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Even the Author of the Patriot Act Is Trying To Stop the NSA

Unknown Lamer posted about 6 months ago | from the clinging-to-power dept.

United States 322

Daniel_Stuckey writes "Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner will introduce an anti-NSA bill tomorrow in the House, and if it makes its winding way to becoming law, it will be a big step towards curtailing the NSA's bulk metadata collection. Wisconsin Rep. Sensenbrenner, along with 60 co-sponsors, aims to amend one section of the Patriot Act, Section 215, in a bill known as the United and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet Collection, and Online Monitoring Act — also known by its less-clunky acronym version, the USA Freedom Act."

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322 comments

And now they get credit for saving us (5, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 6 months ago | (#45264375)

Just like CEOs who take the credit for the $ savings of outsourcing, then take the credit for improved service by bringing the work back, but somehow keep their jobs. Or the dorks who think centralizing IT assets (hello Mainframe) is good, then later decide that distributing all the computing (hello desktop) is good, claiming credit for being revolutionary twice.

Do people really fall for this?

Re:And now they get credit for saving us (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 6 months ago | (#45264583)

Do people really fall for this?

To the ones pulling the strings, such an incredibly short memory and inability to draw contrasts is not a bug, it's a strongly encouraged feature.

Most people are passive mentally and believe thinking to be a burden that should be avoided whenever possible. Therefore, if the TV news doesn't specifically highlight something in a nice ADD-friendly 10-second sound bite, it won't be widely known. If this sounds incredible or alien to you, it's because the Slashdot crowd doesn't represent mainstream America (though the way people keep arguing from emotion, that's changing).

There is no one in power who wants a well-informed, smart, savvy, thinking population that has a long memory, is familiar with dialectic and able to easily perform critical thinking. No one running the show wants that at all. It's no surprise that within the little feudal system of a corporation that no one is forced to do business with, this goes unnoticed. It goes unnoticed with huge political changes that affect daily life.

Re:And now they get credit for saving us (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45264585)

There was a time when mainframes were better, then there was a time when desktops were better, then there was a time when thin clients were better, then there was a time when BYOD was better... I'm not sure what you point is there other than "shit changes"

Re:And now they get credit for saving us (1, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 6 months ago | (#45264607)

...then there was a time when BYOD was better...

The utopian future, where users won't be crying "fix my random device you have never seen one of before, I need it to work" to IT?

Re:And now they get credit for saving us (4, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#45264795)

The utopian future, where users won't be crying "fix my random device you have never seen one of before, I need it to work" to IT?

Jesus. Don't blame the users. The CEOs are 98% at fault.

When they don't have to buy desktops or cell phones, they count that as a plus. Sure, it shifts a huge burden to IT, but don't forget who is really the driving force behind this.

I have a different take on it: if management wants to save money by "letting" me BYOD, rather than buying their own, fine. They can lease it from me during the workday, in addition to my pay. If they think they're going to get it for free, they can suck eggs.

Re:And now they get credit for saving us (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 6 months ago | (#45264827)

Oh, I don't blame the users, despite how it might sound. But that doesn't mean I enjoy the support nightmare that BYOD entails (unless management is going to say "you bring it, you support it", which isn't likely at most companies).

Re:And now they get credit for saving us (4, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | about 6 months ago | (#45264647)

The point was that the systems were only invented once, but every CEO (and some politicians) have claimed to have invent these concepts over and over again, and people are stupid enough to believe them.

Mainframe = many users and departments on a system. Great invention

Desktop = single user system. Great invention

Grid/Cloud = many users and departments on a system. Not a new invention at all, it's using various components to mimic the Mainframe. The "system" is using different components and Operating systems now vs. then, but they are still trying to mimic the original system.

BYOD fits into either the "single device" or "connected to something" architecture just like today's PC.

If you try and nitpick the system, you will of course miss the analogy. The analogy is not about what is better, it's that it's not new.

Re:And now they get credit for saving us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264649)

And there was a time when BSOD were better

Re:And now they get credit for saving us (5, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#45264615)

Would you prefer that they stick to their guns and continue doing harm? I prefer politicians who are willing to change their minds based on public opinion, thank you very much.

I don't even care if he really believes in what he's doing now. Maybe he still thinks the Patriot Act is good and he's only doing this to attract more votes. But what difference does it make?

Re:And now they get credit for saving us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264761)

Obviously those who can organize massive production have no place in our world. Please, give us a detailed explanation about how everything is really provided to society by the uneducated button pushers who clamor for mommy gov't to fix everything. I haven't had a good laugh in the last hour.

Herpaderp (3, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 6 months ago | (#45264381)

... In other news, senators stopped short of repealing the Patriot Act, likely aware that without deleting the entire act, all they're accomplishing is switching the data collection activities to another agency, which will then perform the role the NSA currently has.

And your basis for this is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264567)

I get that this is the feeling of much of /. but what example can you cite? What other agency would that be? What part of this act would allow that? What part of the original Patriot Act would inherently circumvent reforms to section 215 of the Patriot Act?

Re:And your basis for this is? (2, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 6 months ago | (#45264683)

get that this is the feeling of much of /. but what example can you cite?

Pretty much the entire Act as it currently stands. There's a lot of vaguely-worded clauses that grant nearly limitless authority and do not require disclosure of the reasons for many police actions. It would be relatively easy to stitch together what is being given up by these politicians from other parts of the Act and have yourself a new Franken-agency.

Re:And your basis for this is? (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#45264859)

Pretty much the entire Act as it currently stands. There's a lot of vaguely-worded clauses that grant nearly limitless authority and do not require disclosure of the reasons for many police actions. It would be relatively easy to stitch together what is being given up by these politicians from other parts of the Act and have yourself a new Franken-agency.

By removing permissions to do those things?
How does that get stitched into another agency?
You removed the permission, and you add a whole bunch of shall nots, so that there is nothing left to stitch.

Most of these things that you object to, limitless authority, gag orders, etc are the spawn of section 215.

This is the first of 12 such bills [motherjones.com] waiting in the wings.
This bill probably doesn't go near far enough, but Section 215 [aclu.org] is one of the most dangerous sections of the entire law. Any amount of crippling that can be done to it is long overdue. I don't trust Sensenbrenner to do enough, and I hope his efforts aren't a sop to divert attention with the appearance of doing something.

acronymics (5, Insightful)

pupsocket (2853647) | about 6 months ago | (#45264723)

"United and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet Collection, and Online Monitoring Act — also known by its less-clunky acronym version, the USA Freedom Act."

Actually, the acronym of that title is USA FREED COMA

Wrong question. (1)

pupsocket (2853647) | about 6 months ago | (#45264905)

It's the logic of accountability.

If I tell you that I am going to lock the front door until all the votes have been counted, you have a perfect right to demand that all exits be locked. You don't have to prove that anyone intends to remove ballot boxes. You don't have to know how many other exits there are.

Dealing with secret agencies, it can hardly be encumbent on the public to name the organizations or the methods by which the law could be circumvented. It might even be illegal to say what one knows.

The right question is, "How do we know this spying is not continued under different rubric?" The answser is we don't know, and until we do know, we'd be fools to think it isn't being renamed rather than ended.

After all, reorganization, renaming, and privatization have been the methods that the so called "intelligence" services have always used to expand when ordered to cut back.

Re:Herpaderp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264569)

Sounds to me like you have something against USA Freedom. Tell me, why do you love USA Not-Freedom so much?

We also need... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264383)

We also need a law prohibiting all these fucking acronym law names... fucking seriously...

Re:We also need... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264499)

Having not read the bill, or likely being able to even understand its meaning had I read it, I can only assume that, similarly to the USA PATRIOT Act, its acronym means the opposite of the abuses it will enable.

Re:We also need... (2)

mevets (322601) | about 6 months ago | (#45264545)

+1.
Is there really any benefit to having legislation spell out like an awkward cheerleading chant? It must be so embarrassing for them.

Re:We also need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264625)

Also known as the WE ANAL-PAT FALNFS Act. Those last ones are extra letters, just in case.

Re:We also need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264735)

You can show the stupidity by using the acronyms without inserting spaces or omitting letters:

USAPATRIOT Act and USAFREEDCOM Act.

Re:We also need... (3, Funny)

anagama (611277) | about 6 months ago | (#45264751)

The FUCKERS Act?

Fucking Ultimate Congressional Kutsie Elimination Reform and Solutions Act

Re:We also need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264913)

Shouldn't it be USA FREED COMA, anyway? (Alternately, U SAy FREED COMA?)

Spawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264391)

This is the problem. Spawning a multi-headed shadow beast of evil with extensive powers over you is easy. Killing it is hard. Make sure you REALLY want to do it before you do it. Not after.

Posting as Anonymous for obvious reasons.

Will a law help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264399)

Isn't the big issue here that laws aren't stopping anyone. they find a reason around it or to reinterpret it or negate it?

Naive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264403)

It's good that this is getting publicity and that people are trying (or at least appear to be) to stop this nonsense, but there is no way the people who voted for the Unpatriotic Act the first time around (nearly every person in congress) did not know what would happen. No government in history did not abuse its powers, and the Unpatriotic Act pretty much spelled out how it was going to violate people's freedoms. They're just playing politics now that they've been found out.

Re:Naive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264665)

Does anyone actually think this bill has a snowballs chance?

Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264405)

Obamacare is the real threat to this country, and will destroy us through wealth redistribution and bankrupting the country we leave to our chiildren. We need to focus our efforts to end the Socialist agenda.

Re:Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (3, Insightful)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 6 months ago | (#45264465)

Obamacare is the real threat to this country, and will destroy us through wealth redistribution and bankrupting the country we leave to our chiildren. We need to focus our efforts to end the Socialist agenda.

Hmmm. Healthcare for all Americans, or eavesdropping for all Americans. Is there even a debate here?

Re:Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (0, Troll)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#45264667)

They go hand in hand. Authoritarianism and Socialism have always been dependent on each other.

Re:Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (1, Troll)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#45264701)

The parrot speaketh.

Re:Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (1, Troll)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#45264779)

History shows that the more socialist a country is, the more authoritarian it is as well. Socialism is a system that must be imposed, authoritarianism is the vehicle that accomplishes that.

Re: Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264873)

Apparently, so does the ostrich.

Re:Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264781)

Fuck you. [commondreams.org]

Re:Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264471)

> wealth redistribution

Just because it is the largest tax increase in the history of mankind, doesn't make it wealth redistribution. The tax is optional if you decide to give money to one of a small list of approved companies. That makes it optional which obviously and logically makes it not redistribution. It is voluntary.

Re:Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (2)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#45264661)

Except the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government's powers of taxation is what allows them to compel you to purchase a product. It is not voluntary.

Re:Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264705)

The tax is voluntary. You do not have to pay it, and currently over 90% of the country will not pay it. Obama has estimated that eventually less than 0.1% of the population will pay it because instead they will decide to instead donate money to one of the select group of allowed companies. I decided to donate money to Blue Cross here in CA. I know I will never get anything back for the donation, because not a one of my friends has ever successfully fought them over a claim, but at least some of the money will be paid-out in claims.

Tea Party Lies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264885)

It is not the largest. It is the second largest.

Re:Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264533)

Actually paying for stuff isn't wealth redistribution. Idiot.

Re:Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (0)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#45264653)

You seem to think socialism and totalitarianism are mutually exclusive. History shows otherwise.

Re:Don;t worry about the NSA - stop Obamacare! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264907)

"Hey! Let's all work together to show that socialism is wrong!"

can get worse (2)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 6 months ago | (#45264413)

Wait until Merkel, Kristina and half a billion women find out about any upskirt pics...

Re:can get worse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264535)

Must be why Feinstein is finally upset about it. Not that anyone is really searching for her cooch,

So we ignore the 40+ Democrats... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264415)

that are fighting the good fight for privacy, but instead we praise only one wishy-washy nutcase that was for it before he was against it. Seriously, he created this problem. Why praise him for telling the lie that he no longer supports it. He is a Republican so of course he wants more spying on citizens, especially minorities.

Re:So we ignore the 40+ Democrats... (3, Insightful)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#45264639)

Sure, as long as you also ignore the 145 Democrats in the house and 48 Democrats in the senate that voted for the Patriot Act in 2001. Their record for reauthorizing it in 2006 is only slightly better.

I have a easier answer... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#45264431)

Just repeal the damned PATRIOT act. IT was supposed to be a temporary measure and it needs to go away now.

Why dont these senators have any backbone or honestly left in them and just repeal it?

Re:I have a easier answer... (5, Insightful)

sI4shd0rk (3402769) | about 6 months ago | (#45264459)

IT was supposed to be a temporary measure

Temporary or not, it was awful and it should never have passed.

Re:I have a easier answer... (2)

fatphil (181876) | about 6 months ago | (#45264561)

And the fact that it was is evidence enough that it will never be revoked. Yes, they are that corrupt. (Sorry, not writing off such malice as stupidity in this case.)

Re:I have a easier answer... (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#45264785)

Who's "they"? Everyone who ever will be a politician? All of the hundreds of congressmen, and the thousands more who will be congressmen? How about the tens of thousands who will try to be congressmen? And the hundreds of thousands who work for and support them?

It's really easy to hate "them" when "they" are just an amorphous, shadowy conspiracy. But in the real world, they're people, not comic book villains. They do what they do because they think it's the right thing.

Re:I have a easier answer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264509)

You talk as if he would be doing good this time.

One way or another, this will be worded or intrepreted so that it will only end the non-legality of what is already happening.

They do not need this bill to take proper action. They need it so that they don't have to.

Re:I have a easier answer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264681)

Don't talk rubbish. I'll let cold fjord explain why it's rubbish.

Re:I have a easier answer... (4, Informative)

FridayBob (619244) | about 6 months ago | (#45264693)

Just repeal the damned PATRIOT act. IT was supposed to be a temporary measure and it needs to go away now. Why dont these senators have any backbone or honestly left in them and just repeal it?

Completely agree, but I fear that won't happen (not even the USA Freedom Act) because Congress doesn't work for us anymore: they work for rich folks and for the corporations. That's because bribery is legal these days and those in Congress have found that 94-95% of the time the candidate with the most money wins. Consequently, fundraising is what they do 60% of the time; "following the green," as they call it. So, if companies like Booz Allen Hamilton start instructing their stooges in Congress on both sides of the isle about what they want, the PATRIOT Act will remain and the USA Freedom Act will fail.

To fix that and many other things, we first need to get money out of politics.

If that makes sense to you, I would suggest signing this petition: WOLF-PAC [wolf-pac.com]. Launched in October 2011 for the purpose of passing a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will end corporate personhood* and publicly finance all elections**. Since Congress won't pass such an Amendment on its own, the plan is to instead have the State Legislators propose it via an Article V Convention. At least 34 States need to cooperate for this to work, but already many have reacted with enthusiasm, most notably Texas. If successful, we should see a much more respectable group of politicians emerge within one or two election cycles.

.

*) The aim is not to end legal personhood for corporations, but natural personhood. The latter became a problem following the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, which grated some of the rights of natural persons to corporations and makes it easier for them to lend financial support to political campaigns.

**) At the State level, more than half of all political campaigns are already publicly financed in some way, so there's nothing strange about doing the same for political campaigns for federal office.

Re:I have a easier answer... (1)

Teppy (105859) | about 6 months ago | (#45264725)

If elections are publicly financed, then how does a candidate without name recognition bootstrap? And if the answer is "everyone gets equal financial support," then what prevents 1000 candidates from running?

Re:I have a easier answer... (1)

FridayBob (619244) | about 6 months ago | (#45264851)

If elections are publicly financed, then how does a candidate without name recognition bootstrap? And if the answer is "everyone gets equal financial support," then what prevents 1000 candidates from running?

As I was saying, more than half of all political campaigns at the State level are already publicly financed in some way and they don't have such problems. Moreover, political campaigns in most other western democracies are also publicly funded and they seem to get by, so I wouldn't worry about it. At any rate, it would certainly be better than the mess we have now.

Re:I have a easier answer... (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 6 months ago | (#45264805)

The latter became a problem following the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, which grated some of the rights of natural persons to corporations and makes it easier for them to lend financial support to political campaigns.

Citizens United was a CORPORATION FORMED FOR THE EXPLICIT PURPOSE OF SPENDING MONEY ON A CAMPAIGN. All of those people who formed that corporation did so voluntarily and with the purpose of spending THEIR MONEY to pay for FREE SPEECH. It's nothing like when Warren Buffet or Bill Gates uses their corporate money to buy the media. Everyone involved in CU was there for a reason.

It is NOT A PROBLEM when free citizens band together to spend THEIR MONEY paying for political speech. It is only a problem when people who have already banded together to bolster their own free speech rights try to strip those rights from others who have done the same thing, by trying to claim there was some new right created by CU vs. FEC. There wasn't. It's people using their existing rights. You may not like what they have to say, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't have the right to say it. That's the very purpose of the first amendment, to protect people like that from people like you. To protect all groups from people like Move To Amend, who are hypocrites for doing exactly the same thing they are trying to prevent people they don't like from doing.

At the State level, more than half of all political campaigns are already publicly financed in some way, so there's nothing strange about doing the same for political campaigns for federal office.

Show me in the Constitution where one of the powers our government was granted by the people was to take money from everyone to hand out to politicians so they can campaign with it. Especially when it is very likely that more than half of the people the money is being taken from oppose the things more than half of those politicians will be saying. "Free speech" isn't free as in "doesn't cost anything", and forcing people to pay for other people's free speech is insulting and unconstitutional.

Re:I have a easier answer... (1)

korgitser (1809018) | about 6 months ago | (#45264719)

You seem to have trouble parsing political language.

Temporary means permanent. Once you remeber this, you will be amazed how often you hear this word.

For some further fun, notice how many of their plans and speeches become crystal clear once you interpret 'terrorist' the way they do: 'a person'.

Do I even need to remind anyone that freedom = slavery?

Re:I have a easier answer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264803)

"Why dont these senators have any backbone or honestly left in them and just repeal it?"

I feel that it's because things don't actually work the way they're presented to work.So long as bribery, eh I mean lobbying, is legal, billionaires will get to decide how things work, and how they're presented to work. The job of keeping that twisted string twisted, is given to your media and government officials, who live nicely off of the money generated no matter how things work or don't.

You want to end your problems with your government? Then end the power of your government to begin or end shit like the patriot act, or the freedom act. How to do that? Each has to find their own method, but there was a guy in India a while back that was able to do it for himself, as well as millions (in his day, but it would be billions today) of other people, and he used no internet.

That being said, until there is a great change in things (the patriot act going away first comes to mind), then we may as well have a little happiness over the fact that there's going to be a bill passed in the name of reducing the patriot act.

Re:I have a easier answer... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264921)

That is a start, but it is not even close to enough; remember, those in power ignore the laws anyway. As long as all of that data is passing through NSA network taps, abuses will continue and steadily worsen. Rather than forbidding abuses, we need to remove the very capabilities that make mass surveillance possible. No more tapping of Internet and telco backbones, or secret facilities to which all of that data is diverted.

Of course, all of this is meaningless with the secret laws, courts, gag orders, and such.

Niave (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264437)

Even if the law does get passed, nothing will change.

The NSA and CIA do not operate to the rule of US law. It just looks good to claim your a democracy. Rather than a military dictatorship and crony government hand-picked by select corporate sponsors.

The show goes on...

Re:Niave (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 6 months ago | (#45264807)

You may be pretty close to being right. Even if this bill is passed and becomes law, how would we know the spying has actually ended? They may just keep doing it and keep lying about it.

This isn't new (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264451)

This isn't new. The author of the Patriot Act (Jim Sensenbrenner) has been campaigning against Surveillance State since the beginning of the Snowden fiasco.

He probably decided he doesn't want to go down in history as the man who turned America into a Dystopia.

Re:This isn't new (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 6 months ago | (#45264933)

He probably decided he doesn't want to go down in history as the man who turned America into a Dystopia.

Too late.

Re:This isn't new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264959)

Whatever the motivation, better this than pushing it till the bitter end a la one of my other fellow Wisconsinites: Joseph McCarthy.
 
(By the way, we did also have Bob LaFollette. Wisconsin isn't just right-wingers.)

Congratulations (1)

Brien Coffield (3026589) | about 6 months ago | (#45264453)

Good for him. It won't get past the executive branch though, assuming it gets through the ridiculous house. Why would we want to retain our 4th amendment right when terrorists are on the loose? Yeah, we're just monitoring terrorists, right?? :-\

USA Freedom Act (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264475)

Isn't that what the Constitution is supposed to be?

We don't need another Law. The Laws that made this garbage legal are unconstitutional and criminal.

We don't need another Law. We need to hunt down and incarcerate the criminals who created this mess.

We don't need another Law. We need to hold government officials personally accountable for their flagrant and criminal violations of the Constitution.

We don't need another Law. We already have a USA Freedom Act. It is called "The Constitution of the United States."

Ah Sensenbrenner (4, Interesting)

contrapunctus (907549) | about 6 months ago | (#45264489)

Isn't this the same guy and attached the Real ID act to some armor for soldiers bill so no one could oppose it?

In other news (4, Funny)

nytes (231372) | about 6 months ago | (#45264501)

Several Congressmen were rushed to the hospital after suffering severe cases of acronym overdose.

Acronym abuse has been on the rise in Washington lately. Many researchers attribute the problem to inflated egos, which most politicians also suffer from.

Weasel bastards from hell (4, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about 6 months ago | (#45264507)

So they are calling it the "USA Freedom Act" - whatever the actual content that's as much of a lowdown weasel act as the naming of the "Patriot " act. If you question it the weasels will say you oppose freedom.
How about getting these rat fucking weasels away from the process and give the acts numbers instead, and get rid of the bullshit of riders that have nothing to do with the bill while we are at it.

Dianne Feinstein about face (4, Interesting)

six025 (714064) | about 6 months ago | (#45264519)

In related news Dianne Feinstein has turned around [theguardian.com] her opinion and stated she is now 'totally opposed' to NSA surveillance of US allies.

Quite surprised at this, hopefully it is not empty rhetoric and actually goes somewhere. Very interested to see what the two leading goons of the NSA have to say for themselves in front of the House intelligence committee on Tuesday.

Peace,
Andy.

Re:Dianne Feinstein about face (2)

george14215 (929657) | about 6 months ago | (#45264881)

NSA to Dianne: "But it's about keeping America safe!" Interesting that the canard she tries to use on us isn't good enough when it's applied to her. Oh, you don't like being in the dark? Well neither do we, bitch!

No it won't (0)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 6 months ago | (#45264521)

if it makes its winding way to becoming law, it will be a big step towards curtailing the NSA's bulk metadata collection

First of all, the don't only collect metadata, they collect everything. Secondly, they were doing it before the PATRIOT act, and they will continue doing it for the foreseeable future regardless of whatever bills congress passes to curtail their behavior.

The NSA is tasked with identifying all potential threats to the US and it's interests abroad. We just had an article about how Healthcare.gov is a mess because of congressional micro-management. Even if you ask them to stop, the people who work for the NSA take their jobs seriously enough that they won't.

United and Strengthening America?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264529)

Borat could not have said it better himself

Anyone else think these names are hilariously bad? (3, Insightful)

theArtificial (613980) | about 6 months ago | (#45264531)

Something titled USA Freedom Act seems to reek of more BS. This whole situation would be laughable if it wasn't so real and these names seem like something from Metal Gear Solid. Why do they need to pass more laws? Aren't there already laws on the books that cover this abuse? Or is this one of those situations where it's done "on the internet" so we'll need to get together and figure something out with lots of fine print? I think I'll make a script to generate some act names but USA Enduring Patriotic Democracy Internet Freedom Fries Soaring Literacy Majestic Eagle Act does have a nice ring to it...

Re:Anyone else think these names are hilariously b (1)

rourin_bushi (816292) | about 6 months ago | (#45264687)

As per my citation above (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Parliament#Titles_and_citation_of_Acts), I'm in agreement about the name. Let's go back to letting uninterested clerks generate the reference name - I'd expect it to end up with a much more descriptive title that way.

Too Late (1)

fullback (968784) | about 6 months ago | (#45264557)

You can't control a pack of dogs after they get a taste of blood.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264747)

I just love people who sit around and pull their dick while trying to sound enlightened.
 
Maybe you can't do it. That's fine. Just get the fuck out of the way and shut the fuck up and let those who are willing to try go about their business.

USA FREED COMA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264565)

I don't think most of us will actually wake up...

Real intent is.........wait for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264577)

United and Strengthening Govt Pockets by Removing Rights and Strengthening Eavesdropping, Dragnet Collection, and Online Monitoring Act

Acronymification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264669)

"The United and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet Collection, and Online Monitoring Act — also known by its less-clunky acronym version, the USA Freedom Act."

Actually, that would be "USA FREED COMA". But you were close, Rep. Sensenbrenner. Really close.

Bulky acronym? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264711)

"also known by its less-clunky acronym version, the USA Freedom Act."

Actually I kinda like USAFREEDCOMA.

This in context of stopwatching.us (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264733)

I was at the stopwatching.us rally in DC Saturday. And the lobby day on Friday. For the lobby day, we focused on USA FREEDOM Act. A bunch of us met with members of Congress or their staffers and pushed for this. Then the rally where we delivered over half a million signatures on a petition was on the TV news the next day.

The 2 big pitfalls are:
1: Getting it as a standalone bill instead of rolled into an appropriations/authorization bill. Part of why Amash-Conyers amendment to defund these operations failed (by only 7 votes) was a procedural sticking point about those kinds of bills.
2: NSA is doing their own fake reform/dodge bill through Feinstein in the senate.

USA FREEDOM for the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264797)

to keep doing exactly what they're doing, know that nobody will call them on it, and give plausible deniability to the (shrinking) part of the government that is accountable to voters.

forecast (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264837)

This might seem to pass but will change nothing. The surveillance will just be driven further into the dark where it cannot be tracked or controlled.

This no longer is relevant to any actual terrorist threat. You've reached a point where the government is absolutely terrified of its own citizens and so will do anything it can to protect itself from its own citizens. All this current business about monitoring other world leaders is just a smoke screen to divert people's attention for the surveillance on themselves.

Trying to buy a world championship FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264845)

Oh, Sensenbrenner. Never mind.

LOTR (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | about 6 months ago | (#45264875)

Cant help but read that headline and make Lord Of The Ring references in my head.. the fit.. it is so tight..the shoe..it laces up so well..

The better the words, the worse the government (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 6 months ago | (#45264887)

Using "freedom" or "patriot" in something is a dead giveaway. Anything like that is bound to suck. This extends to the formal name of the government. Anything that is a "democratic republic" is almost always a totalitarian state. God help us if we ever pass a "Glorious Free Democratic Republic Patriot Act".

Jesus Christ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45264951)

You know you're in trouble when that guy opposes.

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