House Dems vote to give Trump nearly limitless spying power

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House Dems vote to give Trump nearly limitless spying power

Postby JDHURF » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:59 pm

Glenn Greenwald wrote:LEADING CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS have spent the last year relentlessly accusing Donald Trump of being controlled by or treasonously loyal to a hostile foreign power. Over the last several months, they have added to those disloyalty charges a new set of alleged crimes: abusing the powers of the executive branch — including the Justice Department and FBI — to vindictively punish political opponents while corruptly protecting the serious crimes of his allies, including his own family members and possibly himself.

The inescapable conclusion from all of this, they have relentlessly insisted, is that Trump is a lawless authoritarian of the type the U.S. has not seen in the Oval Office for decades, if ever: a leader who has no regard for constitutional values or legal limits and thus, poses a grave, unique, and existential threat to the institutions of American democracy. Reflecting the severity of these fears, the anti-Trump opposition movement that has coalesced within Democratic Party politics has appropriated a slogan — expressed in the hashtag form of contemporary online activism — that was historically used by those who unite, at all costs, to defeat domestic tyranny: #Resistance.

One would hope, and expect, that those who genuinely view Trump as a menace of this magnitude and view themselves as #Resistance fighters would do everything within their ability to impose as many limits and safeguards as possible on the powers he is able to wield. If “resistance” means anything, at a minimum it should entail a refusal to trust a dangerous authoritarian to wield vast power with little checks or oversight.

Yesterday in Washington, congressional Democrats were presented with a critical opportunity to do exactly that. A proposed new amendment was scheduled to be voted on in the House of Representatives that would have imposed meaningful limits and new safeguards on Trump’s ability to exercise one of the most dangerous, invasive, and historically abused presidential powers: spying on the communications of American citizens without warrants. Yesterday’s amendment was designed to limit the powers first enacted during the Bush years to legalize the Bush/Cheney domestic warrantless eavesdropping program. The Intercept’s Alex Emmons on Wednesday detailed the history and substance of the various bills pending in the House.

Although the Trump White House and a majority of House Republicans (including House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes) favored extension (and even an expansion) of the current law’s spying powers and opposed any real reforms, a substantial minority of GOP lawmakers have long opposed warrantless surveillance of Americans and thus, announced their intention to support new safeguards. Indeed, the primary sponsor and advocate of the amendment to provide new domestic spying safeguards was the conservative Republican from Michigan, Justin Amash, who, in the wake of the 2013 Edward Snowden revelations, worked in close partnership with liberal Democratic Rep. John Conyers to try to rein in some of these domestic spying powers....


Glenn Greenwald wrote:But the most important point here is what this says about how Democrats really view Donald Trump. How can anyone rational possibly take seriously all the righteous denunciations from people like Pelosi, Schiff, and Swalwell about how Trump is a lawless, authoritarian tyrant existentially threatening American democracy when those very same people just yesterday voted in favor of vesting him the virtually limitless power to spy on Americans with no warrants or safeguards? If someone really believed those accusations about Trump — as opposed to just pretending to believe them for cynical political manipulation of their followers — how could they possibly have done what they did yesterday?

Cliches are boring to hear, yet often contain truth. That actions speak louder than words is one of those. The next time you see Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, or Eric Swalwell waxing indignantly on cable TV about how Trump is a grave menace to the rule of law and American democracy, focus less on their scripted talking points and more on their actions, beginning with their vote yesterday to vest in him these awesome powers while blocking safeguards and checks. That will tell you all you need to know about who they really are and what they really believe.


The Same Democrats Who Denounce Donald Trump as a Lawless, Treasonous Authoritarian Just Voted to Give Him Vast Warrantless Spying Powers


A crystalline example of how the left hand of the business party is just as committed to the fundamental underlying structures of power. This ought to be a very sobering learning moment for anyone under the misapprehension that the corporate Democratic party stands as anything remotely like a foundational opposition to Trump and the Republicans. As I've said fairly regularly since Trump's election, he represents not so much a departure from the underlying relations of power, but rather a naked expression and aggressive extension of it.

I'll have to repeat what I wrote eight years ago: Therefore, let the establishment burn. Let this serve as a lesson to those politically coming of age that the left hand of the business party is no more to be trusted than the right hand and that the only way forward is to build an organized socialist movement guided democratically by the participants involved and beholden only to the people united.
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Re: House Dems vote to give Trump nearly limitless spying po

Postby uebermann » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:11 pm

taken from a comment on reddit

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Re: House Dems vote to give Trump nearly limitless spying po

Postby JDHURF » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:16 pm

uebermann wrote:taken from a comment on reddit

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LOLWUT


RULES COMMITTEE PRINT 115–53 TEXT OF THE FISA AMENDMENTS
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Re: House Dems vote to give Trump nearly limitless spying po

Postby uebermann » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:27 pm

What you are saying doesn't make sense. "Democrats hate Trump and his authoritarian ways but give him unlimited power" doesn't ring true on any level, especially at a cursory look at what this bill is. I haven't read through all of it yet but can you point out where the poster I quoted is wrong?

Then I see things like them extending protections to whistleblowers and I don't think you are right about your claims here.

I'll read in more detail when I have the time (and energy to read legalese).

But here's part of sec 110

(3) REGULATIONS
.—The Attorney General shall
prescribe regulations to ensure that a personnel action described in paragraph (1) shall not be taken against a contractor employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a reprisal for any disclosure of information described in subparagraph (A) of such paragraph.


That doesn't seem like something an authoritarian would like.
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Re: House Dems vote to give Trump nearly limitless spying po

Postby JDHURF » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:32 pm

Meaningless Warrant Requirements
The new proposal to expand Section 702 fails to protect Americans whose electronic communications are predictably swept up during broad NSA surveillance. Today, the NSA uses Section 702 to target non-U.S. persons not living in the United States, collecting emails both “to” and “from” an individual. Predictably, those emails include messages sent by U.S. persons. The government stores those messages in several databases that—because of a loophole—can then be searched and read by government agents who do not first obtain a warrant, even when those communications are written by Americans.

These searches are called “backdoor” searches because they skirt Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights to a warrant requirement.

The new proposal would require a warrant for such backdoor searches for only the most narrow of circumstances.

According to the bill, FBI agents would only have to obtain search warrants “in connection with a predicated criminal investigation opened by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that does not relate to the national security of the United States.”

That means an FBI agent would only need to get a warrant once she has found enough information to launch a formal criminal investigation. Should an FBI agent wish to search through Section 702-collected data that belongs to Americans, she can do so freely without a warrant.

The bill’s narrow warrant requirement runs the Fourth Amendment through a funhouse mirror, flipping its intentions and providing protections only after a search has been made.

“About” Collection
“About” collection is an invasive type of NSA surveillance that the agency ended last year, after years of criticism from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which provides judicial oversight on Section 702. This type of collection allows the NSA to tap the Internet’s backbone and collect communications that are simply “about” a targeted individual. The messages do not have to be “to” or “from” the individual.

The new proposal to expand Section 702 regrettably includes a path for the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence to restart “about” collection. It is a model that we saw in an earlier Section 702 reauthorization bill in 2017. EFF vehemently opposed that bill, which you can read about here.


I am also not going to read the 53 page bill, especially only to respond to some anonymous reddit user posting assertions for which no evidence was presented. I am going to defer to The Intercept, ACLU, and EFF on such matters.

Members of Congress Just Voted to Give the Trump Administration Greater Spy Powers

House Fails to Protect Americans from Unconstitutional NSA Surveillance

Trump wouldn't like the section empowering his bigoted AG Jeff Sessions? =))
Last edited by JDHURF on Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: House Dems vote to give Trump nearly limitless spying po

Postby uebermann » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:42 pm

Usually the EFF is spot on but I have a hard time believing they are in the right on this one. I just saw them thanking Louie Gohmert for his support on the previously failed bill by Amash. I, in no way, believe that Gohmert was going to be for a bill limiting spying powers and thus limiting Trump. No way.
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Re: House Dems vote to give Trump nearly limitless spying po

Postby JDHURF » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:50 pm

I just linked the EFF source.

We thank every supporter who lent their voice to defend the Constitution. And we thank every legislator who championed civil liberties in this months-long fight. The debate around surveillance reform has evolved—and will continue to evolve—for years. We thank those who have come to understand that privacy does not come at the price of security. Indeed, we can have both.

Thank you to the scores of representatives who sponsored and co-sponsored the USA Rights Act amendment, or voiced support on the House floor today, including Reps. Amash, Lofgren, Jerrold Nadler, Ted Poe, Jared Polis, Mark Meadows, Tulsi Gabbard, Jim Sensenbrenner, Walter Jones Jr., Thomas Massie, Andy Biggs, Warren Davidson, Mark Sanford, Steve Pearce, Scott Perry, Sheila Jackson Lee, Alex Mooney, Paul Gosar, David Schweikert, Louie Gohmert, Ted Yoho, Joe Barton, Dave Brat, Keith Ellison, Lloyd Doggett, Rod Blum, Tom Garrett Jr., Morgan Griffith, Jim Jordan, Earl Blumenauer, Ro Khanna, Beto O’Rourke, Todd Rokita, Hank Johnson, Blake Farenthold, Mark Pocan, Dana Rohrabacher, Raúl Grijalva, Raúl Labrador, Peter Welch, Tom McClintock, Salud Carbajal, Ted Lieu, Bobby Scott, Pramila Jayapal, and Jody Hice.


Basis for the above, it may be had to believe, but it is a fact:

H.Amdt. 510 (Amash) to S. 139: To replace the text of S. 139 with the text of the USA RIGHTS Act.
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Re: House Dems vote to give Trump nearly limitless spying po

Postby spacemonkey » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:55 pm

Is he getting that from Google?,lol
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Re: House Dems vote to give Trump nearly limitless spying po

Postby uebermann » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:56 pm

See dude, having a name like "USA Rights Act" sounds too damn much like Patriot Act for me. Why the shady f**k name? I don't trust that one iota. Coupled with Gohmert and I have no faith that this bill was indeed what they are stating. I don't know that Gohmert has EVER been on the right side of any legislature.

The guy legitimately believed that Hillary was going to jail all Christians if she won the 2016 election. I can't trust the judgement of such a person when it comes to something important, like laws. Either he had no clue what he was voting for or the bill isn't what it stated it was. Seeing that it didn't get Dem support and then failed, I have trouble believing them on this.

I'm against expansion of spying but I don't see anywhere that this is actual expansion of spying. I see limitations out the wazoo. The section you are stating was already clarified by the previous redditor here: https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/com ... d/dskxrsb/
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Re: House Dems vote to give Trump nearly limitless spying po

Postby JDHURF » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:23 pm

The name sounds silly but pretty much every bill has an absurd name. I very much doubt that Gohmert has an appealing voting record, but that is not evidence that he voted for this bill because it was draconian and the opposite of what the civil liberties groups and lawyers have observed it as being.

125 Dems supported it. 55 opposed. It actually did garner the support of Democrats. The reasoning behind the 55 Democrats opposed is precisely what Glenn Greenwald analyzes in the article I quoted and linked to in the OP. The Democrats are not and have never been the paragons of civil liberties, so even were the amendment to be a more aggressive expansion of the surveillance powers rather than the limiting safeguards that it actually is (as observed by Greenwald, the ACLU and the EFF), that the Democrats did or did not support it is not a proof of some mischaracterization of the nature of the bill posted on reddit.
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