Tag Archives: Patriot Act

COVID 19 – Slow Rollout of a New 9/11 & Potential Bio-Patriot Act – Dr. Paul Cottrell

Best comprehensive summary on the internet to date about what is happening with this virus in America and what we must do about it.

The discussion begins at 6:20. Recommend playing at 1.5X speed.

So much for #Resistance! While All Eyes Were On Impeachment Inquiry, House Re-Authorized The PATRIOT Act

FILE PHOTO: The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland. ©Reuters / NSA Handout

House Democrats have slipped an unqualified renewal of the draconian PATRIOT Act into an emergency funding bill – voting near-unanimously for sweeping surveillance carte blanche that was the basis for the notorious NSA program.

A three-month re-authorization of the notorious PATRIOT Act was shoehorned into a last-minute continuing resolution (CR) funding the US government, bundling measures needed to avert yet another government shutdown with a continuation of the wildly-intrusive surveillance powers passed after the 9/11 terror attacks. Democrats voted almost unanimously for it, granting the far-reaching surveillance capabilities to the very same president they’re trying to impeach.

A roll-call vote on the bill was split exactly along party lines, with all 230 Democrats standing up for unconstitutional mass surveillance – including progressives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), who spoke out against it earlier. Two other Democrats opted not to vote, but not a single representative dared oppose party group think.

Not only did Democrats unanimously stand for the bill, they backed the waiver of a rule that would have at least allowed members of Congress to read it.

Aside from renewing the PATRIOT Act for another three months and keeping Washington’s lights on, the bill hikes military pay and tosses extra funding to the Commerce Department and state highways. Republicans had hoped to pass a “clean” funding bill without add-ons of any kind, so their opposition to the measure did not necessarily hinge on its inclusion of the surveillance provision. Still, the PATRIOT Act was born from a Republican administration and its rejection by the same party, 18 years later, suggests a dramatic shift in the US political landscape.

It’s not just domestic surveillance that has driven Democrats and Republicans together. Despite the contrarian stance of the “Squad” and other outspoken #Resisters against President Donald Trump, House Democrats have largely gone along with Republicans in giving the president all the money he wants to wage war. Just 16 Democrats voted against the near-record ‘defense’ budget in July, a bloated $1.48 trillion over two years that dwarfs US defense spending at the height of the wars in Korea and Vietnam and gives the Pentagon more money than the rest of government combined.

Nor is Tuesday’s vote the first time Democrats have voted with, or to the right of, their colleagues across the aisle to back domestic surveillance programs, despite casually comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler and other fascist bogeymen.

Even the creators of the PATRIOT Act didn’t expect the post-9/11 police state to last forever, and included a ‘sunset provision’ that would have allowed the bill to expire – to die a natural death, legislatively-speaking – when it has outlived its usefulness. Yet Congress has kept the program on life support for years, with bipartisan support.

With impeachment in full swing, mainstream media carefully avoided using the phrase “PATRIOT Act” in their coverage of the vote, aware that the measure that allowed the government to treat its citizens like terrorists doesn’t have many fans.

Source: RT

USA PATRIOT Act: The Story of an Impulsive Bill that Eviscerated America’s Civil Liberties

The USA PATRIOT Act provides a textbook example of how the United States federal government expands its power. An emergency happens, legitimate or otherwise. The media, playing its dutiful role as goad for greater government oversight, demands “something must be done.” Government power is massively expanded, with little regard for whether or not what is being done is efficacious, to say nothing of the overall impact on our nation’s civil liberties.

No goals are posted, because if targets are hit, this would necessitate the ending or scaling back of the program. Instead, the program becomes normalized. There are no questions asked about whether the program is accomplishing what it set out to do. It is now simply a part of American life and there is no going back.

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Was the “USA Liberty Act” Written In Advance of The Las Vegas Massacre To Be Another “Patriot Act”?

9/11 Gave Us A Police State With The “Patriot” Act. Was The Las Vegas Massacre Intended To Usher In The “USA Liberty” Act?

https://i2.wp.com/stateofthenation2012.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/libertyact.jpg

After 9/11, the United States government preyed on the fear felt by many Americans to justify the passage of the USA Patriot Act—a law that was supposed to prevent future terrorist attacks. Now, after the Las Vegas shooting, the government has another proposed law ready to go, and just as with the Patriot Act, it also infringes on Americans’ liberties, and does very little for their security.

The USA Liberty Act is the latest trendy name for a law that would reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2017. According to the House Judiciary Committee, the act would preserve “the core purpose of Section 702: the collection of electronic communications by non-U.S. persons for use in our nation’s defense.”

However, it should be noted that while the purpose of FISA was reportedly only to allow surveillance on the communications of foreign targets who were suspected terrorists, it has been used to spy on the communications of innocent Americans—despite the practice being ruled illegal — and any re-authorization of the law will only allow the practice to continue under the guise of “preventing terrorism.”

The USA Liberty Act claims that it will “better protect Americans’ privacy” by requiring the government to have “a legitimate national security purpose” before searching an individual’s database. Then when they do have that purpose established, they will be required to “obtain a court order based on probable cause to look at the content of communications, except when lives or safety are threatened, or a previous probable cause-based court order or warrant has been granted.”

But what the USA Liberty Act does not advertise is the fact that it does not actually address the legitimate problems that exist with Section 702. The FBI’s “legitimate national security purpose” could be justified by just about any reason the agency chooses to give, and agents will only need supervisory authority in order to search Americans’ metadata.

One of the most important things to remember about Section 702 is that, as the Constitution Project noted, it gives domestic law enforcement agencies access to the data seized by the NSA, while allowing the NSA to “retain and disseminate Americans’ communications that may contain any evidence of any crime.”

In a press release on the new act, the House Judiciary Committee bragged about the “bipartisan success” of the USA Freedom Act in June 2015, claiming that it “ended the bulk collection of data, protected civil liberties and national security, and provided robust oversight and transparency of our vital national security tools.”

However, as The Free Thought Project reported in May 2015, the USA Freedom Act “doesn’t actually end or suspend the phone records program, but simply requires phone companies to hold onto these records rather than the NSA.” It also authorized, for the first time, “the NSA, FBI, and other government agencies to unconstitutionally collect data in bulk on potentially millions of law-abiding Americans,” and it let the NSA collect “cell phone records in addition to the landline call records.”

In the same way that the USA Patriot Act was the opposite of patriotic in 2001, the USA Freedom Act only took away freedom in 2015. Do not be fooled by the title—the USA Liberty Act in 2017 has nothing to do with expanding “liberty.”

By Rachael Blevins | Activist Post

Congress Just Quietly Passed CISA: The Second Patriot Act

Update: CISA is now the law: OBAMA SIGNS SPENDING, TAX BILL THAT REPEALS OIL EXPORT BAN

US Senator Diane Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Back in 2014, civil liberties and privacy advocates were up in arms when the government tried to quietly push through the Cyber security Information Sharing Act, or CISA, a law which would allow federal agencies – including the NSA – to share cyber security, and really any information with private corporations “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” The most vocal complaint involved CISA’s information-sharing channel, which was ostensibly created for responding quickly to hacks and breaches, and which provided a loophole in privacy laws that enabled intelligence and law enforcement surveillance without a warrant.

Ironically, in its earlier version, CISA had drawn the opposition of tech firms including Apple, Twitter, Reddit, as well as the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and many others including countless politicians and, most amusingly, the White House itself.

In April, a coalition of 55 civil liberties groups and security experts signed onto an open letter opposing it. In July, the Department of Homeland Security itself warned that the bill could overwhelm the agency with data of “dubious value” at the same time as it “sweep[s] away privacy protections.” Most notably, the biggest aggregator of online private content, Facebook, vehemently opposed the legislation however a month ago it was “surprisingly” revealed that Zuckerberg had been quietly on the side of the NSA all along as we reported in “Facebook Caught Secretly Lobbying For Privacy-Destroying “Cyber-Security” Bill.” 

Even Snowden chimed in:

Following the blitz response, the push to pass CISA was tabled following a White House threat to veto similar legislation. Then, quietly, CISA reemerged after the same White House mysteriously flip-flopped, expressed its support for precisely the same bill in August.

And then the masks fell off, when it became obvious that not only are corporations eager to pass CISA despite their previous outcry, but that they have both the White House and Congress in their pocket.

As Wired reminds us, when the Senate passed the Cyber security Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21 in October, privacy advocates were again “aghast” that the key portions of the law were left intact which they said make it more amenable to surveillance than actual security, claiming that Congress has quietly stripped out “even more of its remaining privacy protections.”

“They took a bad bill, and they made it worse,” says Robyn Greene, policy counsel for the Open Technology Institute.

But while Congress was preparing a second assault on privacy, it needed a Trojan Horse with which to enact the proposed legislation into law without the public having the ability to reject it.

It found just that by attaching it to the Omnibus $1.1 trillion Spending Bill, which passed the House early this morning, passed the Senate moments ago and will be signed into law by the president in the coming hours. 

This is how it happened, again courtesy of Wired:

In a late-night session of Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a new version of the “omnibus” bill, a massive piece of legislation that deals with much of the federal government’s funding. It now includes a version of CISA as well. Lumping CISA in with the omnibus bill further reduces any chance for debate over its surveillance-friendly provisions, or a White House veto. And the latest version actually chips away even further at the remaining personal information protections that privacy advocates had fought for in the version of the bill that passed the Senate.

It gets: it appears that while CISA was on hiatus, US lawmakers – working under the direction of corporations andthe NSA – were seeking to weaponize the revised legislation, and as Wired says, the latest version of the bill appended to the omnibus legislation seems to exacerbate the problem of personal information protections.

It creates the ability for the president to set up “portals” for agencies like the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, so that companies hand information directly to law enforcement and intelligence agencies instead of to the Department of Homeland Security. And it also changes when information shared for cyber security reasons can be used for law enforcement investigations. The earlier bill had only allowed that back channel use of the data for law enforcement in cases of “imminent threats,” while the new bill requires just a “specific threat,” potentially allowing the search of the data for any specific terms regardless of timeliness.

Some, like Senator Ron Wyden, spoke out out against the changes to the bill in a press statement, writing they’d worsened a bill he already opposed as a surveillance bill in the guise of cyber security protections.

Senator Richard Burr, who had introduced the earlier version of bill, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Americans deserve policies that protect both their security and their liberty,” he wrote. “This bill fails on both counts.”

Why was the CISA included in the omnibus package, which just passed both the House and the Senate? Because any “nay” votes  – or an Obama – would also threaten the entire budget of the federal government. In other words, it was a question of either Americans keeping their privacy or halting the funding of the US government, in effect bankrupting the nation.

And best of all, the rushed bill means there will be no debate.

The bottom line as OTI’s Robyn Green said, “They’ve got this bill that’s kicked around for years and had been too controversial to pass, so they’ve seen an opportunity to push it through without debate. And they’re taking that opportunity.

The punchline: “They’re kind of pulling a Patriot Act.”

And when Obama signs the $1.1 trillion Spending Bill in a few hours, as he will, it will be official: the second Patriot Act will be the law, and with it what little online privacy US citizens may enjoy, will be gone.

Source: Zero Hedge

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