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Thread: A Freedom Act?

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    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default A Freedom Act?

    An article on the Guardian Website:

    US Congress passes surveillance reform in vindication for Edward Snowden

    Bulk collection of Americans’ phone records to end as US Senate passes USA Freedom Act

    The US Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would end the bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records, the most significant surveillance reform for decades and a direct result of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations to the Guardian two years ago.

    Senators voted to pass the USA Freedom Act, which overwhelmingly cleared the House of Representatives last month and will now head to the White House for Barack Obama’s signature.

    The passage of the USA Freedom Act paves the way for telecom companies to assume responsibility of the controversial phone records collection program, while also bringing to a close a short lapse in the broad NSA and FBI domestic spying authorities. Those powers expired with key provisions of the Patriot Act at 12.01am on Monday amid a showdown between defense hawks and civil liberties advocates.

    In a particular blow to Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, and Richard Burr, the intelligence committee chairman, the Senate rejected a series of amendments that were designed to weaken the surveillance and transparency reforms contained in the USA Freedom Act.

    McConnell and Burr had led the effort in recent weeks to reauthorize the Patriot Act in its current form, ignoring the will of their colleagues in the House and a majority of the American public.

    [...]

    Despite support for the USA Freedom Act from the House, the Obama administration and the intelligence community, McConnell continued to fight changes to the Patriot Act and went from pushing a full renewal through 2020, to a short-term extension to avoid a lapse, and finally to trying to water down the House bill. By the end of it all, the majority leader was left with no other option but to let the USA Freedom Act pass unamended.

    Among the amendments that failed were a measure that would weaken the USA Freedom Act’s establishment of a de facto privacy advocate to, in certain cases, argue against the government on behalf of privacy rights; an effort to allow the phone collection program to continue for a year instead of just six months, as proposed by the House bill; and another provision requiring the US intelligence chief to certify the implementation of the new phone-records regime.
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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Freedom Act?

    I enjoyed my 24 hours of freedom while it lasted.

    The goal at this point is to continue reducing these measures over time now that the momentum has shifted from "renew without debate for another 5 years".

    McConnell is a zealous hawk that needs to be removed as soon as possible.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    The Usual Member Ice's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Freedom Act?

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    I enjoyed my 24 hours of freedom while it lasted.

    The goal at this point is to continue reducing these measures over time now that the momentum has shifted from "renew without debate for another 5 years".

    McConnell is a zealous hawk that needs to be removed as soon as possible.
    I agree.



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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Freedom Act?

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    I enjoyed my 24 hours of freedom while it lasted.
    Given that they apparently signed the USA Freedom act and not the full Patriot act, aren't you still (at least a bit more) free now?

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    McConnell is a zealous hawk that needs to be removed as soon as possible.
    Funny that you say hawk, I thought of him more as a turtle...



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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Freedom Act?

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Given that they apparently signed the USA Freedom act and not the full Patriot act, aren't you still (at least a bit more) free now?
    No, the only major difference is that bulk data collection by the government has ended. They require companies to hold onto everything though in case the government wants it. And if the government wants it, they do need to go get a warrant from a judge, but the judges that had them out are the FISA court, which has an astonishing 99+% approval rate on handing out warrants.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Freedom Act?

    So a PR campaign on all sides - the "doves" cheer they've made a massive concession and the "hawks" pretend to be angry that they've lost something important.

    In reality they get some very broad warrants and things continue as they've been.

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    Default Re: A Freedom Act?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    So a PR campaign on all sides - the "doves" cheer they've made a massive concession and the "hawks" pretend to be angry that they've lost something important.
    Not exactly, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fought hard to renew the Patriot Act without alteration for another 5 years. Then he asked for massive amendments to the Freedom Act that basically made it a word for word copy of the Patriot Act. Only after the Libertarian faction in the Senate showed up to filibuster did it become apparent that he was not going to have his ideal authoritarian government.

    I think he was even complaining after this bill passed that the US is going to suffer another terrorist attack simply because a judge needs to look over requests at indiscriminate surveillance.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Freedom Act?

    Yes - a lot of drama and sparring how exciting! The baddies tried their tricks and only the White Knights managed to make it end a victory... where a judge rubber stamps requests behind closed doors and the public don't even know what requests were made.

    Dress it up as fantastic democracy, but the Government still gets to do as it wishes.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
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    Default Re: A Freedom Act?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Yes - a lot of drama and sparring how exciting! The baddies tried their tricks and only the White Knights managed to make it end a victory... where a judge rubber stamps requests behind closed doors and the public don't even know what requests were made.

    Dress it up as fantastic democracy, but the Government still gets to do as it wishes.

    This misses the entire point
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Freedom Act?

    What is the point? Everyone was upset by the revalation, something has been done and everyone can go back to sleep whist the system does the same thing in a slightly different way.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

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    Default Re: A Freedom Act?

    The difference now is the paper trail and the timeline. IIRC, the telecons throw stuff out after 18 months, while before it was being kept for eternity (at taxpayer cost, in huge data centers). Also, with a warrant (even a rubberstamped FISA one), there is a paper trail at both the government and corporate level, so requesting the telephone records of political opponents gets a little more risky, and parallel construction through fishing ends. I don't really care about the feds knowing who I call, since I'm a nobody, but those two abuses are the big threats which will hopefully end.
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Freedom Act?

    OK. On those grounds I accept the difference.

    In future, they'll have to ask MI6 to dig up the dirt

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

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