House easily passes further anti-surveillance amendments

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I am kind of glad that THIS is the issue that gets some bipartisan support around here. As much as I think there’s a lot of right-wing loonies in the House, leveraging their government paranoia to do things that ACTUALLY curb the ACTUAL abuses of government is a good thing!


I’m enjoying the good news. I do have a question though. How do we know the NSA is not going to just continue doing what they are doing without repercussion? First, how will be know it is happening. And if we do find out, will those in charge really be charged with crimes?

I’m not just being defeatist here, I’m really wondering if those that know this stuff more than me believe the NSA will actually be held to the law?

Nice show that. Of course they can compel companies to change their products. They just can’t make it a budget item.

So they can’t do the bulk collection… but since the phone company now has the burden of collecting all that info, neither the DEA nor the NSA has to collect anything. Now all they have to do is call up the telco.

So, what? We just get weak tea and shadow puppet theater?


The secret to getting the Republicans on board with limiting domestic surveillance powers was to have a Democratic President who uses them.


Sure took 'em long enough. Benghazi and teh gays and Chik-fil-ay and birth certificates and OH YEAH MASSIVE SURVEILANCE STATE and lets just put a little photo up in your womb before we guilt-trip you about killing your baby and RICK SANTORUM 2016 - “Maybe you have forgotten about that internet thing now?” edition.


To me, this is a fine but important distinction: Congress did not pass a reduction in surveillance powers. Congress first allowed the entire Patriot act to lapse through its inaction; that was in effect a reduction in such powers. Then Congress reinstated a portion of the Patriot act’s powers, which are still beyond those prior to 9/11. To me, most news reports are completely mischaracterizing this. Congress’ actual passages in both cases (recently and post 9/11) have been to increase surveillance beyond the status quo.


FTA: “one prohibits the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from collaborating with the CIA or NSA to weaken crypto”

This is what I am most excited about, somewhat from a conservative view point, that they are at least trying to ensure encryption rights simply for the fact that they protect the thing that makes the World go 'round, financial transactions, or better known as “Money”.

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Well, hopefully it will be slightly more difficult maybe requiring a real warrant now.

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The warrant still comes from the same opaque rubber stamp FISA court. So no, there are no barriers to speak of.

Someone draw a picture, please…

A conveyor belt, with warrants, goes to the FISA court room, where a clerk is spinning a wheel that powers a mechanism that rolls the belt and rotates another wheel with rubberstamps.

Caption: “Every request gets close scrutiny.”

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