USA Freedom Act Introduced to Limit NSA Surveillance

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INTERACTIONS

Reports of National Security Agency surveillance capabilities and oversight continue to surpass previous assumptions. Dragnet data collection lie at the center of legal and privacy concerns. This week, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) introduced the USA Freedom Act.

According to the bill, the act’s stated purpose is,

To reform the authorities of the Federal Government to require the production of certain business records, conduct electronic surveillance, use pen registers and trap and trace devices, and use other forms of information gathering for foreign intelligence, counterterrorism, and criminal purposes, and for other purposes.

The Act would amend a controversial policy outlined in Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which was authored by Sensenbrenner following the 9/11 attacks. ‘Data mining,’ also known as bulk data collection, authorized authorities to access “any tangible things,” as long as they “specify” that the order is “for an authorized investigation . . . to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.” In turn, massive amounts of personal data and information are subject to prying eyes without proof of probable cause.

Additionally, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA Court, would be restructured to include a ‘privacy advocate’ who’s charged with protecting citizens’ constitutional rights through an appeals process.

Earlier this year, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan) introduced an amendment with similar ends, but fell short by 12 votes. Ninety-four Republicans and 111 Democrats voted for the amendment.

On the Senate side, possibly the most outspoken proponent of current NSA policy has been Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California). She’s been the leading voice in the senate advocating for mass data collection, occasionally to her detriment. However, Leahy does have some allies, some of which from across the aisle.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Texas) has established himself as a privacy advocate, having introduced the Intelligence Oversight and Surveillance Reform Act with Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden last month.

Image credit: Shutterstock / 24Novembers

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  1. rfj1 In a special message to Congress on December 19, 1945, President Harry Truman proposed the creation of a unified department of state defense, citing both wasted military spending and interdepartmental conflicts.   The AFSA or the Armed Forces Security Agency which was created in 1947 was the brainchild of the then, President Harry (give them hell) Truman. In 1947 he signed the created "National Security Act" (or the NSA) which unified the military forces under the "National Military  Establishment" and the CIA was also born. There is a articular "Pecking" order of agencies and the so called order in these positions of power were devised, as usual, so no one in these positions could take responsibility for their actions because that is how they can get away with any of their crimes. how convenient. Now most of you have to understand that our culture, "Back then", was not one of deceit or world domination (well maybe just a little) and the only other "Proven" blueprint for that condition was used in Nazi Germany under Hitler,  that is until we all ganged up to defeat him and rightly so. Otherwise we would all be speaking German.  He really was a maniacal person with tendencies of world domination. (Kind of reminds me of Briton, Spain Iran (Persia) or Rome and every other wannabe world domination country that thinks they are,,, "Special".  Their regime were experts at spying on their own people which included Jews of German decent as well as many other cultures who lived there as well, they were also spied on and as we later found,, were eliminated by one torture method or another.  It shouldn't take a college graduate to realized the "Correlation" and the "Collaboration" needed to determine the "How and Why" this and all of our other covert agencies were and have been created. The way I feel about this whole invented and covert military game (and it is a game) is, It is Okay to have an agency that protects the "American Citizen" from it's enemies foreign and domestic, meaning these enemies must "NOT" be Americans because as an American Citizen you are not the enemy, that is,  until you are found out to be one through our legal process,and then and only then does your status change to something like "An Inserted" foreign enemy "Claiming to be an American Citizen" with tendency's of over throwing our Democracy by "Any" means available. So, for the time being I am totally against any created covert agency's that spy's or spied on me or my family, why, because I am your boss and I didn't give you permission to do so. rfj1
  2. Joe Cucchiara @James Gasowski   Yea James,we were all fooled into thinking that they were spying on threats on our security,not listening to everybody! Thanks to Edward Snowden, the truth is now known. They broke the law and we found out. They sold us out buddy!
  3. Bruce Augustine They could have all of mine if they want....haha!
  4. CarolMcNeely why and how do YOU have our residence mapped out when we only gave you our city and state in this survey.  so you are spying on us also..   what a hoot. Are you working under obummer to. for spying on us
  5. Alex_G @Tracy Hensley Barker it's actually called 'Lightbeam' but close enough, lol
  6. Kevin Harris Seriously... how dangerous a time it is, when we have to rewrite our 4th Amendment!
  7. David P. Semak Thank you Patriot Act!
  8. Tracy Hensley Barker Mozzilla has a new install that shows all the people following you..its called beamlight..
  9. James Gasowski Also NSA never hid it, this is the rights granted under the patriot act, the same act a decade ago that was praised as a important tool for fighting terrorism by the very same people who today scream its a tool of oppression for the" current dictator".
  10. James Gasowski The only diferences between the NSA and sites such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Verizon, etc is that they don't collect 1/1000000th of our data the later mentioned do , sell it to others, or have us click"I agree " on a user agreement most people don't bother reading.
36 comments
rfj1
rfj1

In a special message to Congress on December 19, 1945, President Harry Truman proposed the creation of a unified department of state defense, citing both wasted military spending and interdepartmental conflicts. 

 The AFSA or the Armed Forces Security Agency which was created in 1947 was the brainchild of the then, President Harry (give them hell) Truman.

In 1947 he signed the created "National Security Act" (or the NSA) which unified the military forces under the "National Military  Establishment" and the CIA was also born.

There is a articular "Pecking" order of agencies and the so called order in these positions of power were devised, as usual, so no one in these positions could take responsibility for their actions because that is how they can get away with any of their crimes. how convenient.

Now most of you have to understand that our culture, "Back then", was not one of deceit or world domination (well maybe just a little) and the only other "Proven" blueprint for that condition was used in Nazi Germany under Hitler,  that is until we all ganged up to defeat him and rightly so. Otherwise we would all be speaking German.  He really was a maniacal person with tendencies of world domination. (Kind of reminds me of Briton, Spain Iran (Persia) or Rome and every other wannabe world domination country that thinks they are,,, "Special". 

Their regime were experts at spying on their own people which included Jews of German decent as well as many other cultures who lived there as well, they were also spied on and as we later found,, were eliminated by one torture method or another. 

It shouldn't take a college graduate to realized the "Correlation" and the "Collaboration" needed to determine the "How and Why" this and all of our other covert agencies were and have been created.

The way I feel about this whole invented and covert military game (and it is a game) is, It is Okay to have an agency that protects the "American Citizen" from it's enemies foreign and domestic, meaning these enemies must "NOT" be Americans because as an American Citizen you are not the enemy, that is,  until you are found out to be one through our legal process,and then and only then does your status change to something like "An Inserted" foreign enemy "Claiming to be an American Citizen" with tendency's of over throwing our Democracy by "Any" means available.

So, for the time being I am totally against any created covert agency's that spy's or spied on me or my family, why, because I am your boss and I didn't give you permission to do so.

rfj1

CarolMcNeely
CarolMcNeely

why and how do

YOU have our residence mapped out when we only gave you our city and state in this survey.  so you are spying on us also..   what a hoot.

Are you working under obummer to. for spying on us

Kevin Harris
Kevin Harris

Seriously... how dangerous a time it is, when we have to rewrite our 4th Amendment!

Tracy Hensley Barker
Tracy Hensley Barker

Mozzilla has a new install that shows all the people following you..its called beamlight..

James Gasowski
James Gasowski

Also NSA never hid it, this is the rights granted under the patriot act, the same act a decade ago that was praised as a important tool for fighting terrorism by the very same people who today scream its a tool of oppression for the" current dictator".

James Gasowski
James Gasowski

The only diferences between the NSA and sites such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Verizon, etc is that they don't collect 1/1000000th of our data the later mentioned do , sell it to others, or have us click"I agree " on a user agreement most people don't bother reading.

Jose Batista
Jose Batista

Remember, Both the CIA & FBI knew about the Saudi's who were part of 9/11...that "INFO" got ignored !!

John Chaney
John Chaney

So what" they been doing it for many,many years...nothing new at all!

Jacqueline Lynn
Jacqueline Lynn

I don't feel I have to write or email the White House with my views, I'll just leave it to the NSA to pass them on!

Kevin C. Smith
Kevin C. Smith

Not hypocritical (the latest overused and misused word in widespread circulation in political conversations)...we voluntarily give or information to social media sites but the NSA is simply taking it, without permission or reason.

Kevin C. Smith
Kevin C. Smith

Whether or not I am doing something wrong (however that is defined-another thing to watch out for) has nothing to do with whether or not rights are violated. they should not be, period.

guest
guest

Open letter to the Powers That Be:

Now that you've spied on all of us the least you can do is tell us what you've found out about us.  You didn't need to spy; all you needed was to listen to what we say out loud everyday.  What's the consensus?  Do you spy so that you can avoid solutions?  Who's going to write the book or do the movie with a cast of millions?  Will you rewrite the truth of the present as you've rewritten the truth of the past?  Are you planning the destruction of our future?  We've already paid for the production cost so when will you deliver the product?  Are you that paranoid?  It's an assault on our freedoms like a bunch of terrorists haven't even been able to accomplish.  What a bomb!  We have become what we purport to hate the most.  We are the land of the free, right?  Now that you know us so well, tell us what we are?  Trick or Treat? 

William Michael Brienza
William Michael Brienza

There was no stink when the NSA was doing these things several years back when General Michael Hayden gave an extensive interview to 60 minutes. These surveillance laws were broadened after 9/11.

Richard Pruett
Richard Pruett

I STRONGLY VOTE NO IN OPPOSITION of OUR GOVERNMENT BEING ALLOWED TO DO THIS PERIOD!!! No matter what their agenda is!!!

LyzByth Hillery
LyzByth Hillery

Whatever … hope the like cat, dog, and infant pictures ...

Diana Nares
Diana Nares

People just don't get it...thelack of true journalism, the IRS, the NSA. if this continues there will be a dictator and life as we know it will no longer be. Right or wrong we need at least two parties to keep these people in check and we need intelligent independents to keep them in check and the masses informed.

Leonard Campbell
Leonard Campbell

I understand from the national news that this information was released by court order and not randomly collected.

Christina Taulbee DeLaigle
Christina Taulbee DeLaigle

If you're doing something wrong, worry. If not, thank the good Lord someone is watching and taking care! Bush (W) had information BEFORE 9/11 and chose to NOT pay attention to it and you know what happened then. We were attacked, declared war on a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack, made millions of $$$$$ for Cheney's company, Halliburton and lots of other defense contractors, and over 5000 Americans dead as a result. Oh, and we didn't find any weapons of mass destruction that W said we would find - the reason for the war.

Evelyn L. Morey
Evelyn L. Morey

We should not have to have such a bill, but since we have people who are definitely not patriots trying to turn our country into a totalitarian state, we must do what we have to to preserve it.

Rick London
Rick London

I find it irritating, but no more irritating than when facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc etc etc etc get MUCH more info about us from us than the NSA gets. A bit hipacritical to get TOO upset over it.

John Henery
John Henery

We have a dictators running this country.

Bill Long
Bill Long

Oppose! Our freedoms should not be infringed without probable cause!!

bobconner
bobconner

It's time to review the entire Patriot Act (a misnomer of epic proportions).  It was nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction and nothing less than a horrific turn for the US, empowering FISA and agencies such as the NSA beyond what any of us could have ever imagined prior to 9/11.  I don't typically give much credit to conspiracy theories, but the direction we've gone since then certainly pushes that philosophy to its limits.

Alex_G
Alex_G moderator

@Tracy Hensley Barker it's actually called 'Lightbeam' but close enough, lol

Joe Cucchiara
Joe Cucchiara

@James Gasowski  

Yea James,we were all fooled into thinking that they were spying on threats on our security,not listening to everybody! Thanks to Edward Snowden, the truth is now known. They broke the law and we found out. They sold us out buddy!

Scott2040
Scott2040

Yes and no. The court order (which itself is secret and being withheld from Supreme Court oversight) is a blanket order applying to all people. If anyone admits they are releasing the information, they may face charges up to treason, and it is effective for a limited time, but easily renewed. The Bush Administration did not use the FISA court, but the current administration is. From what has leaked out little by little over the last 7 years (and I have been following it since it was on the front page of the newspapers about that long ago, the involvement of FISA has done nothing but add a rubber stamp to the process.

Scott2040
Scott2040

What is your definition of doing something wrong? Plotting an attack, or maybe attending a protest, or supporting the wrong party? Then again,

the social conservatives may think people who look at online porn or doing wrong, I surely know of some who would label people if they weren't Christian.

What about in 50 years when your grandiose want to look at your google searches, and it's been declassified. Or, when the Chinese get a

Successful hack and threaten to show your kids or spouse stuff.

I do not fear terrorism, more kids are hit walking to school every year than Americans killed in terrorist attacks, even in our worst years. But I do want privacy. Sometimes it leaves me questioning if there is still anything left to protect. We are, after all based on a constitution. Without that, we are no different than any other nation, and really have nothing to even fight for.

Alex_G
Alex_G moderator

@bobconner very telling when the original authors are introducing legislation to roll some provisions back

Scott2040
Scott2040

That is because they forget they are not kings and now realize that other people can use it against them. I think Feinstein was interesting when she ignored my privacy (which is constitutionally protected) but is now outraged that we were using it to spy on international members of the power elite (who have no constitutional protections).