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Senate Renews Warrantless Eavesdropping Act

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the you-can-trust-us dept.

Government 218

New submitter electron sponge writes "On Friday morning, the Senate renewed the FISA Amendments Act (PDF), which allows for warrantless electronic eavesdropping, for an additional five years. The act, which was originally passed by Congress in 2008, allows law enforcement agencies to access private communications as long as one participant in the communications could reasonably be believed to be outside the United States. This law has been the subject of a federal lawsuit, and was argued before the Supreme Court recently. 'The legislation does not require the government to identify the target or facility to be monitored. It can begin surveillance a week before making the request, and the surveillance can continue during the appeals process if, in a rare case, the secret FISA court rejects the surveillance application. The court’s rulings are not public.'" The EFF points out that the Senate was finally forced to debate the bill, but the proposed amendments that would have improved it were rejected.

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Terms of Usage (4, Informative)

Sigvatr (1207234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412463)

Every company needs a "we can do whatever we want" clause in their terms of usage, why not the United States?

Perpetual war (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412481)

These "wartime" acts will always be in place from now on, because the U.S. will never not be at war again.

Re:Perpetual war (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412585)

Sadly a declaration of war which provides the ability to override certain areas of the Constitution is never made. People don't think it's a big deal whether Congress formally declares war or not, but it is. It would be one thing if a formal declaration had been made but the truth is we're really not at war in any real sense. Certainly not the point that rights need to be suspended. Even worse is that the Supreme Court is complicit in allowing the rules to be blurred.

Re:Perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413013)

Where in the constitution does it say the government can override the constitution in case of emergency, barring actual use of article five as per usual?

Methinks they protest too much; and that the citizens are cowards.

If you see government officials violating the constitution, you're looking at criminals.

Re:Perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413045)

Oh, don't worry, the US has multiple wars going on, that absolutely 100% do not have an "ending", so you can consider the USA to be in a state of permenant war from 2001 for all time after that.

War on Terror - was lost long ago, but the US can't admit this, because they're using it as a convenient permenant war.
  - there's also a multitude of "operations" directly associated with this, several of which are also unendable, but they'd just tag more operations on if they got close to "finishing" all the current ones.
War on drugs - Not an "officially" declared act of war (since it's a concept, not a specific, identifiable target), but I have no doubt that should for some bizarre reason the USA take over the world and "win" the war on terror, they'd bank on this to continue being in a state of permenant war.

I'm sure there's a half-dozen other pseudo-wars that the USA could use, but the primary one is the offical war on terror.

So no, the only parts of the constitution that matter from 2001 onwards will be anything specifically related to "at times of war". Absolutely any part of it capable of being set aside at times of war currently is, and can be disregarded until the USA somehow collapses.

Re:Perpetual war (2)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413125)

The Korean war never ended.

Re:Perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412623)

You mean that once all the foreigners are controlled by US corporations, the government will start war with the suckers^Wproducts^Wconsumers within its own shores?

Re:Perpetual war (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412669)

Of course: The US has basically been at war since 1941. It's also officially been in a state of emergency since September 2001, because presidents can do things in a state of emergency that they otherwise can't.

Another good example of a government under continuous emergency: Egypt was officially in a state of emergency from 1967 through May of this year.

Re:Perpetual war (4, Interesting)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412677)

Indeed. Harry Reid and gang can pass crap like this but not a single budget in going on 5 years. Our Congress and executive branches are treasonous.

Re:Perpetual war (2, Insightful)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412855)

> Indeed. Harry Reid and gang can pass crap like this but not a single budget in going on 5 years.

That is because both parties support domestic spying, but the Republicans have been actively obstructing any economic legislation that the Democrats have introduced.

Re:Perpetual war (3, Informative)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412883)

> Indeed. Harry Reid and gang can pass crap like this but not a single budget in going on 5 years.

That is because both parties support domestic spying, but the Republicans have been actively obstructing any economic legislation that the Democrats have introduced.

Um no. Harry Reid has never even put a budget up for a vote. He's never even created one for discussion. How can the Republicans obstruct something that doesn't even exist? Quit pointing fingers and start laying the blame on the majority holders that are running the show. You're not doing yourself or this country any favors giving assholes like Reid a free fucking pass.

Re:Perpetual war (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412939)

I did not say budget, I said economic legislation. The reality is that the blame for the US's current economic mess lies squarely on the shoulders of the Republicans. They had a chance to work with the President and with the Senate, and they refused. No amount of swearing or calling people names is going to change that.

Re:Perpetual war (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412989)

Are the Republicans also responsible for you being a retard?

Re:Perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413059)

ad hom attacks are how you admit you don't have a clue what you're talking about

Re:Perpetual war (0, Flamebait)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413163)

You are one dumb fuck you know that? Congress was democrat controlled for 6 years until 2010. The Senate has been Dem controlled for almost as long. Obama has been in Office for 4 years. Republicans don't have control over anything. YOUR SIDE OWNS THIS MOTHER FUCKER. How about some fucking leadership from the empty chair? Where is he? Oh yeah he's on his 23rd vacation in 4 years.The sack of shit played more gold in 3 years than Bush did in 8.

I don't give a shit if the have a D or an R behind their names. If they are this incompetent they deserve to be tarred and feathered on the white house lawn.

Fuck you blaming everyone but the mother fuckers in control right now. I hate people like you.

Re:Perpetual war (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413249)

Aw, someone needs a nap.

And to learn some definitions. Start with "Super Majority" and "Fillibuster". We'll wait.

Re:Perpetual war (2)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413289)

Once again, no amount of swearing, name-calling, or temper tantrums is going to change reality. The US is about to take a dive over a cliff because a groups of extremists are refusing stand down from a childish ideological platform and start cooperating to reach a deal.

Re:Perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413323)

The US is about to take a dive over a cliff because a groups of extremists are refusing stand down from a childish ideological platform and start cooperating to reach a deal.

Agreed. They're called "democrats" and are unwilling to compromise on the one thing that will prevent us from reentering the worst recession since the Great Depression. Raising taxes now, ESPECIALLY on those that drive the economy, would be the worst option possible. We need to cut taxes, not raise them. Keeping them at their current level is a reasonable compromise to just get something passed in time to not tank our economy, but a group of extremists are refusing to back down from higher taxes.

Re:Perpetual war (4, Insightful)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413415)

We have been cutting taxes for the past ten years. It has not worked. There is no non-ideological reason to think that cutting them again will help. Remember, the last time that the US had a booming economy was in the late 1990s, and taxes were higher then than they are now. Letting taxes rise to what they were before the Bush tax cuts came into effect will not tip the US economy into a recession. At worst it will slow down economic growth a bit. The real danger is that the automatic cuts in government spending that will start kicking in on Jan 1 will remove money from areas of the economy that are already in trouble.

Re:Perpetual war (0)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413335)

Fuck you man. I swear to god, people like you are worthless and a perpetual drain on this country. You're too fucking stupid to even see the problem let alone actually fix it. You're going to get exactly what you deserve.

Re:Perpetual war (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413443)

I am worthless? and a perpetual drain on the country? Why? Because I disagree with you? So much for rational discourse.

Re:Perpetual war (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413345)

Who are the extremists? Those creating legislation or the ones that worked and lived just fine under the previously existing legislation this country has had more or less for the last 60 years prior to the 80's. Those that want monopolies? Those that dont?

Things havent been perfect and some good stuff got overturned or fine tuned since 1980, but allot of crap has been implemented since 1930 which is bullshit to.

Problem is people are just relying on their masters and betters to tell them whats good for them. The government, corps, rich people were never intended to fill that roll in this country.

Fundamentally this countries government is borked. Fundamentally people are looking to a broken set of leaders to fix it for them.

Re:Perpetual war (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413169)

Clearly you don't understand economic messes.

The current record amounts of deficit spending were all enacted under a Democrat-controlled Congress (both House and Senate), and it has been maintained by not passing a new budget, which is likely done so that people like yourself can still attempt to point the finger at Republicans.

During the Bush era, Republicans were absolutely complicit in spending then-record amounts on deficits while fighting two wars, but they were completely dwarfed following the Congressional takeover by the Democratic super majority held through the first half of Obama's first term. And that doesn't even consider the fact that our deficit hardly took a hit when troops were pulled out of Iraq.

The incredible lunacy of it all is that Democrats are going to blame Republicans for the fiscal cliff. Democrats are holding the lions share of the taxpaying population hostage for the so-called millionaire tax that looks to tax people making above $400,000. Either the rich get tax increases, or we all do. That's a wonderful plan to repair an economy that supposedly just saw the worst Christmas since 2008.

As for the reality of our current mess? The housing crisis was caused by Democrats: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-perspective/122012-637924-faults-community-reinvestment-act-cra-mortgage-defaults.htm?p=full

The sickening part of it all is that Bush attempted to fix the housing bubble before it actually trashed our economy: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/11/business/new-agency-proposed-to-oversee-freddie-mac-and-fannie-mae.html

But Democrats blocked it.

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

If you actually look at the problem, then you may really see the cause of it.

Re:Perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413235)

I did not say budget, I said economic legislation. The reality is that the blame for the US's current economic mess lies squarely on the shoulders of the Republicans. They had a chance to work with the President and with the Senate, and they refused. No amount of swearing or calling people names is going to change that.

Let's see, the Democrats have been in power for four years and Reed has been running the senate for six years. and you want to blame the Republicans. Hence the obvious question... Do you also blame the Republicans for your stupidity??? The Republicans have little or no control over events even with "control" of the house. Only a complete idiot can't see the reality of the situation.

I know this will get modded down... No one here wants to bothered with the truth. Most here are just too happy believing in hope and change...

Re:Perpetual war (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412953)

You're right, they should come up with a budget and Reed shouldn't get a free ride. However, it's also true that whatever they came up with would never get past the Republican controlled House and would only be used as political fodder.

Re:Perpetual war (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412995)

The only problem with what you are saying here is that the Republican controlled House has presented and passed several budgets (as craptastic as they are). The Democrats controlled the House for Two of the last four years and the Senate for the last 4 years has not passed any sort of budget. In truth the Democrats don't seem to have any interest in having a budget at all. You can't defend the Democrats by blaming the Republicans. Both parties don't care about the American people. They only care about their special interests.

Re:Perpetual war (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413003)

Of course, because the Democrats are just slightly better Republicans in your world, am I right?

Re:Perpetual war (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413149)

That is because both parties support domestic spying, but the Republicans have been actively obstructing any economic legislation that the Democrats have introduced.

Are you really this thick?

It is the Democrats, that had the power to ram through health care reform without any Republican support at all (only 1 vote from a Republican, and it wasnt needed), that are telling you that the Republics are the reason that the senate hasn't once brought a budget up for a vote the entire time Harry Reid has been majority leader.

This isnt rational thought telling you that. Its the Democrats telling you that. But since you believe everything the Democrats say, even when its so obvious that they are lying, well... we know what that makes you. Thick. Sheep. A Thick sheep.

Re:Perpetual war (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413213)

Again, no amount of name calling is going to change reality. The Senate has sent many economic bills to the House over the past four years, and almost every one has been blocked by the Republicans. There has been, and appears to still be, a deliberate policy to obstruct any legislation that originates from the Democratic side of Congress.

Re:Perpetual war (1, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413487)

Again, no amount of name calling is going to change reality.

What name calling? You are clearly thick if the plain facts are trumped by the convoluted shit you have to conjure in order to ignore those plain facts.

The Senate has sent many economic bills to the House over the past four years

The Democrats controlled the senate for 2 of those years, with enough power to pass health care reform without any Republican support at all. What happened there, eh? Could it possibly be that Harry Reid is so corrupt that even the House Democrats cant support the over-the-top corporate handouts in his "economic" (*) bills?

(*) translation: special-interest spending appropriations

and almost every one has been blocked by the Republicans.

Sure, just like the Republicans blocked the health care reform that none of them voted for... oh wait..

The Democrats didnt need the Republicans in one case, but did in another? Really?

The plain truth. The Democrats didn't need any help at all passing things, except when it looks bad for them that they didnt pass things.. then of course its all someone elses fault.. and here is this complex convoluted reason why...

There has been, and appears to still be, a deliberate policy to obstruct any legislation that originates from the Democratic side of Congress.

So let me get this straight. Over the past 2 years, the Republicans in the House passed several budgets.. budgets that never got voted on in the Senate because the Democrats who control the Senate refused to even put them on the floor (allowing them to be amended and sent back to the House) and thereby killing the budgets immediately, and its the Republicans that are the obstructionists?

Thick. Very thick sheep,.

Re:Perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413253)

I would love to see a list of economic legislation that Democrats have "introduced" in the past 3 years. Good luck finding it.

Re:Perpetual war (2)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412979)

I'll ready the guillotine. Can we do previously elected officials as well?

Re:Perpetual war (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412993)

Oh, and appointed ones as well. Almost forgot.

Re:Perpetual war (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413191)

Can we do previously elected officials as well?

Only if we can do the people that voted for them over and over.

Re:Perpetual war (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412873)

Apparently one government is snooping the private communications of all countries, promoting revolutions in several and disabling energy plants of at least one. Motives more than enough to declare to be in a (cyber)war.

Re:Perpetual war (2)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413035)

Indeed, but the common people of the internet are the ones who will suffer for the actions of the idiots who wish to engage in such a war, which is why all of the more intelligent internet types have been dancing on egg shells to prevent this. Of course, there are some people out there, driven by nationalism or money, who do not care if a few thousand innocents die if they get what they want. Coming up with a solution to this problem without becoming like them is, of course, very trying.

Re:Perpetual war (1)

SciencePope (2786123) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413459)

I like your tagline. Maybe I'll add one that says "A Green Party member is just a Democrat who doesn't want to feel guilty for ignoring climate change"

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412485)

Shit

Re:Well (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412565)

Amen.

Shows you where their priorities are (3, Interesting)

mbstone (457308) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412487)

They have time to debate and pass secret warrantless wiretapping, but not to keep the price of milk from going up to $7.

Fire them all I say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412541)

Fire them all I say, useless idiots all they want tot do is make sure that the population does not get out of control and rebels.

Re:Shows you where their priorities are (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412553)

They have time to debate and pass secret warrantless wiretapping, but not to keep the price of milk from going up to $7.

who gives a poo about Milk, it's unhealthy anyway. :) I'm all for warrantless eavesdropping. Having the Govt able to see if i cal my mom or if i send a text to my wife saying i'm at the store buying dog food is a small price to pay for increased security and making sure some d-bag doesn't bomb a plane that i'm on.

Re:Shows you where their priorities are (0)

zer0vette (2804151) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412615)

They have time to debate and pass secret warrantless wiretapping, but not to keep the price of milk from going up to $7.

who gives a poo about Milk, it's unhealthy anyway. :) I'm all for warrantless eavesdropping. Having the Govt able to see if i cal my mom or if i send a text to my wife saying i'm at the store buying dog food is a small price to pay for increased security and making sure some d-bag doesn't bomb a plane that i'm on.

agreed.

Re:Shows you where their priorities are (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413041)

who gives a poo about Milk, it's unhealthy anyway. :) I'm all for warrantless eavesdropping.

Having the Govt able to see if i cal my mom or if i send a text to my wife saying i'm at the store buying dog food is a small price to pay for increased security and making sure some d-bag doesn't bomb a plane that i'm on.

agreed.

You're both noncomposmentos. Milk is what comes from a mother's tit and is the healthiest thing you can have; it's only unhealthy if you're lactose-intolerant.

Your chances of dying because some dirt bag bombs your plane is orders of magnatude less than your chances of dying because of a mechanical malfunction or pilot error takes it down.

How many people do you know pwesonally who've died because of terrorism? How many have died on the highway? Died from cancer? Died from heart disease?

You are both fools and idiots. Congrats on the stupidest comment I've seen all week.

Now please go back to Yahoo or fark or wherever you came from, slashdot was designed for folks with at least average intelligence, not mentally deficient folks like you two who can't tell the difference between three thousand and three million.

Re:Shows you where their priorities are (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412621)

Yet if you own your own secure communications network you are completely immune to this (gov, millionair+, corporations). And those are the guys they need to be monitoring, not joe blow smoe txt pothead shit across the webs.

We have attributed far to much risk to individuals. Therefore individuals privacy - poof.

Re:Shows you where their priorities are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412661)

who gives a poo about Milk, it's unhealthy anyway. :)

Do you realize that this is going to negatively affect the price of pizza, cheetos, cheese whiz, and anything else made of, or with cheese? OK, well maybe not cheetos or cheese whiz, but the other stuff for sure.

Re:Shows you where their priorities are (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412705)

Soy milk with aluminum shipped in from china is still good to go!

Re:Shows you where their priorities are (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412813)

or see your wifes vagina when she sends you a dirty pic because you are working out of town.

Re:Shows you where their priorities are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413151)

who gives a poo about Milk, it's unhealthy anyway. :) I'm all for warrantless eavesdropping. Having the Govt able to see if i cal my mom or if i send a text to my wife saying i'm at the store buying dog food is a small price to pay for increased security and making sure some d-bag doesn't bomb a plane that i'm on.

Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither. (paraphrased)

-Benjamin Franklin

Re:Shows you where their priorities are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413531)

Of course, the moment you realize he was talking about his opponents (those who would choose to side with Britain), the quote takes on an entirely different meaning, but who cares? It makes a GREAT soundbyte!!

Frak ya'll.

Re:Shows you where their priorities are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412905)

They have time to debate and pass secret warrantless wiretapping, but not to keep the price of milk from going up to $7.

Milk is disgusting, why should I care?

Passed by a Democrat controlled congress in 2008.. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412535)

Renewed by a Democrat controlled Senate in 2012.. They have time to take away freedoms from the populous but no time to pass a budget, in 4+ years....

Re:Passed by a Democrat controlled congress in 200 (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412601)

Passed by a Democratic Senate and House, signed by a Republican President, renewed by a Democrat controlled Senate and Republican controlled House, signed by a Democrat President. It's one of the few bi-partisan issues left.

Both sides can't agree on much of anything else, but they can both still agree to be evil. How touching.

Re:Passed by a Democrat controlled congress in 200 (3, Insightful)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412643)

And yet for all the rhetoric that the press keeps pumping out about righties and lefties, the general public keeps eating it up. All the while it doesn't matter who gets voted in. Both 'sides' will screw the public. The real rouge, it's the govt against the public, not the righties vs lefties.

Re:Passed by a Democrat controlled congress in 200 (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413053)

Anyone else for a drug in the water supply which has people forget their party affiliations? Everytime you wake up, you have to re-examine the issues to know who you are supporting, and why...

Re:Passed by a Democrat controlled congress in 200 (5, Informative)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413079)

Glenn Greenwald has some great analysis on this vote:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/28/fisa-feinstein-obama-democrats-eavesdropping [guardian.co.uk]

Wyden yesterday had two amendments: one that would simply require the NSA to give a general estimate of how many Americans are having their communications intercepted under this law (information the NSA has steadfastly refused to provide), and another which would state that the NSA is barred from eavesdropping on Americans on US soil without a warrant. Merkley's amendment would compel the public release of secret judicial rulings from the FISA court which purport to interpret the scope of the eavesdropping law on the ground that "secret law is inconsistent with democratic governance"; the Obama administration has refused to release a single such opinion even though the court, "on at least one occasion", found that the government was violating the Fourth Amendment in how it was using the law to eavesdrop on Americans.

But the Obama White House opposed all amendments, demanding a "clean" renewal of the law without any oversight or transparency reforms. Earlier this month, the GOP-led House complied by passing a reform-free version of the law's renewal, and sent the bill Obama wanted to the Senate, where it was debated yesterday afternoon.

This is of course in contrast to his pre-election 2008 promise to oppose the original bill (which he didn't do, voting for it instead). Now he loves it so much, he won't countenance any modifications.

Democrats: The New GOP.

Re:Passed by a Democrat controlled congress in 200 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413269)

Democrats: The New GOP.

I sure can't wait until the old GOP collapses and we get an actual liberal party to oppose the new GOP.

Re:Passed by a Democrat controlled congress in 200 (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413137)

I'm trying to find a roll call on the amendment but I don't think it's up yet. Here's what I found:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d112:5:./temp/~bdPthc::#locshare/share [loc.gov]

Thomas makes it hard to link, so if this doesn't work its Senate amendment 3438

Re:Passed by a Democrat controlled congress in 200 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413225)

Want to know a secret? When you refer to the "Democratic Party" as the "Democrat Party", it makes you that much easier to identify as a partisan nutjob. Is it that hard to acknowledge the legitimate failings of a political party you disagree with without resorting to hostile epithets?

Re:Passed by a Democrat controlled congress in 200 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413455)

*rereads GP*
Scratch that, the term is used correctly in that post and title. Consider my rant a non sequitur.

A country that has a "secret court" of any kind (4, Insightful)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412593)

should not be referred to as a democracy (or a democratic republic, for that matter).

A secret court is better than none (1)

jjo (62046) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413115)

Most people don't understand that, under current judicial precedent, warrantless wiretapping of international communications is constitutional, needing only the approval of the Executive Branch. The secret FISA court is a legislative attempt to regulate this executive power. Without FISA you would have a secret bureaucracy making the decisions instead of a secret court.

Re:A secret court is better than none (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413215)

Transparent, real public court is the only just, acceptable alternative in a truly democratic society. Just because the Executive Branch abuses this judicially-sanctioned power (like it does with so many other powers these days) with or without the oversight of a sham "secret court" does not make it just or acceptable.

Got that "Fiscal Cliff" resolved then, did you? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412629)

Wasn't it Senate majority leader Reid whining about the "Fiscal Cliff" yesterday? Is this what he's been working on instead?

Re:Got that "Fiscal Cliff" resolved then, did you? (1, Informative)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412897)

The Senate has done everything that it can to resolve the upcoming sequestration. The problem is that some Republicans in the House of Representatives are deliberately trying to prevent a deal from happening. The Speaker of the House cannot even marshall enough votes from his own party to pass a piece of legislation that he introduced.

Re:Got that "Fiscal Cliff" resolved then, did you? (0)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412931)

The Senate has done everything that it can to resolve the upcoming sequestration. The problem is that some Republicans in the House of Representatives are deliberately trying to prevent a deal from happening. The Speaker of the House cannot even marshall enough votes from his own party to pass a piece of legislation that he introduced.

That's because Boehner didn't introduce it. He took Nancy Pelosi's plan and said "fine we'll go with this one" to which Nancy Pelosi and Obama then called "Not a serious offer". Your buddy Obama hasn't held talks with Republicans on the fiscal cliff in 7 weeks and only met with them today for a little grand standing.

It takes two to tango asshole. If you'd quit pointing fingers and blaming the fucking minority party long enough to take your head out of your ass you'd realize that.

Re:Got that "Fiscal Cliff" resolved then, did you? (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413027)

Both sides have been talking for weeks, the problem has been that one side, the Republicans, have refused to go beyond token compromises. The House could have passed Boehner's Plan B, but they refused because it contained a small tax increase. The nut-jobs won. This is not a case of it taking two to tango. This is a case of one group of people threatening to crash the car if the driver doesn't go where they want to go. No amount of cursing is going to change that.

Re:Got that "Fiscal Cliff" resolved then, did you? (0)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413095)

Fuck you they have. You're just making shit up now. THEY HAVE NOT HAD A MEETING INT HE WHITE HOUSE FOR 7 WEEKS. Period. End of discussion. Your precious democrats have done absolutely nothing since the elections thinking they had a mandate and could get whatever they wanted without discussing with the R's. Now the ship is about to sink and all you wanna do is blame the R's for not bending over and taking it up the ass for Obama. THEY ARE THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is their JOB to oppose shit. Both need to bend and make concessions which Boehner did by adopting the Pelosi plan and then having Pelosi, Reid and Obama spit in his face. He's now about to lose his speakership because he bent so far over it pissed his own side off.

So fuck you very much. Take your lies and bullshit and shove them up your ass. I'm tired of you friggin leftwing jackwds lying every time you open your fucking mouths. Just because you say something doesn't make it true asshole.

Re:Got that "Fiscal Cliff" resolved then, did you? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413297)

You sound just like the whining worthless assholes you are defending. Crying and engaging in petty arguments and bullshit like a bunch of fucking 3 year olds.

Truth is the lame motherfuckers you are so vehemently defending have enough control over the political process that nothing is getting done. The dems have made concession after concession and your "opposition party" has refused to budge at all like a turd caught crossways.

I'm tired of all the hating. Useless energy spent attacking each other in a sideshow of distraction for all the plebs while nothing of any real value gets accomplished and instead things just get worse, since that's all these children can agree on. And you, sir are part of the problem.

Re:Got that "Fiscal Cliff" resolved then, did you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413101)

Oh, give me a fucking break. Your "minority party" has enough of a stranglehold on the process to have prevented ANY of the dem proposed legislation attempts from getting through, even proposals they themselves put forth earlier. So now, once in 4 years, the dems are pulling the same thing and you are whining?

FUCK YOU AND ALL THOSE THAT WOULD DESTROY THIS COUNTRY JUST TO MAKE THE PRESIDENT LOOK BAD OR PROVE A POINT.

Your hate will destroy not only your enemies but you as well.

Re:Got that "Fiscal Cliff" resolved then, did you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413113)

The irony is, now taxes will go up on the top 1% (and everybody else) anyway. Congrats, Grover Norquist.

See which bastards voted for it (5, Informative)

petsounds (593538) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412631)

Here's the vote of each Senator [govtrack.us] on this bill. Only 23 voted Nay, only 3 of those Nays were Republicans, and 4 Senators didn't even show up to vote. And President Obama is quite ready to sign it into law.

This country is broken.

Re:See which bastards voted for it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412885)

Here's the vote of each Senator [govtrack.us] on this bill. Only 23 voted Nay, only 3 of those Nays were Republicans, and 4 Senators didn't even show up to vote. And President Obama is quite ready to sign it into law.

This country is broken.

It only takes one Democrat president to veto it. Funny how you drop party label for that.

Re:See which bastards voted for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413145)

What president would veto receiving more power?
It's sad, but be realistic. Power grabs are a bipartisan theme.

Re:See which bastards voted for it (1)

besalope (1186101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413211)

Here's the vote of each Senator [govtrack.us] on this bill. Only 23 voted Nay, only 3 of those Nays were Republicans, and 4 Senators didn't even show up to vote. And President Obama is quite ready to sign it into law.

This country is broken.

It only takes one Democrat president to veto it. Funny how you drop party label for that.

In that case, don't forget that it was Republican Representative Lamar Smith [R-TX21] that introduced the renewal in the House that started the renewal. Honestly, both parties are the problem and the labels mean little at this point.

Re:See which bastards voted for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413285)

1. You mean "Democratic" president.
2. I'm pretty sure everyone who cares knows what political party the president belongs to.

Re:See which bastards voted for it (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413293)

Montana: 2 senators, both dems: NAY, NAY

Re:See which bastards voted for it (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42412921)

Here's the vote of each Senator [govtrack.us] on this bill. Only 23 voted Nay, only 3 of those Nays were Republicans, and 4 Senators didn't even show up to vote. And President Obama is quite ready to sign it into law.

This country is broken.

Washington State voted no because they know the gov is going to use them warrant less eavesdropping against it. Colorado apparently had 1 senator too stoned to vote no.

Well, I guess all the senators that voted yes are cool with them being wiretapped. After all, it's for their safety.

guess it's time for encryption to go mainstream, of course, it will be illegal to use any encryption soon...

Re:See which bastards voted for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412973)

Time to build that artificial trackable portfolio so I can still get great jobs in government. Use encryptian full time and engage in class warefare with the people to poor or stupid to do the same.

Re:See which bastards voted for it (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413051)

Actually, I'd like to see the photos that the FBI/CIA/NSA sent to each Senator with the understanding that they'd better vote the right way. Or else.

Uh, ..... actually no, I wouldn't.

Re:See which bastards voted for it (1)

afidel (530433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413157)

Thank you! I'm glad to see that my Senator (and former Representative) Sherrod Brown voted nay, in fact that only thing that he's done in his entire time in office that's seriously surprised and upset me was cosponsoring PIPA which he did not because he was beholden to the industry but rather because he believed in the goals of the legislation (I strongly disagree with him on that of course, but at least he wasn't just voting for his corporate masters like so many in Washington).

Re:See which bastards voted for it (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413325)

This country is broken.

Yes, we broke it ourselves. Every day we break it a little bit more.

Re:See which bastards voted for it (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413383)

The "bipartisan consensus" viewpoint in Washington DC has these basic views:
1. The NSA, CIA, FBI, and DoD are completely trustworthy organizations that can be given complete control over the lives of US citizens.
2. Large corporations, especially big business, are the cornerstone of the American economy. To keep the economy going, do exactly what the CEOs of these corporations say to do.
3. Political protesters are either a totally pointless annoyance, or a Threat to America.
4. Taxes are penalties.
5. People in charge are in charge because they're better in every way than the people who aren't in charge.

Re:See which bastards voted for it (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413503)

Here's the vote of each Senator [govtrack.us] on this bill. Only 23 voted Nay, only 3 of those Nays were Republicans, and 4 Senators didn't even show up to vote. And President Obama is quite ready to sign it into law.

This country is broken.

Broken relative to what? Those bills tend to be pretty popular, I doubt 23/100 Americans would vote against it if it were put to a referendum. Heck, a small plurality support warrantless wiretapping even in the US [gallup.com] , which makes me severely doubt that you could find much opposition to wiretapping international calls where one end is not a US citizen.

Now, I don't like it (I'm definitely in the 23/100) but willful blindess to uncomfortable facts does not seem to me like a valid (or effective) political strategy. Nor does complaining about "broken" or "treasonous" politicians that are implementing the will of the voters.

Fuck a lawless country that says it isn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412633)

When the laws are in conflict and the 9-deep robe party isn't doing the job, who the fuck will?

U.S. Senate Says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412863)

Suck it fags!

Next week, we're hiking your taxes and cutting your services. What are you gonna do about it!

Santa renews what?!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42412909)

Oh. Makes sense, actually.

It's funny... (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413019)

It's funny how our government can easily pass laws like this that the public is almost universally apposed to with very little effort what-so-ever. But when it comes to balancing the budget, something we're almost universally in favor of, they can't do a damned thing.

time for ubiquitous PGP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413021)

And we don't have widespread use of PGP for private online communications (emails, chats, texts, etc) .... umm... why again?

Because it's fucking trivial to set up, and it stops this kind of government snooping dead in its tracks. It's built into many mailers, is a trivial "add-on": to others, and it's available in Pidgin and other texting clients. It's out there, all we have to do is use it. It's time to take back our privacy.

Putin: Bring Back The Wall! (3, Interesting)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413089)

Seriously -- things were so much better when we had the Red Scare to keep our Government busy.
Ever since the Berlin Wall fell, it's been a constant War On The People.

Can the US and Russia please just go back to hating each other?
I've had it with my government truing to come up with new and improved ways to infringe my rights.

Just an extention of US Export Controls (2)

redelm (54142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413141)

Rail all you like but the US you think you knew _never_ existed. The US has always exerted strong jurisdiction and controls of both imports (Morrill Tariff caused the US Civil War) _and_ exports. Most people know about imports but few know about US Export controls which date back to 1790 with a prohibition against exporting straight pine logs useable as ship masts and spars by the enemy of the day, Great Britain. The current lists are rather long and complex -- search on CCL and EAR.

It should come as no surprise to information-workers that some of these controls cover intangibles like information (xDxxx and xExxx series codes), especially when these can be viewed as "products" and not "free-speech". To avoid running afoul of the US Const 1st Amend (and potential invalidation by courts), the export regs have exemptions for certain types of public materials like conferences.

So these intercepts, however distasteful ("Gentlemen do not read each others letters") have an established basis in law a power-grabbing government is happy to seize. Their oath "protect and defend the Consititution" seems to mean "push up as hard as we dare against it, joyfully crossing the line when we can find a good enough justification".

Re:Just an extention of US Export Controls (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413409)

Your right, but there has always been limitations to how they could use this against us. The key point here is technology makes what you describe to be a much worse and deep problem.

You usto be able to live in the west and smuggle if you disagree'd with what was going on in the east during the civil war. The power elite literally had to march an army across 20 indian filled states to stop you.

Re:Just an extention of US Export Controls (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413433)

This was reserved for extreme cases (the Alamo). Not trivial disputes in Utah or Arizona, or California. This is why hollywood is in California. Because they had the freedom to set up over there. It was a bad business venture in the east.

Re:Just an extention of US Export Controls (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413425)

(Morrill Tariff caused the US Civil War)

No it didn't. Slavery and the fear that Abraham Lincoln would put an end to it caused the US Civil War. Don't believe me, believe the Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union [yale.edu] which was passed by the South Carolina convention days after they voted to secede:

A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

who votes for these morons??? (1)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413263)

oh right.....yeah....that'd be a whole bunch of you guys......

oh well, I hope that bed you made is lovely and warm!!

The people should get warrantless wiretapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413267)

of any Senator who voted for this. Of course they wouldn't have anything to hide, since they're so honest. Crapo, the teetotaler who got a DWI couldn't possibly be hiding something.

Ron Paul (2)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413299)

Does not approve.

I know, let's GIVE 'EM MORE MONEY!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413453)

Who's for RAISING TAXES so these guys get EVEN MORE MONEY AND POWER?!!?!?

Yay!!!

Next God-damned time you vote for someone who's on the side of raising taxes, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THIS IS THE MONSTER YOU'RE FEEDING!

This is how liberty dies.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42413491)

With thunderous applause.

terrorists watch out! (1)

faustoc4 (2766155) | about a year and a half ago | (#42413501)

Those terrorists will learn, oh wait
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