Big Brother Get an Extension: House Passes Warrantless Wiretap Bill
September 13, 2012 7:47 PM
comment(s) - last by
House says yes to 5 more years of Americans surrendering their freedom in exchange for temporary safety
There seems to be a never-ending battle to spy on Americans in the name of "fighting terrorism" in the United States. This week the U.S. House voted 301-118 to pass the
FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012
(H.R. 5949). The bipartisan-backed bill will give the government a blank check for 5 more
years of warrantless wiretaps
I. How Did We Get Here?
The FISA mess, like many in the government is a story of what seemed like a good idea being perverted to accomplish the exact thing that it was original intended to prevent --
non-transparent and unaccountable wiretapping
The FISA was designed to eliminate Fourth Amendment violations, and was put in place in the wake of accusations that President Richard Nixon had used wiretaps to spy on political rivals. The act only allowed for warrantless wiretaps if one of the parties was "reasonably believed" to be outside the U.S.
While well intentioned, perhaps the FISA left open the door to abuse by putting domestic surveillance mechanisms in place. While the bill criminalized abuse, with a penalty of up to five years in jail, it has been difficult to prove abuse allegations against ranking federal officials.
But for its flaws FISA did offer some protections for a while. Then came the
PATRIOT Act of 2001
, which dramatically expanded warrantless wiretaps, and the
"Protect America Act"
of 2007 (
II. Both Romney and Obama Support Spying on Citizens
As with many kind of domestic spying over the last decade, usage went up and accountability went down. It's hard to say exactly what the results are -- because the public isn't privileged with that information.
But from past warrantless surveillance program reviews, one could safely assume that the program was often used for its intended purpose (fighting terrorism) -- but also
often abused in a variety of ways
William Binney, a codebreaker for the
U.S. National Security Agency
-- one of the chief wiretapping intelligence agencies -- quit his post in 2001 when he began to witness abuse; U.S. citizens being illegitimately snooped on.
[Image Source: Djibnet]
He commented in a speech at this year's Defcon hacker conference, "NSA's charter was to do foreign intelligence, and I was with that all the way. But then they took those systems that I built and they turned them on you, and I'm sorry about that."
Both President Obama
and former Mass. Governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney are both of the same mind when it comes to this provision
which will likely lead to spying on American citizens -- they love them. Both men have vocally supported the extension to the warrantless wiretaps and in support of other kinds of spying, arguing that the need for safety outweighs Americans' need for certain freedoms like privacy.
With such sweeping bipartisan support, the spying on American citizens and erosion liberties is likely to continue to be enjoyed and be advanced in years to come, assuming there is not a radical change in party leadership or some other radical shift in the American political atmosphere.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Yeah, right
9/14/2012 4:13:08 AM
Alright, well just so we are clear, your whole history lesson was something I've known for quite along time. Though it doesn't exactly apply to Americans doing whatever is necessary to accomplish their goals. Considering other than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, all we are doing is giving up our rights every day to be "safe".
The problem is, we no longer do the things that are necessary because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. However, I completely doubt the founding fathers fought all those years ago for the very same government they created, to do the same damn thing to its citizens. Not to mention the whole part about the British calling the colonials terrorists and the U.S. currently calling certain groups all over the world terrorists isn't making a great point. Simply because you justified everything they are doing because we do/did it. Just saying. Remember, they are the enemy, not me, not you, and neither are the rest of the citizens of America.
"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
FBI's $1B USD Facial Recognition Project Enjoys Strong Bipartisan Support
September 10, 2012, 2:10 PM
Too Large to Manage? 1.3M Cell Phone Snooping Demands Filed in 2011
July 9, 2012, 2:23 PM
ISP Defies FBI's Gag Order, Agent's Warrantless Surveillance Demands
March 18, 2012, 1:33 PM
U.S. Appeals Court Denies Citizens' Right to Sue Wiretapping Telecoms
January 2, 2012, 2:24 PM
Obama Admin. Fights to Renew Warrantless Wiretaps, Block Transparency
July 31, 2011, 1:50 PM
3D Systems Acquires Xerox’s Solid Ink Teams in Oregon
December 18, 2013, 7:54 PM
While FCC Debates Allowing In-flight Voice Calls, Delta is Already Saying “Nope”
December 18, 2013, 12:11 PM
New Mac Pro Launches Tomorrow, Starts at $2,999
December 18, 2013, 10:56 AM
LG Introduces Chrome OS-Powered "Chromebase" AIO
December 18, 2013, 9:46 AM
Google Testing Smart Thermostat in St. Louis
December 17, 2013, 11:43 AM
Microsoft Wins "Synchronized Calendar" Patent Case Against Motorola Mobility
December 17, 2013, 11:23 AM
Most Popular Articles
China's Lunar Rover Enters Orbit, Prepares for Historic Sat. Landing
December 13, 2013, 5:00 PM
Metro-Enabled Firefox Browser Expected to Land After Two Years of Work
December 12, 2013, 5:21 PM
The History of Normandy: How Nokia Plotted a Low-End Android Line
December 11, 2013, 8:12 PM
Ten Senators Sponsor Bill to Scrap Corn Ethanol Market Manipulation
December 13, 2013, 1:52 PM
China's Moon Rover Lands Safe and Sound, Starts Snapping Pics
December 16, 2013, 1:22 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
AT&T Explores $100B+ USD Deal to Acquire Vodafone's European Operations
Nov 4, 2013, 7:34 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information