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Author Topic: USA Freedom Act  (Read 477 times)
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Last Login:March 07, 2017, 04:48:08 PM
Date Registerd:October 03, 2013, 09:15:08 AM
Posts: 145

« on: May 24, 2015, 09:29:03 AM »

Once again, the  mainstream media has failed us miserably

In the United States, there’s a simple trick to passing legislation that egregiously violates people’s civil rights: give it a really nice-sounding name. We did it in 2001 with the PATRIOT Act, the bill that paved the way for the N.S.A. to engage in mass surveillance of online communications, and now we’re doing it again in 2015 with the USA Freedom Act, a bill that claims to reign the N.S.A. back in and end their bulk collection practices.

“Today, you will read all kinds of stories and tweets about how USA Freedom Act ends ‘bulk collection.’ It doesn’t.”

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) tweeted that shortly after USA Freedom passed the House by a landslide, and his words could not better sum up a situation where the public and news media are being misled by U.S. lawmakers.

The USA Freedom Act is being hyped as a prohibition of the N.S.A.’s controversial mass surveillance practices, but it actually extends the PATRIOT Act for years and opens up new avenues for more invasive forms of government spying. Its passage into law would be more damaging to civil rights than if Congress did nothing at all. To understand why, it’s important to note that the N.S.A.’s practices were never lawful to begin with.

Indeed, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the N.S.A.’s phone metadata surveillance program was never actually authorized by Congress. In a lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union, the N.S.A. sought to justify its dragnet surveillance practices by pointing to Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which allows the government to collect records “relevant to an authorized investigation.” But the court (and even Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the PATRIOT Act’s original author) rejected this argument, saying the law was never meant to authorize such wide-scale data collection.

All of this should be a moot point, because Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is set to expire on June 1 if Congress does nothing. But USA Freedom would extend this provision until 2019, and, crucially, it would tweak the language to allow the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs to continue, with only minor limitations.


What Congress says and what Congress does are two very different things. The USA Freedom Act is a perfect example — it took a stunning act of bipartisanship for so many lawmakers in the House to say that N.S.A. surveillance went too far. But what they did is pass a bill that would do little to change the status quo, while skillfully packaging it as a victory for American privacy. The U.S. public and news media should not be fooled so easily.

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Last Login:January 19, 2018, 10:35:22 AM
Date Registerd:February 10, 2006, 03:21:51 PM
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2015, 06:38:22 AM »

The U.S. public and news media should not be fooled so easily.

If it doesn't happen on American Stars, Dancing with the Idols, The Real Housewives of Bruce Jenner or involve the Robinson clan the US public & news media doesn't pay attention to it. 

"The government forces those who sell pharmaceutical drugs to list the possible side effects, even if only a few people will suffer those side effects. Unfortunately, the government itself never tells us about the bad side effects of the things it prescribes."- Thomas Sowell
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