Obama to Ask Secret Court to Revive Bulk Phone Collections; Illegal Dragnet Revived
Ink on the alleged Freedom Act is hardly dry, and the Obama Administration Will Ask Secret Court to Revive NSA Surveillance.
The Obama administration intends to use part of a law banning the bulk collection of US phone records to temporarily restart the bulk collection of US phone records.
US officials confirmed to the Guardian that in the coming days they will ask a secret surveillance court to revive the program - deemed illegal by a federal appeals court - all in the name of "transitioning" the domestic surveillance effort to the telephone companies that generate the so-called "call detail records" the government seeks to access.
The NSA stopped its 14-year-old collection of US phone records at 8pm ET on Sunday, when provisions of the Patriot Act that authorized it until that point lapsed. The government will argue it needs to restart the program in order to end it.
US officials did not say if the secret Fisa court will hear arguments from the newly established "amicus", who will be empowered by the Freedom Act to contest the government's contentions before the previously non-adversarial court. The Freedom Act permits the amicus to argue before the court in novel circumstances.
One of the leading congressional advocates for surveillance reform, Senator Ron Wyden, warned the Obama administration not to restart a program now roundly rejected by Congress and repudiated by a federal appeals court as illegal.
"I see no reason for the executive branch to restart bulk collection, even for a few months, and I urge them not to attempt to do so. This illegal dragnet surveillance violated Americans' rights for 14 years without making our country any safer, and the administration should leave it on the ash heap of history," Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and member of the Senate intelligence committee, told the Guardian on Wednesday.
Freedom Act Makes Snooping Worse
Wyden is correct about the illegal dragnet, so why did he foolishly revive the patriot act in any form? Is he as dumb as he now sounds, or is this an act?
Ron Paul has the right idea. He says Freedom Act Will Make Snooping Worse.
Passing the Freedom Act did not reform government snooping, so much as it made it legitimate, according to three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul. He asserts that Democrats and Republicans alike seek to reduce liberty for a promise of security.
"One thing in Washington, when they have the 'reform' of something, you cannot trust them, because reform usually means they're making things a lot worse," Ron Paul told Larry King on Politicking, Tuesday evening. "I think the reform act is a very, very dangerous thing. It's not a slight improvement, as some people argue."
A federal court ruled that Section 215 of the Patriot Act did not authorize bulk data collection, whereas the Freedom Act contains provisions to actually give the government that authority.
King brought up that in 1937, Nazi Germany abolished warrants, with Hitler saying that innocent people had nothing to hide. Many Germans found this position appealing.
"It appeals to a lot of Americans right now," said Paul. "I hear it all the time. It's scary."
Simon Black on the Sovereign Man Blog chimes in with It's Official: The USA Freedom Act Is Just As Destructive As The USA Patriot Act
And without fail, the media has bought in to the myth, praising the government for heralding in a new era of liberty with headlines like "Congress Reins In NSA's Spying Powers" and "NSA phone program doomed as Senate passes USA Freedom Act".
Unfortunately this is simply not the case. And shame on the mainstream media for making such thinly-researched, fallacious assertions.
If anyone had actually taken the time to read the legislation, they'd see that most of the 'concessions' made by the government are entirely hollow.
For example, the Inspector General (IG) of the United States is required to issue a report discussing what civil liberty violations may have occurred over the last few years.
Great. Except that IG reports are just that- reports. They have no teeth. And Congress can do with this one precisely what they do with every other IG report that gets issued: nothing.
Each and every day the government chips away at our freedom. Media parrots as well as fake patriots slurp it down like a cold brew on a hot summer day.
The sheep don't even realize they were fleeced.
There was not a damn thing patriotic about the Patriot Act, and the Freedom Act is 100% guaranteed to make us less free.