah, you were not paying close enough attention. Our government is a system where checks tip the balance. Checks written to the re-election fund of each person in congress that is...

Maybe we should just... (1)

supe (163410) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103585)

where shock collars link [slashdot.org] when we make international phone calls!

Two Words +1, Patriotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24103667)

010001100111010101100011011010110010000001000010011101010111001101101000

A bill? with hidden provisions? (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 6 years ago | (#24103927)

Im shocked I tell you, SHOCKED!

Personal Checklist (1)

jdubjr (1197995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104087)

Hmmm... let me check... I'm not a criminal... I don't make repeated calls to foreign countries discussing illegal activities... yep, looks like a good bill to me.

Re:Personal Checklist (2, Insightful)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104799)

Ah, the "nothing to hide" argument, classic. Let's see the contents of your wallet.

is this new? (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104091)

It stretches out the judicial review process so much that the government will in many cases be able to complete its surveillance activities before the courts finish deciding on its legality."

Without having read the article: is that really new? The current FISA provision allows agencies to start wiretapping 72 hours before filing a request.

Dont trust them (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104097)

Encrypt and use secure OSes. Yes, that will make evasdropping harder, but the bad guys already use these security technologies. This is not about catching ''terrorists'', this is specifically to evasdrop on normal citizens, for example to evaluate public opinion and identify people with unwanted views. Highly unethical (read: evil. These people can only hope that theire is no after-action evaluation after they die. They would all go to hell.), but politicians typically have no morals anyways, except for show.

12% Approval (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104215)

Here's an interesting stat, everybody tends to like (tolerate) their Senator and Congress Critter, however Congress and Senate have about a 12% overall approval rating.

These numbers really don't make sense, not at all. Each congress critter / senator is part of the whole and thus part of the problem for everyone who isn't part of that 12%.

FISA is just a symptom of the problem of overly complex and burdensome legislation. I'm sure there is SOME part of FISA that you (everyone) would agree is okay perhaps even needed, however that is over shadowed by all the parts that you (everyone) don't like, hate, despise or whatever.

Which is why, almost overwhelmingly, we don't like FISA as a whole. The process sucks, because just enough people like each part to get it included into the whole, but the whole is untenable.

This directly mirrors our view of congress, we like the part we voted for, but no the aggregate whole.

Personally, I'd like to see a new Constitutional Ammendment that every 8 to 16 years, the nation as a whole votes on all the congress critters and senators as an aggregate group, Yes / No. And if they get a "NO" then they (the aggregate whole lot) can never run for any office ever again (not even honorary town dog catcher), and lose whatever pension they might have coming.

It is time to clear out the deadwood.

Re:12% Approval (2, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104553)

A constitutionally mandated 10 year sunset date on all laws should also be enacted. They cannot be renewed by simple riders either. The laws must be re-drafted from scratch.

People Want Action, Even Bad action (3, Insightful)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104273)

Simple:
People want to see something done to protect them even when it isn't possible.

Politicians are doing exactly what they are supposed to do, get themselves re-elected by catering to those that elected them.

The sad fact is most people didn't elect them though, just a small, focused, and motivated groups. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Don't complain when they do this when your idea of participating in politics is going to vote.

That is the smallest part of participation.

It would be no different to say you ran a marathon after driving it in an SUV, getting out 10 feet in front of the finish line and crossing it. You didn't run a marathon and voting is just crossing the finish line of the political system. We are lazy.

People are pissed at special interest groups because a group of people pooled their money, hired lobbiest, and worked hard to get their agenda through.

A few Special Interest Groups
NRA
Teacher's Union
Pharmacutical Companies
Trade Unions
Your Local Church\Syna\Mosq\temp\etc....
The United Union of Gnome Collectors
International Union of Bloggers
Red Cross\Crescent
GLBA-ETC (can keep up anymore with them...)
PETA
Green Peace
Shriners
Masons
NAACP
Free Press Ascc.
WC3
EFF
YOUR EMPLOYER

Which one are you a member of? Want your voice silenced or ignored? Every time you hear them say that special interest groups have to go, don't forget some of the ones above...

If all the people complaining about special interest groups made thier OWN special interest group you'd dwarf the resources of all the others at $5 dollars a month. Informal servey at my local mall reveals the only people that complain about special interest groups involved in government, well, don't belong to one.

We get the government we deserve and right now we deserve little if anything.

Obama talks about change, but he's from the same democrates that have been running around for over a 100 years. What change was there? Mc Cain is a republican? Why keep flip-flopping between two parties that have shown in the last 100 years their primary goal is to grab more power for... well their own party.

Seriously, we have no one to blame for this except ourselves. If we want change we need to stop listening to money, advertisements, and nicely laid out speeches and catch phrases and start listening to reason. The time for 15 minutes attention spans needs to come to a halt!

'08 Looks like this:
Hillary: "Why the hell would I vote for a women that didn't have the balls to throw out her cheating husband after at least 12 years of infidelity. If you can tolerate a traitor in your marriage where else would you?"

Barack: "I've done little in congress, have no military campaign experience, and I am basically a closet socialist that lacks the balls to run as a socialist (not saying their bad). I'll bring change by following party lines and making sure that I keep my democrat backers happy..."

Mc Cain: .... .... .... I think we have a pulse.... "The tubes need to be regulated..." .... can we get a canidate that isn't a fossil? Please...

We have no sense of personal responsibility left as a nation and can't perform the most basic forms of critical thinking. We beg for Big Brother in our actions and expectations but condemn Big Brother in our words.

We compain about the cops when they are there and bitch about them never being around when they're not.

We have come to expect simple answers, simple solutions, in a world that has never been, nor ever will, be simple.

We have become a planet (not just to pick on the US) of hypocrite.

The environmental types complain about global warming and want ethanol but then bitch about people starving due to high food costs

The capitalist demand free market but work hard and making sure patents and copyright are enforced by the government rather then market forces.

The communist wants to bring about equality while their elites send their kids to private colleges.

The congress preaches about needing more funding for public schools and colleges while sending their own kids to private school.

The socialist demands universal healthcare but leaves the doctors, nurses, and hospitals holding the bill unpaid.

We demand that our stock values always goes up and we demand a good return on investment but invest the bulk of our money in education in the worst performing students rather then the best.

We demand the best but cater to the lowest common denominator.

We make it as hard as possible to immigrate legally but turn a blind eye to illegal immigration

The famer demands government assitance but blasts government regulation and price controls

"We as a planet, every day, slip into a state where our very existence is a personal conflict in which the left hand demands and the right hand condemns and the unseen stress on our very minds may well shatter our very ability to function as humans. Mankind will obliterate itself not through war, disease, famine, or environment catastrophy, we shall rather trade all of our humanity for the peace of mind only a machine can endure tearing apart the very human experience as we, as an organism, implode on the societal version of dividing by zero..."

Facebook Groups to lobby Individual Senators (4, Informative)

Merlinus (8023) | more than 6 years ago | (#24104331)

There is a group on facebook to lobby Senator Obama and follow-up groups to lobby every Senator individually:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=17961184023 [facebook.com]

Groups for Minnesota Senators Klobuchar and Coleman:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=17065979228 [facebook.com]

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18283117073 [facebook.com]

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