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Government Privacy The Courts

NSA Metadata Collection Gets 90-Day Extension 73

schwit1 sends word that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has authorized a 90-day extension to the NSA's ability to collect bulk metadata about U.S. citizens' phone calls. In April, the House of Representatives passed a bill to limit the NSA's collection of metadata, but the Senate has been working on their version of the bill since then without yet voting on it. Because of this, and the alleged importance of continuing intelligence operations, the government sought a 90-day reauthorization of the current program. The court agreed. Senator Patrick Leahy said this clearly demonstrates the need to get this legislation passed. "We cannot wait any longer, and we cannot defer action on this important issue until the next Congress. This announcement underscores, once again, that it is time for Congress to enact meaningful reforms to protect individual privacy.
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NSA Metadata Collection Gets 90-Day Extension

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  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2014 @02:52AM (#47900629)

    What the fuck? Just how much are these scumbags being paid off? I have difficulty believing someone could be that corrupt just for the hell of it, so I'm certain there's a big bribe--I mean, "campaign contribution," in it for them.

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Sunday September 14, 2014 @03:02AM (#47900659) Journal

    I mean, seriously, wtf is the problem here. This is against the constitution. You know, the laws you the government is supposed to be holding. In fact, you are being called on it, Congress said Fuck you on this shit, the Senate is being slower on it, so that means it's okay to continue violating our rights for 90 more days?

    Fuck you and fuck no!

    I guess for the next 90 days, American citizens should ignore Federal Laws. I mean, if they want to play this way, we should play back.

    • Actually, while the 4th amendment was extended around the '50s to protect telephonic communications, no such extension has been made yet to cover electronic communication. That's the real problem, this is still constitutional because our government is stuck in the 20th century.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The real problem is we shouldn't even need to pass these laws in the first place and whether it becomes the law or not I don't see them stopping anytime soon. When the law screws up they get a paid vacation.. When we screw up we get prison time.

      • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Sunday September 14, 2014 @03:48AM (#47900791) Journal

        Umm.. the 4th amendment has never been extended. Advances in technology were finally found to be covered by it but that was not an extension of the 4th, just a leap of common sense by the courts. The 4th does already cover electronic communications and it is still unconstitutional (person, papers, and effects).

        The problem is that the so called metadata is being considered separate from personal papers and effects and considered to not fall within the constitutional provisions of the 4th amendment. Congress attempted to claim it was and proscribed a means of getting a warrant mostly for a dog and pony show and this extension is simply that warrant. However, because it doesn't describe the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized, it is still just lip service with slight of hand tricks to appease some people.

        • ..the 4th amendment has never been extended. Advances in technology were finally found to be covered by it

          I always cringe whenever I hear the word "to find" used like this as if they actually uncovered some previously unknown truth hidden within the Constitution. These actions were never "found" to be in compliance with the Constitution. Instead they were just declared to be after limited tenuous debate. Even a 9th grader can recognise this as a blatant violation of our basic rights, but hey, the Supre
          • Find and debates to conclusion are the same when talking about court actions. No, nobody looked down and discovered a trail to the constitution. It's a process with the results called a finding and in the past tense, found. When used with a court's statement, find, found, and declared to be after limited tenuous debate have the same meanings.

      • what logic is there that would make this constitutional? what part of the 10th amendment is so hard for people to understand? If its not written in the constitution itself, the federal government has no authority
        • what part of the 10th amendment is so hard for people to understand? If its not written in the constitution itself, the federal government has no authority

          I think they pretty much began ignoring that amendment before the ink was dry. They say social security is the third rail of politics, but the 10th amendment is even more off limits. Properly enforced, the 9th and 10th amendments would outlaw most of the activities undertaken by the federal government.

          So no, not gonna happen. Not now, not ever.

      • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Sunday September 14, 2014 @09:03AM (#47901535)

        Bullshit. The Supreme Court damn well knows the 4th Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights) should be interpreted broadly, so as to limit the government as much as possible. They just don't give a fuck because they're partisan, totalitarian bastards!

      • The fourth amendment doesn't need to be "extended" by laws. The fourth amendment is a limitation on what laws and government action are constitutional. The current and proposed mass surveillance laws are a blatant violation of the 4th amendment and so are the actions of the Obama administration.
      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        No extension is needed at all if we had reasonable people in government (I know, belly laugh time) especially in the courts (OK, I'll stop before you break a rib).

    • You do understand that congress can say a lot of things that do not have the effect of law right?

      As for being against the constitution, you are probably correct. But until congress actually changes a law, the courts- baring a sudden rash of common sense/dignity, and declaring it unconstitutional- has no choice to follow existing law which is what happened.

    • by TheRealHocusLocus ( 2319802 ) on Sunday September 14, 2014 @04:04AM (#47900819)

      Fuck you and fuck no!

      That's the spirit. Things have got to change, But first, you gotta get mad! [slashdot.org]

      All of this furor is over call and subscriber data being sent to the NSA directly on a regular basis. If I wanted to build a computer platform capable of storing and doing queries on this information for the whole United States I could probably assemble one off the shelf for a couple grand.

      I would not need a water-cooled data center in Utah, centrally located so you can lease dark fiber to carry multiple terabit streams into it. Among other data centers in other parts of the country which are in planning, already constructed, or just manage to stay under the radar because they were built from the black ops budget. I would not need secret agreements (negotiated voluntarily or by threat) with service providers to tap and split optic cables.

      This issue of NSA bulk metadata collection is a straw man, a distraction to divert attention from NSA's full content backbone tapping capability. It is a little duck set loose for Congress to shoot down, so they can hold up the dead duck as they pose for a group photo, leaning on their rifles.

      The horrifying truth is -- if and when, possibly now -- NSA has enough backbone taps in place, they would already have access to this data that is being sent to them. In the modern world there are but a few major telecoms and their call data converges at central billing and collection points. The telecoms would gladly keep these links unencrypted or leave the keys in the mailbox for a nudge nudge wink wink absolving them of public ire.

      Even the judges are stalking this duck [slashdot.org] and believe me, they are relieved when the topic of conversation fixes on call data rather than bulk content interception. That is because there is legal precedent for law enforcement collection of so-called 'pen trace data' without warrants, and they have a leg to stand on.

      I'll serious money that if YOU were to ask any member of Congress a very specific and impeccably worded question about bulk content collection and backbone taps, you would get a clumsy response about call metadata. And move on to the next question. It is that insidious.

      NSA has crossed the line. It needs to be completely disbanded, its secret assets colocated at Tier 1 and Tier 2 exchanges completely disconnected, dismantled and sold at auction. Its employees sent home. Or we're all fucked.

      LYNCHPIN of warrantless spying: Hepting v. AT&T [slashdot.org]
      Clap on! Clap off! Clapper's PRISM DISINFO Gambit [slashdot.org]
      RAISE CONGRESS, while you still can! [slashdot.org]
      A fable: NSA and the Desolation of Smaug [slashdot.org]

    • You got modded funny - not sure why. Anyone ever heard the name "Ferguson" before a bunch of black folks decided to, as you say, "play back"? Until white folks learn to be "disobedient with good intent", they'll be slaves to richer white folks.
    • March on Washington --leave all comms home, btw.-- and get them out. Remember Romania? Egypt? That's how it's done.

  • Speeches must be made, and dinners must be eaten. And of course, checks must be signed, or however they do it with all this new electronic banking stuff.

    And I know we can count on 98% you to reelect 95% of these people back into office, and they'll fix everything right up. Yep, that's just what they'll do.. Iron clad guarantee.. Like Desktop Linux, reform is just around the corner. And day now...

  • Why bother? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SumDog ( 466607 ) on Sunday September 14, 2014 @03:08AM (#47900683) Homepage Journal

    Why even bother getting an extention? We all know the program will continue anyway.

    • Why even bother getting an extension?

      So that we'll deserve it?

    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      By changing the law, even only cosmetically, we now need *new* proof of the law being broken.

      Without the proof, there's no actual uncertainty that the law is being broken, but a lack of evidence is one more obstacle to action.

      • Bingo. A change to the law gets the courts off the hook to declare mass surveilance unconstitutional. The current laws EXPIRE SOON, so any new law is a cynical attempt to extend mass surveillance. Anyone supporting a new Patriot Act extension now should be shamed publicly as an enemy of Liberty.
    • by irq-1 ( 3817029 )

      Why even bother getting an extention? We all know the program will continue anyway.

      Because the FISA court put the NSA on Double Secret Probation

  • He'll spring into action as soon as he gets back from playing the 9th Hole.

  • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Sunday September 14, 2014 @05:12AM (#47900973)
    It's critical that the constitution of the US remain invalid for another 90 days because if the NSA doesn't have their anal probes in the asses of every person in the world then

    the terrorist will win and Osama Bin Laden will return from the grave and institute Sharia law and take away our bacon cheese burgers and beer and NFL/NBA/MLB and get rid of all the booze like prohibition and make everyone bow to Mecca five times a day and keep girls from walking around in shorts because you know THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • by TheP4st ( 1164315 ) on Sunday September 14, 2014 @06:58AM (#47901187)

      take away our bacon cheese burgers and beer and NFL/NBA/MLB and get rid of all the booze like prohibition and make everyone bow to Mecca five times a day and keep girls from walking around in shorts because you know THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      You got it all wrong it never were about hate of our freedom, it is a genuine concern about the obesity problem the US is having and they figure dietary restrictions, exercise 5 times a day greatly would improve the issue, and fat asses in too tiny shorts... Well, most of us rather not see that.

  • by rusty0101 ( 565565 ) on Sunday September 14, 2014 @06:32AM (#47901139) Homepage Journal

    ...as a limited time approval of the FISA courts.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    that legislation, even if passed into law, will curtail the actions of the three letters? especially the super secret types?

    • Nobody thinks that this law does anything to curtail mass surveillance. They just added some language to make it appear to restrict phone call record collection, but since everyone calls the phone company and even terrorists can order pizza or call any one of a million phone numbers that are common to everyone, then restricting the number of hops to anything more than one "hop" means they can still collect every single phone record. This law is about distraction and plausible deniability for Congress peop
  • Undoubtedly the NSA will make the most of this time to obtain more of everything they possibly can.
  • Look how successful it was with Christie

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll