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Thu Feb 6, 2014, 06:01 AM

Congress Warns DOJ That If It Doesn't Support NSA Reform Plan, It Won't Renew Key Patriot Act Provis

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140205/10004926099/judiciary-committee-warns-doj-that-if-it-doesnt-support-nsa-reform-plan-then-they-might-kill-section-215-completely.shtml

Congress Warns DOJ That If It Doesn't Support NSA Reform Plan, It Won't Renew Key Patriot Act Provision
from the get-your-act-together dept
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Feb 5th 2014 3:30pm

While the USA Freedom Act isn't perfect, it is one bill in Congress that has a lot of support and will fix many problems with the current NSA overreach. Much more needs to be done, but the USA Freedom Act is a good starting point. And yet, the Obama administration and his Justice Department have yet to take a public stand on the bill, and that seems to be annoying plenty of folks in Congress. At the recent Judiciary Committee hearings, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the original author of the Patriot Act and Section 215, made it abundantly clear that the DOJ/NSA's interpretation of his bill was simply incorrect and that they were abusing the system. As the sponsor of the USA Freedom Act to fix this misinterpretation, he pointed out that if the DOJ doesn't agree to support it, there's a good chance that Congress simply won't renew the provisions in Section 215 at all. Section 215, of course, is the part that has been misinterpreted by the DOJ, the FISA court, the NSA and the FBI to pretend it authorizes the collection of every phone record. In short, the message from Congress is: work with us to reform things, or we'll pull the authority altogether. Of course, some of us think that pulling the authority altogether might be a better long term solution.

And it's not just Sensenbrenner making those claims. Many others -- across the political spectrum -- made it clear during the hearing that the NSA's actions with regards to Section 215 were unacceptable and Congress is going to make them change things. Yes, nothing has happened yet, and Congressional bluster doesn't always lead to results, but it's becoming increasingly clear that the NSA (and the President's) desire to keep collecting everyone's metadata is not convincing anyone.

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Congress Warns DOJ That If It Doesn't Support NSA Reform Plan, It Won't Renew Key Patriot Act Provis (Original post)
unhappycamper Feb 2014 OP
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2014 #1
merrily Feb 2014 #3
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2014 #7
merrily Feb 2014 #8
1StrongBlackMan Feb 2014 #9
AndyTiedye Feb 2014 #2
merrily Feb 2014 #4
JDPriestly Feb 2014 #5
Javaman Feb 2014 #6

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 07:18 AM

1. See Congress really can do it's job! eom.

 

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 08:08 AM

3. I'll get more excited after it passes the talk stage.

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Response to merrily (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 10:03 AM

7. Governance, in a democracy,...

 

especially in this highly divided and partisan environment, is a slow process.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 10:46 AM

8. Sometimes slow and sometimes remarkably rapid, as with FDR's first hundred days

and LBJ getting both the civil rights act of 1964 and the massive Great Society agenda passed.

And sometimes, it never goes anywhere at all.

Hence, I don't start cheering as soon as I hear somebody said something. A threat is definitely better than nothing, but, in the end, it is just a threat. And, at this point, we've pretty much kissed the 4th amendment goodbye anyway. They might cut back a notch or three, but we are never going back to what the Fourth Amendment intended.

Because terrorists want our freedoms.

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Response to merrily (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 10:54 AM

9. Work to get President Obama ...

 

the super-majority that FDR held, or even, a comparable Congress of that of LBJ, and you'd be surprised at the rapidity of progressive legislation will get signed into law.

Get Out The Democratic Vote 2014/2016!

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 07:33 AM

2. If Obama Supports It, the House Will Vote it Down

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 08:10 AM

4. The D of J and the NSA are both the Executive Branch.

That makes it clear what Obama supports.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 08:11 AM

5. At least Congress agrees there is a problem with the current program.

Any program that can be interpreted to allow even inadvertent collection of the data on the communications of members of Congress or of other branches of government as well as citizens (voters) without a warrant based on probable cause needs to be stopped. We cannot claim to be a free country or even a democracy if a small clique in the government working with private contractors is collecting that kind of data on citizens (voters) and politicians.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 09:32 AM

6. Hobbsian choice.

"why do you make me punch you in the face!"

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