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Constitutional expert: FISA bill 'is an evisceration of the Fourth Amendment'

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posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 01:32 AM
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Constitutional expert: FISA bill 'is an evisceration of the Fourth Amendment'


rawstory.com

Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley sees a "very frightening bill" in a proposed "compromise," currently in the House, that would update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to effectively grant immunity from civil lawsuits to telecommunications companies that agreed to spy on their customers as part of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program, starting shortly before the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. If the White House asked a phone company to spy with its assurance that it was legal, the measure says, that's enough to dismiss a case.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 01:32 AM
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Scary indeed. So, basically a get out of jail free or free from lawsuit card for anyone involved. I bet this will pass too. They do illegal acts then put a bill out there to protect them. Just amazing.

rawstory.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 01:40 AM
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I am really angry about this....again.
Bush needs this protection before he leaves office. What was done was illegal and flat out wrong. I can't believe the dems are getting behind this; fisa laws covered all of this and protected rights of americans. If this passes it will be a very sad day in america.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by jhill76

Constitutional expert: FISA bill 'is an evisceration of the Fourth Amendment'


rawstory.com

Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley sees a "very frightening bill" in a proposed "compromise," currently in the House, that would update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to effectively grant immunity from civil lawsuits to telecommunications companies that agreed to spy on their customers as part of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program, starting shortly before the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. If the White House asked a phone company to spy with its assurance that it was legal, the measure says, that's enough to dismiss a case.
(visit the link for the full news article)



if anyone calls overseas for anything...consider that your conversation is being recorded...there goes the fourth amendment. must be nice for bush to order the phone companies to record conversations against the provisions of the oringinal FISA bill...then congress today will forgive the phone companies for any law they broke during that time. called my congressmen today.. jerry mcnerney... to tell him to vote against this bill. will have to wait. his washington office could not tell me which way he was going to vote.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by shooterbrody
I am really angry about this....again.
Bush needs this protection before he leaves office. What was done was illegal and flat out wrong. I can't believe the dems are getting behind this; fisa laws covered all of this and protected rights of americans. If this passes it will be a very sad day in america.


yeah, it will be a sad day. the average american person will ONLY care when they are put in FEMA camps. it has been an effective campaign by the wealthy and powerful and they have gotten to the democrats by some means of coersion that we do not know about.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 10:41 AM
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Let's not forget that somewhere in our reality it was considered illegal to retroactively change the law.

But that reality seems to have changed by fiat. Are ALL of our representatives criminals? Seems they may all be just engaging in CYA because they let this happen without objecting to it. That would make them 'complicit' accomplices in the most callous disregard for the American's people rights since..., forever.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 10:46 AM
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Links to the text of the bill and other info in this thread:

EFF Obtains New FISA Bill Containing Telecom Immunity, Vote in House Tomorrow!

This stuff is the real deal, not 'warrentless wiretapping' in the sense the media would have you believe, collecting phone numbers that potential terrorists call and such, but enabling complete capture, storage, and analysis of all internet and telephone traffic within the United States.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 11:23 AM
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Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, BUT UPON PROBABLE CAUSE, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Staple that to the forehead of all the douches that vote for this....




posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 11:25 AM
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By the way, when the American public finally becomes aware of what they're after, and they can't stall the issue from being heard in court any more, here's what I think the spin is going to be:

"Sure, we're recording all internet traffic and communications, yes, even that completely within the United States, but the People's 4th Amendment rights are still secure! See, the right of the people is to be 'secure' in their papers and effects. Even if that applied to digital communications, everything we record goes into a secure system at the NSA, and no one ever looks at it, or can look at it, without legal authorization! We simply run computerized automated analysis on it, to determine potential 'threats'. At that point, when the system spits out an indication that there's something we might want to look at, we go through the valid legal channels, and only then can the actual information be seen by human eyes. The People are totally secure from any wrong-doing! In fact, we aren't illegally wiretapping at all, we're simply 'time-shifting' the data, like you do with your DVR, to a point in time where we can legally access it, if necessary. After all, you wouldn't want potential terrorists threats to go undetected, would you?"

I really think that's how they're going to 'spin' the little panopticon they seem to want to build.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by Ian McLean
 




By the way, when the American public finally becomes aware of what they're after, and they can't stall the issue from being heard in court any more, here's what I think the spin is going to be:

"Sure, we're recording all internet traffic and communications, yes, even that completely within the United States, but the People's 4th Amendment rights are still secure! See, the right of the people is to be 'secure' in their papers and effects. Even if that applied to digital communications, everything we record goes into a secure system at the NSA, and no one ever looks at it, or can look at it, without legal authorization! We simply run computerized automated analysis on it, to determine potential 'threats'. At that point, when the system spits out an indication that there's something we might want to look at, we go through the valid legal channels, and only then can the actual information be seen by human eyes. The People are totally secure from any wrong-doing! In fact, we aren't illegally wiretapping at all, we're simply 'time-shifting' the data, like you do with your DVR, to a point in time where we can legally access it, if necessary. After all, you wouldn't want potential terrorists threats to go undetected, would you?"

I really think that's how they're going to 'spin' the little panopticon they seem to want to build.


That sounds like their M.O....

But how can they even collect data without probable cause?
Automated analysis is still a search in my book.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 12:29 PM
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Originally posted by shooterbrody

Bush needs this protection before he leaves office. What was done was illegal and flat out wrong. I can't believe the dems are getting behind this....


You forget that whatever Bush might have done that was illegal, Congress has done as well.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 04:04 PM
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I just got this email from Heather Wilson (R-New Mexico).

It is a matter of public record.


Dear [Grady],

I spoke on the House floor today and issued the following statement supporting passage of a law modernizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The bill passed by a vote of 293-129.

"On December 16, 2005, I was walking to work in the morning and crossed First and C streets. There, on the front page of the New York Times in the box on the corner, was a story that revealed the existence of a program that had not been previously briefed to the entire Intelligence Committee. No one on the Subcommittee that I chaired at that time, that oversees the activities of the National Security Agency, had been told of the program.

"Before finishing my cup of coffee that morning, I was on the phone with Chairman Hoekstra. And before the weekend was over, I had hand delivered a written request to be fully and currently briefed on the program as required by law.

"When the administration rebuffed my quiet, direct requests, and the Attorney General provided inadequate public testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee, when the Congress reconvened after Christmas break, I publicly insisted on full oversight of the program. My insistence on full information for the Intelligence Committee launched a period of extensive oversight that led to draft legislation in 2006 that this House passed.

"The executive branch and the President have powers and responsibilities under the Constitution. The Congress has greater powers, but those powers only matter when they are exercised.

"I believe it is possible and essential for the Congress to exercise vigorous oversight of the programs we fund. It is particularly important that we do so in the area of intelligence, where programs are not subject to the cleansing bright light of day. We were not able to complete legislation fixing our foreign intelligence laws before the 109th Congress ended in 2006.

"In January 2007, the administration announced that they had put the Terrorist Surveillance Program under the supervision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Having been briefed on the program and knowing the requirements of the old law, I questioned how that was possible. After classified briefings from the Department of Justice and the intelligence agencies involved, it was clear to me that the executive branch was trying to put a twin sized sheet on a king sized bed. The law clearly needed to be changed. A subsequent FISA judge saw it the same way and our intelligence capabilities began to erode because the old law just couldn't work with 21st century technology.

"By the late spring of 2007 we had lost close to two-thirds of our intelligence collection on terrorism. We were unable to respond fast enough when we had problems, particularly in war zones. Just before Memorial Day in 2007, three soldiers were kidnapped in Iraq a! ! nd we needed an army of lawyers in Washington, DC to get authority to listen to the communications of the people that we thought had kidnapped them.

"There is some argument about whether the delay caused by FISA was 10 hours or 24 hours. But I knew this: if it had been my son who had been kidnapped, it wasn't good enough. The system had failed our soldiers and the only institution that could fix the problem was Congress.

"I went quietly to some of my Democrat colleagues, to prod them to take the lead and fix this problem since they were now the majority in 2007.

"I went to talk to Senator Kit Bond who understood instantly what we faced and began to work to fix it. When the House Democrat leadership would not take action, Republicans began to increase the public pressure and the leaders of our intelligence agencies became more public and more forthright about just how serious the problem was.

"I give a great deal of credit in this process to Admiral Mike McConnell, the Director of National Intelligence, for being determined to both protect American civil liberties and protect the American people. His persistence has only been exceeded by his patience.

"In August of 2007, we passed the Protect America Act over the objection of the Democrat leadership. The Protect America Act closed an important intelligence gap, but it expired in February of this year.

"The Senate successfully passed legislation that would keep this intelligence gap closed and provide relief from dozens of lawsuits that plague companies who, I believe, have immunity for the assistance they provided to the government. These companies just can't prove they have immunity without damaging America's security by revealing how we spy on people to prevent terrorist attacks.

"I commend the telecommunications companies who have been caught up in this and their leadership for doing the right thing for the country, even when an easier course might have been available to them. Now, their country and this Congress are doing the right thing by them.

"The bill that we pass today will protect the civil liberties of Americans and continue to require individualized warrants to intercept the content of communications for anyone in the United States or American citizens anywhere in the world. It will also allow our intelligence agencies to very rapidly follow up on tips and listen to foreigners in foreign countries who are trying to kill Americans.

"We have restored FISA to its original intent and modernized it for 21st century communications and technology. Good intelligence is the first line of defense against terrorism. Today, we will make sure our intelligence agencies have the tools to be able to prevent other terrorist attacks.

"The greatest accomplishment of the last six and a half years has been what has not happened. We have not had another terrorist attack on our soil since the morning of 9/11. And they have tried.
[emphasis mine]

"In May, eight people went on trial in London. They were part of a group of twenty-four people arrested in August 2006 who were within days or weeks of walking onto airlines at Heathrow Terminal 3 and blowing them up simultaneously over the Atlantic. If they had been successful, more people would have died than those who were killed on the morning of 9/11.

"We all remember where we were that morning. Who we were with. What we had for breakfast. Who we called first. We don't remember where we were when the British government arrested terrorists who sought to blow up airplanes over the Atlantic because it didn't happen.

"It didn't happen because British, Pakistani, and American intelligence worked together to prevent that terrorist attack. The people who serve in our intelligence agencies, at Fort Meade and around the world, and the companies that work with them deserve our support and the tools to do the difficult job we are asking them to do. Today, they are getting what they need.

"I urge my colleagues to support this bill."



[edit on 2008/6/20 by GradyPhilpott]



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