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Democrats Government Privacy Politics

Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping 389

mi writes: President Obama has asked the Senate to renew key Patriot Act provisions before their expiration on May 31. This includes surveillance powers that let the government collect Americans' phone records. Obama said, "It's necessary to keep the American people safe and secure." The call came despite recent revelations that the FBI is unable to name a single terror case in which the snooping provisions were of much help. "Obama noted that the controversial bulk phone collections program, which was exposed by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, is reformed in the House bill, which does away with it over six months and instead gives phone companies the responsibility of maintaining phone records that the government can search." Obama criticized the Senate for not acting on that legislation, saying they have necessitated a renewal of the Patriot Act provisions.
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Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

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  • Thanks, Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @11:57AM (#49783145)

    :\

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There's your hope and change, biotches!
      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:43PM (#49783659)

        Oh for crying out loud, he said "yes we can". Nobody said anything about actually DOING anything!

        • Re:Thanks, Obama (Score:5, Informative)

          by Creepy ( 93888 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:58PM (#49783849) Journal

          Um, someone WAS trying to do something about it - Congress actually tried to sneak in an extension - there was a provision in the USA FREEDOM Act that extended section 215 until 2019 (originally it was 2017, and Rand Paul especially objected to tacking on another 2 years). That was passed by the House but defeated in the Senate. Incidentally, Obama was pro USA FREEDOM Act as well (and yes, all those caps are necessary - FREEDOM is a backronym, though I don't remember what it means).

          • FREEDOM is a backronym, though I don't remember what it means

            "Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring Act."

            I feel like I need to take a shower after just typing that load of horse manure...

  • wasn't this found to be illegal anyhow? why continue it if it doesn't have any relevant use other than keeping an eye on your own citizens?
    I guess that new NSA data collection facility in CO needs to be used for something...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:05PM (#49783237)

      Bulk data collection provides *very* useful information for people in a position to do market manipulation on wall street.

      Like, you know, politicians, who are allowed to do insider trading as per special laws that protect them.

      That's all Obama is after.

    • If they ignore the courts, who's gonna stop them? Especially when both sides share the same disdain for the Constitution. Renewing those Patriot Act provisions isn't about legalizing it. It's more about public relations.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Those people who view one side as better than the other, because they are "less evil" are simply delusional.

        Those people who view Government as our protector against ... our government are even more delusional. Governments tend towards power accumulation and tyranny. There is only one restraint against that, revolution. However, give people enough circuses (NASCAR, NFL, NBA ...) and they don't have that problem.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by meta-monkey ( 321000 )

      Not exactly. What the 2nd Circuit rules was that the bulk collection of phone records was "not authorized" by section 215 of the Patriot Act. They did not rule on the constitutionality of the program. So not "what you're doing is wrong" but "what you're doing is something nobody told you to do." Whether or not it would be constitutional to implement the program they did is left open. And with good reason...you can't rule on the constitutionality of a law that isn't written.

      Consider your work at a company wh

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:00PM (#49783177)
    And conservatives were worried that Obama would change everything that Bush did.
    • by asylumx ( 881307 )
      Seriously, I never understand why people seem to believe there is such a difference between the two parties. I personally like one better than the other, but overall I don't like either of them all that much.
  • What a guy (Score:2, Interesting)

    How's that hopey-changey stuff workin' out for ya?

    :: winks ::

    :: snaps gum ::
    • Re:What a guy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nite_Hawk ( 1304 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:43PM (#49783663) Homepage

      We'll never know, but I suspect still better than McCain or Romney despite Obama's shortcomings. There's the counter argument that had it been a Republican president the Democrats wouldn't be as divided in their loyalties, but I doubt it would have mattered in the end and there's a lot of things that could have gone much worse over the last 7 years.

      Having said that, It is interesting how much Obama has gravitated toward Bush's positions on a number of topics throughout his presidency. Had McCain or Romney won, I suspect they would have taken similar positions (not that they weren't there already). Part of me wonders how much influence has been exerted on both Bush and Obama, and if neither could accept the consequences that would have resulted from deviation from those positions.

      Regarding Obama personally: Perhaps the presidency changed him, or perhaps his campaign was a lie to co-opt the enthusiasm of the masses. I don't think we'll ever really know. We'll just have to hope that his decisions to do things like bail out Wallstreet, sign us into corporate-crafted trade agreements, and continue domestic spying are better than the alternatives. It seems to me though that if that really is the case, our situation is every bit as bad as the most cynical of us say.

    • About as great as the bumbling fool before him.

      If anyone still needed any proof that voting in political elections is not much more relevant than voting in American Idol...

  • Get rid of it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by unixcorn ( 120825 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:04PM (#49783221)

    Obama has promised again and again to safeguard our liberties. Now he has morphed into George Bush. What did I miss?

    • The part where everyone finally realizes that the 'two parties' are actually one, with confluent goals, and get off their lazy, too-comfortable asses to do something about it.

      Or maybe that's just the psilocybin talking...

      • Full disclosure (because I know this needs said for some of you): no, I am not actually tripping. That was a joke.

    • by Dracos ( 107777 )

      The photos of Obama at the 2008 Bilderburg meeting.

    • He's certainly a bit of a disappointment. He started out all "hope and change" and then the New Boss turned out to be the same as the Old Boss (at least, where corporate interests and the security services were concerned).

      Yes, I know, it shouldn't have come as a surprise.

      • He's certainly a bit of a disappointment.

        He is not just a bit disappointing, he is worse than either side predicted. The (R) underestimted him, and the (D) were simply delusional that because he was "black" he was different. And now, they thing HRC is different because she is a "woman".

        Anyone willing to vote simply because she is Monica's Ex-Boyfriends Wife (The practical extent of her actual accomplishments, as former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State)

    • There is a difference between Campaign Politician and Elected Politician. Campaign Politician seeks to get as many people to vote for him/her as possible and so is willing to promise nearly anything. If Campaign Politician thought it would win them votes, they would pledge to have the federal government give everyone a free cute puppy.

      When Campaign Politician transitions to Elected Politician, however, many (if not all) of those promises get forgotten. Instead Elected Politician will do whatever he/she c

    • Re:Get rid of it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:37PM (#49783585)

      "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

      obama probably had his heart in the right place when he started, but clearly he's not the same person who conned us into voting him in office. everything he said was a lie (everything that mattered or pertained to our privacy, true security and loss of rights during the 'bushing down' of america.

      regardless of what he was like beforehand, he's now useless and has been taken over by corruption and power ;(

      I submit that there is not a single human being, alive or dead, that can stay true to their promise of integrity AND be in the highest power office in the world. its not possible, its not do-able and we should stop expecting it. abs power corrupts absolutely, we all know this and we can see it, first-hand.

      we have 2 problems and I don't see either one being fixable. first is what I just listed - that no one can be in that office and not be corrupted in short order; and the other problem is that people are being lied to, they are not being told the truth and they are brainwashed from early youth to 'fight on teams' and to pick a team and fight for them. this 'great distraction' keeps us chattering and Our Masters(tm) love that we are kept distracted this way. we generally don't believe that abs power corrupts absolutely, we refuse to believe 'our guy' could be taken over like that and so we continue to play tribal us-vs-them games.

      the people are kept stupid, the leaders enrich themselves at our expensve and there is no fix in sight.

      welcome to planet earth. this is a form of hell, here, not heaven. oh, and there is no heaven, that's another lie told to keep you in-line and behaved.

    • Re:Get rid of it (Score:5, Informative)

      by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:44PM (#49783675)

      Obama has promised again and again to safeguard our liberties. Now he has morphed into George Bush. What did I miss?

      You missed the meeting he had with the NSA the day he took officer where they showed him their file on him.

      A free society can not exist in conjunction with a government that has unfettered power. That's what the NSA has done, unchained itself from the restrictions of the constitution. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. If the NSA isn't blackmailing the president, they will eventually. It is quite literally inevitable.

    • Re:Get rid of it (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <sjcNO@SPAMcarpanet.net> on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:50PM (#49783767) Homepage

      He did? Funny I don't see it that way at all.

      What I see is him pledging to implement a technical loophole. How is making someone else do the collection and storage (with far less security than their own current collection) really any real change? Do you honestly think the people who were complaining about this are just policy wonks who want the letter of the law followed but who don't actually care about the real privacy implications?

      This is not progress, its window dressing.

    • Re:Get rid of it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:50PM (#49783769)

      Obama has promised again and again to safeguard our liberties. Now he has morphed into George Bush. What did I miss?

      You completely missed out on the fact that Politicians tend to be horrible psychopaths who lie to gain power. Why do you think that our Constitution and all of the Federalist papers leading up to the founding of the country wanted minimum Government at a Federal level?

      Nothing new here, you can read the same thing from Plato written more than 2,300 years _before_ the founding of the US.

      If you believe a politician, shame on you!

    • Obama has promised again and again to safeguard our liberties. Now he has morphed into George Bush. What did I miss?

      You missed Obama voting for FISA in 2008. [slashdot.org]

  • by Elvii ( 428 ) <david1975&comcast,net> on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:05PM (#49783239) Homepage

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

    Not that it matters who I quote, or what anyone says. This and things much like it will likely get renewed, or they'll happen in secret.

    I don't have any good solutions, but it doesn't have to mean I like the idiots in government or their idiotic decisions.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:25PM (#49783457)

      Why do you think they are idiots?

      They are thieves. Also, such words as "liar," "traitor," "criminal," and "very rich" would all apply.

      But "idiot?" Why would you say that? They are far too effective at what they do (take money and power from us) to be called idiots. I suppose if you actually believe anything any one of them says to justify their policies, you might think they are idiots, but if you are so naive as to take any word a politician says at face value, then you're the idiot.
         

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      I don't have any good solutions

      How about not continuing with the dictatorial oligarchy in the US that right now passes for a democracy?

      • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:48PM (#49783735)

        the CURRENT system is designed (patched) to disallow major changes. so, no peaceful solution exists to reform us.

        you want violence? I'm ok with that, if its othe only way to fix things, but I'm not excited about living thru it. no sane person is.

        but I repeat, peaceful solutions won't work when the game is all stacked against reform and the power broker club circles the wagons and protects themselves against ANY real change.

        show me one government that has gone this bad and self-corrected without a revolution. name one.

    • Although I didn't agree with you 2 years ago, having read many articles and /. opinions, I have since changed my opinion on this topic. The fact that many of these procedures haven't shown an actual usefulness is a sign that they may be overkill. I'm not suggesting that no security is the answer but rather that careful planning of procedures is probably far more rewarding.

      Do we need border control? I say yes.
      Do we need the ability to monitor data? I say yes.
      Do we need to keep tabs on everybody? I say no. Ke

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Congress shall pass NO LAW...

    ie - the patriot act is unconstitutional - has been since day 1. Anyone involved with passing the law, signing the law, and performing duties under said law are traitors to this country, and are guilty of treason. Since they all seem to consider this "a time of war" against terrorism, there's only one penalty for treason.

    Get your asses up against the wall, and pass out the smokes and blindfolds. We'll fix the national debt by selling raffle tickets to be drawn for members of

    • Congress shall pass NO LAW...

      I'm pretty sure that the Constitution of the United States doesn't say that. After all, the entire first article creates the congress and gives it the power to legislate. If the constitution then took all legislative power away then congress would be a useless bunch of ninnies...Well, I'm pretty sure it doesn't say that.

      ie - the patriot act is unconstitutional - has been since day 1.

      Why do you say that?

      Anyone involved with passing the law, signing the law, and performing dutie

    • Full text: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      I fail to see how that applies. Or are you referencing something else?

      • by r_naked ( 150044 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:51PM (#49783781) Homepage

        I am pretty sure that they were referring to the 4th amendment (from Wikipedia):

        "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."

        Now I'm a Libertarian, and I read that as: "If you don't have a fucking warrant, then you don't get to collect SHIT. No metadata, no *actual* data, no GPS data, nothing. It is real simple, if you are trying to build a case against me, then you had better have a warrant to collect ANY data (at least that is the way it should be). In reality, there is no constitution any more -- it is just a faded memory.

  • I think it is naive to assume that this isn't want Obama et al wanted all along. Good job to McConell for stalling long enough to force the issue.
  • Oh he is good. So the collection is a problem, so lets end the collection by outsouricing it. Problem solved.

    As long as we maintain our ability to search through the records, we don't need to "collect them". CLearly the public only ever policy wonks about technicalities, nobody actually wants or needs privacy right?

  • Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:17PM (#49783369)

    is reformed in the House bill, which does away with it over six months and instead gives phone companies the responsibility of maintaining phone records that the government can search." Obama criticized the Senate for not acting on that legislation, saying they have necessitated a renewal of the Patriot Act provisions.

    What nonsense. Moving the storage task to the phone companies does absolutely nothing to make the collection less nasty. Enacting the "reform" is, at best, no different than just renewing the Patriot Act as it is. But that's "at best". In reality, it's even worse, as requiring the telecoms to keep this data guarantees that the telecoms will use that data -- so the end result is an expansion of the the amount of spying that is being inflicted on us.

    • Moving the storage task to the phone companies does absolutely nothing to make the collection less nasty.

      It means absolutely nothing at all. They still have unfettered access to the data, they might as well hold it themselves. This is simply a move to absolve them of blame/responsibility down the road.

      "We didn't collect the data this time, the phone companies did"

    • In reality, it's even worse, as requiring the telecoms to keep this data guarantees that the telecoms will use that data -- so the end result is an expansion of the the amount of spying that is being inflicted on us.

      Exactly this. Government spying on its citizens is bad, don't get me wrong. However, there are remedies for this. It isn't easy, but you CAN vote out the current government and vote in people who will end the spying. Again, it's not easy and it might take time, but it's doable.

      Suppose AT

      • In reality, it's even worse, as requiring the telecoms to keep this data guarantees that the telecoms will use that data -- so the end result is an expansion of the the amount of spying that is being inflicted on us.

        Exactly this. Government spying on its citizens is bad, don't get me wrong. However, there are remedies for this. It isn't easy, but you CAN vote out the current government and vote in people who will end the spying. Again, it's not easy and it might take time, but it's doable.

        The problem is that ending domestic bulk data collection requires enforcing the Constitution, and although many are against mass surveillance, many more are against other things that the Constitution enshrines & protects, like civilian gun ownership and freedom of religion as just 2 exam

  • by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:19PM (#49783389)

    There is no need for the Patriot Act to exist any longer. There hasn't been for many years. The War on Terrorism is really the war on Fundamentalist a Saudi inspired Sunni Wahabi radicalism. The Patriot act should go away and the US powers that be should focus its efforts on neutralizing the Sunni-Wahabi threat by whatever means necessary.

    Unfortunately we are taking the wrong side here in helping the Saudi's eradicate a Shia Minority in Yemen. Because the American leadership is the village idiots. We're also responsible for the Sunni Wahabi's creating ISIS in Iraq because we over threw a Ba'thist regime and created a power vaccum.

    The "War on Terrorism" will end only when the Saudi's Sunni Wahabii ability to create colonies like this is neutralized.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      It never needed to exist. NEVER NEEDED TO EXIST.

      It was passed by idiots that did not even read it and was created by some war mongering evil idiots.

    • The Patriot act should go away and the US powers that be should focus its efforts on neutralizing the Sunni-Wahabi threat by whatever means necessary.

      Hahahaha

      Unfortunately we are taking the wrong side here in helping the Saudi's eradicate a Shia Minority in Yemen.

      What we did in Iraq was separate peacefully coexisting communities of the people you're talking about. We deliberately set social progress back a hundred years there. What you think we need to do is literally the opposite of our government's intent.

  • by PPH ( 736903 )

    So we've had a recent rash of threats called in against airlines. Set aside the case of a 'false flag' operation to stir up support for a Patriot Act renewal. Because if this is the case, all you TLA fuckers should lose your jobs. The remaining possibility is that these were called in by either terrorists or cranks. Either way, where are the inevitable arrests leading from the current data collection regime, huh? Couple of clicks on the metadata and the local SWAT team rolls, news at 11.

    This is what these

  • $commentsubject (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Falos ( 2905315 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:22PM (#49783419)
    [_] Because drugs
    [X] Because terrorists
    [_] Because think of the children
    [_] Because infringement
  • Silver lining (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dubbayu_d_40 ( 622643 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:24PM (#49783447)

    It's probably the best way to get conservatives to let go of the Patriot act...

    • Re:Silver lining (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Infiniti2000 ( 1720222 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:37PM (#49783581)
      I'm thinking the same thing. Maybe it's a ploy. After the Republican president and Republican-led House (and fairly even Senate) first passed the Patriot Act into law in 2001, having Obama support it now is the best way to have the Republicans of today reject it. Hell, you can steer the Party of No around right now just by having Obama support the opposite viewpoint of what you want.
    • I'm just waiting for Ted Cruz to call the Patriot Act "Obamacare for National Security." That should kill it.

  • we need change! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NostalgiaForInfinity ( 4001831 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:28PM (#49783493)

    We need to elect someone who puts an end to this nonsense. Maybe the guy who said this would be a good candidate:

    This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand. I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.

    That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient.

    Oh, wait...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • Dear Mr. Obama (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:28PM (#49783495) Homepage
    If the NSA had only been spying on terrorists we wouldn't even be having this conversation. (although it's not really a conversation, but you get my point)

    Why would the NSA and CIA be spying on Congress? Is it someone's goal to set up the apparatus of a police state?

    Why is the NSA spying on the EU Parliament? Are they looking for terrorists in Parliament?

    See: TED How the NSA betrayed the world's trust — time to act [ted.com]
    at: 4:30
    also see at: 12:40 (or at 12:00 for better context) "I don't think they're looking for terrorists in Parliament."
    (see at: 6:00 if you believe in encryption golden keys)
  • by xeno ( 2667 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:50PM (#49783761)

    Note to Obama: You are being lied to.

    Seriously, and trying to sidestep most of the political angles: This is what happens when a person with authority collects a small set of advisers -- in an effort to cut noise/increase focus/get to data-driven decisions -- and then those advisers are not challenged or regularly rotated or infused with new thinking.

    This instance pains me, partly because by my citizenship I'm on the wrong end of the Patriot Act aka "Putin's Law" ...but even more because I make my living by gathering and giving security and privacy advice on both the technical and compliance sides. When Obama's not even getting the quality of mid-market commercially-available advising, we're all in deep doo-doo.

    To wit:
    - Let's get real: metadata IS the data. Who/when/how/where you called is just as important as the what/why content of the call. The ears don't get much more totalitarian than this, we just don't have totalitarian fists yet. (Oh wait... *watches news about street cops outfitted with combat armaments and light tanks, then acquitted for movie-style executions*)
    - NSA's collection of citizen's communication data and metadata have not led to even one single foiled terrorist plot. Not one. It's not even the right model to catch the stuff we know about in hindsight. The only reliable detection tool for decades has been manual notification by family and friends to authorities, and there's still no good unified repository and workflow system to handle it.
    - There are multiple documented instances of abuse where the collected information was too tempting for federal employees not to do something stupid or illegal or both. (LOVEINT is almost funny, but multiple instances of commercial espionage have been alleged and documented.) If we amass this kind of information, people will use it for whatever purpose they imagine -- justified or illicit -- because admitting there's no legitimate function is the worst option of all.
    - In the big picture, total security really does obliterate freedom. How I wish we could discuss that without hyperbole. Maybe we could stay grounded by involving the French, who are further into a discussion about how overreaction to Muslim immigration will destroy their governing principles as effectively as any perceived human threat.
    - It deeply troubles me that Obama appears to have no better tech-sourced intel than 3rd tier CEOs buying security guidance from consultancies with 800 number to a sales guy and $150/hr bill rate.

    What a sad state of affairs.

  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:51PM (#49783773)

    the FBI is unable to name a single terror case in which the snooping provisions were of much help

    "There was that one case... and the other one... then there was that case with the thing... and the person with the other thing... Yeah, we need to keep this running."

    The problem with this program (from an FBI-perspective, not a privacy one) is that it floods them with too much data. There's a false notion that since data is good that more data is always good. Not all data is good data. You need to go through it and find the useful parts. As you get more and more data, you eventually become unable to weed through the data to extract the good parts. You either wind up ignoring it entirely (and thus missing good data coming in) or you grab hold of any data point you can find without properly vetting it (due to no manpower for that step) and wind up chasing down phantom leads.

    That's why a properly limited (warrant-based) system would not only be better for privacy, but would actually be better for national security.

    • by brxndxn ( 461473 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @01:11PM (#49783967)
      The problem with your assessment is that you are actually taking the FBI for their word. They are saying they need this and the only problems are possibly too much data. Of course they are saying they need this.. but the real purpose isn't for terrorism or even crime-fighting. The purpose of bulk record storage on American citizens is to have a dossier on anyone that may end up being a threat to the existing internal power structure of the US. That is why they are willing to spend so much money on a program that has so far proven to have very little use. I do not believe there has been any point in history where so many resources were spent with such few results.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @12:52PM (#49783787)

    Can we just fuse them back into the "Democratic Republicans" and be done with the whole show every other year? It's getting tiresome and it's mostly a waste of money and TV airtime, and in general a huge insult to the collective intelligence of the US people.

    Seriously. Why not change the whole election game to something like the American Idol election? Everyone can vote as often as they like, corporations get a mass text rebate so they don't lose their right to choose who's going to make their laws, and the money for the messages goes to a fund for nations with crippled economies. In other words, hand it to the IRS.

    And the candidates don't have to lie to us about what they claim they'd do, they have to sing and dance for us so they at least entertain us instead of just making us mad.

    • And that wouldn't even have changed anything in the last election, Obama already proved that he's a better singer and entertainer than he'll ever be as president.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @01:09PM (#49783947)

    If we, the people, can't even look at the content of a trade deal, I'm not too enthusiastic about letting the government look at the content of my activity.

    For my money, Mr. Obama. the NSA, et. al. scan take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      Do you honestly think the Replublicans would be actually any better about giving control back to the people? Once the government gets power over something they NEVER give it back.

      Any system of government where all voting options have been pre-screened/provided by the system itself, and there are only 2 viable voting options that both feel free to trample on the constitutiion whenever it suits them, is clearly not a representative democracy but a dictatorship that performs the charade of elections only to gi

  • by hwstar ( 35834 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @01:24PM (#49784091)

    I can hear the congessperson's bones snapping and popping as the establishment twists thier arms behind thier backs...

    The pressure must be intense to pass this. We aren't privvy to the details. Something has to be driving the passage of this extension. As citizens, we must
    demand that the reasons for extending this law be justified. The proponents must come clean.

  • Bullshit (Score:4, Informative)

    by Forgefather ( 3768925 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @02:19PM (#49784649)

    Except this is all bullshit because the courts have already ruled that the Patriot Act does not authorize snooping. It was a generous reading that let this happen in the first place. For those wondering this was probably the biggest reason that the EFF pulled their support: because if an amendment to the Patriot Act was to acknowledge that snooping was restricted then it would also implicitly acknowledge that snooping was legal when not violating those restrictions. Not passing the extension would actually do more to kill snooping than the proposed changes being made. (in the legal sense they will obviously find some other bullshit from 50+ years ago to justify this crap)

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <{moc.cam} {ta} {rcj}> on Wednesday May 27, 2015 @02:53PM (#49784959) Journal

    Anyone who still supported Obama after he signed that first extension to the PATRIOT act is either a hypocrite or a fucking idiot.

    -jcr

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