Congress passes USA Freedom Act, the NSA 'reform' bill. What does it mean for your privacy?

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My understanding is that mass-surveillance was illegal because it was not authorized under the patriot act, but its constitutionality (and the constitutionality of today’s new Freedom act) remains an unanswered question.

What are the chances of the Freedom act surviving challenges on constitutional grounds? What would be the biggest obstacles? Would any of the courts even have enough of a spine to impartially address that question when mass surveillance enjoys the support of both the legislative and the executive branches, not to mention the powerful and influential intelligence agencies themselves?

Of course, the MSM, the President and others will proclaim that bulk intelligence gathering has been officially curtailed, so no need to worry any more!

It’s a lie, of course.

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I just had a discussion a couple of days ago about the NSA/whoever having access to encrypted data, with a computer student. He said, “It can be made obscure so only the government has it.” I said that it should be clear to a computer savvy guy that if there is a backdoor, eventually the bad people will find it, and that will jeapordize our financial transactions at the very least. Specifically, “If it is flawed, it will fail.”

He doesn’t want to talk to me anymore :frowning:


They found a way to offload the costs of storing all that data to private companies. With the USA Freedom Act (most cynical name ever) they now have found a way to make sure that even congress de-funding their mass surveillance programs won’t be enough to stop them.


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