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Patriot Act Author Introduces Bill To Limit Use of Patriot Act

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the isn't-politics-grand dept.

Government 189

wjcofkc writes "In an ironic but welcome twist, the author of the Patriot Act, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), is introducing the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill specifically aimed at countering the portions of the Patriot Act that were interpreted to let the NSA collect telephone metadata in bulk. The congressman has been a vocal opponent of the NSA's interpretation and misuse of the Patriot Act since Edward Snowden first leaked evidence of the program in June. On Wednesday, he wrote (PDF) to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that the 'collection of a wide array of data on innocent Americans has led to serious questions about how government will use — or misuse — such information.'"

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189 comments

shoulda got it right the first time (5, Insightful)

themushroom (197365) | about 6 months ago | (#45105425)

Here's betting that it will take much longer to get the anti-PATRIOT passed than the eyeblink it took to get the PATRIOT passed. I wonder what the opposite of a 9/11 is to get government to act so swiftly?

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (5, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 6 months ago | (#45105505)

I wonder what the opposite of a 9/11 is to get government to act so swiftly?

Voting out all the incumbents.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (5, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 6 months ago | (#45105597)

Agreed, You know the only reason this is being introduced now is because the republican approval rating is circling the drain. Funny how they're all for freedom and following the constitution to the letter when there's a good chance the'll be unelectable in the next election, but they're willing to sell privacy and public rights to the highest bidder when they're the ones in power. The patriot act should have never been a law in the first place and should have been revoked long ago, one of Obama's biggest public disappointments was that it should have been the first thing he had done when he took over presidency when he actually had a majority in the house.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105983)

Mod parent +1 Delusional for ever thinking Obama didn't love the Patriot Act. The man jerks off to it.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (3, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45106147)

Funny how they're all for freedom and following the constitution to the letter when there's a good chance the'll be unelectable in the next election, but they're willing to sell privacy and public rights to the highest bidder when they're the ones in power.

What do you think Obamacare is? Intrusive? Massive power grab? Enforced by the IRS? Plenty of other bad things?

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 6 months ago | (#45106251)

Why do you hate the Heritage Foundation?

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (3, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45106373)

Heritage repudiated that plan long ago after rethinking it. They determined it was a bad idea. You should give them credit for being able to do so.

ObamaCare's Heritage [wsj.com]

In that 11th Circuit appeal, which is almost certainly headed to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department cited Heritage as an authority in support of its position. Heritage responded with an amicus brief explaining that its view had changed:

If citations to policy papers were subject to the same rules as legal citations, then the Heritage position quoted by the Department of Justice would have a red flag indicating it had been reversed. . . . Heritage has stopped supporting any insurance mandate.

Heritage policy experts never supported an unqualified mandate like that in the PPACA [ObamaCare]. Their prior support for a qualified mandate was limited to catastrophic coverage (true insurance that is precisely what the PPACA forbids), coupled with tax relief for all families and other reforms that are conspicuously absent from the PPACA. Since then, a growing body of research has provided a strong basis to conclude that any government insurance mandate is not only unnecessary, but is a bad policy option. Moreover, Heritage's legal scholars have been consistent in explaining that the type of mandate in the PPACA is unconstitutional.

Are you daft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106323)

He tried to close Guantanamo Bay - he signed the fucking executive order - and Congress moved to defund the effort.

That set the tone.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#45106349)

"Agreed, You know the only reason this is being introduced now is because the republican approval rating is circling the drain."

The Republican approval rating? You gotta be kidding!

According to a poll by Wasingtong Times the other day, all of Congress gets just a 5% approval rating (the lowest I have ever seen), while Obama's approval rating was also at a record low (37%).

Don't get me wrong; no doubt Republican approval rating IS down. But so is that of the Democrats... and which one is fighting hardest to go down the drain first is pretty much up in the air.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106487)

No, voting out the Republicans.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105619)

You don't want that. The government acted to quickly with PATRIOT, but that's how the Government always acts. No one knew the full ramifications.

And even then, this is the NSA interpreting the law to act in a specific way. It's doubtful people could have forseen that, and now they're trying to correct it. This is how legislation is done.

Legislation, like sausage, is one of those things you don't really want to know how it's made.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (4, Insightful)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | about 6 months ago | (#45105659)

The government acted to quickly with PATRIOT

When in reality, they shouldn't have acted much at all.

but that's how the Government always acts.

No, it isn't. Almost without exception, they always act that quickly only when they stand to gain more power, and in those cases, we usually always lose some of our individual liberties.

It's doubtful people could have forseen that, and now they're trying to correct it.

"doubtful"? Are you kidding me? The PATRIOT ACT included so many provisions that violated people's freedoms and gave the government so much power that there is no way people did not foresee this. Your problem is that you are naive enough to give the government the benefit of the doubt; they deserve no such thing.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 6 months ago | (#45105713)

Your problem is that you are naive enough to give the government the benefit of the doubt; they deserve no such thing.

I would argue this is entirely why we went to war with Iraq. If enough people hadn't said, "I'm not sure, but he's our president so I'll trust him......" then we wouldn't have gone.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106101)

Bwhwahahaha. You really think the population can stop a war started by the president?

People all over the world said this was a lie and a war on false pretenses.
We also told you so many times that Patriot Act was an attack on freedom and liberty.

Basically, we told you so. Heck, on /. even many American told you so. Over and over again, for years.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106397)

Bwhwahahaha. You really think the population can stop a war started by the president?

Bawahaha to you, you ignorant little bitch.

The American population HAS brought an end to a war before.

The war was in Viet Nam. A combination of popular disapproval and revelations
such as were provided by "the Pentagon Papers" did the trick.

You have two ears, two eyes, and only one mouth. Best shut it and start
reading some history. The works of Will and Ariel Durant would be a good place
to begin.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105891)

We have seen our gov lying to us about EVERYTHING ever since Vietnam, at least.

There is no clearer way of telling a former partner in a positive sum game that you are opting out of that game, are going zero- or negative-sum, than starting to lie to them.

Our gov is not on our side any longer, just the opposite.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (-1, Flamebait)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45106105)

When in reality, they shouldn't have acted much at all.

Well, now I'm curious. What would your policy prescription be after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks? Do nothing?

Are you one of the "Americans should die bravely in shopping malls for our freedom because doing anything is tyranny" camp?

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106173)

No but it helps when they go after the right targets. They decided YOU the citizen was the target and not the terrorists.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (0)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | about 6 months ago | (#45106185)

Well, now I'm curious. What would your policy prescription be after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks?

Investigations are fine. Mandating that cockpit doors be secured and shut at all times are fine. Infringing upon people's individual liberties to try to stop terrorists is not fine. Going to war to find imbeciles hiding out in the desert is also not fine.

Are you one of the "Americans should die bravely in shopping malls for our freedom because doing anything is tyranny" camp?

I'm one of those "Security isn't worth it if it causes us to lose some of our individual liberties."

By the way, I hope you don't claim to want a small government.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (4, Interesting)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 6 months ago | (#45106479)

I'm one of those "Security isn't worth it if it causes us to lose some of our individual liberties."

That was what was ironic to me. George W Bush said "They hate our freedom." so what do we do? We turned right around and reduced our freedom with things like the PATRIOT Act. Maybe they don't hate us quite as much now.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45106647)

They hate us just as much. The US is still a nation that is primarily Christians living under the Constitution with very little imposition from the measures taken. Bin Laden's first demand was that the US convert to Islam, and also wanted the Constitutional form of government done away with to implement Sharia law of the flavor they favor. I'm 99.999% certain that hasn't happened yet.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106463)

Well, now I'm curious. What would your policy prescription be after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks?

The smart move would have been to fundamentalyl change US foreign policy and
quit fucking around in countries where the US has no business meddling. Of course this
would go against well over a century of "tradition" as anyone with a rudimentary
knowledge of history well knows.

Are you really so goddamned stupid you believe all the hostility directed toward
the US has happened without a reason ? I doubt it. You know what's going on
and you are trying to spew your lies and propaganda here where you have become
a virtual laughingstock for anyone with the ability to engage in critical thinking.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45106641)

Anyone engaged in critical thinking will be engaged in a futile pursuit if they don't have the correct set of facts to consider. Al Qaida is aggressive, expansionist, and imperialist in nature. They want to reestablish the Caliphate government that was dissolved in 1924 with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, expand the areas under Muslim rule, reclaim lost lands, like Spain, and ultimately rule a world of countries under their form of Islamic Sharia law. US foreign policy has little to do with that. If you don't understand that, you need to continue further research since you fundamentally fail to understand their goals and motivation. They are taking the long term view.

These are not obscure facts if you bother to look.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106553)

Do nothing?

Do nothing in a hurry, yes. Any policy affecting millions of people must be done thoughtfully and in the absence of thought doing nothing is preferable. At the very least the Patriot act should've been a bunch of different acts all with very short term sunset clauses.

Too many people think the three letter agencies can do no wrong when in reality they are riddled with corruption and incompetence due to the lack of real accountability. One of the worst things about the Patriot act was that it rewarded the very people who should've been brought to account.

Are you one of the "Americans should die bravely in shopping malls for our freedom because doing anything is tyranny" camp?

You fail to realize that bad behavior comes in many forms and any bad behavior that can affect millions is much more dangerous than behavior that affects only a tiny minority.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | about 6 months ago | (#45106585)

Allowing yourselves to be terrorised meant the terrorists won. Look to he example of the UK who did not panic after IRA terrorism, mostly paid for by Americans. You're all bullshit talk of freedom.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45106625)

The terrorist haven't won since they haven't achieved their goal: mass conversion to Islam and abandoning the Constitutional form of government for Sharia law. Bin Laden made that clear in his Letter to America.

The US didn't panic, but it became more serious about dealing with al Qaida after 9/11. There were nearly 3X the number killed in one day by al Qaida in the US as the 28 year campaign of the PIRA from 69-97. That escalation by the US was warranted.

As to IRA funding.

Irish Republican Army (IRA) - External Aid [fas.org]

In the past, has received aid from a variety of groups and countries and considerable training and arms from Libya and the PLO. Is suspected of receiving funds, arms, and other terrorist-related materiel from sympathizers in the United States. Similarities in operations suggest links to ETA and the FARC. In August 2002, three suspected IRA members were arrested in Colombia on charges of assisting the FARC to improve its explosives capabilities.

Obamacare will have a bigger effect on freedom than the Patriot Act.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 6 months ago | (#45105827)

Well wonder no more. It would be someone at the NSA using the illegally collected data to embarrass a congresscritter from each party. The most effective release would be adultery particularly if it involves some form of "deviant" sexuality. Think along the lines of propositioning a transsexual for sex. Other big winners are use of illegal drugs or sex with a minor.

In fact I pray the next "snowden" does just that.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106239)

It's a symbolic gesture, there is no way the government will allow any decrease in their power, no matter how many new laws are passed to the contrary. Who's going to watch the watchmen? They already routinely lie to congress and any groups that keep tabs on them are filled with hand-picked insiders.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (2)

slick7 (1703596) | about 6 months ago | (#45106501)

Here's betting that it will take much longer to get the anti-PATRIOT passed than the eyeblink it took to get the PATRIOT passed. I wonder what the opposite of a 9/11 is to get government to act so swiftly?

Put all politicians, lobbyists, banksters, major corporate players in prison (like they did in Iceland) , cancel all debts and start over. Ventura and Stern '16.

Re:shoulda got it right the first time (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 6 months ago | (#45106569)

Still yet, if he were in earshot, " Thanks for nothing , fuckbrains, hindsight somewhere around 20/40, eh?"

Sanity (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105431)

Government isn't bad. Bad government is bad.

Re:Sanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105511)

Yes, but tools given to one are (ab-)usable by the other.

Re:Sanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105853)

So you put measures in place to prevent the bad. Not so very complicated. Except that we've been told that our forefathers knew everything and we shouldn't presume to know any better. Stop first past the post voting, for example. There are many other ways to vote, all mathematically demonstrably better, but we still use the worst possible voting mechanism around. Eliminate the Hastert rule. Eliminate bicameralism. Support a multi-party form of government. There are a million things we could do, collectively, to make things better.

Or we could adopt your defeatist attitude - one that has come to define our generation, and makes me ashamed to be part of it - government is bad. Just get rid of it. They're all the same. There's nothing we can do collectively that is any good. What a sad an pitiful way to view the world.

Re:Sanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106087)

So you put measures in place to prevent the bad. Not so very complicated.

It is complicated. You cannot always trust the government to provide oversight, and in cases like with the NSA, it is simply a pipe dream. If they have the power to spy on everyone, they will do exactly that, and history has a long line of governments doing similar things.

There are simply certain things that the government shouldn't be involved in. Molesting people at airports, spying on nearly all communications, sending people off to free speech zones, etc. Putting measuring in place to 'prevent' the bad will often not work.

Re:Sanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106423)

The reason government does these bad things is because government is badly managed, and badly constructed, not because government itself is inherently complicit. Government can be improved. If you drive a broken down car, do you conclude that 'cars are bad'?! Or do you buy a better car?

Re:Sanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105881)

Government isn't bad. Bad government is bad.

Wrong. Government at best is but a necessary EVIL.

Re:Sanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106371)

No. Anti social turds like you are evil. Government makes sure that turds like you get squished back into the earth where you came from.

Guess we'll see where Obama really stands... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105449)

Yeah, but we already do, don't we?

In favor of bigger, "better", more-overweening government.

Re:Guess we'll see where Obama really stands... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106347)

It's not a 'single individual' problem anymore -- it's systemic. Anyone who's blaming Obama for 'everything' (or some variant of everything) is deluding themselves into thinking that anyone else who could have been elected would have been in any way substantially different.

Can't be done (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 6 months ago | (#45105453)

As has been pointed out to us in the last three weeks by the GOP, you can't simply "correct" what's wrong with a law, you have to repeal it ENTIRELY. Nothing short of that is acceptable. Even if there are things that are useful, the whole bathtub must be thrown out because to simply change the parts which are not working would be to admit that the Law isn't the end of civilization as we know it.

I'm with the GOP - repeal it entirely or I'll hold my breath until I pass out. Or something like that.

Re:Can't be done (4, Insightful)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | about 6 months ago | (#45105513)

Even if there are things that are useful, the whole bathtub must be thrown out because to simply change the parts which are not working would be to admit that the Law isn't the end of civilization as we know it.

The entire law is actually garbage.

Re:Can't be done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106447)

It is just more of the same: lawmakers passing laws to make sure they keep their jobs. There are currently enough laws on the books to be applied to virtually every crime. Tacking on "with a computer", for example, really helps prevent the same crime that is already going unenforced? Srsly?

Common sense does not apply (5, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 6 months ago | (#45105577)

This is the mess we have put ourselves in in the last 30 years. Bad laws are not repealed, and due to case law limitations they are nearly impossible to repeal. By our own insane laws, the only way to fix things is to pass laws which modify law.

If you think this is crazy you are not alone. A Lawyer would probably spit nails at this, but the corruption we see in Government has also been happening in Law. Except that in Law it has been happing for much longer. The corrupted Government could never have become so entrenched in a clean legal system.

We need to do much more than can the politicians and establish term limits. We also need to get rid of numerous corrupt judges and justices, and start doing what you suggest in repealing laws. One of the first should be the ruling that allowed case law to take precedence over legal matters.

Re:Common sense does not apply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105833)

Remember when Congress passed the Patriot Act before it was completely written? I can't find the old Slashdot articles where this was discussed, but I did find this:

Congress to Make PATRIOT Act Permanent
April 09, 2003
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/03/04/09/1534234/congress-to-make-patriot-act-permanent

Re:Common sense does not apply (3, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 6 months ago | (#45105869)

One of the first should be the ruling that allowed case law to take precedence over legal matters.

Case law is what determines the current valid meaning of the written laws, as precedent. Get rid of case law, and all the clarity of modern law disappears. Goodbye, privacy. Free speech? Well that still probably applies to things you say, but nothing written online... or maybe it's just going to cover the use of your wine press. After all, it was Supreme Court cases that established our current interpretations of these basic laws. "Freedom of speech, or of the press", as written, really only covered printed documents and verbal speech, and the "unreasonable searches" in the Fourth Amendment meant physically going through a person's personal effects.

Without the baseline of case law, the vague written law is no help in determining what's legal or not. You could be arrested for anything, and it must go to court for a judge to decide. Older similar cases can't be used as precedent, so the prosecutor could argue any crazy theory he wants, and know that he'll be able to at least present evidence... but evidence standards are based in case law, too, so the judge has no reason to reject evidence that, for example, showed up at the police station's door with a note saying it came from your car. Let's hope the jury is on your side, but since you're defending yourself against someone who's well-trained in the art of convincing people to believe a story (because, without case law, that's the prosecutor's whole job), your acquittal is unlikely.

Sure, getting rid of case law would make the written law easier to understand, but practically useless.

Re:Common sense ... clarity of modern law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106207)

I once had a discussion ( in a social context ) with a gentleman who was experienced as both a prosecuting and a defense attorney. After patiently explaining that my 'common sense' interpretation of a point of law was utterly incorrect, he informed me that my 'understanding of the law was "imperfect" '.

Be that as it may, Authority none-the-less expects perfect compliance with the law. I find your use of the word "clarity" somewhat ...er... puzzling.

Add then linear meters of (dead tree printed) law books at the federal level alone, then state and local law, then regulations and other non-"law" with, none the less, the force of law...

"Clarity" not the first word that comes to mind.

posting AC, odd that CAPTCHA is 'sadists'

Re:Common sense does not apply (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 6 months ago | (#45106259)

Case law is what determines the current valid meaning of the written laws, as precedent. Get rid of case law, and all the clarity of modern law disappears.

No it doesn't. Case law allows the presentation of a similar case to make ruling without addressing the merits of the current case. The wording of a law is what defines that Law, or at lest what is supposed to define the law. Case Law allows the courts to not make decisions, it allows them to use similar enough previously decided cases to determine every aspect of a current case (without accountability for previous rulings right or wrong, hearing the current case and evidence, etc..).

On the surface, this saves time in court. What it did however is allows shitty rulings to be passed down the chain.

No, it's not useless. We use case law currently to make it difficult to repeal laws (in addition to other things) because cases have been ruled previously that claim "you can't repeal this law". When those cases are sited, judges can drop making a ruling and rule exactly how the previous case was ruled.

Re:Common sense does not apply (2)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#45105893)

By our own insane laws, the only way to fix things is to pass laws which modify law.

Nothing in our laws prohibits repealing laws, and it is done all the time.
There is nothing in Case Law that holds any sway over the actions of Congress.

Of course, if a president who ran on a platform opposing the Patriot act hadn't switched his position once elected it would be a lot easier to get a majority in Congress. Is there even one person who doesn't believe both parties would rush to repeal the Patriot act IN TOTAL the minute the president asked them to?
Anyone?

Re:Common sense does not apply (1)

guises (2423402) | about 6 months ago | (#45106489)

We need to do much more than can the politicians and establish term limits.

The thing is, term limits would make repealing laws much easier. The problem right now is that repealing a law which was passed by someone who is still sitting is tantamount to admitting a mistake, something a politician is loath to do. Once all of the people who passed the law in the first place are out of office it becomes much easier to get rid of it.

Re:Common sense does not apply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106701)

A Lawyer would probably spit nails at this, but the corruption we see in Government has also been happening in Law. Except that in Law it has been happing for much longer.

If lawyers would spit nails at all this we wouldn't be in it.

Re:Can't be done (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105607)

Considering how much Obama railed against the Patriot act when he was in Congress, you would think he would have made that a priority in his first two years as President. With a solid Democrat majority, he could have amended or done away with it. Yet, he and Democrats did nothing. Which should be the first clue that both Democrats and Republicans are beholden to the very large and very powerful bureaucracy. It is nearly impossible to reduce the size and spending of government.

The system is going to have to crash before things change. Unfortunately that is the history of the world as we know it. Change only happens violently.

Re:Can't be done (1)

johanw (1001493) | about 6 months ago | (#45105925)

Well, remember how the Soviet Union went down? They went banncrupt due to their enormous military spendings. That hap[ppened to every large empire that has not been conquered by an enemy. The same is happening to the USA now. In a few decades the US empire will probably collapse as well. I hope for the sake of its population that the US remnant will not start another civil war to keep the parts that declare independence under their rule.

Re:Can't be done (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#45106005)

I think you give Obama too much credit. He saw how to exploit this just like he saw how to exploit the IRS [dailycaller.com] and use it against his political enemies. Obama railed against raising the debt limit when he was senator calling it unpatriotic [youtu.be] and now he insists on no negotiations to lower the deficit as a condition to raising the debt limit. (yes, I know that is a political add, but it has Obama's own voice in it).

Despite amending or doing away with it, Obama could also through legitimate power as the head of the executive, ensure that US agencies used the power the Patriot Act gave the government in ways that we would not be concerned with today. Instead, he used that same power to expand the surveillance and even justify that expansion through the Patriot act.

He and the democrats did nothing because they saw it as a way to increase their power and objectives. They took the ball and ran because they wanted to. If you look at how Obama was elected to senator, you would see that It has nothing to do with being beholden to anything other then their ideology. The entire Obamacare debacle proves this. Harry Reid himself called the medical device tax a stupid tax [realclearpolitics.com] yet he refuses to consider anything to repeal it or any changes to the Affordable Care Act out of ideological persistence.

Yet, I have no problems with believing either side will attempt to be against the other side when they are in power. It's all ideology if you ask me.

Re:Can't be done (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 6 months ago | (#45105613)

the problem with your sarcasm is that the entire law, as someone else said, is completely garbage (I'm just being a bit more verbose). There is nothing to salvage in the "patriot" act, nothing at all. The Affordable Care Act, on the other hand...well, the items which were serious process problems have already been worked through or that money has already been spent. If they didn't do something in the ideal way but the non-ideal way is already done, well, fark it - move forward ($635M for the portal and backend interfaces, I'm looking at you).

Re:Can't be done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105651)

I'm with the GOP - repeal it entirely or I'll hold my breath until I pass out. Or something like that.

I hadn't heard the GOP was calling for the repeal of the Patriot Act. I googled "repeal patriot act" and all I got was a democrat from NJ. I did some more searching and found [washingtonpost.com] about a vote to extend it:

The House measure, which was sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and required a two-thirds majority for passage, failed on a 277-to-148 vote. Twenty-six Republicans voted with 122 Democrats to oppose the measure, while 67 Democrats voted with 210 Republicans to back it. Ten members did not vote.

I've looked at a number of similar votes and every single time, the GOP has shown more support for the Patriot Act than the Democrats. Every time.

If the GOP has finally flipped on this issue, I'd love to see an official statement about it (aka link please).

Re:Can't be done (4, Insightful)

nojayuk (567177) | about 6 months ago | (#45105911)

In June 2013 67 Democratic and 214 Republican Senators and Representatives voted for the most recent reauthorisation of the Patriot Act. The GOP doesn't seem to want it repealed going by those numbers. Maybe you should push to get more Democrats elected instead.

Re:Can't be done (1, Interesting)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | about 6 months ago | (#45106121)

Maybe you should push to get more Democrats elected instead.

Better yet, don't vote for Republicans or Democrats, and look at the amount of people who voted for the Patriot Act the first time around; almost everyone in congress voted for it, which shows their true colors.

Re:Can't be done (2)

nojayuk (567177) | about 6 months ago | (#45106295)

It's the law of the land now. To repeal or alter it will take a vote in the Legislature comprising majorities in favour in both the House and the Senate plus a signature by the President. There are complications in that process (supermajority for cloture required in the Senate, possible veto by the President, possible override of any veto by Congress etc.) but that's how it's done in the US, as prescribed by the Constitution. Electing more and better legislators who would vote to repeal or modify the law is up to you and those who consider it important. Going by the votes on the Act over the past few years if you want to work to elect candidates who might do your will then supporting the Democratic Party is probably your best choice.

I'm not an American, by the way but I was in the USA when 9/11 happened. I met with a group of young US citizens a few days afterwards and we talked about the panic that was gripping the US and wondered when things would get back to normal. I prophesied the period of headless-chicken panic (attacks on Sikhs, National Guard soldiers at airports etc.) would last about six months and I was told I was crazy to think it would last that long. This was the USA we were talking about, after all.

Re:Can't be done (2, Interesting)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | about 6 months ago | (#45106403)

Going by the votes on the Act over the past few years if you want to work to elect candidates who might do your will then supporting the Democratic Party is probably your best choice.

Both parties have shown that they hate freedom, so voting for either Republicans or Democrats is simply inadvisable.

Yes, cause apathy wins elections! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106369)

Oh no wait, it's Green party fucks, right? Or Libertarians? Or [insert a worthless third party here].

Fuck you.

Re:Yes, cause apathy wins elections! (4, Insightful)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | about 6 months ago | (#45106387)

Oh no wait, it's Green party fucks, right? Or Libertarians? Or [insert a worthless third party here].

It's whichever third party you agree with. Republicans and Democrats have had their chance, and they've shown that they both despise freedom.

Re:Can't be done (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105923)

Agreed, NSA is now the most powerful entity in all history, as it has the largest DB of blackmail material.

The phone CDR data alone allows identifying patterns of calls, e.g. married man with gf, ... Add to that all the other DBs the gov has access to, and NSA can decide who gets elected to every PTA, school board, sheriff, ... in the country.

If NSA exists past another election cycle, it will be because it is making good use of its DB. One of the NSA whistleblowers said NSA is watching SC justices, members of congress, administration, ...

Re:Can't be done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106389)

Hold your breath until you die I hope.

The thing created turned on its creator (2, Insightful)

Rooked_One (591287) | about 6 months ago | (#45105479)

in a sense.

The retardlicans created the patriot act so they could do "this and that," but now that the dummycrats have been using it, the rerardlicans think its bad.

Now, sit back and realize the people making all of these decisions are your elected officials.

Re:The thing created turned on its creator (4, Funny)

magsol (1406749) | about 6 months ago | (#45105493)

Or perhaps someone independent of his/her political affiliations believes this will truly improve things for America and its citizens?

Yeah, I couldn't keep a straight face either.

Re:The thing created turned on its creator (3, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 6 months ago | (#45105821)

Or perhaps someone independent of his/her political affiliations believes this will truly improve things for America and its citizens?

Obviously improving things for the US and its citizens would never be a Congressman's motivation, however, it is rather refreshing that a politician is doing something to brownnose his constituents rather than brownnosing corporate campaign contributors.

Re:The thing created turned on its creator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106127)

Not at all possible that it was designed for a set period of time, and the intent was to get it through quickly to respond to the emergency and then think about it ... nope, had to be partisan politics.

This is why America is still great,in my mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105487)

Not afraid of change, and constantly improving itself.

Re:This is why America is still great,in my mind (4, Insightful)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 6 months ago | (#45105611)

In some cases the only reason we are not afraid of change is because we are terrified of the present - because we turned a blind eye toward what led to that present. Other times we are not afraid of change because we are oh so very royally pissed off at the present. Often it's both. In the final instance we are not afraid of change because it means more bandwidth, better graphics, new medicines, and the promise of low orbit vacationing. When we are afraid of change that must happen for the improvement of our society, that change is accomplished through picketing, civil disobedience, propaganda, rioting, and violence.

Fear and anger... (0)

djupedal (584558) | about 6 months ago | (#45105501)

The villagers with the pitch forks and torches were just as angry at the doctor as they were the monster he created.

Yo Dawg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105527)

I herd you liked patriot act so we put a patriot act inside your patriot act so you can.....

See sig (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#45105531)

See sig say

See sig say by the sea shore

Huh?

I don't understand. The Patriot Act is working perfectly. Corrupt law written by corrupt people. American voters approve.

Øر٠Øر٠(0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105555)

He's a Republican! Øر٠ÙÙ Ù...Ø ØÙØرÙSÙ ! ~ ~ ~ ! ! ! ! !

Pandora's Box (3, Interesting)

cookYourDog (3030961) | about 6 months ago | (#45105573)

has been opened. There will be attempts at legislation, but there's no removing the purchased influence, consolidated power, and vested interests that grew as a result of the Patriot act.

When Obama vetoes this (5, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 6 months ago | (#45105575)

When Obama vetoes this, will it still be Bush's fault?

Re:When Obama vetoes this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105701)

Yes, because it's always been Bush's fault. I mean that in two senses. Firstly, it is Bush's fault. Secondly, those who don't *also* blame Obama and Congress are so disconnected with reality that no matter WHAT happens, it will be Bush's fault.

Re:When Obama vetoes this (5, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 6 months ago | (#45105877)

When Obama vetoes this, will it still be Bush's fault?

Yes. Bush was the one who got it passed. He was the one who lied to us about what he would do with it. Obama is simply working with what Bush left him. He wouldn't lie to us the way Bush did. He told us he would end warrantless wiretapping, he told us he would close Gitmo, he told us he would bring the troops home from the Middle East. What? Gitmo is still open and torturing people without due process? The NSA is tapping everything without due process? Troop levels in Afghanistan have more than tripled since he took office? Nevermind.

Re:When Obama vetoes this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106359)

It's clearly no longer a problem with any individual. It's systemic. Anyone who could have been elected would have done nothing substantially different, and it's very unlikely that whomever is elected next will either.

It takes a lot of power (money and other forms) to get someone elected as president -- mostly the same money and power that it's taken every time for the past several decades.

Re:When Obama vetoes this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106599)

It's clearly no longer a problem with any individual. It's systemic. Anyone who could have been elected would have done nothing substantially different, and it's very unlikely that whomever is elected next will either.

It takes a lot of power (money and other forms) to get someone elected as president -- mostly the same money and power that it's taken every time for the past several decades.

Yeah, don't hate the playa, hate the game.

Re:When Obama vetoes this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105921)

Of course it's Bush's fault. That doesn't change the fact that Obama will be just as bad.

Re:When Obama vetoes this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106153)

Bush murdered all the dinosaurs so their bodies could be turned into oil over hundreds of millions of years and make his Halliburton buddies rich.

Re:When Obama vetoes this (3, Insightful)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 6 months ago | (#45106165)

When Obama vetoes this, will it still be Bush's fault?

The guy who created it, or the guy who didn't get rid of it? Yes, it's Bush's fault for giving Obama such a nasty toy to play with.

Re:When Obama vetoes this (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106263)

Yes. There's a difference betweet Sauron who forged the ring, and Frodo who didn't want to give it back after using it a while...

Re:When Obama vetoes this (2)

russotto (537200) | about 6 months ago | (#45106399)

Yes. There's a difference betweet Sauron who forged the ring, and Frodo who didn't want to give it back after using it a while...

So I was trying to think about who would be Gollum in this scenario... and came up with Dick Cheney. We're doomed.

Re:When Obama vetoes this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45106355)

Yes, it would still be Bush's fault for passing it.
No, it would not let Obama off the hook for continuing it.

At this point, Obama is just as responsible as Bush for continuing it along with every other president that comes after them that has the opportunity to get rid of them and doesn't. Actually, Obama will still be MORE responsible than the presidents that come after him as he go in promising to remove them and instead continued them.

But the lions share of the blame is, has and always will lie with Bush as he created it and pushed it at a time when the nation was distracted as it would never pass any other way. What we have now is the very embodiment of the saying "A bad law can fail a thousand times, it only has to pass once".

Re:When Obama vetoes this (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about 6 months ago | (#45106671)

When Obama vetoes this, will it still be Bush's fault?

It's a moot point. The bill will never make it to Obama, the Republicans in the House will kill it.

What a Scam (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105661)

First he gets to grandstand for "protecting our freedom", then he gets to grandstand for "protecting our privacy".

Kind of like Dick Cheney: first he makes millions destroying Iraq then he makes millions rebuilding it. Then repeat.

Captcha = "bilked"

Re:What a Scam (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 6 months ago | (#45106235)

I believe the term is: Demagogue

The interesting thing is that the people's votes don't actually matter, you'll just get more of the same elected under a different banner. If you want to affect any political process you must be loud and obnoxious and show how foolish and corrupt your opponents are. Sadly the most high minded and rational folk think this behavior beneath them and so make poor Activists; Thus they are effectively cowed.

Do not toss red and blue tokens into the wishing well of infinite depth, you only become a statistic for the legitimization of oppression. Take a look at the system, analyze what inputs cause desired outputs, and realize you need to make some noise and get dirty damn it!

innocent Americans (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105725)

as compared to the rest of the world. If you are not American, you are not innocent. I see what you (they are) do(ing) here. Thanks a bunch.

Pandora's box.. (1)

Cyrjax (2015836) | about 6 months ago | (#45105825)

Now that they've opened it, it would be easier to shave a lion in Africa during the night with a pocket knife than close it!

Re:Pandora's box.. (1)

celle (906675) | about 6 months ago | (#45106483)

"it would be easier to shave a lion in Africa during the night with a pocket knife"

      Wow! Now that's a picture. A Bugs Bunny(or other character) cartoon of that could be interesting.

Freedom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105839)

A Law (called freedom) to Increase freedom... to repeal another abused law (Patriot act) dose that make him unpatriotic? And like the patriot act if you vote for it, you are for freedom but unpatriotic.

I dont see this going anywhere, the problem isnt the laws its the check and balances (oversight) that was put in place to stop these abuses.

(2012 FISA Orders Up, National Security Letters Down, No Surveillance Request Denied: According to the 2012 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Report, the Department of Justice submitted 1,856 applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a 6.4% increase over 2011. Of the 1,856 search applications, 1,789 sought authority to conduct electronic surveillance. The FISC did not deny any of the applications, although one was withdrawn by the Government) Source: http://epic.org/privacy/wiretap/

Great law name! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45105855)

I can't wait for the USA NUANCED BALANCE BETWEEN ENSURING THE ESSENTIAL LIBERTIES OF THE PEOPLE AND COLLECTING SUFFICIENT INTELLIGENCE TO DETECT THREATS TO THE SECURITY OF THE NATION Act.

Dear Slashdot, I'm not yelling, I am merely constructing an acronym, the details of which will not fit in the margin of this comment. If you could see what the full name of the bill was, you would be so impressed, you would vote for me immediately during the next election.

Better idea (2)

fnj (64210) | about 6 months ago | (#45106555)

Simple. Repeal the fucking thing in its entirety. Declare victory, if that's what it takes to float your boat. Then repeal it as the abomination it is. Let the rule of law return as it was. Yeah, the US wasn't a perfect garden of eden even before 9/11, but it was a hell of a lot better starting point than it is now.

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