Skip to comments.Vote on limiting NSA phone surveillance expected Wednesday
Posted on 07/24/2013 11:17:57 AM PDT by upchuck
U.S. lawmakers may very well be one step closer to bringing across-the-board U.S. government phone surveillance to an end.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday on an amendment to next years defense appropriations bill that would defund the National Security Agencys bulk collection of peoples phone metadata not under investigation for international terrorism or foreign intelligence.
According to the revised amendments summary available on the House Rules Committee website, the amendment bars authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act.
It further bars the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215, continues the summary.
The broad scope of the NSAs surveillance, enabled by Section 215, was first revealed in early June by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Since the revelations were first made public, the secretive agency has been the subject of global controversy.
The amendment was first proposed by Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash, a fierce civil libertarian and opponent of U.S. agencies engaged in unconstitutional warrantless surveillance.
Republican Reps. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Democratic Reps. John Conyers of Michigan and Jared Polis of Colorado, are also co-sponsors of the Amash amendment.
The House Rules Committee departed from normal procedure to solicit amendments in written form as part of an attempt to limit what would be attached to the bill.
Senior officials from the U.S. intelligence committee have pushed back hard against allegations that the collection program violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Congressional leaders, concerned over the effect Amashs amendment could have on the effectiveness of the surveillance programs, delayed a vote on the defense bill until this week.
NSA director, General Keith Alexander, headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon for a members-only briefing set up by the House Intelligence Committee to lobby against Amashs amendment, reports The Hill.
U.S. activists, organized by the digital advocacy group Demand Progress, rallied online Tuesday to petition their representatives to support Amashs amendment.
Wish I had seen/posted this yesterday.
Back in the days of telegrams, NSA was told to stop collecting telegram flimsies for overseas telegrams (Western UInion had agreed to make them available, they were picked up daily then returned).
They said they did but continued the practice. So if Congress directs them to stop doing something, there is no guarantee it will happen.
“The Puzzle Palace” has lots of good NSA tales.
Shut it down!
There's a distinct difference here. NSA was told (asked) to quit collecting the flimsies. As I understand the Amash amendment, NSA wouldn't have the cash needed to collect the flimsies.
It’ll be fun watching King Hussein veto this and trying to explain why, assuming the Senate even bothers to take it up.
So Congress has control after all. Imagine that.
It’s good that a few in Congress recognize the obvious legislative responsibility, but it’s a damn shame no one else on the planet does.
It is good that the House is doing this. Of course, Harry Reid will never let it come to a vote in the Senate and the pResident will veto it if it gets to him, but the house must do it.
The House has to at least get the process going. Let Reid take responsibility for stalling it.
One of the few issues in which liberals and conservatives are aligned, but I bet it will fail anyway. The NSA will simply dig up dirt and blackmail a majority into killing it.
Note that this is not a bill. It is not standalone legislation. It is an amendment to next years defense appropriations.
Makes it much harder for Dingy to ignore it and nobama to veto it.
LOL! When all is said and done, CONgress will do nothing to limit NSA programs. They’re complicit.
This is just kabuki theater for the masses signifying nothing.
The gop wing of the uniparty wants the NSA data to provide for an expanded police state. The ‘rat wing of the uniparty wants the NSA data for blackmail. So what part of CONgress is actually going to pass this
This bill will die an unremarked death. Kabuki theater amounting to nothing.
Met Mulvaney in Indian Land right before he was elected. Glad he kicked Spratt’s ass out of office.
Exactly! The Senate can reject a spending bill, but only for so long. Money is their oxygen.
This isn't just a spending bill. It's the defense authorization for the next fiscal year. Important stuff. The perfect bill to attach this amendment to.
I understand that this has just been defeated by a 218-207 vote.
I know in advance I am going to be angry at my congresscritter...
Will be interested to see who else voted against it.
Evil wins again.