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PATRIOT Act axed, NSA spying halted ... wake up, Neo, it's just a dream in the US House of Reps

Big Brother

I wish them luck, but I suspect the bill will end up gutted and will only pass with all surveillance caveats removed and a few hundred mil for pork barrel projects in other states.

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Sadly, I believe you are right. It probably won't make it to the floor for vote and die in committee but the two who introduced it show that at least someone is trying. It's remotely possible that they had some discussions with their fellows and maybe it will be passed. The scary part is what would be passed to replace it down the road a bit.

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Re: I wish them luck"

Me too, but... You heard it here first. This stuff is here to stay. And this might truly be a case of "better the devil you [sort of] know" than anything new and more hidden.

Sometimes I wish I weren't so jaded and cynical about politics but, every time I try to be more optimistic about it I notice the self-serving, snake-in-the-grass types drawn to it like moths to the flame. I suppose I should take comfort that I am at least still paying attention and haven't given in to apathy.

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Headmaster

"it also needs a related bill introduced in the Senate"

No it doesn't, it does need to pass the house and then the bill automatically goes to the Senate. Question is whether the bill will go to the Intelligence Committee (and quickly be strangled by the empire-builders there) or go to the Judiciary Committee (where it will have more of a chance to get to the Senate floor for a vote).

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I need to adult more

I know I should grow up, and I should be outraged at things...but I still can't help but laugh at the phrase "forcing backdoors"

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Meh

I'm skeptical that this bill will pass, but...

There is some good news in that Ted Cruz (First Republican to declare his candidacy for President) actually made a point of discussing the roll-back of surveillance of the American population in his announcement. It definitely raised my appreciation for Cruz. Though I still think he's a reckless bomb-thrower, he might get my vote if he is on the same ballot with Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton now. I'm against those two because I think dynastic politics is very bad in general for democracy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm skeptical that this bill will pass, but...

Oh boy, sounds like you still believe in it all. To be VERY honest, that is good because I'm so skeptical and negative about politics that somebody has to balance it out However, I question 1 statement of yours, because don't forget...

"It definitely raised my appreciation for Cruz."

... he reads a script, written by somebody else. So if you get bored (like really bored), maybe send an appreciation letter to his writer(s). Wouldn't that sort of be great, sending appreciation letters to the writers instead of the candidates :-) "I love what you did there, what is going to happen to Cruz in Act 2? Kirk out." (In all seriousness, see if you can get them to write in a space ship...I'd vote for that craziness).

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Re: I'm skeptical that this bill will pass, but...

Rule 1 of being a politician, Lie.

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Meh

Re: I'm skeptical that this bill will pass, but...

Cast your mind back, if you would, to what Obama promised he'd do about surveillance before he got in then what he actually did after.

By the way you can tell the bill as it currently stands a good bill, it's got a sensible name instead of something like The GAWDBLESSAMERICAYEEHA Bill.

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Re:... he reads a script

The Big 0? Yeah, he does. Cruz, not so much. He may employ speech writers to snazz up the main speech, but when he fields questions, that's all him. He didn't get to be successful by not knowing what he thinks about issues.

Yeah, I saw him speak about 10 years ago. Knew he was an up and comer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm skeptical that this bill will pass, but...

Yeah , an NSA scan of your recent phone calls indicated you were likely to vote against their favorite candidate, so there has been a technical glitch with your voter's registration card. Another one will be ready for you in two weeks. Pity the election is only one week away.

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Re: I'm skeptical that this bill will pass, but...

You have never even heard what Cruz had to say because you are too busy criticizing him. As I have heard and said many times You're not listening if your mouth is moving.

The excellent speech he gave at Liberty College announcing his candidacy was done without any teleprompter. Cruz was in the top of his class at Harvard and many have said he is an excellent debater. Though there are speechwriters at all levels of politics, this wasn't your typical situation.

In comparison, YOUR president has never made a public speech without a teleprompter and he sounds like a space cadet when he doesn't use one.

You liberals have proposed little to nothing of value in eight years while bankrupting this country by printing money and buying votes and blocked the legislation of any conservatives. Now shutup and let someone else have a turn. They couldn't be any worse than what we have now.

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Re: I'm skeptical that this bill will pass, but...

"They couldn't be any worse than what we have now"

Hell yes they could. Conservatives be crazy.

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Re: I'm skeptical that this bill will pass, but...

No more crazy than you Trevor.

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Re: I'm skeptical that this bill will pass, but...

By the way Trevor, the tabloid scandal sheet called the Daily News is about as good a reference as the Daily Mail in Britain. Almost 90% of the regions in New York State (Outside of the dirty City) think that Cuomo is the biggest liar and cheat since the days of Tamany Hall. The voices of the conservative populace in New York State are being shouted over by the rats in the City. Those same regions have vowed to overthrow his dictates, including the Un Safe Act and the lifetime welfare benefits and vote buying package for the rats.

Go ahead and cherry pick some politicians comments to fit your views, I can do the same.

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Re: I'm skeptical that this bill will pass, but...

Uh, hell yes conservatives be way the fuck more crazy than me. Also: the more you, personally, dislike and distrust a news source, the more I know it must be accurate!

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The Dream Nightmare, but not as you may know it or how IT tells you the Realities are

Wake up and smell the coffee, and realise who the virtual enemy is ........ http://cryptome.org/2015/03/NSA_surveillance_program.pdf .... and who and /or what your friends are and aint.

But things just aint so easily drivered in a chosen direction as they once were in the ages of yore and ignorance and arrogance, are they?

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Re: The Dream Nightmare, but not as you may know it or how IT tells you the Realities are

Thank you! I haven't had as entertaining a read (in this genre) since trying to thrash through some of the OWS literature back in the day. This one is better written than most of the OWS pieces, though.

For some reason it reminded me of Lyndon LaRouche and also of the Natural Law Party.

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Re: The Dream Nightmare, but not as you may know it or how IT tells you the Realities are

Why is it that every time I see an article that starts by quoting some part of the Constitution, I reach for the tin foil?

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Anonymous Coward

"The EFF is not supporting the bill"

Of course not, Google isn't. I really don't follow the triumphs or failures of the EFF, but I do know that people have been stating that the EFF is just a fake front between 2 parties with no real footing on either side. They've been stating that before the Google touch, so I don't see them proving any nay sayers wrong any time soon with Google as their horse master. Again, I don't follow them really, but over the last few years I've been reading what the EFF supports (but not in detail) and what Google supports (but not in detail), and they are apparently the same thing (at least on the surface).

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Just fodder for future elections

Checklist:

Promises the sun and moon on a stick - check

Sponsored by a member of both parties - check

Strong opposition proposed by initiators - check

Not a chance in Hell of it ever passing - check

This is just a bit of fluff put forth to fuel future election campaigns.

It'll get fluffled around by both parties while they dither away time until after the election.

Then whichever party loses the most power will use it as media fodder in upcoming elections.

"Our stalwart party backed this bill, but the evil bastards that took control at the last election Opposed it!"

"We're the party for the people! Elect us back in and we'll put things right!"

I used to think I was cynical, but events have shown I'm just realistic.

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We can only hope this bill becomes law and and the 4th and 5th amendments get (partially) restored after being gutted by King George.

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Of course, the law proposed, despite surface appeal, is unnecessary, as there already is a Fourth Amendment which needs no laws to defend it, just judges willing to throw out laws which overstep the protection it offers. We also used to have a free press for whistleblowers to turn to...

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Childcatcher

Fourth Amendment

...the law proposed, ...is unnecessary, as there already is a Fourth Amendment which needs no laws to defend it...

Repealing the current law gets the job done more rapidly and is a much surer way of doing so. The process involved in challenging a law's constitutionality can be much more drawn out than the legislative process and sometimes ends with bad laws being upheld because they are in fact constitutional even if they stink.

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The bill won't pass as it is, although it does not seem impossible that some of its provisions might find their way into other legislation. As it stands, it does not seem to be very professionally drafted in some respects. Specific mention of E. O. 12333, for instance, seems unwise, as executive orders have the effect of specifying implementation details and procedures for laws rather than the other way around. Again, specification of "contractor" in Section 9 is simply incorrect - Edward Snowden was not a contractor, but an employee of a contractor, Booz Allen. The apparent intent would be to deal with complaints originated by employees of contractors, as described in 50 USC 3033, referenced in Section 9(a)(4) of the proposed act.

Interestingly, 50 USC 3033(k)(5) contains procedures for agencies and for government and contractor employees to follow in reporting "urgent concerns", including violations of the law, about the conduct of intelligence activities. These procedures explicitly permit a government or contractor employee who has made a report to his agency inspector general to report that fact (although not, immediately, the details of the complaint) to a member of either legislative intelligence committee or their staff. I have seen no statements to indicate that Mr. Snowden took advantage of them.

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@tom dial

I cannot say much about your first paragraph, don't have time to read up on all that, but your second paragraph is hilarious, thanks for the good laugh!

Again, for the joy:

>Interestingly, 50 USC 3033(k)(5) contains procedures for agencies and for government and contractor employees to follow in reporting "urgent concerns", including violations of the law, about the conduct of intelligence activities. These procedures explicitly permit a government or contractor employee who has made a report to his agency inspector general to report that fact (although not, immediately, the details of the complaint) to a member of either legislative intelligence committee or their staff. I have seen no statements to indicate that Mr. Snowden took advantage of them.

Do you really think Mr. Snowden had survived if he had reported his concerns ? I am sure that, when a police officer breaks the law you go to the nearest police office and report it, right ? I dunno where you live, but in France, you simply do not do that ... if you do, you will learn pretty quickly that it is a very good idea to move to another region at the very least 300 miles away ...

Everybody knew, including all members of the committee you mention, what was happening - "we are fighting a war, after all" is what you hear all day long. The same war the party was fighting in Orwell's master piece - invisible "brotherhood" ...

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Anonymous Coward

Meanwhile in the colonies....

Here in Australia (nowhere near Germany) we are about to introduce an all-seeing metadata collection law.

Of course its already very clear that it will be child's play to step around it.

it's just more security theatre.

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Re: Meanwhile in the colonies....

Hi, AC.

Is that security theatre the same as malware and vapourware? And something to be wholeheartedly and expertly avoided?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meanwhile in the colonies....

amanfromMars 1

I am honored!

These new metadata laws will be as easy to get around as that fat kid at school when playing football.

1, Don't use an Australian ISP email address.

2. Turn on a VPN, etc.

Don't tell the bad un's otherwise we are all doomed.

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fpx
WTF?

Rolling Over in their Graves

Re: "Our Founding Fathers fought and died to stop the kind of warrantless spying and searches that the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act authorize."

It never ceases to amaze me how the presumed opinion and behavior of the founding fathers is still invoked at pretty much every opportunity. IIRC even SCO argued that the founding fathers would be on their side about copyright.

Even if there were a remote grain of truth in that, is there anyone who would like to return to the US of 1800ish? Hey, the founding fathers did not abolish slavery, so they must have approved! Fortunately we have evolved from the original blueprints.

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The Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers new that the constitution was not perfect, that's why you have the amendments.

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Re: Rolling Over in their Graves

Even if there were a remote grain of truth in that, is there anyone who would like to return to the US of 1800ish? Hey, the founding fathers did not abolish slavery, so they must have approved! Fortunately we have evolved from the original blueprints. ..... fpx

Methinks the overwhelmingly accurate evidence is that so very few have significantly evolved from the original blueprints, fpx, and that permits the few to do as they wish with a relative impunity and virtually effective immunity from any accountability for their crass and/or crash actions.

The difficulty and valid worry for those few who are stuck and invested in a maintenance of the status quo rut, is that others willingly leave them behind to wallow in destruction of their reactions to the new events which freely shared intelligence and uncovered secrets expose and driver with ab fab fabless product placements/novel presentations with compelling imaginative narratives.

Such though is the simply complex true nature of future reality creation for media hosting and global brainwashing. It would be naive to not realise that it is what the likes of a GCHQ are all about nowadays, and quite stupid of such an entity to try to deny it and pretend otherwise.

C'est la vie. C'est la guerre.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rolling Over in their Graves

"Fortunately we have evolved from the original blueprints."

Evolved?! You mean by having the state ignore your human rights, and subjecting every citizen to spying on all aspects of your life, even if you are innocent of all crimes?

I think you'll find most people find this a step backward - remember the government is supposed to work for the people, not the other way round as is the case today.

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Re: Rolling Over in their Graves

- remember the government is supposed to work for the people, not the other way round as is the case today.

The mindset for this probably started changing back in the '70's when various news companies reported on the so-called Tax Freedom Day which is still reported as the day we start working for ourselves instead of the government. There are those who think we should be doing this every day and every new infringement/law pushes us a bit closer.

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Re: Rolling Over in their Graves

No, the Founding Fathers of America did not support slavery. However, they recognized that they would need the help of the slave states to win a war of independence (clearly, that much was shown true in the war that followed). The abolition of slavery would have to wait, but there was never any doubt that it was going to happen in the minds of the founders. They were prolific writers; their thoughts on nearly any issue are now a part of the historical record.

Keep in mind, also, that before the independence of America, the slaveowners were all Englishmen, acting with the full support of their King. Slavery came to the shores of what is now the USA under the Union Jack; it was abolished (at great cost in blood and fortune) under the Stars and Stripes.

Thomas Jefferson is often cited as a "slave owner." He never intended to be; he inherited them, and the laws of Virginia prohibited a person in debt (which he was) from freeing them.

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When this bill fails to pass...

.. then all those who signed it, their families, their employees, their business contacts and everyone they went to school with, are going to be placed on a very special watch list. The existence of which will be forever denied.

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It's all true!

So, NSA spying, giant government conspiracy to cover it up, corrupt officials... almost everything that crazy dude I knew in college said has turned out to be true. What if he was RIGHT about the tinfoil hats too?

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Anonymous Coward

Simply amazing

Some folks can't tell the good guys from the bad guys. Anyone who views Snowden as a good guy is naïve, foolish and easily duped.

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Re: Simply amazing and quite complex when one practices to deceive with wild wacky webs

Some folks can't tell the good guys from the bad guys. Anyone who views Snowden as a good guy is naïve, foolish and easily duped. ... Anonymous Coward

Regarding Snowden as a good guy, AC, here is a view which tells quite another tale which is very plausible and not at all impossible and most likely quite probable ....... Russia gov report Snowden Greenwald are CIA frauds pt1

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702 Internet Protocol Collection and Storage Continues

702 of NDAA still operating, never ceased. Power Grid utilization at Bluffdale Utah Peta Byte Storage facility continues to increase. Telephone Meta Data does not contain content of call. Internet Phone Calls, Email, Faxes, Skype, etc Collected under 702 contains ALL Content passing over SONET rings in channels of 39.9Gbps and greater.

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