Senate passes USA Freedom Act, restores some NSA surveillance powers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed the U.S.A. Freedom Act, a bill which restores certain surveillance powers to the National Security Agency while curtailing some of its greater excesses.




The bill received a 67 to 32 vote, and now only needs a signature from President Barack Obama to be ratified, TechCrunch noted. Although it was popular in the House of Representatives, the Act became contentious in the Senate, due to some Republicans -- mostly notability Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) -- hoping to keep all the surveillance powers of 2001's Patriot Act intact.

Several measures in the Patriot Act expired on June 1, the result of another Kentucky Republican, Senator Rand Paul, engaging in a filibuster preventing their temporary renewal. The most controversial was Section 215, which the NSA used to justify bulk collection of phone metadata.

The program was one of many exposed in 2013 by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who showed that the agency was collecting vast amounts of data about Americans and foreigners alike regardless of whether or not they were under suspicion of a crime. Much of the data was obtained, voluntarily or otherwise, from technology companies such as Apple, AT&T, Google, Verizon, and Microsoft.

Snowden fled to Hong Kong before sharing documents with The Guardian, and now resides in Moscow on a temporary visa, as he would be imprisoned on espionage charges if he returned to the United States.

One provision of the Freedom Act mandates that intelligence agencies must ask a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court for access to a carrier's phone records, which the company must hold for 18 months.

McConnell allowed votes on three amendments that would have tipped the Freedom Act more in favor of more government power, but these failed to gain traction.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,742member
  • Reply 2 of 31
    Some may say: THIS IS GREAT!
    Others will say: THIS IS HORRIBLE!

    Since we don't really know what the government collects and doesn't collect, and since we don't *really* have a choice to decline those terms & conditions without receiving the product or service, then I'll just say, "Okay."
  • Reply 3 of 31
    libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,280member
    "USA Freedom Act"?! What a farce of a name, it should be named "USA Surveillance Fascism Act". *rolls eyes*.

    GO [URL=http://randpaul.com/]RAND PAUL PRESIDENT![/URL]
  • Reply 4 of 31
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member

    This isn't one party. Only one person voted against the PATRIOT Act when it was passed, and this current administration has put the accelerator to the floor on these kinds of activities.

    What matters now is who stops it. No government should have this info.
  • Reply 5 of 31
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,958member
    Surveillance != freedom.

    It's like "freedom" doesn't even have a real meaning any more. It's just a marketing term, like "innovate".
  • Reply 6 of 31
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,075member

    I drive by the building in the picture at top on a weekly basis.  No matter when you go by there, there is a state trooper sitting on the access road up to it with his lights on.  Basically scaring people away from snooping around.

  • Reply 7 of 31
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,742member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    This isn't one party. Only one person voted against the PATRIOT Act when it was passed, and this current administration has put the accelerator to the floor on these kinds of activities.



    What matters now is who stops it. No government should have this info.



    Agreed.

  • Reply 8 of 31
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,102member

    This is a 100% bi-partisan mess
  • Reply 9 of 31
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post





    This is a 100% bi-partisan mess



    Of course it was created by both parties.

  • Reply 10 of 31
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,411member

    1984...

    Read it and weep.

     

    Calling it "The U. S. A. Freedom Erosion Act" wouldn't improve it.

    More accurate, not more palatable.

  • Reply 11 of 31
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    "USA Freedom Act"?! What a farce of a name, it should be named "USA Surveillance Fascism Act". *rolls eyes*.

    GO RAND PAUL PRESIDENT!

    Yup newspeak is alive and prospering here in the land of the free, oh yeah land of the slaves. What was the ministry called in 1984? Ministry of Peace or was it ministry of truth - yeah truth.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    paul94544 wrote: »
    Yup newspeak is alive and prospering here in the land of the free, oh yeah land of the slaves. What was the ministry called in 1984? Ministry of Peace or was it ministry of truth - yeah truth. All we need now is for the ministry of truth , insert corporate media to announce the removal of the word "slave" from the language and replace it with "unfree" and the re- programming of the population will be well on its way
  • Reply 13 of 31
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    Anyone with any sense of independent thinking or real education which excludes most of the American population knows that the elite has re-programmed the average American citizen. The fact that those vermin politicians can get away with this deception proves the reality of the fact that the population is a herd of bleating sheep more interested in function of their beloved android ( how apt a name) and iPhones than thinking for themselves . Of course if you do know this you are a branded as a subversive and perhaps a terrorist . To illustrate this go and voice this to your co - workers and see how they react!


    1984 described here is a total reality now :

    Nineteen Eighty-Four, sometimes published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in 1949.[1][2] The novel is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (or Ingsoc in the government's invented language, Newspeak) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite, that persecutes individualism and independent thinking as "thoughtcrimes".[3]

    The tyranny is epitomised by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality but who may not even exist. The Party "seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power."[4] The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party, who works for the Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to rewrite past newspaper articles, so that the historical record always supports the party line.[5] Smith is a diligent and skillful worker but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.

    As literary political fiction and dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2 2 = 5 and memory hole, have entered everyday use since its publication in 1949. Nineteen Eighty-Four popularised the adjective Orwellian, which describes official deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state.[5] In 2005, the novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005.[6] It was awarded a place on both lists of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 13 on the editor's list, and 6 on the readers' list.[7] In 2003, the novel was listed at number 8 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.[8]
  • Reply 14 of 31

    If anyone thinks this will actually curtail any government agency's activities, I have some oceanfront property in Arizona for sale.  Cheap.

     

    All it will do is drive it even farther underground.

  • Reply 15 of 31
    isteelersisteelers Posts: 738member
    Anyone who thinks the government would give up any power is a fool.
  • Reply 16 of 31
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,454member
    The real issue is the fact that any method the government uses only works on the stupid. The smart ones are not being caught with these methods. Look at Osama bin Laden, use did not use any modern communications methods, we well back to the method of centuries ago, word of mouth. The US think the criminal have the same time table as them which is to know everything right now, criminals and terrorist all have one thing in common which is time, they will wait it all out and if it takes years to carry out their plans they are fine with that. Our Government knows this but want everyone else to think they using technology against us.

    In reality the government with these massive databases of infromation allows them to go back in time once they identify someone as a threat to see what they been doing leading up to now. They has not wait of looking at data and determining whether someone is going to be a future threat. Plus you can not arrest someone because you think they may become a threat, look what happen in TX they knew those guys, why did not not stop them with all the great systems they have in place.

    One thing the government is good at is throwing lots of people and money at a problem and then using this fact as assurance they doing something for everyone protection.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    atlappleatlapple Posts: 496member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

    "Only the Republicans can clean up the surveillance mess they made"

     

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/02/only-the-republicans-can-clean-up-the-surveillance-mess-they-made.html




    The Patriot Act was perfect the way it was, there was nothing to clean up. The problem is we have idiots like Rand Paul going around giving false information and standing up on the Senate floor for 10 hours trying to defeat it. 

     

    Most people don't have a clue what the entire Patriot Act does.

     

    First off Title 1 allows or wire taps. However all it does it date and time stamp, give the length of the call and looks for patterns of calls from countries known to sponsor terrorism to the US. Lets remember ISIS is trying to recruit people in the US all the time. This title also allows the military to respond immediately if there is a threat of WMD's. 

     

    Title 2 allows for the communications barrier between the CIA and FBI to be lifted so they can share data. Hard to say that is a bad thing.

     

    Title 3 Allows us to stop terrorism financing once it is found. Title 4 and 5 run along those same lines. 

     

    The data center the government would need to keep all phone calls inside the US and going back and forth from the US to other counties would be have to be massive. The government isn't collections massive amounts of bulk data, they are attempting to collect targeted data which is something the IRS and other agencies have done for decades.  

     

    The Fourth Amendment was a great idea in 1792 when Thomas Jefferson announced it's adoption. However I doubt the founding fathers could imagine planes being crashed into buildings, teenage kids setting off bombs during the Boston Marathon and people having their heads cut off and having it posted on Youtube. 

  • Reply 18 of 31
    kiltedgreenkiltedgreen Posts: 492member
    paul94544 wrote: »
    Yup newspeak is alive and prospering here in the land of the free, oh yeah land of the slaves. What was the ministry called in 1984? Ministry of Peace or was it ministry of truth - yeah truth.

    In 1984, both the Ministry of Peace and the Ministry of Truth exist - shortened to a trendy Minipax and Minitrue in the novel. As the years roll on, 1984 becomes ever more prescient.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    kiltedgreenkiltedgreen Posts: 492member
    atlapple wrote: »


    The Fourth Amendment was a great idea in 1792 when Thomas Jefferson announced it's adoption. However I doubt the founding fathers could imagine planes being crashed into buildings, teenage kids setting off bombs during the Boston Marathon and people having their heads cut off and having it posted on Youtube. 

    ... or the United States illegally invading sovereign countries and overthrowing the democratically elected governments of other countries ...
  • Reply 20 of 31

    I have no idea why 99% of the comments are so against the patriot act. There are millions of people around the world that want harm to come to us and thousands willing to die for it. Like it or not we are in a war - ultimately and long term for our very survial and this is the bare minimum to help stem this ongoing and only increasing threat. Technology has made this threat worst and we need techological mitigations to help counteract the threats. I have no doublt these posts would change tune fast if heaven forbid one were directly impacted. Wake up - this isn't fun and games - lives are on the line - there are bad people out there!

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