While the presidential contenders are ramping up their campaigns for the 2016 elections, the House of Representatives is working aggressively on renewing the portion of the PATRIOT Act that authorizes spying on US citizens. Key spying provisions of the act are scheduled to expire in June. The House hopes to have the provisions passed by May.
According to the Daily Caller:
A new version of the USA Freedom Act could be introduced in the lower chamber as early as Tuesday, according to unidentified sources cited in a Hill report. Originally passed last summer but ultimately defeated in the Senate, the bill reauthorizes sections of the Patriot Act set to expire on June 1, and reforms certain national security surveillance practices.
Among the portions of the law set to expire is Section 215, which authorizes the National Security Agency to store and surveil all of Americans’ landline telephone records, including phone numbers, dialed numbers, locations and call durations. The program was first revealed via the leak of classified documents by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The Freedom Act both renews Section 215 and places new limits on the way the NSA uses it, including moving retention of such records into the hands of a third party, and forcing the agency to go through a warrant process with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to search through specific records.
An aide on the House Judiciary Committee told The Hill, “The new legislation contains even stronger protections for Americans’ civil liberties, provides for even greater transparency for both the private sector and the government, and prevents government over reach.”
Well, of course it does and pigs started to fly today. So now, the government will hoover up your data and pass it off to a “third party” for storage. This could further expose Americans to all sorts of dangers, such as identify theft, by a third party in addition to those in government positions. This administration and every agency in the federal government is about as transparent as lead. Greater transparency would still be no transparency at all. How is all of this supposed to prevent government over reach when government is already over reaching and still will be with these changes? How about protecting Americans’ civil liberties by totally dismantling this unconstitutional spying and surveillance program?
Leading the effort on this piece of trash is Virginia Republican and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Michigan Democrat John Conyers with fellow committee members Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Sensenbrenner, author of the PATRIOT Act, first sponsored the Freedom Act. However, this isn’t the first bill to tackle the PATRIOT Act to be recycled this year. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) announced their intention to reintroduce the Surveillance State Repeal Act and the 2008 FISA Amendments Act together. The Surveillance State Repeal Act would repeal the PATRIOT Act. “Together, the two form the backbones for the NSA’s most significant surveillance programs.”
It seems “Senselessbrainer” has his hand, once again, in the cookie jar holding a fist full of Americans’ freedoms for the government to consume. Just like Obamacare is the Democrats’ “pet” program, unconstitutional spying and surveillance programs are the Republicans’ pet. Unfortunately, anything unconstitutional is supported by the Democrats, as a rule; therefore, unless this garbage legislation is totally repealed, no amount of “new legislation” is going to protect freedom, liberty or privacy of US citizens.
The Daily Caller reports:
A series of last minute cuts prior to the bill’s passage last year left many of its supporters voting in the negative, and alleging certain changes made it even easier for the NSA to conduct certain types of surveillance. A stronger version of the bill failed to pass a cloture vote in the Senate late last year after the majority of Republicans in the chamber argued it would weaken national security.
It will be interesting to see how the 2016 Republican candidates for President address the issue of unconstitutional surveillance and spying on US citizens as the campaign progresses. Sen. Rand Paul, in a speech last month, called for a complete dismantling of the program and voted against the Freedom Act in the Senate. Paul contended the bill didn’t go far enough in reforming NSA spying powers.
Sen. Ted Cruz, another 2016 hopeful, voted in favor of the bill – one of only four Republicans to do so.
Even though Sen. Marco Rubio openly attacked the bill, he claimed it left the US more vulnerable to threats from terrorist groups such as ISIS in the Middle East.
Now, what is more dangerous to national security – dismantling the PATRIOT Act; or, encouraging illegal alien invasion via the southern border by Obama and granting amnesty, along with citizenship without properly vetting the illegal alien invaders, welcoming “refugees” from Islamic Middle Eastern countries along with Somalia, etc. and settling them in communities around the US, and entertaining Islamic terrorist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR and ISNA in the White House while appointing members of the Muslim Brotherhood to key sensitive government positions?
The answer is a no-brainer to anyone who is clearly looking at the issue.
One incident on Sept. 11, 2001, resulted in the theft of certain liberties and freedoms from US citizens with much of it, such as the extent of the spying, done in secret, against due process and without any oversight. It was Muslim terrorists who perpetrated the attack against the US; yet, citizens of this nation are the ones who are groped and molested by the TSA and spied upon by their government. To make matters worse, none of the theft of liberty and freedom has resulted in prevention of one, single, terrorist attack. If it has, is it really worth giving up freedom for the rest of time? Once freedom is stolen, it is never returned voluntarily.
Any Democrat or Republican that supports the continuation of unconstitutional surveillance and spying programs perpetrated upon US citizens are traitors undeserving of holding office and should be removed. Those “politicians” who have sponsored these acts of tyranny, who will not support full repeal and dismantling of the programs, should be removed from office and prosecuted for treason. As most Americans are aware, any time “reform” is used in any description of changing a piece of legislation or law, US citizens are still on the losing end regarding their liberties and freedoms.
But, those of us who see this as a total violation of rights are being nonsensical. Some individuals in America have no problem with the government hoovering and storing of personal, private data. They are of the firm belief that “if you are doing nothing wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about.” Those people should do well to remember the 6 million innocent Jews, who were murdered in Nazi Germany, for doing nothing wrong.
There is nothing to fear according to the government and plenty of US citizens. The all-knowing, all-wise, totally altruistic federal government is doing all of this in the name of “national security” and this “reform” bill will limit the NSA, make the process more transparent because of third party involvement, which will also contain government over-reach. As I said earlier, pigs started to fly today so be sure to keep your head covered.