If the PATRIOT Act ends tonight, what will that mean?

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There is between a .0001% and 0% chance of Congress letting this actually expire.


That’s not so - this congress can’t seem to get anything done, and the Republicans are feuding within themselves.

the NSA will no longer enjoy the right to gather phone records of innocent Americans.

What an unusual use of the word “right.” Even if the act expires, I see no reason to believe the people in charge will let go the levers of power.


"If that happens, the NSA will no longer enjoy the right to gather phone records of innocent Americans. "

They might not have the right to do it, would that mean they’d stop?

One problem I’ve always had with all this stuff is that at this point, even if they did stop, is it even possible to verifiably prove that? How could congress, let along ordinary citizens, be absolutely assured it was ended?


What will that mean? Dancing in the streets, if you Americans know what’s good for you. We in the UK have a bit of work to do yet, but that will help.

Most of the warrantless data collection isn’t done under authority of the Patriot Act.

It’s done under Executive Orders 12333, 13355, and 13470, and Section 702 of FISA. Any Patriot-Act-based surveillance will simply be transferred to one of these other programs. And the first three executive orders are claimed to rest on the President’s authority as Commander in Chief. No further Congressional authorization or Constitutional justification is needed, claims the Executive Branch. (This reading of Article 2 of the Constitution appears to enshrine the Chief Executive as absolute dictator, but the Justice Department argues vehemently in favor of such an interpretation.

So: Absolutely no change to the behaviour of the agencies.


Yeah, we ordinary citizens will have no clue. Presume the worst, act accordingly.


If it expires it means that the No secrets Allowed people will have to do things the way they used to. With real detective work, search warrants and lawful court orders. It means that they will have to actually look at potential suspects rather than just vacuuming up everything about everyone.

I’m down with dropping the Patriot Act, and the Jingoistic Jig and the Warmongering Waltz while we’re at it.

I want my government to keep people safe from itself, too.


And it will expire:


Once again, it’s business as usual.

NSA did not depend on the Patriot Act for its dragnet collection of telephone and internet data. It offers a justification based on FISA and Executive Order 12333 (signed by Ronald Reagan). In fact, the Patriot Act as written might, paradoxically, have put some limits on its otherwise unlimited data collection. If it were enforced as it was written. It never was. The secret FISA court and the Congress prefer to give carte blanche to the agencies.


Rand Paul is probably a reprehensible person for 99,999 other reasons, but this is a Good Thing. Even as a symbolic gesture, it’s a Good Thing. This is the JOB of the opposition party - to hit the administration on the relevant things they are actually weak on. Obama’s been shameful on this shit, and he is right to use this for political gain. And it’s consistent with the Libertarian agenda that most of the Republicans only pay lip-service to.

But I hate saying “Rand Paul was right,” so I’ll opt to say, instead “Russ Feingold should run for president,” since he didn’t like the Patriot Act before wingnuts thought it was cool, and I’ve felt this way since 2001. :slight_smile:

Check him out basically predicting the future hereabouts: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/07/russ-feingold-patriot-act-speech_n_3402878.html

Oh and hot damn, he’s running for Senate again: http://www.russfeingold.com/


Another thing that is made artfully unclear in the linked USA Today article is that Patriot Act 215 provisions only impact the letter agencies’ collection of data on U.S. persons.

USA Today has been shilling for the surveillance state for quite a while now, and the language of their articles and op-eds is designed to distort. They spin facts in ways that makes these changes look as restrictive as possible. Read the article, and note where* they mention that international surveillance practices are untouched by this.

*(Yeah. Nowhere.)

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NSA sees USA FREEDOM act as a big win for its policies.

So do we finally get to see Obama land on an aircraft carrier wearing a green flight suit with “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banners up?
The war of America being terrified will be over, right?

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You should listen to how the NPR News staff describe it. You’d think they were on commission.


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