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Warrantless Surveillance Can Continue Even If Law Expires, Officials Say (theverge.com) 68

According to a New York Times report citing American officials, the Trump administration has decided that the National Security Agency and the FBI can lawfully keep operating their warrantless surveillance program even if Congress fails to extend the law authorizing it before an expiration date of New Year's Eve. The Verge reports: The White House believes the Patriot Act's surveillance provisions won't expire until four months into 2018. Lawyers point to a one-year certification that was granted on April 26th of last year. If that certification is taken as a legal authorization for the FISA court overall -- as White House lawyers suggest -- then Congress will have another four months to work out the details of reauthorization. There are already several proposals for Patriot Act reauthorization in the Senate, which focus the Section 702 provisions that authorize certain types of NSA surveillance. Some of the proposals would close the backdoor search loophole that allows for warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens, although a recent House proposal would leave it in place. But with Congress largely focused on tax cuts and the looming debt ceiling fight, it's unlikely the differences could be reconciled before the end of the year.

Warrantless Surveillance Can Continue Even If Law Expires, Officials Say

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  • haha (Score:1, Troll)

    Sucks to be an American citizen.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The white house is the executive branch, charged with enforcing the law. Of course law enforcement is going to say the expired law granting them power is still valid.

      It doesn't matter, though. Interpretation of law is the job of the judicial branch, not the executive branch. This is not newsworthy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But TRUMP promised he would make America great again!?!?!

    You fucking sheeple.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by e3m4n ( 947977 )

      its not like Killary was going to end the biggest, most unconstitutional bill ever to be approved. IMO, as a libertarian, anyone who signed onto the Patriot act should be tried, then hung, for treason.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Face it, you done goofed. Claiming that Hillary would have been worse at this point is like claiming that the hooker that you thought would short-change you is worse than the one who gave you AIDS.
  • The Patriot Act (Score:4, Insightful)

    by e3m4n ( 947977 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @09:00PM (#55692389)

    Turning citizens into suspects since 2002.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @09:08PM (#55692443) Journal

    It is forbidden by the fourth and fifth amendments to the constitution. Any official exercising any of these usurped powers violates their oath.

    -jcr

    • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @09:13PM (#55692471) Journal

      The PATRIOT act is not a law. It is forbidden by the fourth and fifth amendments to the constitution. Any official exercising any of these usurped powers violates their oath.

      True.

      Unfortunately, until the Supreme Court has ruled that way, it can be used to harm you just as effectively as if it were a law. B-b

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Besides, who wants the end of the patriot act. It took Israel and Saudi Arabia working together with the silence of the US government to crash planes into buildings, murdering a whole bunch of people and murdering more with a pretty blatant false flag anthrax attack to bring in those laws (they even had to set up a patsy and suicide them to get away with it, do you want to be the next patsy). Do you seriously want the Israelis to murder more Americans, how many next time, tens of thousands to force those la

    • It is a law until a judge rules it unconstitutional
      Until then, any official exercising any of those powers is doing their job. It's not their place to question the laws that congress have passed.

    • Except this is the great weakness of US law: It is legal until challenged. I would bet there's dozens of laws on the books that would be ruled unconstitutional in a heartbeat if they were actually challenged. But usually they don't affect anyone, don't affect anyone worth mentioning, or no one has standing.
      • In most cases those laws stay on the books through selective enforcement. For example the police arrest people if they know they are not in a position to fight it, but if they know you have the means to do so they would never dream of it. Most people don't understand that a law can be illegal. I can't tell you how many times someone told me "of course they can do that ... It's a law!"
    • Unless you can get the electorate to stop voting in "tough on crime" politicians then you're never going to see this go away. You'd need a top down approach of people willing to uphold the letter and spirit of the law. You'd also need to keep those people in office so they could remake the courts that have long since been staffed with the kinds of judges who favor all this. That usually means decidedly left wing people (most "libertarian" politicians turn tough on crime once they're in office). Folks are to
    • Yeah well so is the entire war on drugs, half our military actions, and a good part of the government itself. Unfortunately being obviously against the constitution doesn't actually mean anything when the court lacks the integrity to say so.
    • What's this "constitution" thing? Asking for a friend.

      - Trump.

    • I agree with your first sentence. If I were a judge, I might even rule that way.

      But, our opinions aside, how is your second sentence different from the gold-fringers, sovereign citizens [wikipedia.org] and other people that believe their interpretation of the Constitution or the law supersedes that of our organized government?

      I really don't think you are wrong, but we can't operate as a society if we don't respect the outcome of the dispute resolution system even when disagree with the reasoning. That's why I draw the line

    • The voters don't care, and if they can't be bothered, how do you think anything is going to change?

  • FISA Court (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @09:12PM (#55692465) Journal
    Thats one busy rubber stamp approving all the warrant applications.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So what happened to the sanctions against Russia with the deadline of 1st October??.... Nothing, it passed, Trump did nothing about it, spineless Repubs did not say a word. Foxsky Newsky quiet sides with Russia, never mentions it.

    Here's the thing, as long as he hasn't signed their tax bill yet, Trump can do whatever he wants because Republicans need him to sign it. He can interpret FISA court approvals as substitute for laws, he can simply flat out ignore laws Congress passes, FFS he can even create a death

  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2017 @10:21PM (#55692753)

    ...the Trump administration has decided that the National Security Agency and the FBI can lawfully keep operating their warrantless surveillance program even if Congress fails to extend the law...

    So, the government can "decide" to say they're still within the law even if the law doesn't exist.

    How different is that from the old USSR or post-WW2 Germany, exactly?

    • How different is that from the old USSR or post-WW2 Germany, exactly?

      words in english tend to be shorter.

      other than that, not much diff at all!

    • It isn't, welcome to modern America!
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Re How different is that from the old USSR or post-WW2 Germany, exactly?
      The old USSR had a fear of West Germany been a base for another invasion. Again.
      West Germany had a fear of Soviet spies and East Germans pretending to be good West Germans.
      Another fear was the files East Germany and the USSR had on West Germany mil/gov and their work before 1945.
      Would people in West Germany be blackmailed by East Germany due to their 1945 past? Too many people in the West German gov/mil had ww2 secret pasts.
      In
    • Their people didn't rise up in resistance either and look what happened to them.

  • If you care about liberty, if you care about freedom, you should be devoting your thought to separating from this system. There is no fixing this. It simply has to die. We need to construct a viable alternative to pick up the pieces when it does.

    • Power corrupts, and bad people work to get in positions of power. We still haven't found a solution to those problems. And no, having new people just means the government can't do their job properly and gets taken advantage of easily.
      • That is a lie. There is no solution to the problem of power. Because there is no problem - other than the people themselves. They are disingenuous lazy scum who will inevitably be selected against by nature.
        Power always exists. Because some who hold it become corrupt does not mean there is a problem with power. That is power fulfilling its natural role. A bad ruler cannot live for long, he will run his system to failure, probably at the cost of many lives. He takes down all of his followers. And as the worl

  • Rubber stamps? We ain't got no rubber stamps. We don't need no rubber stamps. I don't have to show you any stinkin' rubber stamps!

  • Maybe it should be mandatory for judges to learn about the 4th amendment?

  • Laws? We don't need LAWS where WE'RE going!
  • Everything we do electronically or with a connected device attached to our persons is being monitored and recorded by the corporate/government system in order to create a psychological model of the population with individual resolution for the purpose of predicting and controlling our thoughts and actions.

    Seems to be working well to divide us. When will people get a grip on this horrible truth and stop being so easily redirected to attack each other rather than the perpetrators? This seems to be the end of

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