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Senators Want Secret Warrantless Wiretap Renewal 198

An anonymous reader writes "A group of Senators are meeting in secret today, while most people are focused on the 'debt ceiling' issue, in order to try to rush through a renewal of the FISA Amendments Act, which expressly allowed warrantless wiretapping in the U.S. The law isn't set to expire until next year, but some feel that the debt ceiling crisis is a good distraction to pass the extension without having to debate the issue in public. The meeting is being held in secret, but it's not classified, so people can demand to know how their Senator voted."
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Senators Want Secret Warrantless Wiretap Renewal

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  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @05:34PM (#36914070) Homepage Journal

    Welcome to the "new normal" in America, where "Citizen" is a term that is interchangeable with "Felon" or "Enemy".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2011 @05:37PM (#36914104)

    LOL! Is this the "American Freedom" we secretly heard so much about when I was a youth growing up in Hungary during the Cold War?

  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @05:38PM (#36914114) Homepage Journal

    Suddenly, it makes sense why all the senators and representatives are making so much noise about the debt ceiling instead of just voting to fix what should have been a relatively minor and uncontentious issue. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the purpose of government is not to wield power, but to distract attention away from it.

  • FTFY (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @05:41PM (#36914136) Journal

    in order to try to rush through a renewal of the FISA Amendments Act, which unconstitutionally allowed warrantless wiretapping in the U.S.

  • by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @05:49PM (#36914230)

    If we don't collapse economically thanks to the US senate, there is some small hope that justice and liberty can be restored in time. America needs a valid liberal progressive party instead of the conservative democrats and regressive republicans.

  • by Jafafa Hots ( 580169 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @06:00PM (#36914344) Homepage Journal

    Seeing as warrantless wiretapping is clearly unconstitutional, it's thoroughly inappropriate to be doing it at all.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @06:00PM (#36914346)

    Suddenly, it makes sense why all the senators and representatives are making so much noise about the debt ceiling

    No, not really. Despite what many on slashdot think, warrantless wire-tapping isn't terribly controversial with the most of the US. Remember, the only time we hear about public discontent with the TSA is when they grope a baby or a grandmother - the bullshit constitutional smokescreen of "administrative searches" isn't even mentioned, much less questioned. No one is getting groped over the phone, so most people don't give a damn.

    I wouldn't be surprised to find that this meeting had been scheduled months in advance. But even if it wasn't, it's just opportunism to schedule it now, not the cause of the debt ceiling fiasco, just a side-effect.

  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @07:55PM (#36915526)

    I hated nixon. of course.

    but I still see that as limited damage compared to world-wide surveillance that now passes as 'ok'.

    not only is there more spying, but it feels a lot less 'free', now, than it did back then. just in general. we always talked about 'the russians' and how they were a 'papers please' kind of society and government. but today, them is us! the things we held up as differentiating are no longer. I see that much, much worse.

  • I'm just glad my grandfather who fought against this kind of shit in WWII isn't around to witness this shit. WTH has happened to this country? When you have BOTH parties voting AGAINST the people while at the same time practically tripping over themselves to give away the future of this country to special interests for literally pennies on the dollar?

    This is why I'm making a call out to every one here at /. since WE are the geeks, the smart ones, the ones our friends and relatives and coworkers listen to I urge EVERY SINGLE ONE HERE to not only vote Green and New Whig straight down the ticket but do everything in your power to get everyone you possibly can to do so as well.

    A true multi party system is the only chance this country has short of our own Arab Spring and it is clear that BOTH the Ds and the Rs are not gonna listen to the will of the people. The New Whig Party is made of Iraq vets thinking we should get our boys home and the Greens believe in a true safety net for the poor [] along with affordable housing and health care, things I bet many here would support.

    So let us change the system, so that horseshit like this won't be the status quo. I'll even give out a slogan for free "A vote for a Democrat or Republican is a wasted vote" because that is EXACTLY what it is, as they no longer listen to the will of the people. So vote Whig and Green, and push everyone in your sphere of influence to do so as well. Let 2012 be a REAL case of "Hope & Change" and not just more empty slogans!

  • by redemtionboy ( 890616 ) on Friday July 29, 2011 @01:10AM (#36917906)
    No Libertarian? Regardless, we will never have more than a two-party system until we change the election system. A pure first-past-the-post system will only support 2 parties. If you want more parties you need to eliminate primaries and move to a two-tier run off election system. All candidates are thrown in the ring for the first election, and unless one candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates return for a second election. This election system takes emphasis off of parties and more on the individuals running. Granted, it's not a perfect system, but it's a hell of a lot better than what we've got or a proportional representation system. If you want to see this change happen, it needs to move from the ground up, starting with city elections and moving to statewide. You must first cripple the beast before you attack it.

Never call a man a fool. Borrow from him.