Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Congress Voting On Amendment to Defund NSA Domestic Spying Tomorrow

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the busy-signal dept.

Government 276

New submitter Jah-Wren Ryel writes "It's been just over a month since the NSA's dragnet surveillance program was leaked to the public. Tomorrow, Congress is voting on an amendment that would block funding for NSA programs that collect the call records of innocent Americans. A win tomorrow may start a chain reaction — but it won't happen unless we speak up. We have one day to convince Congress to act." The EFF is urging U.S. citizens to call their representatives, noting that there is no time for email to be effective (find your representative). You can read the amendment on the EFF site, quoting the EFF: "Reps. Justin Amash, John Conyers, Jr., Thomas Massie, Mick Mulvaney, and Jared Polis are proposing an amendment that would curtail funding for the implementation of orders under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act unless the order is explicitly limited in scope. ... Even as the Amash/Conyers Amendment is gaining momentum, some are rallying around a decoy amendment that would do nothing to rein in domestic surveillance. That amendment, championed by Rep. Nugent, would not alter in any way the government's use of Section 215 to obtain bulk communications records on millions of Americans. EFF is urging Representatives to oppose the Nugent Amendment."

cancel ×

276 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I would, but... (5, Insightful)

cphilo (768807) | about a year ago | (#44364921)

I live in Kansas, so if I called my Congressman, it would be totally ineffective. I have tried before and gotten the form letter which says, basically, "If you have an opinion that disagrees with mine, Suck It." Sincerely Your Congressman

Re:I would, but... (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#44365049)

I live in Kansas, so if I called my Congressman, it would be totally ineffective. I have tried before and gotten the form letter which says, basically, "If you have an opinion that disagrees with mine, Suck It." Sincerely Your Congressman

You should still call. Express your disapproval if necessary. Silence will be interpreted as agreement.

Re:I would, but... (5, Insightful)

trum4n (982031) | about a year ago | (#44365077)

Disapproval will be interpreted as treason.

Re:I would, but... (2, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44365139)

Disapproval will be interpreted as disapproval. It may be short sighted, ill considered, but still just disapproval.

Re:I would, but... (2)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year ago | (#44365289)

Consider that if you call, the NSA will know you called. One more metadata tag in some disk drive in Utah.

Re:I would, but... (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#44365319)

So call from work from a conference room, no need to tie the record to yourself directly. Though I admit, I'm local so it's obviously not long distance for me.

That said, shouldn't we mandate Congress have 800 numbers?

Re:I would, but... (4, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year ago | (#44365417)

Most orgs that have 800#s have ANI. Look it up-- like caller-id but more choice.

Your cellphone put you in the conference room. You can be tracked easily to very confined geometry.

So it was you. You don't even have to confess, we hacked the VoIP PBX long ago.

Re:I would, but... (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#44365563)

Last year I would have said you're tinfoil hat material.

However, I said 'directly', which isn't claiming they can't figure it out, just that it isn't straightforward from the meta-data.

Re:I would, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365681)

If you're that concerned about the consequences of this one call, turn off your cell phone.

Re:I would, but... (4, Insightful)

RenderSeven (938535) | about a year ago | (#44365575)

That would be AWESOME! If the NSA was discovered to be monitoring incoming calls to a Congressman's office the monitoring program would be over. Congress only wants them monitoring the masses, not themselves.

Re:I would, but... (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44365093)

That's the standard form letter that you get in ANY state (except for maybe 2 or 3 swing states, where the outcome of any election isn't already predetermined).

Re:I would, but... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365149)

Now you at least know how non-us-citizens feel when they talk to you guys, basically, "who cares if the NSA taps the whole world, as long as they don't tap us-citizens, suck it"...

Re:I would, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365215)

And fuck you all for agreeing that spying on your allies is a given. Fuck. You. All.

Re:I would, but... (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44365353)

Re:I would, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365821)

Yes, yes, the USA is our friend. Our politicians keep telling us. But we know better. It's not just your administration either. You, the people, are not our friends. You want your government to spy on us, to tilt the table in your favor.

Re:I would, but... (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | about a year ago | (#44365583)

Wait, we have allies?!

Re:I would, but... (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44365473)

So do it anyway. Why do you assume it's totally ineffective? A form letter of any kind doesn't mean anything. They count the number of people who contact them about an issue: it's a good indication of whether it could hurt their chances of getting re-elected.

Also, as far as senators go, Moran didn't go raving about terrorists and security. [ksn.com] That statement sounds like as of the 4th of july, he hadn't decided which way his voters were leaning.

Your other senator, Pat Roberts, doesn't appear to have made any comments on the NSA or Snowden recently, though I didn't dig too deep. He did defend the program under Bush, but no one is going to call him out on it if he flip flops on it.

Anyway, if enough people call, any representative interested in staying in office (all of them) will at least not vote to preserve the NSA. It's a long shot, but it's slightly longer if you decide you'd rather spend the 5 minutes it would take to call picking your nose instead.

Re:I would, but... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44365485)

Ah... and now I realize it's not the senate. Well fuck it. Call them anyway.

Re:I would, but... (5, Interesting)

tomkost (944194) | about a year ago | (#44365693)

This is the same response that most people get when contacting their congressmen. On top of that, mine is Michael McCall, and he is the Chairman of the Dept Homeland Security committee, so he's REALLY on the side of NSA spying. His people literally laughed at me when I called to voice objection to the Cyber Security Bill.

Re:I would, but... (1)

Simulant (528590) | about a year ago | (#44365725)


My congressman and I are pretty much in agreement on everything. Can I call your congressman?

Re:I would, but... (3, Insightful)

tippe (1136385) | about a year ago | (#44365759)

There's no guarantee that contacting your congressman will make any difference in all of this, but doing nothing diminishes your chances of affecting any kind of change to nil. Guaranteed that there is a significant part of your population that is going to be spending their evening comatose in front of the TV or watching Youtube, oblivious to or uncaring of this NSA scandal brewing around them. It's a foregone conclusion that they won't be calling their congressman. As someone aware of what is going on, who is not hopelessly entranced by "So you think you can dance" or some other such crap, and who has the power and capacity to maybe do something about it (you have a phone, don't you?), don't you think you have a duty to act on behalf of your country?

As a Canadian, I can't do much about this particular initiative, but I have on a small number of occasions participated in blocking certain bills that I felt strongly against (new Canadian copyright reform bills), and I did this simply by contacting my MP and various ministers. Did my individual acts, when considered on their own, make a difference? Hell no. But when considered together with similar acts by thousands of other Canadians, it had a very strong impact, and was enough to stop a couple of unfavourable bills in their tracks (at least for a while). If copyright reform can elicit that kind of effort from me, why doesn't the loss and corruption of one of your fundamental "rights" elicit the same kind of effort in you? What is it going to take?

Not an amendment - (0)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | about a year ago | (#44364929)

This is not a vote on an amendment to the Constitution, but instead a vote on an amendment to an appropriations bill in the House. The OP could be much clearer.

Re:Not an amendment - (4, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | about a year ago | (#44364963)

> The OP could be much clearer.

Or you could be smart enough to realize that the word amendment isn't defined as "Modifies the US Constitution"

Re:Not an amendment - (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44365457)

The other thing that could be clearer is that this has exactly zero chance of having any success.

Congress defunding something merely results in the administration transferring discretionary funds to the program so that nothing is changed, other than the Forest service doesn't get new ranger trucks this year, or the Coast Guard runs obsolete cutters for another year past their life expectancy (which expired 25 years ago).
The money thusly transferred will be totally lost in the morass of government accounting and end up being more secret than the secret budget of the NSA.

Until Congress gets the balls to outlaw this program with criminal penalties, simply taking away funds away is a pointless gesture, like sending a kid to his room with no desert, but sneaking a double helping of cake and cookies into his later.

Re:Not an amendment - (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about a year ago | (#44365803)

...nothing is changed, other than the Forest service doesn't get new ranger trucks this year, or the Coast Guard runs obsolete cutters for another year past their life expectancy (which expired 25 years ago).

How is that ineffective? The more the government shits on people, the more it contributes to public dissent, the more public dissent and malcontent the closer people come to snapping.
It really saddened me when the government stepped in with TARP money. Sure they stopped a major financial crisis, but I wanted to see some CEOs being drawn and quartered as a deterrent for future CEOs.

I've called my congressman before (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44364935)

Nothing to see here (4, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#44364945)

Treadstone? You're worried... It's all but decommissioned at this point. All right. What's next? Okay. This is... Black Briar. Black Briar is a joint DOD communications program that we really feel has good traction. It's got legs. It'll run and run.

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#44364973)

I can neither confirm no deny that.

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365189)

So you're saying Edward Snowden was bourne to be a snitch...?

Call your.... wtf? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44364993)

Call your political people all you want, but they're the dipshits that need such, or so they would like us to think. The problem here isn't that they're spying on us, it's that data can be used for deeeep levels of doublespeak that only regular citizens can get caught up in. No one will ever hear of a fucking political leader doing wrong, as a result of the PRISM findings. Also, if they do find such, and report it, they'll likely end up hiding in a Russian airport.

This is not enough. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365007)

"Not spying on Americans[tm]"?

Uhm. Did you lot forget that the USoA proclaimed itself the guardian of teh free intarwebz? And also that more than a little international traffic passes in, then right out the USoA again, in both directions?

If you want to be trustable as a global guardian, you can't treat this few people different from all the rest, you have to stand up equally for each and every one of them. So if you don't want wholesale warrantless tapping of bloody everything, you have to stop it for everyone, not just for you.

If you don't get that, you're not fit to stay guardian of teh intarwebz. To the point that I can't tell which would be worse, putting the oversight with the VN, with censorship-pushing Russia and wholesale censoring China (and a fsckton of dodgy other countries, like the UK) both on its security council, or you.

So yeah, call your representatives. And tell'em to shut the whole thing down, not just stop it for the happy few. You owe it to the image of that great and idealistic country you like to try and convince the world of, if not so much to your loudly speaking deeds so far.

The Greatest Lying Mouth of All Time(tm) (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365015)

Because nothing says reassuring like a vote from congress.

Domestic spying isn't going to end folks. It's here to stay, you're all being profiled now and you don't care enough to do anything about it. The day a new iPhone or Galaxy Nexus comes out you'll all still buy it, even though you've just helped enable domestic spying through your purchase. The day the PS4 with its microphone-enabled controllers and the XBone with its Kinect 2 you'll all rush out and buy it anyway. Hell, Android phones came with CarrierIQ PREINSTALLED, remember that? A keylogger, preinstalled on your phone. They aren't even trying to hide it any more, your phone is a mouthpiece and eyepiece of the State now whether you like it or not.

All I've seen on Slashdot and Reddit about this whole debacle is nothing but a bunch of whining and slacktivism, the most amusing of which was a meme post on Reddit whining on about the lack of "complaints" regarding the NSA lately. Complaints. That's all you have after every right and freedom your own ancestors fought to achieve, complaints? How can you honestly still sing "the land of the free" with a straight face when the anthem plays? The United States of America is the shining example of totalitarianism in the world today.

Let that sink in for a moment and then lament everything that you've lost, because none of you care enough to take it back.

Re:The Greatest Lying Mouth of All Time(tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365067)

And what exactly are you doing to change this besides complaining and internet slacktivism??

Re:The Greatest Lying Mouth of All Time(tm) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365097)

The backlash has to start somewhere. Enough people are angry about the NSA. So we'll stop the NSA, and then we'll see if we can turn that anger against private snooping. Mocking an attempt to actually do something about the problem makes you worse than the folks you're lambasting.

Re:The Greatest Lying Mouth of All Time(tm) (2, Insightful)

spacepimp (664856) | about a year ago | (#44365157)

So here you are posting on Slashdot how no one is doing enough to stop this, and still you are complete anonymous pussy coward? It takes a real man to hide behind anonymity when he talks about manning up to safeguard our liberties. You don't know what I've done or how I've done it so piss off. Secondly your baited comments about technology are showing the complete lack of understanding of the political process, and the nature of technology. Going back to the stone doesn't solve the problem, and using technology i not the root of the problem. Altogether you are a fool.

Re:The Greatest Lying Mouth of All Time(tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365601)

"Anonymous pussy coward," that's rich. It's been so long since you've had privacy that you can't even remember it, can you?

Altogether you are a traitor to your own country, and if there were any justice in the world it wouldn't be innocent people rotting away in Abu Ghraib, it'd be you and your despicable, traitor family. Spout obscenities like a child on XBox Live all you like, you'll be a traitor when you go to sleep tonight and you'll be a traitor when you wake up tomorrow morning. A traitor who refused to stand up for the same principles that people have died for. It's people like you who don't deserve rights, people like you who should be put in cages and treated like base animals.

People like you. Traitors.

Truth hurts, doesn't it? Incidentally, since you're so proud of your lack of privacy, maybe we ought to talk about your alter ego? Seeing as how you're far less cowardly than I am and all?

http://www.funnyjunk.com/user/spacepimp [funnyjunk.com]

Choice highlights from spacepimp's own profile:

"Im spacepimp. yes, Im a furry.interests, females.fur color, dark blue.fur length, 3 in.height, 6.10 .Weight, 193 pounds.rage hobbies or moon transformation, eating the flesh of the innocent, mutilating livestock, raping sergals.hobbies self transformation, skateboarding, cage fighting, smoking weed, posting on funnyjunk, fappin, sexing up many threads, dirty talking bad girls, bein a goof, picking fights,etc.job, overlord of all Lykens, and space pimp"

A so-called man who lists some of his hobbies as "mutilating livestock" and "raping" fictional animals is demanding to be taken seriously. The "overlord of all Lykens" no less. You'll forgive me if I don't laugh my ass off.

Re:The Greatest Lying Mouth of All Time(tm) (5, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#44365363)

The United States of America is the shining example of totalitarianism in the world today.

We have a major problem with the constitution being seen as completely irrelevant (see Obama's decision that he can unilaterally override legislation with Obamacare / immigration; the idea that the fed has the constitutional right to mandate healthcare; the idea that state governments have the right to prohibit firearm posession; etc ad nauseam).

That said, I have a strong feeling you've never been to a totalitarian government, and have no idea what youre talking about. All governments tend towards totalitarianism, but we're pretty far from it. Part of the issue with "nothing but complaints" is that people get this ridiculous idea that "we've lost, we have no freedoms, and we're already a dictatorship". Guess what, no we're not, we still have a large number of rights, and battles over a lot of them are STILL being fought.

So next time the discussion over gun control or the first amendment or the 4th amendment comes up, rather than saying "think of the children" and conceding, and rather than saying "we've lost' and giving up, try actually standing up for the principle and letting it affect how you vote. I have a strong feeling that this defeatism is a lot of the reason so many people dont vote, and you really should not be complaining about slacktivism on the one hand and encouraging apathy on the other.

Re:The Greatest Lying Mouth of All Time(tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365627)

You can have rights under a dictatorship. Ask yourself when the last time the "will of the people" actually changed anything that matters?

Re:The Greatest Lying Mouth of All Time(tm) (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#44365653)

We have a lot of rights, but they've been largely neutered. e.g., what good is the right to free speech, if your speech can never affect public policy? What good is the right to a trial by jury, if you have to risk the rest of your life in order to exercise it? Really now, what are these "large number of rights" that we still have?

Re:The Greatest Lying Mouth of All Time(tm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365687)

"...you're all being profiled now and you don't care enough to do anything about it."

And that's why I got off my ass and phoned my Congressman to support Representative Amash's amendment to HR-2397 when it comes up for a vote tomorrow.

What are you doing other than making noise?

Representive Nugent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365017)

I was afraid somebody did vote for Ted.

Luckily it's somebody else.

Unfortunately, it seems he is nearly as crazy.

Re:Representive Nugent? (1, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44365075)

I was afraid somebody did vote for Ted.

Luckily it's somebody else.

Unfortunately, it seems he is nearly as crazy.

I've wondered this for some time now - what, precisely, makes Ted Nugent so "crazy?" Because he's a firm defender of the 2nd Amendment? Or perhaps because he's concerned about illegal government activities such as domestic spying and summary executions without due process?

Oh, I see - he's supported Republicans in the past. So, not so much "crazy," as "doesn't agree with my opinion 100%..."

Re:Representive Nugent? (2, Insightful)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44365135)

Because he says insane things like that the president can suck his machine gun, or that if Obama gets reelected he'll be in prison or dead. How is it you didn't notice that he's gone crazy? He fits right in with the deranged wingnuts who ruined the Republican party.

Re:Representive Nugent? (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44365337)

Because he says insane things like that the president can suck his machine gun, or that if Obama gets reelected he'll be in prison or dead.

What, precisely, is insane about that? Not being arch, I genuinely want to know if there's any valid reason why a man voicing his opinion would be considered an insane act.

Granted, those aren't the most intellectually sound statements ever, but I've heard worse; my current favorite is, "We must sacrifice our freedoms to protect our freedoms." No, seriously, someone said that to me as recently as today. Really.

I get the feeling that "crazy" in this debate can be translated to "holds an opinion I strongly disagree with."

"How is it you didn't notice that he's gone crazy? He fits right in with the deranged wingnuts who ruined the Republican party."

How is it that you can make such a broad generalization and still consider yourself sane? You should, as any sane person should, know that generalizations are defacto falsehoods, because to generalize is to assign specific factors to non-specific groups, and thus are highly inaccurate statements.

Anyway, I always knew the definition of insanity to be, "performing the same action over and over, while expecting a different result." By that definition, every single person who supports either of the major parties, expecting Candidate A to be functionally different than Candidate B, is off their nut.

Re:Representive Nugent? (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#44365497)

"We must sacrifice our freedoms to protect our freedoms" is a dumb statement, but not a crazy one. It makes a point, and it allows for rebuttal and debate. "Obama can go suck on my machine gun" is a crazy statement. Rather than put forward any argument, it's a personal threat against the man he disagrees with.

Take a counterpoint: Charlton Heston was a firm defender of the 2nd Amendment. He spoke loudly and openly for his Constitutional rights. But he did not (afaik, at least) spew vitriol, personal attacks, or threats. Both Heston and Nugent held opinions that I disagree with, but I consider Nugent and not Heston to be crazy.

Re:Representive Nugent? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44365801)

"We must sacrifice our freedoms to protect our freedoms" is a dumb statement, but not a crazy one. It makes a point, and it allows for rebuttal and debate.

I challenge you to try and debate that point with the people who make it. At the end of the conversation, at least one of you will be crazy.

"Obama can go suck on my machine gun" is a crazy statement. Rather than put forward any argument, it's a personal threat against the man he disagrees with.

So, if I said "Antipater can take a flying leap at a rolling doughnut," you'd consider that a crazy statement and threat? Because that's pretty much what Nugent did, albeit with slightly more violent rhetoric.

Take a counterpoint: Charlton Heston was a firm defender of the 2nd Amendment. He spoke loudly and openly for his Constitutional rights. But he did not (afaik, at least) spew vitriol, personal attacks, or threats.

Ironic to say the least, as Heston's famous "you can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands" statement could actually be construed as a direct threat of violence, whereas the Nugent statement you quote is essentially his way of saying, "Mr. President, go fuck yourself."

See, Heston was making a direct statement of violent intent based on the actions of another - i.e., if you try and take his gun away, he's going to defend his possession of it to the death. In Nugent's statement, all he said was that Obama "can suck on my machinegun," which is not a direct statement of violent intent, nor requiring any action on anyone else's part - hell, for all we know, the Nuge was referring to his own dick (this is my rifle, this is my gun...), which would make the statement more of a proposition than anything.

Both Heston and Nugent held opinions that I disagree with, but I consider Nugent and not Heston to be crazy.

Pardon me, then, if I find that an odd position to take, considering.

Re:Representive Nugent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365731)

Uh, excuse me Mr. Jeff Flanagan, but why is that you have the red mark of the Devil next to your name, nobody else on /. does.

Are you a Wizard?

Re:Representive Nugent? (1, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44365173)

Or maybe because he crapped his pants to get out of going to war.

Real patriot there.

Re:Representive Nugent? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44365259)

Or maybe because he crapped his pants to get out of going to war.

Real patriot there.

OK, so maybe not the most patriotic thing to do, but is it really crazy? I mean, have you any desire to enter a combat zone?

Dickhead is a label I don't necessarily disagree with, just can't understand where this "crazy" nonsense comes from (actually, I do - calling someone crazy marginalizes them, and makes it easier to ignore everything they have to say, regardless of how sane it may be).

Re:Representive Nugent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365571)

I was afraid somebody did vote for Ted.

Luckily it's somebody else.

Unfortunately, it seems he is nearly as crazy.

I've wondered this for some time now - what, precisely, makes Ted Nugent so "crazy?" Because he's a firm defender of the 2nd Amendment? Or perhaps because he's concerned about illegal government activities such as domestic spying and summary executions without due process?

Oh, I see - he's supported Republicans in the past. So, not so much "crazy," as "doesn't agree with my opinion 100%..."

Ah, the excuse of victimization, it's not Ted that is the problem, it's the people who dare say there's a problem with him and his conduct, we should just dismiss them because they're only saying that because they disagree with him, and are trying to make him look bad.

Which just goes to show, you're ignoring Ted Nugent's own demonizations in your frenetic attempt to avoid admitting that he's not the kind of person you want on your side.

Here's a few of Ted Nugent's actions:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/threatening-obama-is-only-the-10th-craziest-thing

I'm sorry that you think the problem is on the end of people who disagree with Ted, but the reality you don't want to embrace is that Ted Nugent is a fucking nutbar who probably did too many drugs and fried his brains as bad as Ozzy.

Spying on Americans is OK with me (4, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#44365031)

I don't care about the Americans. I would prefer them defund spying on the rest of the world. That will save them way more money.

Re:Spying on Americans is OK with me (0, Troll)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44365217)

Funny, as an American, I see it the other way around. I have absolutely no problems with the US government spying on all our so-called "friends" out there, most of whom aren't lifting a finger for us, continue to abuse us, and then expect us to clean up the messes the leave. In fact, not only do I not have a problem with it, given Europe's history, I think it's the right and prudent thing to do.

Re:Spying on Americans is OK with me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365223)

I don't necessarily agree with that. On the one hand, any kind of invasion of privacy is damaging, for a host of reasons, particularly by those more powerful than you.

But there's the rub. The NSA has _no_ power over you as a foreign citizen; not anymore than Facebook or Google does. What you should be worried about are the government agencies in your country cooperating with the NSA, because the NSA sure as heck doesn't simply get to tap into your local exchange points just by asking nicely.

That's the thing that the apologists stateside don't realize--the NSA hands over their information to the FBI. This is how they caught Elliot Spitzer, a politician. He got caught up in financial data trawling looking for terrorists and drug sellers. Once they realized he was a false positive, they _still_ handed his information over to another department.

Re:Spying on Americans is OK with me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365225)

All countries are doing it. You're naive if you think your blob of land govt isn't actively intruding on people in the name of security.

Re:Spying on Americans is OK with me (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44365321)

There might be a deal to be had if the world agrees to live in peace and harmony - and - to stop sending spies to the US. Let's see it demonstrated first. (Not holding breath...)

Re:Spying on Americans is OK with me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365741)

If you act like an ass, you get treated like an ass.

Try acting civilized first.

Re:Spying on Americans is OK with me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365441)

And we as an Americans generally don't care about your opinions on our internal politics?

just a shot.

Crowd Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365033)

This is just crowd control, so from the top of my head, "the amendment that would block funding for NSA programs that collect the call records of innocent Americans", there is no way for the NSA to know beforehand if they are innocent or not. And I bet the congress/NSA will find as many loopholes as they need in said amendment or other legislation to continue to do whatever they want.
Now if you excuse me, there is a SWAT team on my front lawn, they seem to be aiming at my windoooooooooooooooooooo-

Re:Crowd Control (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#44365185)

"None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to execute a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order pursuant to Section 501 of FISA 1978 which does not contain the following sentence: 'This order limits the collection of any tangible things (including [metadata]) that may be authorized to be collected pursuant to this Order to those tangible things that pertain to a person who is the subject of an investigation described in Section 501 of FISA 1978'."

In other words: Section 501 orders must be limited to the subject of a current investigation, or they will not receive funding. It's not about innocence, it's about being the subject of an investigation or not. No blanket orders, no three-hops rule.

Three Cheers for Amash (5, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44365041)

Justin Amash [twitter.com] is just the kind of Representative that could really make this system work, if there were 430 more like him. He posts all of his votes online and explains his rationale, which is almost always concerned foremost with the legality of the proposed legislation.

For that reason, most of his amendments fail and he's usually on the losing side of popular votes. I'll be delighted if his amendment succeeds and is not subsequently removed in conference or by another amendment, but if I were a betting man, I would not bet on his effort tomorrow having any actual impact on the funding.

Re:Three Cheers for Amash (0)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year ago | (#44365253)

I'll be delighted if his amendment succeeds and is not subsequently removed in conference or by another amendment, but if I were a betting man, I would not bet on his effort tomorrow having any actual impact on the funding.

An unfunded NSA just means more funding hidden under "National Security Discretionary Spending." That's how most black ops get funded. That and illegally selling drugs and guns, but the US Intelligence services would never do that. (sarcasm)

Re:Three Cheers for Amash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365447)

Please. The US government doesn't need to run drugs or guns to make money. Yes, they've done it before, but not for cash. They've done it for many other, ridiculous reasons, but not cash.

As you said, they have numerous ways to move money around, usually with the approval of some subcommittee exhibiting regulatory capture (or Stockholm syndrome) which makes it at least quasi-legal.

We should _wish_ that the government funded black ops using such methods. For one thing, it would seriously reign in the amount of damage they could do. It's really hard to move dope, much harder than cashing a check from the Treasury. And they'd have to keep it secret, which would also require keeping the programs small and contained.

Re:Three Cheers for Amash (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44365283)

The LEGALITY of proposed legislation?! Are you retarded? Legislation IS legality! That's what it is! It's LAWS!

Re:Three Cheers for Amash (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44365355)

I would assume that is Constitutional legality.

Re:Three Cheers for Amash (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44365487)

I don't much care about the Constitution. Much of it provides too much freedom to the government. Much of it doesn't guarantee the freedoms people need, and provides them freedoms that are actively harmful. Much of it provides freedoms in the wrong way (patent and copyright law--no bounds, no rules, you have the freedom to lobby for eternal copyright and sue the shit out of old ladies). Much of it proscribes mechanisms that have already been subverted, such that the voice and the will and the freedom of the people is easily trampled on because all those rights don't apply if you word them in the terminology of the modern age. It's a pile of misguided trash.

What people don't understand is that the United States was an experiment, a brand new form of government based on the ideals of great philosophers like John Locke or Voltaire. Jefferson and Franklin are often cited, but they proposed their ideals as studious scholars of Voltaire and Locke and other who preceded them. The whole thing, the US Constitution, the Federal government, the concept of a Republic, of Representative Democracy, everything, it's all a huge pre-beta alpha test. It's a first attempt. It's gone through revisions and changes, and the change control process and organizational hierarchy and everything were so wrong that it's now a steaming pile and needs to be burned down and rewritten from the ground up.

Re:Three Cheers for Amash (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44365745)

I have to disagree with you a bit. The US Constitution is government 2.x. It is production code that has had some patches applied.

Government 1.0 didn't work out so well and had to be scrapped: See Articles of Confederation [wikipedia.org]

A further rewrite instead of patching would be risky. There is no guarantee that a rewrite would be better, and a considerable chance it would be far worse given the feckless politicians now available to perform a rewrite.

I think the current US Constitution could be compared to Algol: Here is a language so far ahead of its time, that it was not only an improvement on its predecessors, but also on nearly all its successors. -- C. A. R. Hoare [wikiquote.org]

Re:Three Cheers for Amash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365585)

Not in the United States of America, only in countries like the UK that believe in Parliamentary Supremacy.

In the United States of America, we at last pretend to adhere to the idea of limited powers. That means not only are legislators limited to their enumerated powers, but even within those powers they're limited in both the means and ends under the concept of Law of the Land and Due Process, both of which have both procedural and substantive aspects in American legal philosophy going back to before the Revolution. (The UK briefly entertained the idea that "Law of the Land" and "Due Process" were fundamental limitations on sovereign power, but that didn't last long and by the 18th century was long forgotten.)

As Daniel Webster said: "By the law of the land is most clearly intended the general law; a law, which hears before it condemns; which proceeds upon inquiry, and renders judgment only after trial. The meaning is, that every citizen should hold his life, liberty, property, and immunities, under the protection of the general rules which govern society. Every thing which may pass under the form of an enactment, is not, therefore, to be considered the law of the land."

Here "general law" reflects a concept of natural rights, which is to say that most kinds of liberty cannot simply be taken away by a legislature. Rather most liberties are inherent in your person and can only be lost by some positive action done by yourself which only by the judgment of a court and your peers legitimizes their restraint.

The irony is that conservatives, who like to talk about inherent liberties, despise the idea of "substantive due process", as it has come to be known. By eschewing substantive due process, however, they've left all individuals susceptible to tyranny by government.

Tough love (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365043)

Go take your ..."but its pointless" excuses and shove em up your ass.

Will it mater? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365057)

At this point I'm not sure you can actually yank funds from the NSA. Their budget is secret, and they have as secret court system who's records are secret that they could use to overrule pretty much any funding provision.

The NSA has positioned itself completely out of congressional and executive oversight. It's pretty clear that they lie to both branches and get away with it, simply because they have the ability censor and withhold any documents that could prove that they're up to no good.

People get on the Govt's case (specifically the case of presidents and politicians they don't like) for supporting NSA actions.. I don't think it's quite that simple. Congress and the President get advice and information from the NSA and they depend on it for making policy decisions. The problem is the NSA could be feeding congress and the president bullshit, and we've got no way to prove that information right or wrong.

There's no accountability (God, I hate that overused word but it's appropriate in this context) and there is no oversight. There is simply no way to prove that there is or is no conflict of interest, and thus we cannot trust the NSA. (Even if it turns out all of their actions are completely justified!)

Re:Will it mater? (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#44365445)

I dont believe the FISA court has jurisdiction over the congressional budget. If congress defunds them, theyre defunded.

Re:Will it mater? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365695)

How do you know? The budget is secret. There are literally less people than you can count on one hand that know the full details of the NSA's budget and the president is not among them.

How can congress de-fund what it can't track? Say congress says "Dont spend money on X". The NSA can simply mark all documents involved secret and congress will be effectively blocked from the ability to track the de-fund.

Now, I'm sure it's not actually this bad, but that's irrelevant. We know the consequences when there is no oversight, and no ability to stop conflict of interest. Abuse always happens when there is no one watching. Always.

Re:Will it mater? (1)

rsborg (111459) | about a year ago | (#44365701)

At this point I'm not sure you can actually yank funds from the NSA. Their budget is secret, and they have as secret court system who's records are secret that they could use to overrule pretty much any funding provision.

The NSA has positioned itself completely out of congressional and executive oversight. [snip]

Wait, isn't the NSA (and other three-letter alphabet soup of organizations) part of the executive branch anyway? Doesn't the POTUS have a say as to what's going on?

Perhaps the problem isn't that they're out of oversight - it's that they've completely corrupted it - spying on some companies (foriegn and domestic) to help their competitors who play ball - doing the same for Congress critters, and I bet they're not above threatening the POTUS himself if the soft-intimidation doesn't work (remember the outing of the MARINE1's specs? [1] ) ... hey a sitting President has been assassinated before - and we have no idea who did it. Surprised it took The agencies chartered with his protection were "above reproach" of course.

We have a shell of democracy over a seething cesspit of crony capitalism, backstabbing and all the dirty things we claim only happens in "corrupt 3rd world toilets".

[1] http://www.dailytech.com/Defense+Contractor+Leaks+Obamas+Presidential+Helicopter+Plans+to+Iran/article14446.htm [dailytech.com]

Totally not monitoring those calls. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365081)

We totally aren't tracking who calls their congressman to express support for the bill. Pinkie swear.

Stupid (1)

Tim12s (209786) | about a year ago | (#44365105)

This is stupid ... at this rate only the pirates will have guns (big data analytics).

People should be advocating better oversight and more direct accountability instead of tearing down the walls of Rome.

No, somehow - I smell bullshit (3, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | about a year ago | (#44365151)

I'll believe it when the NSA is actually defunded.

The more cynical side of me says this is bullshit politics as usual.

Here's what's really going to happen: the congressman is going to go to the NSA leadership, and say "look, I have hundreds and thousands of constituents who want to shut you down, but if you let me spy on my political opponents, and listen in on their calls, and help me sabotage them, then I can justify and risk continuance of your funding"

The more we petition them, the more they will be able to use shutting them down as a threat to get more political power that is turned against us. I predict it will be a cold day in hell before political leaders in DC give up that kind of power to spy on and blackmail people.

Re:No, somehow - I smell bullshit (2)

boorack (1345877) | about a year ago | (#44365231)

Political kabuki theatre aside, I don't think congressmen are in position to negotiate any deal with NSA. My suspicion is that NSA tightly holds most, if not all congressmen by the balls. With amounts of data they've collected, they can blackmail just about any politician into submission. Congress will propably vote exactly what NSA wants. Face it, folks. There is no functioning democracy in the US - just as one ex-Presidedent told us. Security aparatchics have all the power - just like in old communist countries or banana republics.

Yet everyone should have hope and avoid apathy. My hope is that I'm wrong and Congress will do The Right Thing tomorrow ...

Re:No, somehow - I smell bullshit (3, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#44365271)

why defund the NSA, the NSA actually has a legimate mission which of course has nothing to do with spying on U.S. citizens. The job it is supposed to be doing is securing the communications of the U.S. government

Re:No, somehow - I smell bullshit (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year ago | (#44365393)

why defund the NSA, the NSA actually has a legimate mission which of course has nothing to do with spying on U.S. citizens. The job it is supposed to be doing is securing the communications of the U.S. government

There are two types of people in this world. Those who RTFA'd and those who did not.

Re:No, somehow - I smell bullshit (1)

rsborg (111459) | about a year ago | (#44365733)

why defund the NSA, the NSA actually has a legimate mission which of course has nothing to do with spying on U.S. citizens. The job it is supposed to be doing is securing the communications of the U.S. government

And if you take all the government employees, contractors and the like, and go 3 hops, you pretty much have the whole of the USA.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/07/18/2023207/nsa-admits-searching-3-hops-from-suspects [slashdot.org]

Re:No, somehow - I smell bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365603)

I'll believe it when the NSA is actually defunded.

The only way you could ever be sure that they aren't just doing the same thing under a different name and with a different secret legal rationale would be if there is a second coming of Snowden. Perhaps in 100 years your grandkids will get to know since at that point it won't matter.

Defund NSA Domestic Spying Tomorrow (1)

Alouster (2825639) | about a year ago | (#44365191)

Sounds good; If it hadn't already been funded, transferred, and stabbed into the heart of the nation, forever transplanted and never to be removed. However, Congress somehow always feels that these types of charades appease the general public and lull them into feeling that the intrusions are really not there, and therefor no do exist. Meanwhile, the general public's loss of privacy, diminishing incomes, devaluating dollars, and loss of freedom marches steadfastly forward. While the stooges stay indefatigably glued to CNN to see who appears to win or loose. This issue is already lost long long ago regardless of the outcome. This is simply for entertainment, brain washing, and profit. Nothing more, nothing less. Now stare back into the whirling spiral and go back to sleep.... Burning Questions: How can a new law be written in such a way that it would be illegal not to be in possession of at least one full pint of Mr. Clean when in public place? How will this be enforced? Who would bear the financial burden of enforcement? Who would subsidize this, as Procter and Gamble already sacrifices some much for the nation as it is, and simply cannot bear these types of burdens any longer on their own?

To what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365213)

My favorite bit of the summary is where it tell us what this is an amendment to.

Re:To what? (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#44365305)

The Defense Appropriations Bill for 2014, aka H.R.2397. It's the Defense Department's budget.

Tomorrow's headline: (1)

rallytales (2959345) | about a year ago | (#44365255)

"Congress cuts NSA spending. NSA submits new purchase request for $500 toilet rolls and $1,000 propelling pencils." ;)

Just wrote my rep... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365263)

Why: Pretty SIMPLE -> http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4003751&cid=44356985 [slashdot.org]

* 1st, I saw protesters get f'd over - then, the abuse of the IRS targetting political opponents (both of which are WRONG as wrong gets), but then I saw how Gen. Keith Alexander & Mr. James Clapper outright LIED saying they were NOT intercepting communique data of US citizens (especially since the NSA is or WAS not permitted to do so to native US citizenry - sure, "but it's LEGAL" yea, ok - changing the rules, subverting constitutional rights & such is WRONG too - up there with "hate speech" b.s. too - if you say something, it has every RIGHT to be said, but it's up to YOU to listen or not, but it is STILL a right).

Why's it bug me so much? Well... I was involved in VERY SIMILAR prototype work for a division of McAfee/Intel circa 2000-2001 using Intel IXP 1200 chips for similar work, & yes, I know how it is done (directed multigraph discrete math theory work)...

In fact, & you all can ask him: I explained this + exactly how it works, to Hairyfeet (a member here) via email in fact way, Way, WAY before this all came out in fact... & yes, folks: IT IS SPYING!

Now, I have nothing against men who probably go in with the right idea & honorable intentions... problem is, as I said in the link I posted earlier above? Is that they are JUST MEN, & subject to "Absolute Power Corrupting Absolutely"... & I suspect THAT is what most folks don't like about it, or trust (especially after the IRS fiasco - hell, the head of it didn't even LOSE HER JOB for Pete's sake!).

APK

P.S.=> I know 1 thing - were I to bullshit a court, much less the Congress/house/senate? I'd be in jail... nobody is though, & that makes ME say "WTF!"... rules, they are for everyone - perhaps MORESO for those enforcing said rules/laws, & they? They HAVE to be "better than" their opponents, & yes, that means morally, & playing the game STRAIGHT UP imo, not lowering themselves to their opponents own "low ground"... you start doing that? Then other rules/law breaking starts!

... apk

Congress remembers Putin ex-head of KGB (1, Redundant)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year ago | (#44365267)

And that happened for a reason. Homeland security and the NSA may not run the country today, but I wouldn't count on tomorrow. The actual staff at the NSA tend to be decent and patriotic. The guys at the top.... are like guys at the top anywhere.

In soviet America, Homeland secures you.

What is meant by tangible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365315)

I don't understand the meaning of tangible as used in this amendment. Tangible is something physical to my mind. It looks like something easily worked around.

Re:What is meant by tangible? (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#44365641)

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Tangible+property

Interesting point. No definition of either "tangible" or "intangible" I can find mentions phone records. However, as the amendment itself specifically mentions phone numbers as included, I think it'd be decently tough to work around.

It's a simple freaking call (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44365361)

Pretend you're making a crank call but instead of the usual 12-year old stint, just say "I'm calling to voice my support for the Amash amendment. I want the funding stripped from the NSA and given to NASA instead". It will take all of 10 minutes and even if your rep is a douche, at least you don't have to be.

This will totally work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365373)

Because as history has shown time and time again, US presidents show great deference and respect for the authority of the US congress and presidents will never subvert congress's will by finding "unique funding alternatives" when faced with such decisive legislative action...

You can't stop the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365383)

They have alternate methods of funding and powerful friends in the federal government. The best Congress could do is send them back underground.

McClintock (R-CA) (1)

mspohr (589790) | about a year ago | (#44365411)

My congressman is McClintock who is a libertarian type in a very conservative (mostly ignorant, rural) area of California.
I agree with him on just about nothing except this one issue.
I call him (always get some office drone who doesn't know anything) often about lots of stuff even though I know he will ignore me.
I called him about this issue (where I know he is against NSA spying) and the office drone as usual said he didn't know how McClintock would vote.
We'll see if he buckles under to the Republican leadership or if he votes for the amendment.

Voting on amendment to defund the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44365423)

"That amendment, championed by Rep. Nugent, would not alter in any way the government's use of Section 215 to obtain bulk communications records on millions of Americans. EFF is urging Representatives to oppose the Nugent Amendment."
And that is my rep. here in this county Im in. Hence is why I no longer even bother with EFF anymore, along with a few other groups to that extent. Thank gawd I deleted my gmail accounts, so now I never have to look at another email from Nugent that says "like me on facebook". NO. I never liked you to begin with, and fuck you facebook. Its nice alot of these groups like EFF direct you to your representatives for your county, but when you live in a state run by the very people you are fighting against, complaining to the very people that support such draconian practices does not a bit of good.

Then we know (1)

no-body (127863) | about a year ago | (#44365561)

who is on which side - any optimists?

That system is so screwed up, it's unbelievable!!!

good luck (1)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#44365607)

lets all hope it succeeds. sadly though it is nearly impossible to pass an ammendment

If only there was... (4, Funny)

Bartles (1198017) | about a year ago | (#44365619)

...one man in charge, that could issue an order halting the controversial practices of the NSA.

It's about control. (1)

Tiger Smile (78220) | about a year ago | (#44365697)

Aaron Swartz when talking about the defeat of SOPA clearly pointed out that Congress is about control. They will not give up invading people's rights. Somehow we do not living exactly in a representative democracy. Unless we are totally paranoid self hating prison guards, this is not a government for an by the people.

Just called (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about a year ago | (#44365739)

Got my reps office (Wm. Lacy Clay, 1st District, MO) and asked that he vote for the defunding of domestic surveillance tomorrow.

We shall see how it goes.

+1 (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year ago | (#44365749)

+1
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>