Home / Civil Rights / House Overwhelmingly Votes for a Massive Spying Bill
Print Friendly and PDF

House Overwhelmingly Votes for a Massive Spying Bill

Written by Gary North on September 14, 2012

The House of Representatives on September 12 voted to extend George W. Bush’s FISA Amendments Act for another five years. The vote was 301 to 118. Only seven Republican voted no. FISA stands for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The original act became law under Jimmy Carter in 1978.

This law authorizes the government to conduct wiretaps without a warrant. In short, it is an open violation of the 4th Amendment.

The FISA Amendments Act, (.pdf) which is expiring at year’s end, allows the government to electronically eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a probable-cause warrant so long as one of the parties to the communication is believed outside the United States. The communications may be intercepted “to acquire foreign intelligence information.”

The government has also interpreted the law to mean that as long as the real target is al-Qaida, the government can wiretap purely domestic e-mails and phone calls without getting a warrant from a judge. That’s according to David Kris, a former top anti-terrorism attorney at the Justice Department.

This was a bipartisan bill. It was pushed by the Obama Administration, but it was introduced by a Texas Republican Congressman, Lamar Smith.

The bill has been put on hold in the Senate. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) insusts that the government reveal how many Americans’ communications have been monitored under the law. He wants to know how extensive the domestic terrorist threat is, in the government’s view.

The various intelligence (spying) services say thewy will not comply. It would be illegal to comply, they say.

The National Security Agency told lawmakers that it would be a violation of Americans’ privacy to disclose how the measure is being used in practice. The NSA said the “NSA leadership agreed that an IG (Inspector General) review of the sort suggested would further violate the privacy of U.S. persons.”

Let me get this straight. The nation’s #1 spying agency — the CIA on digital steroids — says that to reveal the extent of its spying on Americans would be an invasion of their privacy.

The government is living so far behind Alice’s looking glass that we have lost all connection with reality.

The voters are living there. It takes an occasional announcement  by a government bureaucrat to remind us of this fact.

The Senate version authorizes the extension by three years, not five.

Will the bill become law? I think so. The 2008 amendments expire on January 1, 2013. The thought of the spies’ having to get warrants to tap our phones will probably scare the Senate too much. It will buckle.

Continue Reading on www.wired.com

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

9 thoughts on “House Overwhelmingly Votes for a Massive Spying Bill

  1. Where are all the outraged comments? Funny, Conservatives never seem to have a problem with taking away our freedoms and helping along the Police State. That's why Republicans overwhelmingly voted for this, and no "conservatives" are upset about it. After all, who needs the Bill of Rights? Not us! Conservatives aren't very bright. I used to tell them "Hillary is going to love all these new police state powers you're giving to Bush when she gets into office". I didn't know that ol' Barry would get there first, but you get the idea. "Your guy", that you trust so much, isn't always going to be there. Eventually your enemy will be in control and have all those cool new powers, like the ability to make you disappear, without charges or trial. Or even murder you.

  2. Ignatius, Is there really any difference between the 2 parties? I think they are all part of the agenda to take down the US and should be tried for treason and hung. Every day brings another attack on our rights and freedoms and none of the Washington elite will uphold their oaths to stop it. Too bad the biased mainstream media is nothing more than the regime's propaganda machine, because a national voice of truth would help greatly.

  3. adamenochnoah says:

    Our govt has been taken over by a criminal cabal & both parties are corrupt beyond repair. Time for a 3rd party to represent us.

    Gov Gary Johnson & Judge Jim Gray 2012

  4. Right on. Amen.

  5. Republicans voting for Communism? Just like they were when they had it all under Bush's first 2 years. AND THEY DID NOTHING. When Bozo Boehner took over he talked the talk, but didn't walk the walk. We had hope, but got more of the same!

    Mr. Bohner, this is your last shot-ONLY BECAUSE OF THE COMMUNIST DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY. Next time we won't vote for you and your pals again. We want conservative action and real debt and spending reduction. TIME FOR TALK IS OVER!

  6. "The government is living so far behind Alice’s looking glass that we have lost all connection with reality."

    unfortunately true.

  7. And the Republican support for the NDAA (including Romney) proves that we have a virtual one party system. Do Boehner and Reid play golf together and even spend an evening in the same bath house…I mean, sauna?

  8. guestfloramae says:

    If ovomit pushed it………….I'm against it…………old lamar smith needs a little talking to on Monday, however in some defense of this……..ovomit has written so many really nasty policies, with his exe order pen, pinning down all corners and if it wins all the sob has to do is pour a little concrete and we are truly buried!!! there is more than enough blame to be put squarely at the feet of this cretin in our oval office………..the republicans certainly do not need to add more power to this fool then he already has taken more than enough all by himself, either thru ignoring court orders or by exe fiat…….we lose in a bigger way if ovomit wins, we are not sure if elections are going to even be held………this sidewinder is apt to do most anything.

  9. My husband and I as well as our families on both sides are all conservatives. As well as most of our friends. We all believe that the government is more interested in spying on the American citizens as much as any other country. After all that's what the drone planes are for. Not to mention the helicoptors flying all around. We haven't seen so much air traffic in years. Don't lump all conservatives together as there are dummies on both sides. Bush wasn't the best but was better than Obama or Clinton would have been. None of us voted for the current president and certainly won't vote for him this time either. Apparently both sides are more interested in pleasing the Communists and Muslims then us living here in the U S. We have joined the tea party but they won't have anyone we can vote on as a third party has never done well. At least we could impeach Romney without the rest of the nation hollering racism like they would have had we tried to impeach Obama.