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Senate Trashes Civil Liberties; House to Vote Today

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the fly-the-flag-upside-down dept.

United States 963

The U.S. Senate passed its version of the "anti-terrorism" legislation last night. The Washington Post, CNN, and Wired all have stories. There are terrorists under every rock, and we must destroy our freedom in order to save it. Remember: gamblers are terrorists too. The House is apparently going to drop their version of the legislation and vote on a copy of the Senate bill.

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fist pr0zst (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2420883)

eat it, all of you

tp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2420888)

293743rd post!

Senate trashes omlettes also! (-1, Troll)

Trolligula (527461) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420889)

Let me try to give you an analogy for Slashdot's homepage. It's like an anal raping: it's a combination of cock and shit and cum and blood and more. Over the years, we've figured out homosexuals are best on Slashdot. The ultimate goal is, of course, to create an anal buffet that I enjoy eating: by 8pm, I want to see a dozen sloppy asses lined up and waiting for my penetrational whims on Slashdot. I hope you enjoy them too. I believe that we've grown in number of anal terrorists because we share a lot of common interests with our rapists and rapees. But that doesn't mean that I'm gonna start a backdoor orgy with all dildoes, or someday throw away the ass plugs because the anal beads are really filthy. There are many components to the Slashdot anal raping. Stories about faggots. Incestuous stories. Homosexuality. Cocks. Porn Reviews. Yes, even Jon Katz. By mixing and matching asses and cocks every day, we bring you what I call Slashdot. On some days it definitely is better than others, but overall we think it's a tasty little treat and we hope you enjoy reading about eating ass as much as we enjoy fucking it.

f1rst p0st in the name of logged-in trolls!\ death to ACs

Re:Senate trashes omlettes also! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2420906)

your logged in ways have no chance against my AC prowess. You sir, may eat it.

not the first post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2420895)

not the mama!


you know who you are. i love you!

Re:not the first post! (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421010)

Give me back my \/\/()()T! right now.

oh sure reject my story then post it as your own (0, Offtopic)

terrymr (316118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420899)

oh sure reject my story then post it as your own

Re:oh sure reject my story then post it as your ow (-1, Offtopic)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420910)

It happened to you too? I wrote up a nice piece about this very same story... But it too was rejected.

That's the wonderful consistency of Slashdot editors for ya... I'll bet that if we had mentioned how Linux was allpowerful and how Microsoft was bad, it would have been posted...

I hope I did my part (5, Interesting)

dimer0 (461593) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420911)

After reading the original story here about 3 weeks ago, I sent letters and emails to my representitives and congressmen. I even called an office. This is the first time I've ever done anything like this - I feel very strongy about this issue.

I received no auto-replies, no real replies, no acknowledgements, nothing.

Guess who's not getting my vote at the next election?

I swear, I'm gunna run for some public office and end this crap.

Re:I hope I did my part (2, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420926)

I did the responses on any fronts. Face it they just don't care. Now they are trying to "sheild college students from gambling. Welcome to thought control. Welcome to the beginnings of the police state.


Re:I hope I did my part (5, Funny)

spudnic (32107) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420936)

Don't be so upset. I'm sure your email was read (or at least scanned) by your friendly neighborhood FBI/CIA/NSA/whoever agent!

At least someone cares.

Re:I hope I did my part (1)

dimer0 (461593) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420955)

Don't be so upset. I'm sure your email was read (or at least scanned) by your friendly neighborhood FBI/CIA/NSA/whoever agent!

Hmm.. I was wondering what that blacked-out van that's been parked across the street from me for a few weeks was doing there.. Ugh.

Re:I hope I did my part (5, Insightful)

VP (32928) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420979)

I swear, I'm gunna run for some public office and end this crap.

You should. This is how things can be changed.

But you should consider that getting elected and preserving the principles for which you want to fight may be close to impossible. You need to study the actual and perceived needs of the people you are going to represent, and see if they are anywhere near the ideals you follow. You will also have to join a major political party, and learn to navigate the petty and not-so-petty conflicts, personalities, and agendas.

Utlimately you need to persuade the people that it will be to their benefit to elect you - and I believe there are very few people that can do that, and remain principled.

DO run for office! (1)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420987)

I hope you do run for public office. I've been considering it. Too many times we whine and moan about how bad it's getting, but we never do anything about it. It's time to change that. We need more clueful people in office. Heck, we'd probably have better government if we selected people at random from the phone directory.

Re:I hope I did my part (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421009)

Look, dude. Each Rep and Senator has MILLIONS of constituents. They can't repond to each one. Deal with it. And, just because you're opposed to it, doesn't mean that they are. It's MAJORITY rule, and obviously, the MAJORITY supports this. Deal with it.

Online Petition (5, Insightful)

Erasei (315737) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420913)

A friend of mine had sent out a mass email about the ATA telling all of his friends to "Sign this, we have to protect our kids!", yet it did not mention the actual text of the Act at all. Our government is using fear to pass laws, simple as that. The question really comes down to: Do you want to feel safe, or do you want to be free? Personally, I stand by Patrick Henry "Give me liberty, or give me death."
The sad thing about it, most Americans don't care enough to read up on the acts they are signing petitions to support.

Brought a tear to my eye (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2420951)

That was masterful... Quoting Patrick Henry will lead a slew of slashbots to quote that stupid-ass Jefferson with his "Those who would give up their ass for raping deserve neither" bullshit.

Masterful troll, and posted early. I'm waiting to see how many bites it gets...if the slashbots don't moderate it into oblivion first...

WTH? (3, Interesting)

trilucid (515316) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420914)

All right, related to the earlier story on our reps not paying attention to us, how *DO* we shine the light of reason into our government?

Perhaps it's time for more than letters, calls, and emails to our reps. Maybe it's time for a bunch of us to get together and get out in our communities and spread the word.

The reps may not be listening to a horde of geeks, but chances are good they'll start hearing us loud and clear if a more balanced mix of their constituents pipes up.

Now we have another problem (or rather a few). How *do* we get people (average Joe/Jane) to listen, and even discuss these issues? Everyone still seems on edge after the 9/11 attacks, but I'd like to believe that energy could be channeled in a positive direction.

Anyone got a site up specificially to discuss this stuff? I'll email all my friends the link.

Re:WTH? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2420941)

Russ Feingold (the lone dissenter) has a Fan Club site at where this is being actively discussed (with some pretty violent defenders of the legilsation).

My friend andrew votes for somebody to... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2420916)

post a direct link to the goatse picture! NOW please! thank you!

Remember Timothy McVeigh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2420917)

Opression doesn't just occur overseas.

Re:Remember Timothy McVeigh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421028)

but Timothy McVeigh was a fag

Upheld (5, Interesting)

Dilly Bar (23168) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420920)

So, maybe I am giving too much credit to the checks and balances system, but won't these new laws still have to be upheld by a court?

Re:Upheld (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420980)

You mean the same courts that ended the Florida recounts?

OK, Bush supporters, I agree that whole deal had gone way past ridiculous. But you can't deny that Bush pretty much has the Supreme court on his side of the ring.

Re:Upheld (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421057)

under bush's plan for recounts, he would have won by 400 votes, under gore's plan, bush would have won by over a 1000 votes
either way, gore lost

Re:Upheld (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421064)

I would say that the US Supreme Court were on the side of the US Constitution, more than either political faction in that squabble. Also worth noting is the fact that if algore had won the electoral votes in either his or Clinton's home state, he would have had a clear majority and won the election without the Florida votes.

Why was he unable to get the votes of the people in his own home state??

Re:Upheld (1)

kingpin2k (523489) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421020)

That would be of some comfort if there were a reliable standard by which to measure the validity of this law. Before you say "What about the plain language of the Constitution?", take a look around you. It's far better to defeat this in Congress than to take our chances on the court, which is now nothing more than another political arm of government.

Re:Upheld (3, Informative)

acroyear (5882) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421025)

A circuit court does have the right to say "we will not accept cases brought under such-n-such provisions of this act", but only after the president signs it. This is what initially happened to the CDA, particularly the no-abortion-speech provision; the court knew it was gonna be a problem and said that would be thrown out at the first instance.

But technically, a court can't address the constitutionallity of a law until after the law has actually been used to prosecute someone or a civil case has appeared before the court that was not eventually settled out of court.

(OT follows) The latter has been important in much of the patent issues -- there's usually a settlement in 99.9999% of patent court cases because stocks get hurt during long trials, so no court has really been in the position to actually address the issue of the legitimacy of a patent or of the current patent law.

Re:Upheld (1)

protek (96543) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421027)

Exactly. Any bill passed by Congress has to pass the muster of the US Constitution. This is why we have a Supreme Court. The other fact people need to realize is that this bill gives law enforcement better ability to go after *terrorists*...not just anybody they feel like... and just like before they must show probable cause in a court of law before they can go after you. So, unless you are a terrorst, you have little to fear.

Re:Upheld (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421084)

Let's hope that they didn't use the broad generalizations that the DMCA, SSSCTA, and others are known for when they defined "probable cause to be a terrorist." I don't want to be considered a terrorist and put under police surveilance just because I'm an Arab or a gun collector or cryptography user or a privacy advocate.

Re:Upheld (2, Insightful)

Happy Monkey (183927) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421039)

First we need someone willing and able to break the new law and take the case to the Supreme Court. The checks and balances were supposed to be a deterrent to making unconstitutional laws, but they've become an excuse. Lawmakers now just throw laws with happy names (PATRIOT, USA, etc) at the wall, and see what sticks, letting the courts scrape the crap away.

I wonder if theress a list of the number of laws each legislator has proposed/voted for that were later ruled unconstitutional. Too bad there's such thing as "voice votes".

Sooo happy I live i nEurope (0, Flamebait)

selderrr (523988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420921)

an not in the US..

or afghanistan for another matter...

The lone cowboy... (5, Insightful)

killthiskid (197397) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420931)

Only Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) did not vote for this... and he tried last ditch efforts to include privacy.

Even my own, Sen Tom Daschale (D-South Dakota) voted for this, and I too wrote him a letter.

Sigh, I wonder what 'unintended' consequences this will bring about... how it will be abused...

And, I wonder how it will HELP... this is an anti-terrorism bill. I'd like to see some follow up someday that shows specifically how these new laws HELPED fight terrorism.

I hate the comparision, but this 'war on terrorism' is starting to feel a lot like the 'war on drugs'... and open-ended, make it up as you go sort of deal with no clear goals and lots of shady undercurrents.

And no one defined moment where we can say, there we've won, it's over...

Re:The lone cowboy... (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420961)

I think that the goal is very simple and very clear: stop terrorism.

Re:The lone cowboy... (1)

Prior Restraint (179698) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421091)

Which is just a emotionally-charged way of saying: stop politcial dissent.

Re:The lone cowboy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2420986)

Well, how would you like to combat it? In case you haven't noticed, this is NOTHING like the war on drugs. We didn't have drugs blowing up buildings and spreading anthrax now did we? We have a concerted highly organized effort by a network of terrorists to destroy the western way of life in the name of their fucked up idea of what the world should be like. That's as ludicrous as me going to an Islamic country and forcing them to conform to my ideals. Personally I don't CARE if they force their women to wear burkas. I don't care if they force everyone to pray 5 times a day. Just leave us the hell alone!
It's not like we're raping your sacred holy land for christ sakes. Arab oil countries are some of the richest in the world. Why don't you go bomb the Saudi monarchy for profiting off the oil instead of blaming us?

Re:The lone cowboy... (1)

spudnic (32107) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420988)

Wiretaping and the such will not help at all. Didn't we learn anything from Hogan's Heroes? All the messages they send are like "The package has been delivered" and "The crow flys south in the winter".

How can they possibly differentiate phrases like that from some sort of terrorist communication?

It's not likely that too many of them would be stupid enough to pick up the phone and say "Ok, tomorrow at 9:30am we will spread sarin gas through the NYC subway system."

(oh great, now I've triggered something and they're watching my house. I can see them across the street)

Re:The lone cowboy... (1)

kasper37 (90457) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421008)

The difference between the "war on terrorism" and the "war on drugs" is that MOST Americans think that the drug war is complete crap! I don't think there are too many people in the US that would mind constantly fighting terrorism.

Re:The lone cowboy... (1)

vena (318873) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421061)

Only Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) did not vote for this... and he tried last ditch efforts to include privacy.

that is false. read the wired article. i quote:

The handful of other senators who endorsed Feingold's amendments included Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), and Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania).

this says three other reps supported Feingold's amendments, and also infers others supported it as well.

Hackers and Cyber-terrorists????? (5, Insightful)

Lawmeister (201552) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420932)

Hatch is quoted "current law perversely gives the terrorist privacy rights.... We should not tie the hands of our law enforcement and help hackers and cyber-terrorists to get away"

First off, obviously Hatch doesn't know the differences between a hacker and a cracker.

Then the comment about giving the terrorist privacy rights... unfortunately terrorists are a subset of people... and this legislation is going to hammer PEOPLE's privacy rights - at least in the US.

Sorry to see this happening, and I sure am glad to be a Canadian right now.

Re:Hackers and Cyber-terrorists????? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420982)

First off. Slashdot is about the only place where "crackers" are people who maliciously damage systems and "hackers" are people who "hack" code. That's completely irrelevant in this discussion, also.

Canada = US (1)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421019)

Hey, I'm a Canadian too, and I for one have noticed that most stupid laws passed in the US, somehow get a carbon copy with a little Canadian flag stamped on it passed in our parliment... Usually about 6 months after it passes down in the US...

At this point, I'm pretty worried that Canada will pass something very similiar... Oh JOY!

Re:Hackers and Cyber-terrorists????? (1)

X-Dopple (213116) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421037)

Personally, I think that Orrin Hatch is a clown. He always seems to be on the side of big corporations, like when he sponsored the DMCA. His view on the whole Napster debate was that of the corporations - those evil music pirates must be stopped.

The worst part is that I can't vote because I'm underage, and even if I did, he'd probably get reelected because he's Orrin Hatch. I've wanted to write my reps about the SSSCA, but why listen to someone who's a minor?

Just one of the many perks of living in Utah.

Re:Hackers and Cyber-terrorists????? (1)

Bob The Cowboy (308954) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421058)

Hatch is quoted "current law perversely gives the terrorist privacy rights.... We should not tie the hands of our law enforcement and help hackers and cyber-terrorists to get away"

First off, obviously Hatch doesn't know the differences between a hacker and a cracker.

Good God! Give it up! Language is a dynamic thing!

Lets put it another way: Hacker == (Hacker || Cracker) Thats the way it is now. Deal. There are a lot more important things going on to worry about than semantics.


To the Wayback Machine, Sherman! (0, Offtopic)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420933)

Let's just hold a little /. seance and summon the ghost of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. You'll know you've succeded when the ghost of Dick Nixon finds a microfilm in the world's least sincere pumpkin patch and drags Linus off in irons...

I wanted to write to my representative (2, Insightful)

sydb (176695) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420934)

But then I remembered I live in the UK.

Unfortunately, what goes on "over there" soon enough comes round "over here".

What can a foreigner do to stop the "Leaders of the Free World" leading it up the garden path?

Re:I wanted to write to my representative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421074)

what fucking idiot labelled this flamebait?

How biased can /. get? (3, Insightful)

Foamy (29271) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420938)

Not that I disagree with the sentiment of your chosen title, but "Senate Trashes Civil Liberties;" is merely inflammatory rhetoric. I'd prefer that Slashdot editors list their specific grievances with the legislation and ask us what we think about those complaints.

Re:How biased can /. get? (4, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420998)

Whatever. Slashdot isn't journalism. And it's certainly never been about being unbiased.

Re:How biased can /. get? (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421073)

Incorrect. The Senate trashed civil liberties today. I am appalled at their decision to do so. This moment is not one that makes me proud to be an American - not sure if the flag comes down today.

Give me a minute... (4, Interesting)

xtermz (234073) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420942)

to put on my asbestos suit.....
... ok ready..

First of all, this does not fall under the ben franklin remark about sacrificing liberty for safety etc etc...

terrorism is a semi-expensive business... it takes money to train people to fly a 757 into a tall building, pay off people, etc etc.

Osama and co. obviously is using one of the oldest tricks in the book to launder money.. gambling.. how many people complained when we shut down the mob run casinos in vegas? not many. why? because it helped shut down that element.

Osama and friends are more like pissed of rich boys than they are 'good muslims'. Chances are we wont find him, so the next best thing is to make it very crappy for him to live...

it's also been shown that they have used the net to transmit messages, and now maybe even TV.. if putting harsh restrictions on cryptography can hinder him as well, what all is lost? It's because of paranoia and people continually fighting the governments efforts that these people pulled off what they did. We complained about military spending, intelligence, etc... and now look what happened..

we say we want the govt to protect us, so when will we let them do their jobs?

Re:Give me a minute... (1)

dafoomie (521507) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420975)

Have you read the bill? Glanced at it at least? Skimmed it? Please do so before promoting it... Most people I find that promote this bill are those who haven't read it at all.

Re:Give me a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421011)

Please show me where its been proved that they used the net and cryptography. All I've seen is pure speculation that they have, as well as many strong statements that they haven't.

So far all I've seen is a coke-addled president worry that video feeds of the Taliban contain secret messages that might incite attacks.

Re:Give me a minute... (2, Insightful)

terrymr (316118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421021)

Bullshit !!!

How many things will you let be taken away in the name of protecting the people ????

I can understand many of the measures proposed but clamping down on online gambling is just attempt to sneak some other agenda in to so called anti-terrorist legislation.

Why should all kinds of legitimate technology be thrown away because they *MIGHT* be used by terrorists. Encryption protects all kinds of things we take for granted ATMs, Credit card & bank transactions etc. do you want your accounts to be compromisable in order to prevent terrorism ??? The needs to be some calm logical thought here not just nee jerk reactions.

The intelligence services couldn't keep their eyes on a relatively small number of *KNOWN* terrorists so why is letting them monitor everybody going to help ?

Re:Give me a minute... (1)

xtermz (234073) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421038)

My account to be compromisable? I doubt the federal government would do anything to put the entire financial infrastructure in jeopardy.....

Re:Give me a minute... (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421076)

The talk a while back was that government back doors would be required in all encryption that means everthing mastercard, your bank .. the works.

If the government can use a back door then so can a hacker.

Re:Give me a minute... (4, Insightful)

kindbud (90044) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421051)

.. if putting harsh restrictions on cryptography can hinder him as well, what all is lost?

Since restricting lawful people from using strong, backdoor-free encryption has no effect on bin Laden's use of strong backdoor-free encryption, what is lost is the ability of lawful people to use strong backdoor-free encryption.

How hard is this to understand? I am willing to give up some liberties for a short while, as long as doing so contributes to the effectiveness of our response to this problem. I am not willing to give up any liberties at all otherwise, and certainly not for window-dressing activities like national ID cards.

Effective limitations on liberties for a short time, with clearly stated goals and intent, and a sunset period - sign me up. Throwing up our hands and giving Carte Blanche to the police - hell no.

Re:Give me a minute... (2)

spudnic (32107) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421072)

Actually, I heard several reports that a lot of money was being funneled through the sale of honey. Apparently Afghanistan is noted for their premium honey and the terrorists use sales outlets of this honey to move money around.

So can we tack something on there to ban the sale of honey? Down with honey!

Re:Give me a minute... (2, Insightful)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421085)

Government can't protect us from everything. September 11 proved that. Even with all the security already in place, they failed. What makes you think going even farther in that direction will be any improvement whatsoever?

What I want is the freedom to protect myself. Ultimately it is my right to do so, and I will not cede it away to gov't. I am always present to protect myself. A gov't that is always present is bound to be too intrusive.

Isn't the government great? It claims sole privilege of protecting us on airplanes by putting armed marshals on board, and then when they ultimately fail and the hijackers take his weapon, the solution is to have the military blow the innocents it failed to protect right out of the sky. Wonderful.

We don't need another bureaucracy to protect us. (Office of Homeland Defense == Internal Security Police == KGB.) That's what the 2nd Amendment is for. The military and intelligence service are there to protect us from external threats, and that's fine and legitimate. But when it comes to internal threats, individuals can do the job better than gov't can.

We bitch about civil liberties on /. (3, Insightful)

NickV (30252) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420945)

but nobody even seems to care about the fact that Anthrax has been confirmed in New York City [] .

Yes this is going to seem like a flame, but here goes my karma anyway...

You see, we need a balance between security and freedom. Obviously the previous balance wasn't good enough because Downtown Manhattan and the Pentagon were given a serious blow. Civil liberties are not ENDOWED rights, they need to be restricted to keep people safe, in times such as these. It is not A BORN right to be allowed to drive in downtown manhattan. Privacy is not a BORN right... it's a civil liberty.

Ok, we'll get them back after all this is over. Most of these provisions (the one the Senate passed in particular) has a SUNSET clause. Nobody seems to mention that. These are temporary restrictions to aid in the keeping the people safe.

But then again, arguing for restricting civil liberties on /. is like arguing for expanding civil liberities at the NSA. One ferverant zealot forum vs the other with no real middle ground.

How important will PGP be to you when your entire home is destroyed by bombs/planes or wiped out by plague?

Re:We bitch about civil liberties on /. (5, Informative)

Ill_Omen (215625) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420997)

Ok, we'll get them back after all this is over. Most of these provisions (the one the Senate passed in particular) has a SUNSET clause. Nobody seems to mention that. These are temporary restrictions to aid in the keeping the people safe.
Actually, the Senate version explicitly does not include a sunset provision. The House version of the bill includes the Sunset provision, and the Senate would like for it to be removed (or extended from two to five years)

Temporary until when (2)

Illserve (56215) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421002)

This war won't be won, ever. It could theoretically last forever because it has nicely been described as a fight vs vague shadowy people who could be hiding in any country including our own.

Any such sunset clauses could last forever. Granted I haven't read it yet, but the summaries I've heard haven't put me at ease.

You are taking Franklin far too literally (3, Insightful)

Rupert (28001) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421023)

People in Afghanistan have no freedom. Does that mean they are perfectly secure?

What the Senate has passed reduces our freedom significantly without increasing our security one iota. Read the Act as passed in the Senate and explain to me how it would have prevented the 9/11 hijackings.

Re:We bitch about civil liberties on /. (1)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421036)

but nobody even seems to care about the fact that Anthrax has been confirmed in New York City

Oh, great! So far, politicians have blissfully ignored any e-mails they got from their constituents, and now they have a good excuse to ignore paper mail as well. After all, the envelope may contain a "mysterious white powder", so better toss it unopened into the trash...

Re:We bitch about civil liberties on /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421050)

You see, we need a balance between security and freedom. Obviously the previous balance wasn't good enough because Downtown Manhattan and the Pentagon were given a serious blow.

When are you mush-for-brains nuts going to realize that freedom is *not* the opposite of security?

The problem on September 11th wasn't that we aren't a police state, but that three planeloads of americans were subdued by men with box-cutters because we've been made a nation of unarmed sheep in the futile interest of protecting us from each other according the the plan of knuckleheads who think liberty and security are opposed.

Nobody likes my anti-hijacking plan of putting a pump shotgun under every seat of the plane...

Re:We bitch about civil liberties on /. (4, Insightful)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421067)

Civil liberties are not ENDOWED rights

I disagree emphatically. So did these guys:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, . . .

The government can protect rights, but the rights themselves are not granted by the government.

Oh come on! (5, Funny)

rkent (73434) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420947)

Come on! It's called the "USA Act"* -- you'd have to be some kind of pinko commie terrorist bastard to vote against it, wouldn't you?!

* Yes really -- it's the "Uniting and Strengthening America Act."

Oh boy (5, Insightful)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420953)

"Despite my misgivings, I have acquiesced in some of the administration's proposals because it is important to preserve national unity in this time of crisis and to move the legislative process forward," said Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

Translation: I'm scared shitless to vote against any bill with "anti-terrorism" in the title. You really have to admire the lone dissenter, Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, for having the sack to vote against it. Too bad he'll be lucky if the voters of Wisconsin don't hold an emergency election to kick him out, nevermind re-election. You know your in trouble when CNN is singling you out in the second paragraph.

Re:Oh boy (1)

daaboo (527533) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420985)

This i very true and because of that no one the the senate will stand up for basic civil liberties which the nation was founded on Failure is always an option but Survival is a matter of choice.

why take any notice of the government anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2420956)

If everyone just ignores all these stupid legislations, there won't be enough resources to stop them. The problem is, people respect their governments, countries, etc too much, instead of thinking of the world in terms of individuals trying to think freely and live freely.

Since the dawn of time, rulers from Kings to the modern pseudo-democratic governments have tried to convince their "citizens" from an early age that they have some divine right to rule. They don't. It's their ability to exert fear that keeps them where they are.

This advice stands whether you're an oppressed woman in Afghanistan, or a free-thinking American who wants to get on with his daily life.

Remember, once it was illegal for a black man to sit next to a white man on a bus. Do you think the black man was wrong when he sat in his seat? Exactly. Once upon a time, Freedom was anathema. Then, for a few decades, it came into fashion. Fight _vigorously_ to retain this glorious gift that so many have fought for.

Throughout the world.

related to closure of "Statue of Liberty"? (2)

peter303 (12292) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420960)

I know Liberty Island has been closed due to the proximity of the 9-11 terrorism and a potential target itself. However I see this as a metaphor for the tightening of freedoms in USA.

plumbing problem closure (3, Offtopic)

peter303 (12292) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421079)

No, the closure was due to a mysterious fluid leaking from eyes and flowing down the cheeks. Engineers are uable to find the cause of leakage.

Who added the amendments? (2, Insightful)

Kallahar (227430) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420962)

How can I find out which of our esteem elected "representatives" added these riders? I sure would like to know if someone I voted for added something that I didn't like. Maybe then I wouldn't vote for that person next time! What about those who spoke out against it? I'd like to vote for them again if I can!

Just which civil liberties are being smashed? (2)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420963)

Im serious, dont be knee jerk about this, how about some details!

Re:Just which civil liberties are being smashed? (2)

kindbud (90044) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420983)

I'm sorry, but questioning government policy could be construed as opposition to the government, which of course, is one step removed from attempting to overthrow it. You'll have to come with me. For the sake of Unity, of course.

Re:Just which civil liberties are being smashed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421004)

speaking of "knee-jerk reactions", you might consider reading the articles yourself.

House version (3, Informative)

pyros (61399) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420968)

The link on the House dropping it's version mentions that the House is considering an amended version of the Senate's Act, to include expirations on measures.

Pot Calling The Kettle Black (0, Troll)

rm3friskerFTN (34339) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420971)

Ahhh ... Ummm ... Cough Cough

What about the collective silence regarding the Federal Government's continued violation of the Tenth Amendment?

What about the disarming of law abiding American Citizens who wish to exercise their HUMAN RIGHT of self-defense not to mention their CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to keep and bear arms.

BTW, if you are between the ages of 18 and 45, a US Citizen, etc then by law (Federal & California) you are a member of the militia. Why then do they make it so difficult to "keep and bear arms"????

I thought America was about protecting freedom (1)

dropdead (201019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420973)

You really have to ask what freedom's are being protected? More and more it seems we won the cold war only to become what we defeated.

Could Increase Tax Revenues, too: (2)

rkent (73434) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420978)

One of the sections of the bill is (logically) aimed at cutting off terrorist funding, too. To whit:

In addition, the Senate bill incorporates money-laundering measures aimed at breaking up terrorist financial networks. For example, the bill would bar U.S. banks from doing business with offshore "shell banks" that have no physical office or affiliation with a legitimate bank.

Now, that's all well and good, but understand that these shell banks (often located in the carribean, when they're located anywhere) are also used by unscrupulous tax dodgers to make large portions of their income invisible to the IRS. So, this measure could also increase tax revenues substantially, since... well... it's not exactly the poorest of the poor who use these tax dodges :)

Not that it really justifies the bill as a whole. This just might be another interesting (and good!) side effect of it.

Without authorization? (1)

Green Aardvark House (523269) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420990)

From the Washington Post article:

One sought to amend a provision -- aimed at preventing cyber-attacks by terrorists -- that would permit surveillance of anyone who accesses a computer "without authorization."

Feingold called the measure overly broad, saying it could be construed as allowing surveillance of an office worker who violates company policy by making a personal Internet purchase on company time.

What and who defines "without authorization"? Your boss? Your IT tech? Your school? The bills do not provide such a definition.

Even a 12-year downloading a Britney Spears MP3 could trip this off, since it's a copyright violation.

This is scary, for it provides people too much power to invade privacy, all under the guise of "national security".

Time limits would make the difference (5, Insightful)

ParticleGirl (197721) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420995)

My family lives in New York City. My sister was telling me that she had to submit to a full body search when she went to a concert at Madison Square Garden earlier this week, and I expressed a concern for her civil liberties. She told me that she didn't, of course, enjoy submitting to a full body search, but that she would gladly give up some of her freedoms in these "terrifying times" if it would even potentially be a deterrent to terrorists. The thing that she (and many other Americans) do not realize is that the laws that are being enacted to enable the authorities to infringe on her freedoms in these terrifying times are a slippery slope-- as stated in the Washington Post article [] , there is no "sunset," or expiration, date on these laws. I sent her a funny article [] from the Onion [] this week, and she was offended: this is not something to joke about, she said. "I'm scared right now. I see soldiers on the street corners and it makes me feel awful, but if that causes one potential terrorist to think twice about attacking me or mine, I'm glad to have them there." I don't know how to respond-- I'm glad, as well, if they're a deterrent, but it's really a question of how imminent the danger is, and whether we can ever really know how imminent danger of terrorist strikes is. If we don't know (and how could we?) I'd rather have the civil liberties. Failing that, I'd rather know that, when the fear dies down, we'll be able to restore all that we've lost.

I think that the real issue is not that these bills are passing, but that they're passing without expiration dates; that they're potentially part of a much longer-term loss of our civil liberties. That is a slippery slope that we cannot afford to start down.

the fruits of pudding headed liberalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2420996)

Tough titty, as they say in the old country. If you liberals hadn't been letting every disgruntled anti-American wog into our country, we would have never reached this point. Next time you're at the 7-11, look at the raghead behind the counter and ask yourself ``was this guy worth it?''

Most of you all are too young to remember how much true freedom we used to have. Liberals have been responsible for taking it away bit by bit for years. Maybe, just maybe we might restore our liberty if we remove those non-citizens from our midst who should never have been here in the first place.

The world is not Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. The world is not Sesame Street. Moslems are not Americans with a different paint job. No Islamic country has freedom of speech, freedom of press, or freedom of religion. Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, Jews, Bahais, Buddhists -- all suffer horrible persecution at the hands of Moslems--perpetrated by the very relatives the wog at at 7-11.

Each and every Islamic country you can name is a totalitarian nightmare replete with hand amputations, execution of homosexuals, clitorectomies, and all the other wonderful medieval practices which constitute Islam. You liberals should go live in those countries for a awhile, particularly you liberal gals. Seen how much you like it there.

Partisan Politics? (2, Insightful)

Saltine Cracker (116414) | more than 12 years ago | (#2420999)

Albeit sneaky to put a gambling item into an anti-terrorism bill, /.ers should look into exactly who wrote this bill and who's voted for it and against it. Keep in mind that with the way congress works, had this bill been voted out in committee, it could take quite some time for a new bill (with the good parts of this one) to get back into committee and pushed throught the house and senate. Many of your representatives may vote to push a bill through a committee looking to get it out there for it's good parts, thinking that the good outweighs the bad.

Do you think that just because this nation is in the midst of a war and crisis, that the lobbyists are any less active than they would normally be? Absolutely not. Remember most of the law voted into existence in this country is written part or in whole by lobbyists who are trying to obtain some political or corporate advantage by getting the law passed.

Re:Partisan Politics? (1)

sacherjj (7595) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421022)

I have a problem with most of the legislation, except the limitation on Internet Gambling. Outlaw it. Who cares. The only people who come out ahead are the people running the games. What we get out of it are gambling addicts who no longer have money, because they are constantly in search for that illusive jackpot/payoff that they see.

Just as the lottery is taxes for those not good at math. Who really cares. Take the money you would lose gambling and put it in a Roth IRA, and pretty so you will actually HAVE that jackpot you wanted.

Well... (2)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421001)

Okay, EVERYONE knows those crazed people who hijacked those planes used the internet, so as a response restrictions on Online liberties are necissary.

Though not many people know, they also used telephones! Doesn't this scare you, that a phone can be used for terrorist activities?! We should let the FBI wiretap everyone on a whim, so that we can be protected! But wait, they also used CARS! Can you believe that?! I guess that means renting cars should be outlawed and one should have to get govt approval to buy a car of their own! All these things and MORE need to be limited for our own protection.

Fucking stupid if you ask me.

"Freedoms Curtailed in Defence of Liberty" (5, Funny)

tuffy (10202) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421012)

The Onion [] is always good at these sorts of things.

"It is therefore urgent," Rumsfeld continued, "that all Americans be quiet, stop asking questions, accept the orders of authorities, and let us get on with the important work of defending liberty, so that America can continue to be a beacon of freedom to all the world."

phew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421015)

Im glad I live in Sweden.

I'm sure I'll have zero karma after this... (5, Interesting)

andy_from_nc (472347) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421017)

since the moderators generally vote down things they don't agree with. However against half the provisions of this bill I am, I do agree with one thing: wiretapping an individual not a line. Before you hit that downgrade button, listen up. If I have email, a phone, a cell phone, wireless network access and all, I can easily just alternate or use one, none or all. In the old day, wiretapping your phone was sufficient. Now, its not. However, the protection is not gone... they still need a warrant, there is still a line of defense.

I do think voting down the amendments was a bad thing. Please read the bill or at least the summations before commenting. Overall this is a bad bill, but that provision should be passsed (with the amendments attached)!

Re:I'm sure I'll have zero karma after this... (2)

kindbud (90044) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421087)

The problem with a roving wiretap, is precisely that it follows the suspect around, and can capture the conversations of non-suspects in the suspect's vicinity. Still, I think it's a needed reform, but it is not without its problems. We need to be mindful of these problems, and construct adequate protections for non-suspects that inadvertently come into the sphere of surveillance that follows a suspect around.

Of course, time and thoughfulness are in very short supply, as is the willingness to make time, and to be thoughtful.

Senators are people too... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421041)

The problem with our elected officials is that they are representative of the people.

First of all, they're just as scared as everyone else. They've got spouses and children and grandchildren that they don't want to see dead. So... they come up with a way that they think will cut the cancer off at the root. Problem is, whenever such social surgery is performed, some good tissue always goes with the cancer. In war, we usually don't think about the good tissue until after the fact.

Secondly, they know about as much about technology as the average American. In other words, not all that much. Recent and proposed legislation, from the SSSCA to the DMCA back to the CDA, all point to a lack of understanding about how technology and technological societies work.

The results in both cases: bad legislation.

What to do in response to this? Don't stop trying. I sent my letters (actual, handwritten letters) to my constituent senators regarding the SSSCA today. I don't know if they'll do any good; however, maybe if combined with a few dozen other /. people, maybe it'll do some good. It's better than dying silent, people.

Finally, my apologies for my anonymousness. I'm sorta new here.


Do they only listen to big money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421046)

From the gambling article:

Rep. Michael Castle (R-Delaware), who unsuccessfully tried to remove the language through an amendment, said: "My concern is we're imposing an obligation on financial companies to check virtually all of their statements"... ...Some Republicans applauded Castle's proposal, saying that otherwise the bill would slap an undue burden on banks and credit card firms, while others were eager to hand more power to police.

Good to see they truly have my best interests at heart. That is, if I was a police chief or happened to own a banking conglomerate, which I don't.

This country disgusts me... (2, Insightful)

KaiserSoze (154044) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421048)

I have a very sick feeling in my stomach right now, for several reasons:
  • I have always, and do still applaud Russ Feingold on taking a stand. I'm from Wisconsin, and this man has done everything in his power to enact at least some campaign finance reform, while here standing up for civil rights. At the same time you just know (you KNOW) that come re-election time the scum who's going to run against Mr. Feingold will say he is an "enemy of America" or some such bullshit because he's the only one willing to stand up. That makes me want to puke.
  • I swear to God that the next housewife I see simultaneously waving her little flag around while proclaiming that she'd "certainly give up some freedoms to be safe".... god, it's so frustrating living in a world like this.

Let's be real here, there have been people with little or no education for a long time, people who knew nothing about the political process, or what the king was actually doing, or what the dictator was planning, but everyone has always rallied around the concept of freedom. Jesus, what did people fight for for the last 6 millenia? And our countrymen would now lay down and give up so that they could be "a little safer".

President Bush, how exactly will a missle defense shield, email tracking, and shutting down online casinos do anything when the terrorists used box cutters, sent messages through the mail, and had money wired to them Western Union?

I think the great American democratic experiment is almost at an end... wait... a little longer... its done. So, what's up next? Oligarchy? Sounds good to me I suppose. Where do I send my RIAA tithes?

Contact Info -- mod to top please (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421049) [] is the address to go to if you want to send a quick email. Letters are best but the vote is today.

the terrorists have won... :( (2, Insightful)

Hooya (518216) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421052)

the terrorists have won. how, you ask. well, they struck WTC, for they are the symbols of american capitalism. with airplanes, for they are the symbols of freedom -- freedom of travels otherwise hardly possible and vital infrastructure for the commerce that is essintial americana.

As a quote from the movie 'red october' where when the generals from russia dflect to america, one of them says in bewilderment ".. i can travel without any papers?" -- capturing part of the essence of the freedom that is america.

With all the measures being taken in the name of security, we are starting to erode the frabic of freedom that america stands for. exactly what the terrorists wanted to do. their goal wasn't to put a hole in a tower. it was to put a hole in our freedom. and looks like our congress is helping them get there.

More freedom lost (5, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421056)


Now I think you Americans have also given up the right to call your country 'Land of the free'.

Someone will probably mod this as funny but really it's sad.

You lose. (1)

curtisg (63391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421070)

Sorry, we all lost this one. It's for sure that Bush will be signing this into law shortly.

The only way it will be changed is (1) through the courts, in the short term, or (2) after the war, when there is some dramatic abuse of the new powers.

Don't give up, though. Move on to the next issue.

You gotta fight... (0, Offtopic)

jason_z28 (73458) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421081)

For your right...

To Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrtttttttttttttttt yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tragedy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2421086)

One of the greatest tragedies in Modern::America(TM) is the sad way in which so few are prepared to take a stand for the continued well-being of this great country.
Leading the charge towards apathy are those who have gained most from the current state of the nation. Ironic that the ones who gain the most are willing to do the least.
They are middle-class, typically white, often nerdy types who believe that they have rights over and above those of other citizens. Perhaps if they had needed to struggle for existence just once in their young lives they would not be so quick to complain at the efforts of our elected representatives to maintain the safety of all people.
Instead, they would rather claim to be negatively affected by the restriction of their 'right' to use hacker software and steal music from the hard-working artists. The effect this theft has had on our beleaguered economy may never be truly appreciated.
I for one applaud the Senate for their foresight and continued hard work for the good of the nation. The unAmerican outpouring of dissent at these much-needed new laws is saddening, suggesting that further efforts may be needed to silence those persist in their unwholesome efforts to undermine the government. The risk that good-hearted American people may be tainted by this evil requires, nay demands, that hate-filled propaganda sites like Slashdot be shut down forever or brought under government control.
Do not delay, write your representative immediately. I have, and shall again, under a variety of assumed names.

H. T. Baggleswirth Esq.

An old quote (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | more than 12 years ago | (#2421089)

"Nobody's life, liberty or happiness are safe while Congress is in session" (Mark Twain I think but could be someone else)

I guess the one thing that really worries me about all this is not that the government wants to go after terrorists. I'm even willing to give them the benifit of the doubt about their intentions with the bill. The question I have is how do you define "terrorist"?

I know this sounds silly at first glance but it isn't. Everyone sort of assumes we know what we mean by a "terrorist" and Congress passed laws in order to help deal with them. But these laws will be with us even if we win this "war". And we as citizens will have to live with the consequences of them for years afterwards.

I think taking a significant amount of time to make sure the proposed rule changes don't cause more harm to the citizens than grief to the terrorists is not a particularly silly thing to ask for. Given the speed which with this bill was passed, I'm not convinced it will to more good than harm. I'd like to think it would but I've seen far too much to not be cynical about the prospects.
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