This is a discussion on NSA Surveillance Program within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Lawmakers Reach Deal To Expand Surveillance By SIOBHAN GORMAN and SARAH LUECK June 19, 2008 10:43 a.m. WASHINGTON -- After more than a year of ...
What say, ya'll?Lawmakers Reach Deal
To Expand Surveillance
By SIOBHAN GORMAN and SARAH LUECK
June 19, 2008 10:43 a.m.
WASHINGTON -- After more than a year of partisan acrimony over government surveillance powers, Democratic and Republican leaders have agreed to a bipartisan deal that would be the most sweeping rewrite of spy powers in three decades. The House is likely to vote on the measure Friday, House aides said.
Removing the final barrier to action on the measure, which has been hashed out in recent weeks by senior lawmakers in both parties, House Democratic leaders decided to allow a vote on the bill, despite the opposition of many in their party.
The new agreement broadens the authority to spy on people in the U.S. and provides conditional legal immunity to companies that helped the government eavesdrop after the 2001 terrorist attacks, according to congressional aides in both parties.
The deal, if adopted, would bring the spy activities of a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program permanently under the law. That would allow the government, in certain circumstances, to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without a specific warrant. It would also expand government spy powers to monitor communications between the U.S. and overseas to collect intelligence on topics beyond terrorism.
The agreement would also pave the way for companies such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. to shed the nearly 40 lawsuits they face for allegedly participating in a prior version of the NSA program, which have cast a shadow over their reputation on Wall Street and Main Street. To win immunity, they would have to pass review from a U.S. District Court.
It faces hurdles to becoming law, namely whether it will have enough support from other lawmakers in both parties in the House. Telecommunications companies, which have lobbied lawmakers aggressively in recent weeks, support the compromise as does the White House.
Critical to sealing the deal was a compromise that would grant conditional immunity to telecommunications companies for assistance they provided from September 2001 through January 2007. If the companies can show a federal district court judge "substantial evidence" they received a written request from the attorney general or head of an intelligence agency stating the president authorized the surveillance and determined it to be lawful, the cases against them will be dismissed.
The compromise would overhaul a 1978 law known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, enacted in the wake of Nixon-era abuses in which the NSA and other agencies spied on political enemies. The FISA law created a secret national-security court that would issue orders permitting the government to spy on people in the U.S. Any domestic spying had to be done with an order from that court.
The post-9/11 NSA spy program bypassed the FISA court and eavesdropped on communications between the U.S. and overseas without a court order. Its revelation in 2005 sparked a furious debate about the remit of the government's spying powers and produced a complex and sometimes head-spinning series of debates and votes in Congress as both parties pushed for the political advantage.
The House Democratic leadership's decision to move forward on the measure reflects a calculation by House leaders to complete action on the issue, to prevent it from becoming a distraction in a campaign season during which they hope to focus on economic, not national-security issues. The House is likely to approve the measure with significant support from Republicans and the measure is expected to win Senate approval easily.
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"A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon the world" Albert Camus
Big Brother is listening
A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.
And If you believe that this does not already happen anyway. I have some ocean front property for you in AZ.
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Sorry......this doesn't bother me one bit.
But then, I'm not making any intercontinental phone calls to known terror groups either.
Actually I missed this the first time through the article:
It would also expand government spy powers to monitor communications between the U.S. and overseas to collect intelligence on topics beyond terrorism.
"Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington
I'm curious as to what makes people think that anyone here is important enough to warrant attention from the NSA or other agencies. Besides, the people who make up the Intel Community do their jobs out of patriotism and love for their country. Lord knows they don't do it for the money! Spying on Americans when it isn't warranted would probably produce quite a few red flags in the same spirit that soldiers are allowed to ignore orders when it violates their conscience.
I really have to ask.. Why do people have such little faith in the members of the IC? What's given everyone such cause to not trust the people that work, generally, more than 50 hours a week to keep us all safe? I'm not talking about 9/11.. Besides.. Its really easy to point out the failures when all the successes are secret. I'm talking about why people here think that these employees are some sort of voyeurs who get their jollies from listening to you talk to your wife about groceries. Where does this come from?!
Remember where your information about them is coming from: The media. These are the same people that tell you 'Guns kill people.' Media sources hate the IC because they're behind closed doors the media can't get access to. So obviously.. they must be bad. Right?
It seems we have some very naive people on this forum.
As someone somewhat directly involved with national security issues sometimes related to collection, I really, really like that we have the ability to do a lot of the things we do, but I recognize that we as the United States simply must have clear boundaries, and may have to accept less than optimal ability to follow bad guys in order to preserve our own civil liberties. Being free means accepting risk on a certain front...so be it.
I do NOT accept that the vast, vast majority of the people doing good, hard, sometimes dangerous work around the world in the fight against those would harm us have any malicious intent towards any American. But when you build a dangerous machine, you have to make sure the drivers keep it pointed in the right direction.
Nixon is not the only president you could use for your test.
Frogs, however, don't get to vote the person behind the burner out of office.