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WTF is going on with the zombie NSA-friendly Patriot Act? Let us help

Anonymous Coward

Pantomime

Not interested.

We all know what's actually going on. Publicly, embarrassingly, having been shown to have been going on in the past, is going on right now and inevitably will continue to go on for every last moment that physical infrastructure permits. So what's supposed to be the interest in all these stupid public charades and theatre?

Oh, I remember - the little fuckers are posturing. They'll be wanting us to vote for them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pantomime

President Obama has told the US Senate to get its act together over the spy-friendly Patriot Act, key provisions of which are due to expire at midnight on Sunday.

Obama promised seven years ago he would discontinue the illegal eavesdropping provisions of the PATRIOT Act. During his first two years in office, with a Dem supermajority in both houses, he chose to do nothing to change it. When asked about changing it, he responded with silence and a smug smile. And now, with the opposite party in control of Congress, suddenly he cares???

Why the hell does Obama need an act of Congress? Since the FBI, CIA, NSA, Justice, etc. are all under his control, why doesn't he just ISSUE A DAMNED EXECUTIVE ORDER TELLING THEM TO STOP???

Answer: Pantomime.

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Silver badge

Amazing isn't it - the US, where this was and is happening at an almost unimaginable level has sunset clauses and the government looks like it will not renew it - at least not without amendments that address several of the issues.

The Australia government, on the other hand, has just made new laws that allows exactly that which the US 'FREEDOM Act' aims to discontinue. Worse, there are no sunset clauses and nearly no limits on who can access the data or for how long they can keep it.

We are implementing some of the worst of the 'PATRIOT Act' right at the time the US is easing off (at least ostensibly) and our government has made sure that there is little chance that the laws they have now implemented will ever be removed or relaxed.

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This is also coincidentally right as the Canadian government has authorised their own brand of completely unnecessary surveillance bullshit, and have you heard the shit coming out of Cameron's mouth since he got his majority?

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Yep.

They are learning from the US that the people don't really like unlimited mass-surveillance and collection of their data.

Unfortunately, their takeaway is not that they should therefore listen to the people but that they should make sure their version of these programs cannot be so easily stopped or controlled.

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It's the variation of "we know better than the people who elected us".. which is a bit of a contradiction perhaps.. BTW, do expect the that the crap will hit the fan in Congress and one of the two will pass. I suspect that there will be an addendum or maybe a rider attached to some bill at some point that will re-authorize the mass-slurp.

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>that they should therefore listen to the people

I think their intention IS to listen to the people

All the people, all the time, every phone call

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g e

Cameron's mouth

And that crazy hag Theresa May

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@Yet Another Anonymous coward

Sadly so, my friend.

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Gold badge

"Canadian government has authorised their own brand of completely unnecessary surveillance bullshit"

Vote NDP. Full repeal, period.

Trudeau is a traitor for voting for the C-51 abomination and a coward for doing it despite (supposedly) hating the thing. He forced his whole party to vote against their conscience because he feared he would be called "soft on terrorism" during the election. We must not let the fucker get away with that.

As for Harper, he's an utterly corrupt socipath with no semblance of morality. He needs to go. Years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

NSA got you down ?

Are you feeling a little out of control ?

NSA spying on everyone is in the news.

TPP treaty trying to make slaves of every country in the world to America ?

No one listening to your protests , they're all listening to the americans instead ?

We can help.

Call 1-301-688-6524 , and you will be contacted by an NSA officer in Fort Mead to explain exactly why no one gives a crud what you think and how they're going to just keep on spying. Don't be surprised if they already know your name and home address before you even pick up the phone.

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All Hail Mr Pott

So totally right. So, so totally right. I used to think of Canada a decent country, level-headed, where 'good government' meant mostly restrained government. But not any more.

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Anonymous Coward

To verify

that they actually shut down the phone monitoring, everybody pick up the phone at 12:01, call a random person and talk to them about pressure cookers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To verify

Forget random. Everyone should place a call to the Congressional switchboard.

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The "Freedom" act is a damn joke - a shell game that just moves storage of phone data from the government to the telecom industry. It doesn't stop collecting it, and it doesn't restrict the government's ability to snoop on it. It adds no oversight to such snooping.

Senators need to let this odious bill die a long-deserved death. Congress: do what you have consistently done best for so many years now - nothing!

And in the future, take it on faith that any bill with "Patriot" or "Freedom" in its title is a scam that works against both patriotism and freedom.

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Anonymous Coward

There is a much worse side effect of this all.

I don't know about you, but I have no trust left in public figures, and I noticed that when I spotted now near automatic cynicism surfacing in my mind when I read "safe", "secure", "Patriot", "Freedom" (in the latter two I echo the comments of @Six_Degrees).

It's been like that for a while now, every time I see an official use any of those above words (ah, sorry, forgot about "terrorist"), I automatically start looking for what type of con job they are running this time. What does NOT happen is that I trust what they say. Not once do I start with the idea that the politician in question is indeed seeking to maintain or even restore the rights we have as human beings - I now need a lot of convincing.

What they have done is destroy the trust that any of them is even remotely interested in protecting us, a result that terrorists could have only dreamt of achieving on their own.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There is a much worse side effect of this all.

Welcome to 1984

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no need to renew it

when we've now got our running dog lackeys, Australia, Canada and Britain, to do it for us.

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Anonymous Coward

Lol...The USA Freedom Act. They really want to rub your noses in it, don't they?

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Trollface

But, but...

...the name makes perfect sense - freedom for the USA (in the "l'etat c'est moi" interpretation) to keep doing whatever it pleases. Oh, you mean you thought freedom for YOU? Bwahahaha...

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Last Refuge of the Scoundrel

You don't even need to read the details [and I haven't] to be sure that the PATRIOT Act is a bad thing. That choice of name is all you need to know.

In Blighty they'd call equivalent legislation the "If You've Not Done Anything Wrong You've Nothing to Hide Act".

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Unhappy

Re: Last Refuge of the Scoundrel

There's a tradition over here of cute names for legislation that are the exact opposite of their effect.

For example, a bill which doubles or triples the number of H-1B visas would be called something like "Getting America Back to Work Act", while legislation allowing industry to pump more pollutants into the environment would be the "Increasing American Competitiveness Bill"

The PATRIOT Act needs to die. Now.

// We're not the only ones who do this, BTW. See: "Peoples' Democratic Republic of..."

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Does it matter?

I mean, aside from as a point of principal, does it actually matter if the legislation dies?

Lets assume it dies. Does anyone genuinely believe that they'll stop collecting, processing, or analysing the data? Anyone?

Snowdens leaks would rather suggest that it won't. GCHQ will just spy on the yanks and the NSA will spy on the Brits: The data sets will be swapped, avoiding any need for domestic legislation.

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Re: Does it matter?

I mean, aside from as a point of principal, does it actually matter if the legislation dies?

Lets assume it dies. Does anyone genuinely believe that they'll stop collecting, processing, or analysing the data? Anyone?

"Point of principle". Couldn't let that one go by.

Anyway: Yes, I've made the point before that surveillance organizations don't stop surveilling just because the courts or legislature tell them too.

But that said, and contra El Presidente and everyone else who's made that particular bogus claim, all of the provisions of the Patriot Act are controversial, and none of them are acceptable to everyone. Letting some of them expire would constrain the police state a bit.

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Earlier legal decision

"The three provisions that will lapse include Section 215, which the NSA uses as legal cover for its blanket slurping of citizens' mobile phone records, and which a US court has found illegal."

This is poor wording, I think, and incorrect. The three provisions you're referring to are legal, Iain (did I spell that right?). The government's interpretation specifically of section 215 was found to be illegal (it's not clear to me whether this actually has legal implications, though, because it wasn't really prudent to comment on that particular aspect of the lawsuit), but more directly, the dismissal of the case was ruled to be inappropriate. The case was sent back to the lower court for reconsideration. This is FAR from being decided, and most likely the US government will avoid letting the judiciary make a final ruling by changing the program such that the plaintiffs no longer have standing. Actually, passing this law pretty well removes their standing. Where's the controversy that a court requires?

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