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House Approves Extending the Warrantless Wiretapping Act 326

Posted by samzenpus
from the listen-up dept.
wiedzmin writes "The U.S. House of Representatives voted 301-118 today, in favor of extending the FISA Amendments Act until December 31st, 2017, effectively reauthorizing the broad electronic eavesdropping powers that largely legalized the George W. Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program."
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House Approves Extending the Warrantless Wiretapping Act

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  • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:07PM (#41318253)

    "that largely legalized the George W. Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program"

    Sorry for the tangent, but I have a question. Does the constitutional prohibition of ex post facto laws prevent the legalization of illegal activity as a means to annul the culpability of preexisting perpetrators? In other words, should the people involved in warrantless wiretapping before our hideously evil overlords legalized this rape of our rights be culpable for their crimes?

    Also, someone do us the favor of linking to a list of the despicable scum in the House who voted in favor of further rape today.

    • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:19PM (#41318399) Journal

      Under the votes tab: Roll no. 569 [house.gov].. Might not be there long

      They have nothing to fear from this. They see it as a plus, and most of the voters do, too.

      • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @07:25PM (#41318971) Journal

        Under the votes tab: Roll no. 569.. Might not be there long

        They have nothing to fear from this. They see it as a plus, and most of the voters do, too.

        I really like America and I really hate to say this ---

        America is no longer the land of the free

        It has become the land of the free to be wiretapped, without warrant, without due process, without any valid reason

        • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:10PM (#41319269)

          which countries, on this planet, are not currently being tapped by their governments?

          don't parrot back to me what you think *should* be. we're probably in agreement on what *should* be. but answer me, what current gov, that has any core routers of its own, is *not* tapping and scanning and capturing and thresholding and triggering (all in hardware, these days)?

          anyone who can buy or get their hands on top-end router and switch gear can install it and tap all they like. its not too expensive (for govs) and its very tempting to any human being with that much power.

          the odds are very low that people will resist the temptation to spy. it seems to be in our nature and it surely seems to be in the nature of those that aspire to country and state leadership roles.

          so go ahead, name me a country that is wired (has some internet ability for its citizens), or is even voice-connected, and is not checking on its population using tech means?

          deal with the fact that this is a human problem, not a US or UK or aussie or whatever problem.

          • Nice strawman (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:21PM (#41319333) Journal

            which countries, on this planet, are not currently being tapped by their governments?

            Nice try, buckwheat, but you ain't fooling nobody.
             
            I am not talking about other countries. I am talking about the United States of America - The Land Of The Free
             
            Where "Liberty to All" is thing that supposed to differentiate the United States of America from the rest
             
            This is also the country where "Give Me Freedom Or Give Me Death" has been taught in history lessons, to all students
             

            • You're still free to do whatever you want. This just means the government is free to spy on you while you do it.

              • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

                You're still free to do whatever you want.

                Really?
                 
                If you say anything that sounds like you want to do harm to the POTUS, and I can guarantee you that you ain't gonna enjoy any freedom no more
                 

                • It was meant ironically, but I guess I didn't phrase it well enough. I hoped that using the negative word "spy" would get the message across that I wasn't in favor of the situation.

                  What I meant was that you can still do anything you want, but you are going to get caught.

                  But nevermind!

                  • by cayenne8 (626475)
                    Well, we already know that Mr. Obama supports this (his votes prove it).

                    Can someone ask if Romney goes along with this overreach by govt too?

                    Sadly...I'm pretty sure I can guess the answer.

                    :(

                    • by tbannist (230135)

                      If you look at the role, 95% of the Republicans and 39% of the Democrats voted for it.

                      That should probably answer your question.

                • Re:Nice strawman (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Artifakt (700173) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @12:04AM (#41320465)

                  There's no point in bring up a limitation such as threats against the president, as so many people are actually OK with freedom of speech being limited in that way. To reach the undecided, the uninformed, and any share of those people who have 'good hearts' but not a lot of on the street political education, you need to mention a limit more people would disagree with, such as the loss of freedom to carry more than $500 cash while travelling. My own favorite is, "if America is the land of the free, why do we have such a high perecentage of people in prison?" For people who appreciate numbers and hard facts, try "Why are there 17 different civilan agencies that have agents trained to used assault rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and Claymore Mines? ". Try putting things in a context that involves the person you're speaking to. For example, it's amazing how many older people rethink their position on the Fed acting against medical marijuana dispensaries in CA, when they find out the avarage person considering marijuana for pain is about their age, and often wants it for a common disease of people their age (There's quite a number of medical pot users who have lost a foot or leg to type 2 diabetes, and want relief from phantom limb pain. Mention that to a 50 year old pro drug war conservative who has type 2 and fears they might be in the same situation some day, and watch the cognative dissonance at work.).

            • by boef (452862)
              I often wonder why people still refer to the USA as 'the land of the free' or even to their president as the 'leader of the free world'. Don't get me wrong; As a non-American I have great respect for the tradition and history of freedom of the country

              The issue I think Americans should be concerned about is the fact that countries Poland, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, United Kingdom all have something in common (well, the list is quite long and can be found here [rsf.org] )
              They are ALL ranked higher than 'T
          • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:40PM (#41320103)

            which countries, on this planet, are not currently being tapped by their governments?

            How is your question remotely relevant? You appare to be making the same kind of argument that Newt Gingrich did when he said we shouldn't permit the building of the "911 mosque" until Saudia Arabia permits christian churchs in their country.

            In other words, you are saying that we should be judged in comparison to the worst countries out there rather than how well we live up to our own expectations for ourselves.

            the odds are very low that people will resist the temptation to spy. it seems to be in our nature and it surely seems to be in the nature of those that aspire to country and state leadership roles.

            That does not mean we should accept it. The people to which we entrust the reigns of power must be held to the highest possible standard. Abuse under the cloak of authority has been with us since the first human civilization -- the great thing about modern civilizations is that we have laws to punish that abuse. Now is not the time to go roll back modern life to a pre-magna carta standing..

    • by Riddler Sensei (979333) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:25PM (#41318449)

      If I understand what I've heard the way it works is you can make an action lawful ex post facto but you can't make it illegal ex post facto (I have no idea if this is right or not, just off the top of my head what I recall).

    • I would think that such a policy could happen. In a less negative light, let's say that we ended the war on drugs and at least decriminalized a large number of substances. Would granting them amnesty/pardon be unconstitutional? I don't think so. However, wiretaps are searches, so Congress can't actually authorize them.
      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Technically it can until challenge for breach of constitution in the high court. Should the high court be stacked with corrupt judges, who choose to analyse laws upon their own political biases and, their sponsors beliefs in what should have been the intent of those that wrote the constitution, rather than literal interpretations of those laws against a literal interpretation of the constitution. So until the high court of the United States of America is unstacked with corrupt political flunkies, well, the

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      Does the constitutional prohibition of ex post facto laws prevent the legalization of illegal activity as a means to annul the culpability of preexisting perpetrators?

      I think ex post facto laws refer to making what was formerly a legal activity to suddenly become illegal. Not sure if it covers the reverse (i.e. retroactively legalizing and excusing law-breaking)

      If it did, then, presidential pardon would be trickier than it is.

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        I think ex post facto laws refer to making what was formerly a legal activity to suddenly become illegal. Not sure if it covers the reverse (i.e. retroactively legalizing and excusing law-breaking)

        Ex post facto means, literally, "after the fact". Yes, it would apply to legalization as well as criminalization.

        However, consider this. Criminal cases in the US are brought by the public prosecutor, an arm of the state. It is the state that is passing this law. The state should have no standing in objecting to an action by the state. The accused who isn't prosecuted would be stupid to object to his crime being made legal. He's the only other party with any standing. So, who's going to go to court to test

    • It's not supposed to be legitimate to give a pass ex post facto, but it happens. This is pretty clear in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
    • And of course, Paul voted against it. One of only seven Republicans to vote against it. Shame he'll be gone soon, not that the vote made any difference.
    • by SydShamino (547793) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:33PM (#41319771)

      Republicans: 227 for, 7 against
      Democrats: 74 for, 111 against

      Not that there's anything different whatsoever between Democrats and Republicans. No sir. I read that right here on Slashdot.

      • by queequeg1 (180099)

        Political posturing for a vote the Democrats knew they would lose. If the Democrats were truly worried about the effect the FISA amendments have on our personal freedoms, they could have easily revoked them all during the first two years of Obama's presidency (when they had a solid majority in the House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate). That they didn't make such a move shows you where they really stand on the issue.

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      Do you know an overlord that has given up power after it was given? This vote was just a confirmation to show that nobody will give up power no mater how evil the overlord or the power.

  • 4 years later... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KrazyDave (2559307) <htcprog@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:08PM (#41318261) Homepage
    and still managing to blame Bush. Wow.
    • by dreamchaser (49529) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:12PM (#41318317) Homepage Journal

      and still managing to blame Bush. Wow.

      Yep, seeing as how Obama will happily sign it as well. It would be more appropriate to blame 'despicable politicians'.

      The only difference between Bush and Obama is the latter has signed off on exponentially more debt. Neither gives or gave a shit about our rights.

      • Re:4 years later... (Score:4, Informative)

        by The Master Control P (655590) <ejkeever@@@nerdshack...com> on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:29PM (#41318495)
        Behold! The BSABSVR!

        I think that women, and Hispanics, and anyone who's part of a union, and the GLBT community, and plenty of others might possibly disagree though. Oh, and simple reality too: The vote was 301-118 in favor of passage, with 111 Democrats and seven Republicans voting no. Yep, both sides are clearly exactly equally as bad!
        • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @07:10PM (#41318875) Journal

          74 democrats voted yes... The only difference between the 'sides' is that one is dramatically more unified than the other. Regardless the content of their thought, that's a sign of strength!

          • I didn't finish the sentence:

            ...that's a sign of strength! of the herding instinct...

            so sorry

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            So, most Democrats voted against this bill while an overwhelming majority of Republicans voted for it, and somehow you've concluded that the Democrats are just as bad. This logic is really pretty twisted.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fustakrakich (1673220)

        Neither gives or gave a shit about our rights.

        Nobody demands that they do. Oh, there's lots of pissing and moaning about it in some groups, but then they all go and reelect the same old bastards.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mitreya (579078)

        Yep, seeing as how Obama will happily sign it as well.

        Even if Obama WANTED to veto it (which, granted, he probably doesn't), what would be the point of doing that? The bill has enough majority to override the veto.
        So I would mostly blame the representatives here.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:41PM (#41318615)

          what would be the point of doing that?

          To show that he's against it? To do... something? Trying to stop it is far better than just allowing it to pass with no resistance.

          • by artor3 (1344997)

            He could put a signing statement against it, to try to weaken it, as he did with the NDAA. It's not much, but it's something, which is better than some token gesture that plays well with the /. crowd but has no actual impact.

            Of course, in this case I don't think he'll even do a signing statement, because as I recall he's actually in favor of the wire tapping law.

        • There's two months till the election. My guess is that he's going to accidentally pocket veto everything for which the timer runs out. There are too many donors and golf courses to court and congress isn't in session all the way through November, is it?

        • You really want to know who set this up?

          Find out who scheduled the vote for the same day as the release of the iPhone 5. I think the vote was probably on the docket for awhile. If so...

          To whomever made sure these events coincided: Couldn't have been planned better. Well played.

          "The answer to all your questions is: Money"

  • As the resouce cruch comes ever closer, the rich in this country need the monopolization of force, to keep them sheltered from the huddled masses, the ones that our lady liberty sought to provide refuge for.

  • Obama = Bush III (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:11PM (#41318297) Homepage

    And the progressives, not to mention the rest of the dems just rolled over. Evil Bush! Evil Evil! We believe in civil liberties. Ha. What a joke. All you believe in is that your guy is in the white house. Not only has Obama and Dems (don't forget the house was Nancy's) failed to roll back anything of Bush/Cheney, they expanded the powers. And we won't even go down that war on drugs road....

    Pathetic.

    • by dreamchaser (49529) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:14PM (#41318339) Homepage Journal

      And the progressives, not to mention the rest of the dems just rolled over. Evil Bush! Evil Evil! We believe in civil liberties. Ha. What a joke. All you believe in is that your guy is in the white house. Not only has Obama and Dems (don't forget the house was Nancy's) failed to roll back anything of Bush/Cheney, they expanded the powers. And we won't even go down that war on drugs road....

      Pathetic.

      Why are you trying to confuse people with facts?

    • Because phenomenal powers are only evil when the opposition is in position to use them. Win some elections and suddenly they are okay again.
    • Re:Obama = Bush III (Score:5, Interesting)

      by The Master Control P (655590) <ejkeever@@@nerdshack...com> on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:52PM (#41318741)
      So 111/191 Dems in the House, presumbly all who might be described as actually liberal or left-leaning (Including my own, Peter de Fazio), vote against this seditious legislation.
      Liberal and civil rights supporter Ron Wyden has put a hold on the corresponding act in the Senate, as he has on multiple such acts in the past.
      Meanwhile, the Republicans (both in Congress and in the media) make emotional appeals to fear to explain why we must give up our rights in order to be safe and preserve our "Freedom," and ever since 9/11 have openly and vehemently accused anyone who questions the nascent police state of being unpatriotic, unamerican and traitors.

      But you're right, clearly both sides are equally as bad. But the Democrats are worse, so you should vote Republican to be safe, amirite?
      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @07:09PM (#41318869) Homepage Journal

        Understand where you're coming from, but let's not forget that a major part of the support of Mr Hope & Change was from people who understood his position to be against warrantless wiretapping, and this bill wouldn't be on any agenda if Obama had actually been the person with that position.

        We're best off voting for a third party at this election for President (Congress is more of a local matter and can't be generalized like that.) No matter who wins, we will get this crap anyway. At the very least, though, votes for a third party for President are votes that analysts will recognize as votes that could have been for a major party, had either one shown any principle whatsoever.

      • I would recommend Gary Johnson. At least you may have a clear conscience after. Bush=Obama=Mittens.

      • by dizzy8578 (106660) * on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:12PM (#41319283)

        Gen. Michael Hayden refused to answer question about spying on political enemies at National Press Club. At a public appearance, Bush's pointman in the Office of National Intelligence was asked if the NSA was wiretapping Bush's political enemies. When Hayden dodged the question, the questioner repeated, "No, I asked, are you targeting us and people who politically oppose the Bush government, the Bush administration? Not a fishing net, but are you targeting specifically political opponents of the Bush administration?" Hayden looked at the questioner, and after a silence called on a different questioner. (Hayden National Press Club remarks, 1/23/06)

        ---
        Landay: "...the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to violate an American's right against unreasonable searches and seizures..."

        Gen. Hayden: "No, actually - the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure."

        Landay: "But the --"

        Gen. Hayden: "That's what it says."

        Landay: "The legal measure is probable cause, it says."

        Gen. Hayden: "The Amendment says: unreasonable search and seizure."

        Landay: "But does it not say 'probable cause'?"

        Gen. Hayden [exasperated, scowling]: "No! The Amendment says unreasonable search and seizure."

        Landay: "The legal standard is probable cause, General -- "

        Gen. Hayden [indignant]: "Just to be very clear ... mmkay... and believe me, if there's any Amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. Alright? And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. The constitutional standard is 'reasonable'" ( h/t Dale)
        -- Knight-Ridder's Jonathan Landay questioned Gen. Michael Hayden at the National Press Club in January.

        ----
        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

        " Statutes authorizing unreasonable searches were the core concern of the framers of the 4th Amendment."

            "It is a measure of the framers' fear that a passing majority might find it expedient to compromise 4th Amendment values that these values were embodied in the Constitution itself."

            --- Justice Sandra Day O'Conner, the first woman on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. 1981-2005 (resigned)

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        Liberal and civil rights supporter Ron Wyden has put a hold on the corresponding act in the Senate, as he has on multiple such acts in the past.

        And you might read to the end of the article and notice that Wyden says he'd be agreeable to a 'short term extension' of FISA so that the issues can be more fully discussed. This is a five year extension, which is a reasonably short extension in terms of government actions.

      • by antdude (79039)

        Vote for Independent?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by kenorland (2691677)

        The Obama administration has been using these wiretaps, Obama is going to sign the law, and he is going to continue to implement it. If the Democratic party thought this act was wrong or bad, it could put a stop to it tomorrow. So don't tell us that Democrats are any better on these issues than Republicans.

        The fact that some nominally Democratic representatives in the House voted against it (in order to appease some more liberal voters, knowing full well that it would pass anyway) doesn't change that o

    • by Burning1 (204959)

      You're kind of a tool. The house has a super-majority (70%) voting yay for this piece of legislation, so it probably won't make a damn bit of difference whether or not Obama vitos it.

      95% of the republicans in the house voted for this bill
      39% of the democrats voted for this bill.

      Clearly there's no difference between the parties on this issue *rolls eyes.* Keep telling yourself that your vote, and everyone else's doesn't matter.

      It's not the democrats who are ruining america... It's not the republicans... Apa

      • The law is an authorization to the administration. Obama likely lobbied for it, because Congress usually doesn't bother authorizing something that the president doesn't actually want to do. In fact, if the Obama administration said "we don't want this, we don't need this, and it is bad for the country", the authorization would likely not have passed.

        But regardless of that, Obama is the head of the executive branch. He is under no obligation to do everything he is authorized to do. If he disagreed with t

    • in short, bush was not man enough to resist spying on us. and obama is not man enough to stop spying on us.

      I think it did take bigger balls to start the wholesale spying. and it takes very little effort to keep things going, once started. in fact, it takes more effort to stop things than to start them, in cases like this.

      it would have been nice to have obama taken a stand and cut the stupid 'reaction-based laws' that we got stuck with over the last decade or so. including the TSA. and the WoD.

      I'm not s

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        obama promised more than he could deliver. his failure was thinking he could actually do things in this very rigid world.

        I'm sorry, where did you get the idea that Obama has failed? He won the election, he's living in the White House, he's idolized by a significant fraction of the US populace, as well as a significant fraction of the world. He's snagged a pretty cushy pension for the rest of his life, and made his wife proud of the US for the first time in her life.

        And where did you get the idea that he actually thought he was going to do any of the things he promised to do? If he never thought he could do it, then it isn't

  • The govt, by virtue of its actions, it promoting sedition.

  • How's your (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gonoff (88518) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:22PM (#41318431)

    Constitutional republic?

    I don't think you are any better off than me in the UK or anyone else in this part of the world.. Your 1776 revolutionaries must be turning in their graves...

  • by AlienSexist (686923) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:28PM (#41318487)
    Controversial legislation will attempt to lull some opponents by having a "Sunset" provision where the law will expire or require some sort of a reauthorization. The thought is "Okay we need it for right now but it is far too terrible to make permanent." When that time comes they always pass or are made permanent. Proponents argue "We've already spent all this money to implement it, no sense in squandering it now", "It is just so useful and important it is absurd to abandon it", or "Termination of the program would cause the layoffs of thousands of government & contract workers (in my jurisdiction)." PATRIOT Act did this too. Not to mention taxes and tolls as well. Government just cannot resist getting bigger. And yes, as others have pointed out, it doesn't matter which political party is in power when they pass. As soon as another party takes over for a term they really start to love these new powers and suddenly their criticism vanishes along with their promises to repeal.
    • by Githaron (2462596) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:39PM (#41318583)
      "Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program." --Milton Friedman
    • One time in recent memory I can think of is the Assault Weapons Ban. It banned features of guns largely based on how they looked. It was given a sunset, and it was not renewed so not guns with those features are again legal to purchase new.

      Now I'm not saying that sunset laws are a good idea or you should truest them to make things go away, just that sometimes they do actually sunset, if very rarely.

      They are really likely only useful for things that are fairly contentious, like the AWB. The thing is with a n

  • Only one correct answer. Seig Heil !
  • At first glance I read "House Approves Extended Warranty Wiretapping Act". In all seriousness the house really should approve this one!
  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:42PM (#41318625)

    He's going to sign it...but he didn't mean to.

    He's going to fight for our civil rights next year. He promises. Honest.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pecosdave (536896) *

      We have to sign the extension act to see what's in it. Only then can we stop it!

  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:52PM (#41318733)
    • by schwit1 (797399)

      None of then are mine. They represent the highest bidder.

      Any elected official that accepts campaign contributions from people outside of their district no longer represent their district.

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        None of then are mine. They represent the highest bidder.

        What would you say to a white, middle-class, middle-aged male who says "Obama isn't my president because I didn't vote for him"?

        Do you see any parallel between that and what you just said?

  • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:55PM (#41318765)

    It seems to me we need to work to get the third party doctrine changed. It has no relevancy in anyones lives in the 21st century.

    If successfull the governement will begin to loose court cases on constitutional grounds and be forced to stop.

    Read it and weep:

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
    effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and
    no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
    affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
    persons or things to be seized."

    • It seems to me we need to work to get the third party doctrine changed. It has no relevancy in anyones lives in the 21st century.

      If successfull the governement will begin to loose court cases on constitutional grounds and be forced to stop.

      Read it and weep:

      ...

      Of course you'd believe that. The amendment that nullifies that for affairs of National Security is Classified.

  • by chowdahhead (1618447) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @07:39PM (#41319057)
    Bin Laden is dead, as are many of the top Al Queda leaders, the network has been dismantled, and spuriously we're safer from attack. But considering the freedoms and rights to privacy that we've sacrificed in the process, I'd choose to live my life in pre-9/11 vulnerability, than a reality where everything I say and do is being recorded and monitored. I feel like "terrorism" has still won.
    • by Mitreya (579078)

      Bin Laden is dead, as are many of the top Al Queda leaders, the network has been dismantled, and spuriously we're safer from attack.

      Ah, but there still are faceless "evil doers" who wish to "harm us". So there is clearly a need for more and more military and extra-judicial actions.

      Plus, if we keep bombing random countries with drones (without even contemplating war declaration), new terrorist groups will eventually form. Or we can just name some organization in that country as "terrorist"

      So it's really a win-win all around

      • Ah, but there still are faceless "evil doers" who wish to "harm us"

        Yeah, these "evildoers" are called traffic accidents, medical errors, obesity, smoking, lack of preventive medical care, etc.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @07:57PM (#41319165) Journal

    Anyone who votes for a statute that violates the fourth amendment is failing to uphold their oath of office.

    -jcr

  • by nut (19435) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:13PM (#41319285) Homepage
  • Considering the possibility that this is found unconstitutional in October, is there any process that could be invoked to initiate a full, independent investigation of this program, especially the secret bits? Something along the lines of responding to "it's for national security" with "we don't believe you, we're going to check everything you've done so far".

    I know, crazy question.
  • I recommend investigating snooping, denunciation and stigmatizing of citizens in the 3rd Reich, Stalinism, the German Democratic Republic and others. (Of course, there are contemporary examples, like North Korea and China, but the historic ones are well documented put thing into perspective.) Snooping on citizens without strong legal safeguards is a very dark thing indeed and fundamentally incompatible with a free society.

  • by moeinvt (851793) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @06:58AM (#41322093)

    The blatant erosion of our civil liberties over the past 20 years is exactly why I will not trust the government with ANY new powers. These people, regardless of party, have gutted the Bill of Rights.

    -Patriot Act and extensions
    -Warrantless Wiretapping and ex-post-facto legalization thereof
    -Indefinite detention of US Citizens
    -Military Commissions Act
    -FISA Extensions
    -Assassination of US Citizens
    -NDAA

    I accept some of the climate change science, but there is no way in hell I am going to support granting the federal government more power to regulate energy consumption. I won't support any new taxation to give these criminals more wealth to waste, or support any efforts for them to seize power to control PAC money or campaign financing.

    The federal government and its minions have declared themselves enemies of the citizens of the United States. I want to see them stripped of power and starved of wealth.

    P.S.
    Any federal government employee reading this is invited to go **** themselves.

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