We are not Known for our Hell-Bent Rants about Politics or the Government.
Actually, We prefer to put up Information and let the Reader decide.
Voting is a Privilege and a Right. Here, It is Respected as Such.
Let's see what our Elected Representatives have on their Plate:
- A huge, under the rug swept, delayed, horribly negotiated Budget Bill that may/may not push our Nation over a Fiscal Curb, Cliff, Speed Bump, etc. That of which is not Acted on could cause Very Serious Repercussions in our financial Future
- Funding for Hurricane Sandy Recovery (also Overdue and Important)
- Decide whether to renew the NSA Warrant-less Wiretap Surveillance Program
The Second was Passed with some Modifications.
The Third, Well... Let's Backtrack a piece....
One of the ways the United States Congress Reacted to the "spying" shenanigans of the Nixon Administration in 1974 was by passing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
This Act Established the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The FISC oversees requests for surveillance warrants against suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the United States by federal law enforcement agencies (primarily the F.B.I.).
These are called FISA Warrants.
Each application for one of these surveillance warrants (called a FISA warrant) is made before an individual judge of the court. Like a grand jury, FISC is not an adversarial court: the federal government is the only party to its proceedings. However, the court may allow third parties to submit briefs as amici curiae. When the Attorney General determines that an emergency exists he may authorize the emergency employment of electronic surveillance before obtaining the necessary authorization from the FISA court, after which the Attorney General or his designee must notify a judge of the court not more than 72 hours after the Attorney General authorizes such surveillance.
If an application is denied by one judge of the FISC, the federal government is not allowed to make the same application to a different judge of the court, but must appeal to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. Such appeals are rare: the first appeal from the FISC to the Court of Review was made in 2002, 24 years after the founding of the FISC.
It is also rare for FISA warrant requests to be turned down by the court. Through the end of 2004, 18,761 warrants were granted, while just five were rejected (many sources say four) . Fewer than 200 requests had to be modified before being accepted, almost all of them in 2003 and 2004. The four known rejected requests were all from 2003, and all four were partially granted after being resubmitted for reconsideration by the government. Of the requests that had to be modified, few if any were before the year 2000. In subsequent years, according to journalist Joshua Micah Marshall, the breakdown was as follows:
|2000||1 request modified|
|2001||2 requests modified|
|2002||2 requests modified (both modifications later reversed)|
|2003||79 requests modified (out of 1724 granted)|
|2004||94 requests modified (out of 1758)|
On May 17, 2002, the court rebuffed then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, releasing an opinion that alleged that FBI and Justice Department officials had "supplied erroneous information to the court in more than 75 applications for search warrants and wiretaps, including one signed by then-FBI Director Louis J. Freeh". Whether this rebuke is related to the court starting to require modification of drastically more requests in 2003 is unknown.
On December 16, 2005, the New York Times reported that the Bush administration had been conducting surveillance against U.S. citizens without the knowledge of the FISC since 2002. On December 20, 2005, Judge James Robertson resigned his position with the FISC, apparently in protest of the secret surveillance. The government's apparent circumvention of the FISC started prior to the increase in court-ordered modifications to warrant requests.
Closed hearings and classified proceedingsBecause of the sensitive nature of its business, the FISC is a "secret court": its hearings are closed to the public, and, while records of the proceedings are kept, those records are also not available to the public. (Copies of those records with classified information redacted can and have been made public.) Due to the classified nature of its proceedings, only government attorneys are usually permitted to appear before the FISC. Due to the nature of the matters heard before it, FISC hearings may need to take place at any time of day or night, weekdays or weekends; thus, at least one judge must be "on call" at all times to hear evidence and decide whether or not to issue a warrant.
CompositionWhen the court was founded, it was composed of seven federal district judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States, each serving a seven year term, with one judge being appointed each year. In 2001, the USA PATRIOT Act expanded the court from seven to eleven judges, and required that at least three of the judges of the court be from within twenty miles (32 km) of the District of Columbia. No judge may be appointed to this court more than once, and no judge may be appointed to both the Court of Review and the FISC.
United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThe United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (or FISC) is a U.S. federal court authorized under 50 U.S.C. § 1803, Pub.L. 95-511, 92 Stat. 1788, enacted October 25, 1978. It was established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA). The FISC oversees requests for surveillance warrants against suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the United States by federal law enforcement agencies (primarily the F.B.I.). The FISA and FISC were inspired by the recommendations of the Church Committee.
>>Fast Forward to Today:
The Senate Passed the Bill 73-23, quickly. VERY Quickly.
The House also passed the Bill with Equal Expediency.
Paul (KY) - posed adding an Amendment to require the Government to Provide a Warrant when Spying on e-mails and electronic media.
Wyden (OR) - posed adding an Amendment to require the Courts to notify the Citizen(s) if and when they have been Spied Upon by Mistake.
BOTH of these and Many other of these Amendments were Struck and the Bill was passed for the next 5 Years.
This is the Time to notify your Elected Officials your Opinion on this action.
Seems, when these folks want things to get done, they get done.
Now we see what gets Priority
FISA Warrantless Wiretapping Program Renewed By Senate
The U.S. Senate renewed the warrantless wiretapping program begun during the George W. Bush administration by a 73 to 23 vote on Friday, sending the FISA Amendments Act to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.
The vote marked a symbolic next step for the wiretapping program, which collects Americans' communications with foreign intelligence targets abroad. Four years ago, in the midst of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, an identical version of the bill was the subject of a highly contentious debate in the Senate. Obama and others argued then that Bush's program went too far in violating Americans' privacy. This year, with a supportive Obama in the Oval Office and the media focus on the fiscal cliff, the bill was renewed with much less attention.
After voting down reform three reform amendments on Thursday, the Senate continued debate on the spy bill on Friday morning. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) offered an amendment meant to force the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency to reveal how frequently they have collected Americans' communications as part of their efforts to amass intelligence on foreign targets. Even an estimate would suffice, Wyden has argued -- but the spy agencies have rebuffed his efforts to get a general number, claiming it is not possible.
"This is the last oportunity for the next five years for the Congress to exercise a modest measure of real oversight over this intelligence surveillance law," said Wyden, referring to the 2017 expiration date in the new law. "It is not real oversight when the United States Congress cannot get a yes or no answer to the question of whether an estimate currently exists as to whether law abiding Americans have had their phone calls and emails swept up under the FISA law."
Wyden and other civil liberties advocates are worried that the spy agencies might be able to use intelligence gathering capabilities ostensibly targeted at foreigners -- a legal practice under the law -- to search their databases for Americans' emails and phone calls without a warrant. They have pointed to a secret room at an AT&T switching center in San Francisco, as well as whistleblowers' revelations about the NSA's collection capability, as signs that the wiretapping may go too far in sucking up domestic intelligence. Wyden's amendment would also have revealed to the public whether "backdoor searches" are occurring under the highly secretive wiretap program.
But Wyden was opposed on the floor by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who warned that even public revelations about the program could have dangerous reverberations.
"What this aims to do is to make public a program that should not be made public at this time," she said.
Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) both stressed that the program's authorization will expire on Dec. 31. With the clock ticking down, they said, intelligence collection on terrorists was at risk.
But Wyden responded that it would "not exactly be a difficult and arduous task" for the House to pass the Senate's amended bill when it meets to discuss the fiscal cliff on Sunday. He added that his amendment would have given the executive "unfettered" ability to redact any sensitive information from its report. His amendment failed, with 43 senators in favor and 52 against, falling far short of the 60 vote threshold needed for it to pass.
Feinstein promised during Senate debate on Thursday to take up some oversight changes, including stronger inspector general powers and disclosure of secret court rulings on the program's constitutional limits, during the overall intelligence community's reauthorization process in 2013.
"Of course it's disappointing that such moderate amendments failed," said Michelle Richardson, a legislative counsel for the ACLU. The civil liberties group would like to see stronger curbs on the government's ability to do bulk collection of communications abroad. Nevertheless, she added, "I think there were some strides made during the floor debate. We'll simply have to follow up with them to make sure those promises materialize."
Outside of Congress, a lawsuit the Electronic Frontier Foundation has brought against the NSA over the warrantless wiretapping program is proceeding in federal court.
Also on HuffPost:
7 Ways To Get Yourself Indefinitely Detained
Senate Passes FISA Renewal 73-23
Ellen Nakashima reports in the WaPo:
Congress approved a measure Friday that would renew expansive U.S. surveillance authority for five more years, rejecting objections from senators who are concerned the legislation does not adequately protect Americans' privacy.
The bill passed the Senate 73 to 23. The House approved it in September and President Obama is expected to sign it before the current authority expires on Monday.
The lopsided Senate vote authorized a continuation of the government's ability to eavesdrop on communications involving foreign citizens inside the United States without obtaining a specific warrant for each case. The surveillance has been credited with exposing several plots against U.S. targets, but also drawn fire from civil liberties advocates.
Oct 16, 2012
At this point in the series When Drones Attack, we have covered many different subjects that mostly include the Powers .... Be have for Monitoring and Control the Citizenry. Well, Now it is up to You. Are you going to take the .
Oct 09, 2012
At this point in the series When Drones Attack, we have covered many different subjects that mostly include the Powers .... Be have for Monitoring and Control the Citizenry. Well, Now it is up to You. Are you going to take the ...
Aug 31, 2012
When Drones Attack - Part IV - Tampa, Mpls.? Well I kinda thought this was going to be an ongoing series about that group "those that are here to help you people" getting up close and personal with Surveillance/Drones.
Aug 21, 2012
When Drones Attack - Part III - Cokedale, CO - pop. 132 ... Tanks, APC's, Troops, Hum V's, Helicopters, Camps, Drones, and Checkpoints are being reported in cities across the nation. The Department of Homeland Security ...
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Sep 11, 2012
-mp. Previously on When Drones Attack!!!: Well I kinda thought this was going to be an ongoing series about that group "those that are here to help you people" getting up close and personal with Surveillance/Drones. It is, but ...
Aug 02, 2012
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Sep 09, 2012
When Drones Attack - Part V - Face Recog, Mini Drones, Fishermen? A Great Idea. Please wake up some Trusted friends near you. Your everyday actions and communication could be monitored intercepted by many different ...
Aug 09, 2012
Whens Drones Attack!!! - Part II - NYC/Microsoft. Well, the NYPD and Microsoft seem to have a little Deal going on here. That's Nice, as discussed before, the "we're here to help" People are giving a little help by letting ...