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Senate votes down USA Freedom Act, putting bulk surveillance powers in jeopardy

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posted on May, 24 2015 @ 12:12 AM
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In a midnight session, the Senate has voted down the USA Freedom Act, putting one of the legal bedrocks of the NSA's bulk surveillance programs into jeopardy. The Patriot Act is set to expire at the end of the month, and the USA Freedom Act would have extended large portions of the act in modified form. Tonight's failure to arrive at a vote makes it likely that many of those powers will automatically expire, although Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) scheduled a last-minute session on May 31st for one last shot at passing the bill.

Senate votes down USA Freedom Act, putting bulk surveillance powers in jeopardy

Clearly there are those who still insist that our super secretive panels of "leaders" require the ability to simply "scan" everyone's data for signs of irregularity. But we can never know who is doing it, what they learned, and what they reported... OR to whom. Which sort of explains why the telecoms sold us out secretly years ago. Even as they were busted the legislators were quick to retroactively immunize them against liability.


In particular, the USA Freedom Act would have modified the Section 215 of the Patriot Act, a clause that allows the FBI to secretly order the collection of "tangible things" that could help in a national security investigation. Since its passage, Section 215 has been interpreted loosely — and likely illegally — by intelligence agencies. As whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed in 2013, the definition of both "tangible things" and "investigation" was broad enough to let NSA build a large database of American phone records for an ongoing, expansive national security effort.


Some cynicism inside me keeps me from being too happy. After all,


Originally, the USA Freedom Act was a relatively broad reform bill, tightening the language of national security rules and adding more transparency requirements ..., Rand Paul has staged a series of non-procedural filibusters in symbolic opposition to the bill, including a speech today that pushed the Senate vote past midnight.


Was this the intent of Rand Paul's 10 hour filibuster; or was it just a stunt?




posted on May, 24 2015 @ 12:47 AM
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Rand Paul has been instrumental in opposition to the NSA and its unnecessary bulk spying program.

I hope he keeps it up.

He's got my vote.


+5 more 
posted on May, 24 2015 @ 01:00 AM
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The NSA spies on everyone to ensure they catch the terrorists. These terrorists are so small in number compared to the number of citizens being spied on its like saying "Im gonna catch all the fish in the world because some sharks might kill".

and POS politicians are actually arguing about the method of fishing.

Am I the only one who is seeing the BS propaganda being played out here, or are we all on drugs.

For F Sake people.



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 01:00 AM
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a reply to: Maxmars

Really, I don't know what the big fuss is all about...I don't care if they read my emails or eavesdrop on my conversations. I do not have anything to hide. Hell, they may even learn something useful. the only people that have a real problem with this are the ones trying to hide stuff. I say eavesdrop away and maybe catch some crooks or pedophiles or whatever!



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 02:01 AM
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Does anyone really believe that the NSA is going to stop? They have been doing things like this illegally forever and are probably laughing at congress and the American people if they believe that it is going to stop anything that the NSA does. ..


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posted on May, 24 2015 @ 02:06 AM
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a reply to: soulpowertothendegree

I remember people being outraged and defiant. Now they're used to it, that's how you normalize a police state. Such an obedient population..

Hope you like what's coming next then..


+10 more 
posted on May, 24 2015 @ 02:08 AM
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originally posted by: soulpowertothendegree
a reply to: Maxmars

Really, I don't know what the big fuss is all about...I don't care if they read my emails or eavesdrop on my conversations. I do not have anything to hide. Hell, they may even learn something useful. the only people that have a real problem with this are the ones trying to hide stuff. I say eavesdrop away and maybe catch some crooks or pedophiles or whatever!


If you feel that way then you are part of the problem. Been proven that they very rarely catch anyone with this bulk collection, would you be OK if they started going dorm to door wanting to search your home ?ku st because you have nothing to hide doesn't give them the power to search your stuff. ....you might as well be an animal with a tag in your ear so your owner can come by and check on you when they choose to.



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 02:19 AM
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a reply to: JHumm

Not a bad idea...where do I sign up for such a tag? I would rather they were able to keep an eye on the people that need eye keeping...like I said, I have nothing to hide, they can look all they want... I will leave the light on and whatever I have lying around will not be anything they will care about in the interest of National security.



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 02:23 AM
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Uh-oh... False Flag attack on US soil to whip up the fear machines and get these senators back in their places in 5...4...3...


JAK
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posted on May, 24 2015 @ 03:17 AM
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a reply to: soulpowertothendegree

It has been understood for many years that when people feel they are being observed they alter their behaviour.

Panoptican

The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow a single watchman to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) inmates of an institution without the inmates being able to tell whether or not they are being watched. Although it is physically impossible for the single watchman to observe all cells at once, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that all inmates must act as though they are watched at all times, effectively controlling their own behaviour constantly.


This reaction is not limited to those partaking in criminal activities.

Are there no moments in your life where although you are not breaking any laws you enjoy privacy, privacy being the freedom to go about your business without oversight? Free expression in a love letter, honest words from either direction between you and a relation in their last moments... Aren't there are numerous examples of moments where privacy is the parent of freedom?


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. ~ Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)


Privacy is an essential part of freedom and in the context of this issue the word privacy exists as representative of the freedom to communicate unmolested, without fear or restraint from any quarter. To communicate the exchange of ideas without restraint requires at least the belief that the exchange is truly free from any restrictions and certainly not something which the very existence of is down due to the generous disposition of even the most benevolent dictator. Even the considered position of refusing to be kowtowed by an overseer is itself a move away from free communication.

Whether real or imaginary it is fear which is bowed to in a willingness to trade freedom for security. At best this resulting freedom exists as a malformed incarnation - a change of heart from authority and the machinery is already in place for that freedom to mutate further, into something entirely illusory.

'I have nothing to hide' is perhaps the weakest defence for the position of acceptance of such an invasion of privacy through granting another the authority to impinge upon your freedom of communication. Certainly it seems that only the short-sighted or parties with a vested interest would try to smear the whole discussion by reaching to the bottom of the barrel and dragging up such an (albeit weak) insultingly dismissive statement as ' the only people that have a real problem with this are the ones trying to hide stuff'. (Chucking about bogeymen 'crooks and paedophiles' a la 'won't sumbody fink of da children!' doesn't add weight either.

You are accepting because you believe you have nothing to hide: gifting your authority here to another is a move taken because of your believe you have nothing to hide. Yet it is not even you who is in the position to decide whether you have anything to hide. That argument stands weakened even before tagged onto the sentence 'I have nothing to hide from government' is the word 'today'.

Acquiescence here may be a position you are happy to adopt but, for my money, the simplistic justification offered for such a stance fails to present even a reasonably arguable point of substance to weigh when considering an actual loss of freedom (lets use that word instead of the more easily malleable term privacy) for everyone.



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 03:55 AM
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originally posted by: soulpowertothendegree
a reply to: JHumm

Not a bad idea...where do I sign up for such a tag? I would rather they were able to keep an eye on the people that need eye keeping...like I said, I have nothing to hide, they can look all they want... I will leave the light on and whatever I have lying around will not be anything they will care about in the interest of National security.


I take it then that you see no value in the ability for dissenters to plan a successful rebellion should the need arise?

Besides that, their current information gathering methods give them hit rates in the trillions to 1. Meaning they need to go through say 15 trillion pieces of information to find one that's even remotely interesting. It is horribly inefficient and by limiting what they collect they can better focus on what they should focus on.

Seriously, thanks to the Patriot Act, by their own admission they haven't solved a single terror plot. That sounds pretty ineffective to me.



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 04:04 AM
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I think it's an ironic situation...

A "freedom act" from parts of the "patriot act".

SMH... We really all did get duped in the post 9/11 fear, didn't we?



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 04:23 AM
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I'm wondering if the NSA spies on itself? the Pentagon? the White House? Breton Woods gang? The CIA? The Bilderburgers?
The banksters?



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 09:05 AM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
I think it's an ironic situation...

A "freedom act" from parts of the "patriot act".

SMH... We really all did get duped in the post 9/11 fear, didn't we?


Yeah.
remember the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act?
Dump what you want and let GOD sort it out...

Meh, when is the spaceship coming to get me. That's why I'm an ATS regular.



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 09:27 AM
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originally posted by: soulpowertothendegree
a reply to: JHumm

Not a bad idea...where do I sign up for such a tag? I would rather they were able to keep an eye on the people that need eye keeping...like I said, I have nothing to hide, they can look all they want... I will leave the light on and whatever I have lying around will not be anything they will care about in the interest of National security.


Just speechless...



The motto "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear" has been used in the closed-circuit television program practiced in cities in the United Kingdom

Nothing to hide argument

I hear North Korea is nice this time of year...

"We can only be kept in the cages that we refuse to see"



edit on 24-5-2015 by sageturkey because: Brain swimming with responses to capitulation.

edit on 24-5-2015 by sageturkey because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 10:48 AM
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a reply to: sageturkey

I hope you like it there...personally I would not be caught dead in N Korea!



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 11:08 AM
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a reply to: JAK


beautifully put man,

its like were all young pigs in a slaughterhouse, ...and were trying to explain to the other pigs the situation, but their like. but I like it here, the grass is green and we have all we can eat, and theres fences to keep the wolves out "

some of them just dont get it.

...and the slaughter here can be a metaphor, for the economy, for our place in the world. or for a time they declare us american terrorists and ask us to stand in a line with our backs turned.



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 11:12 AM
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I like the meme "If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide".

Kind of explains Hillary CLinton's and Lois Lerner's lack of email disclosures.

lolz

On topic, any encroachment on personal freedom is a slap in the face and I don't care how it is justified.

The Patriot Act, NDAA, etc are disgusting attempts to put us all under the thumb of tyranny.



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 11:35 AM
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originally posted by: beezzer
I like the meme "If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide".

Kind of explains Hillary CLinton's and Lois Lerner's lack of email disclosures.

lolz

On topic, any encroachment on personal freedom is a slap in the face and I don't care how it is justified.

The Patriot Act, NDAA, etc are disgusting attempts to put us all under the thumb of tyranny.


Beez

You impress me more every day since your return.
Missed you, but have to say you came back jaded as hell from your previous stances.
Good on you.



posted on May, 24 2015 @ 12:13 PM
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originally posted by: soulpowertothendegree
a reply to: Maxmars

Really, I don't know what the big fuss is all about...I don't care if they read my emails or eavesdrop on my conversations. I do not have anything to hide.

Would you be willing to post all of your email on ATS for a month? And transcripts of your phone calls? And your web browsing history? You don't have anything to hide, do you?



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