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Government Privacy The Almighty Buck

US House of Representatives Votes To Cut Funding To NSA 164

Posted by Soulskill
from the congress-threatening-to-actually-do-something dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. House of Representatives voted late Thursday night, 293 to 123, to approve an amendment to the NSA's appropriations bill that cuts all funding for warrantless surveillance and for programs that force companies to create backdoors in their products. The success of this vote in the House is attributed to the fact that the amendment did not have to go through the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees and also to the increasingly apparent unpopularity of NSA activities among voters. Although privacy advocates laud the vote, there are those who note that the amendment specifically applies to the NSA and CIA while remaining silent on other agencies such as the FBI. The appropriations bill in its entirety will now proceed to the Senate for approval."
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US House of Representatives Votes To Cut Funding To NSA

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  • Pablum For Peons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jim Sadler (3430529) on Friday June 20, 2014 @09:06AM (#47280605)
    It has been known for decades that the CIA has developed sources of income that are automated and unstoppable. Various agents were charged with setting up businesses that paid into the CIA on a regular basis and it was so covert that if the agent and his superior both dropped dead the income continues. For example a car dealership may pay a "supposed loan" back to a bank once a month for 30 years. Even if the business is sold the payments will continue. The agent that set it up need no longer be involved. By repeating this process with investments and covert accounts the budget of the CIA could never be revealed with only the tax dollars known as income. One would imagine the NSA has done something similar. Such projects help to shield new weapons development as the public expenses do not report the excess income and weapons development can continue without foreign scrutiny.
  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday June 20, 2014 @10:05AM (#47281045) Homepage
    Taking a break from repealing obamacare and re-affirming "in god we trust" on the currency, Its hard to imagine Republicans are doing anything in the interest of their constituents. Republicans under bush authorized and evangelized this warrantless wiretapping. shit, they even passed retroactive immunity for telecom companies forced to do it. And now after 2 terms of sitting on their obstructionist do-nothing arses they've suddenly gotten around to saving america from their monster? Give me a break.

    We have to have some form of populist legislation, anything really. We cant have gay marriage, immigration reform, tax reform, campaign finance reform, gun crontrol, climate change policy, or minimum wage because we as the republican party are strapped inexorably to a vocal minority of elderly bible thumpers ginned up on glen beck and sean hannity who have loudly stated, "Moderates arent allowed or we will end you politically." Every issue facing americans is toxic to us so the best we can do is dial down the crazy on a policy we voted for and approved and hope its enough to get us into the whitehouse in 2016. And the sad fact is, no amount of wayback machine legislation is going to help. Once the republican party quietly dropped immigration reform they basically conceded to drop any chance at the presidency.
  • by DickBreath (207180) on Friday June 20, 2014 @10:12AM (#47281091) Homepage
    Yes. This can be circumvented. If these people can get around the clear wording of the constitution, then they can do anything.

    Black is white. Up is down. Secret courts can issue secret overly broad warrants to secretly spy on everyone all the time. People can be secretly compelled to secretly hand over their secret keys and keep this a secret. People can be compelled to help spy on you and keep this a secret. People can be secretly arrested, and taken to secret prisons. We have secret trials with secret evidence. Defendants are now not even allowed access to the secret evidence against them. I thought I had heard everything when a government official said that their interpretation of the law was secret. (I'm sure they were thinking this keeps the enemy from knowing.)

    So yes, these people can go on with business as usual. All they need is a hand waving rationalization to make it all okay.
  • Re:Next! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by radja (58949) on Friday June 20, 2014 @10:19AM (#47281143) Homepage

    Funny? probably some dutchmen at work here. NSB was the dutch nazi party just before and during WW2. In dutch 'NSBer' still means traitor or snitch.

  • NSA = No Sales for America. The NSA is a powerful advertisement that anything complicated made by a U.S. manufacturer may have intentional defects or surveillance methods.

    U.S. government policies allow many secret agencies. I find it odd that news stories assume that, other than doing things that almost no citizens want, the secret agencies are otherwise well-managed. For example, in the case of Edward Snowden [wikipedia.org], someone who worked for a sub-contractor was able to walk away with all the data.

    To me, it is also odd that news stories assume that the NSA works to improve security of the U.S. and U.S. citizens. For example, the book House of Bush, House of Saud [wikipedia.org] explains that the Bush and Cheney families worked for the Saudis, who paid them billions for their help. The U.S. taxpayer paid for the arms, military presence, and violence that supposedly was free security for the Saudi government, but actually was, as Saudi acquaintances I met in a gym said long before the 9/11 attack, Saudi government oppression of the Saudi people.

    There is a HUGE conflict of interest, and the U.S. government seems to have no influential methods of dealing with conflicts of interest. If there is security, people who work for the NSA are less likely to be promoted, and may lose their jobs. That is a powerful reason for NSA employees and management to create more insecurity. Since they work entirely in secret, no one can stop them.

    Michael Moore is a self-taught movie maker. His movie about U.S. government corruption in secret agencies, Fahrenheit 9/11 [boxofficemojo.com], made $222,446,882. It's not like U.S. government corruption is a secret.

    The U.S. government's war in Iraq is now being called a "mistake". For example, Hans Blix: Iraq War was a terrible mistake and violation of U.N. charter [cnn.com]. It wasn't a "mistake", other articles say, it was deliberate deception. For example, Stop Calling the Iraq War a 'Mistake' [huffingtonpost.com].

The universe does not have laws -- it has habits, and habits can be broken.

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