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Senate Renews Warrantless Eavesdropping Act 218

New submitter electron sponge writes "On Friday morning, the Senate renewed the FISA Amendments Act (PDF), which allows for warrantless electronic eavesdropping, for an additional five years. The act, which was originally passed by Congress in 2008, allows law enforcement agencies to access private communications as long as one participant in the communications could reasonably be believed to be outside the United States. This law has been the subject of a federal lawsuit, and was argued before the Supreme Court recently. 'The legislation does not require the government to identify the target or facility to be monitored. It can begin surveillance a week before making the request, and the surveillance can continue during the appeals process if, in a rare case, the secret FISA court rejects the surveillance application. The court’s rulings are not public.'" The EFF points out that the Senate was finally forced to debate the bill, but the proposed amendments that would have improved it were rejected.
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Senate Renews Warrantless Eavesdropping Act

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  • Perpetual war (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Friday December 28, 2012 @02:57PM (#42412481)

    These "wartime" acts will always be in place from now on, because the U.S. will never not be at war again.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 28, 2012 @03:02PM (#42412535)

    Renewed by a Democrat controlled Senate in 2012.. They have time to take away freedoms from the populous but no time to pass a budget, in 4+ years....

  • by PeeAitchPee ( 712652 ) on Friday December 28, 2012 @03:07PM (#42412593)
    should not be referred to as a democracy (or a democratic republic, for that matter).
  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Friday December 28, 2012 @03:07PM (#42412601)

    Passed by a Democratic Senate and House, signed by a Republican President, renewed by a Democrat controlled Senate and Republican controlled House, signed by a Democrat President. It's one of the few bi-partisan issues left.

    Both sides can't agree on much of anything else, but they can both still agree to be evil. How touching.

  • by Capt James McCarthy ( 860294 ) on Friday December 28, 2012 @03:11PM (#42412643) Journal

    And yet for all the rhetoric that the press keeps pumping out about righties and lefties, the general public keeps eating it up. All the while it doesn't matter who gets voted in. Both 'sides' will screw the public. The real rouge, it's the govt against the public, not the righties vs lefties.

  • Re:Perpetual war (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Friday December 28, 2012 @03:12PM (#42412669) Homepage

    Of course: The US has basically been at war since 1941. It's also officially been in a state of emergency since September 2001, because presidents can do things in a state of emergency that they otherwise can't.

    Another good example of a government under continuous emergency: Egypt was officially in a state of emergency from 1967 through May of this year.

  • Re:Perpetual war (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrsquid0 ( 1335303 ) on Friday December 28, 2012 @03:31PM (#42412855) Homepage

    > Indeed. Harry Reid and gang can pass crap like this but not a single budget in going on 5 years.

    That is because both parties support domestic spying, but the Republicans have been actively obstructing any economic legislation that the Democrats have introduced.

  • Re:Perpetual war (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 28, 2012 @04:01PM (#42413169)

    Clearly you don't understand economic messes.

    The current record amounts of deficit spending were all enacted under a Democrat-controlled Congress (both House and Senate), and it has been maintained by not passing a new budget, which is likely done so that people like yourself can still attempt to point the finger at Republicans.

    During the Bush era, Republicans were absolutely complicit in spending then-record amounts on deficits while fighting two wars, but they were completely dwarfed following the Congressional takeover by the Democratic super majority held through the first half of Obama's first term. And that doesn't even consider the fact that our deficit hardly took a hit when troops were pulled out of Iraq.

    The incredible lunacy of it all is that Democrats are going to blame Republicans for the fiscal cliff. Democrats are holding the lions share of the taxpaying population hostage for the so-called millionaire tax that looks to tax people making above $400,000. Either the rich get tax increases, or we all do. That's a wonderful plan to repair an economy that supposedly just saw the worst Christmas since 2008.

    As for the reality of our current mess? The housing crisis was caused by Democrats:

    The sickening part of it all is that Bush attempted to fix the housing bubble before it actually trashed our economy:

    But Democrats blocked it.

    ''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

    If you actually look at the problem, then you may really see the cause of it.

  • Re:Perpetual war (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 28, 2012 @04:09PM (#42413249)

    Aw, someone needs a nap.

    And to learn some definitions. Start with "Super Majority" and "Fillibuster". We'll wait.

  • Re:Perpetual war (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrsquid0 ( 1335303 ) on Friday December 28, 2012 @04:27PM (#42413415) Homepage

    We have been cutting taxes for the past ten years. It has not worked. There is no non-ideological reason to think that cutting them again will help. Remember, the last time that the US had a booming economy was in the late 1990s, and taxes were higher then than they are now. Letting taxes rise to what they were before the Bush tax cuts came into effect will not tip the US economy into a recession. At worst it will slow down economic growth a bit. The real danger is that the automatic cuts in government spending that will start kicking in on Jan 1 will remove money from areas of the economy that are already in trouble.

  • Re:Perpetual war (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Friday December 28, 2012 @04:35PM (#42413487)

    Again, no amount of name calling is going to change reality.

    What name calling? You are clearly thick if the plain facts are trumped by the convoluted shit you have to conjure in order to ignore those plain facts.

    The Senate has sent many economic bills to the House over the past four years

    The Democrats controlled the senate for 2 of those years, with enough power to pass health care reform without any Republican support at all. What happened there, eh? Could it possibly be that Harry Reid is so corrupt that even the House Democrats cant support the over-the-top corporate handouts in his "economic" (*) bills?

    (*) translation: special-interest spending appropriations

    and almost every one has been blocked by the Republicans.

    Sure, just like the Republicans blocked the health care reform that none of them voted for... oh wait..

    The Democrats didnt need the Republicans in one case, but did in another? Really?

    The plain truth. The Democrats didn't need any help at all passing things, except when it looks bad for them that they didnt pass things.. then of course its all someone elses fault.. and here is this complex convoluted reason why...

    There has been, and appears to still be, a deliberate policy to obstruct any legislation that originates from the Democratic side of Congress.

    So let me get this straight. Over the past 2 years, the Republicans in the House passed several budgets.. budgets that never got voted on in the Senate because the Democrats who control the Senate refused to even put them on the floor (allowing them to be amended and sent back to the House) and thereby killing the budgets immediately, and its the Republicans that are the obstructionists?

    Thick. Very thick sheep,.

  • Re:Perpetual war (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mitreya ( 579078 ) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Friday December 28, 2012 @05:37PM (#42414035)

    Letting taxes rise to what they were before the Bush tax cuts came into effect will not tip the US economy into a recession.

    It may also be helpful to stop calling that outcome a tax raise. Letting temporary tax cuts expire may be argued against, but it is hardly a tax raise unless they at least go higher than what used to be the rate in the 90s

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe