Congress to 4th Amendment, Screw You, Go FISA!

Notwithstanding the fact that President Trump was against renewing FISA before he was for it (all in the span of a couple of tweets), the US House of Representatives passed the bill that will renew the anti-human, anti-liberty act that gives the Federal government the power to violate the ostensible Fourth Amendment rights of the “Citizens,” despite the fact that the Bill of Rights is still a thing (I think).  The act is called the FISA Act, which gives the Federal government the ‘right’ to spy on Americans without warrants.
Efforts at the House level to inject SOME degree of privacy protections were shot down in the name of security.  Of course, no one talked about protecting people, securing people from the invasions and intrusions into their lives by their own government.

Here is a little collection of how the MSM is covering this story:

House Extends Surveillance Law, Rejecting New Privacy Safeguards

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to extend the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program for six years with minimal changes, rejecting a push by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to impose significant privacy limits when it sweeps up Americans’ emails and other personal communications.

The vote, 256 to 164, centered on an expiring law that permits the government, without a warrant, to collect communications from United States companies like Google and AT&T of foreigners abroad — even when those targets are talking to Americans.

Read More at NYTimes

CONGRESS RENEWS WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE—AND MAKES IT EVEN WORSE

The newly passed bill reauthorizes Section 702 for six years, long after President Trump’s first term in office will have expired.

The amendment that the House of Representatives shot down would have added significant privacy safeguards to the law, including the requirement that intelligence agents get a warrant in many cases before searching through emails and other digital communications belonging to US citizens. The bill Congress did pass, meanwhile, codifies some of the most troubling aspects of Section 702, according to privacy advocates. The legislation still needs to pass in the Senate, where fewer representatives are interested in significantly reforming the law.

Warrantless

Section 702 is intended to allow intelligence officials to electronically surveil non-US “persons reasonably believe to be located outside the United States” without a warrant. The NSA collects millions of video chats, instant messages, and emails under Section 702 by compelling companies like Facebook, AT&T, and Google to hand them over.

The law also allows the FBI to search through the NSA’s database without a warrant, constituting what critics like Democratic Senator Ron Wyden call a backdoor to the Fourth Amendment. The law technically only authorizes the collection of communications belonging to foreign individuals, but citizens and permanent residents easily get swept into the dragnet. For example, Americans who communicate with foreigners may be included……

But the bill newly passed by Congress opens the door to reintroducing about collection in emergency situations only—though what constitutes an “emergency” isn’t specified, leaving room for broad interpretation. In the event that about collection did resume, experts say the new legislation would allow for a far more broad implementation. Now, just mentioning a target—rather than an identifier like their email address—could get you sucked into the dragnet.

“Not only does the bill say you have our blessing to collect communications that contain a target’s email address, it also endorses collecting communications that merely contain a reference to the target,” says Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security program at New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice. “So literally if you and I sent an email to each other that had the word ISIS in it, if you and I send an email that talks about ISIS, under this bill the government is authorized to collect it.” (Assuming ISIS is a group that the NSA is specifically targeting.)

Read More at Wired

Congress Decides Fourth Amendment Is Outdated 256-164

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 256-164 to renew the controversial Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This section of the Act allows U.S. intelligence agencies to listen in on phone calls, to read emails and more of non-U.S. citizens. It’s controversial because the National Security Agency (NSA) and other agencies also listen in on an unknown number of communications from American citizens—something the Fourth Amendment was written to keep the government from doing unless it first obtains a warrant from a court…..

Before approving a six-year extension of the law, the House voted 233 to 183 to kill an amendment designed to protect Americans civil liberties. This amendment would have required officials to get warrants in most cases before intercepting and reading emails and more of U.S. citizens. This amendment was proposed by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich).

The vote was a victory for Republican establishment. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan had blocked the House from considering a compromise bill.

Read More at Forbes

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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at pg@istate.tv