Skip to comments.Congress 'Endorses' Warrantless Collection, Storage of U.S. Communications
Posted on 12/17/2014 6:14:27 AM PST by upchuck
With nearly no public notice or debate, Congress on Wednesday approved legislation that critics say blesses the warrantless collection, dissemination and five-year retention of everyday Americans phone and Internet communications.
The controversial language was quietly incorporated into an intelligence authorization bill that passed the Senate on Tuesday and then the House on Wednesday.
The legislation, privacy advocates say, sanctions for the first time the executive branchs warrantless collection of American communications under Executive Order 12333, issued in 1981 to authorize the interception of communications overseas.
Section 309 of the intelligence bill sets a five-year limit, with many exceptions, on the retention of U.S. persons' communications collected under that order, which was issued well before widespread use of cellphones and the Internet.
Members of Rep. Justin Amashs staff noticed the section Wednesday morning, and the Michigan Republican rushed to the House floor, rallied opposition with a letter to colleagues and secured a roll call vote.
But opponents failed to defeat the bill, which passed 325-100 and now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.
This whole thing is so upsetting to me, says John Napier Tye, a former State Department Internet policy official who went public as a whistleblower in July. Tye warns that U.S. spy agencies can evade congressional oversight and use the order to scoop up vast amounts of American communications routinely routed through foreign cables and servers.
It is good that Congress is trying to regulate 12333 activities, Tye says. But the language in this bill just endorses a terrible system that allows the NSA to take virtually everything Americans do online and use it however it wants according to the rules it writes. He says that includes sharing the intercepts with foreign governments and domestic law enforcement.
The provision says any nonpublic telephone or electronic communication sent by or among Americans thats intercepted by intelligence agencies without a court order or subpoena can be stored for five years.
Intercepted communications can be stored longer if they are encrypted, include evidence of a crime or meet other exceptions.
The NSA can take everything an American does online [and] write its own rules for how to share it with foreign governments and with the FBI, allowing a huge amount of American data to [be used to] prosecute Americans with no court oversight," Tye says.
The New York Times reported in August that the Obama administration is rewriting internal policies to allow the FBI direct access to a database of raw communications collected under the executive order.
Theres no specification in the legislation of crimes that would qualify communications for distribution to law enforcement. The executive branch writes its own rules, Tye says, with the FBI using parallel construction to obscure the true origin of some criminal investigations.
Read the rest of this article here.
I would be VERY interested in knowing what people in NSA are pushing for this, and who exactly added that provision to the bill.
Those people need to be removed from their positions and be thrown under the jail for the rest of their lives.
This sounds like the NSA wiretapping scandal now made legal.
this is not good.
The “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” was won with considerable bloodshed.
It was given away with barely a whimper.
We’re going to be hearing the word “pushback” a lot during the next two years, but it will only be a convenient ruse and an evasive tactic to avoid actually doing anything. Most GOP voters are gullible and will buy it; they like being deceived.
The only thing that will be pushed back will be initiatives from conservatives.
"Of course they exempted themselves, ya big goof. They're Congressholes. They always cover their own asses."
Good post FRiend.
Leave it to Congress! ;)
But this is Obama’s Hope and Change, isn’t it so wonderful? /s
See my tagline for an explanation.
That, unfortunately, is an accurate tag. What a shame.
The current Congress is just referring to the preparation for the next thrust.
Democrats were up in arms over Bush’s “warrantless wiretaps,” now this passes in bipartisan fashion.
I can't stand Obama, but.... you can't lay this all on him. The bill passed 315-100 in the Republican led House.
Both Parties are controlled by supporters of "Big Government"...and, it's damned near impossible to get rid of them.
My fav show growing up.
The meme would provide endless opportunities to lampoon fun at DC.
I wasn’t just blaming Obama, There are a large number of RINOs that have to be removed as you said.
The problem is, how?
In reality, there's only one way.... but, one dare not whisper it too loudly. Not after reading THAT article, anyway.
it does impose certain difficulties . . .
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