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White House Supports Renewal of Spy Law Without Reforms (reuters.com) 61

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The Trump administration does not want to reform an internet surveillance law to address privacy concerns, a White House official told Reuters on Wednesday, saying it is needed to protect national security. The announcement could put President Donald Trump on a collision course with Congress, where some Republicans and Democrats have advocated curtailing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, parts of which are due to expire at the end of the year. The FISA law has been criticized by privacy and civil liberties advocates as allowing broad, intrusive spying. It gained renewed attention following the 2013 disclosures by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that the agency carried out widespread monitoring of emails and other electronic communications. Portions of the law, including a provision known as Section 702, will expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress reauthorizes them. Section 702 enables two internet surveillance programs called Prism and Upstream, classified details of which were revealed by Snowden. Democratic and Republican lawmakers have said reforms to Section 702 are needed, in part to ensure the privacy protections on Americans are not violated. The U.S. House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee met Wednesday to discuss possible changes to the law.
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White House Supports Renewal of Spy Law Without Reforms

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  • so Congress should just give him anything he wants!

    • So far, the Republicans in Congress have been following along with Trump's lead. It seems unlikely that they will pick this as the issue to break ranks with him.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      It's unfortunate that they are going to just let this be renewed, it was bad enough under Bush, but at least they are not expanding it like Obama did.

      • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @07:20PM (#53958199)

        It's unfortunate that they are going to just let this be renewed, it was bad enough under Bush, but at least we haven't found out that they're expanding it like Obama did.


        There are still 10 months left in the year for them to decide that Trump deserves even wider surveillance powers to prevent imaginary attacks like the Bowling Green massacre.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @05:25PM (#53957207)

      That's unfair in this case since they're talking about renewing an existing law. That's much easier than making changes. You have to get those changes approved in both House and Senate committees then approved by both. I was a page for Ted Kennedy in 1977 when he wrote this bill. Blaming Trump for something Ted Kennedy wrote and Jimmy Carter signed is just ingenuous.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Blaming Twitler, or more likely, President Bannon, is not disingenuous. I almost don't care who wrote it originally, or who signed it. What matters is that it's being renewed now – just as it was about to sunset. The decision to renew it is his, not Kennedy's or Carter's. Do we need it now? Why exactly?

        I don't know, but maybe if we remind the Conservitards that it was a Dem idea, they'll poo poo it solely on that basis.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Ohh, fuck off. Trump has clearly rolled over and is now under establishment control. Anything the establishment wants, Trump will give them and it is back to fuck the majority, over and over and over again. Suckers did the work of the establishment without even knowing it, morons.

      • Um, is it better to vote for someone who speaks out against the establishment, and caves in the end, or someone who was outspoken about being part of the establishment? I can't say where Jill Stein fits, as she has never been successfully elected, but Johnson and Clinton were firmly establishment figures.

  • by TrancePhreak ( 576593 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @05:17PM (#53957165)
    People didn't stand up strong enough last time, now this is the new normal. It's always harder to get back rights after they have been taken. Push hard to undo this, but don't expect anything to change. (Remember, they were also doing this before it was legalized).
  • by mpercy ( 1085347 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @05:18PM (#53957175)

    Pres. Obama did not seek changes for FISA and allowed its renewal. He also oversaw renewal of PATRIOT Act, twice. Well, he signed the a last-minute 4-year extension and then 4 years later signed the USA Freedom Act, which renewed the PATRIOT Act, which had finally expired.

    • I regret to say that America has been no different to the old Soviet Union or East Germany for some decades. It is laughable to think back to the days when we pointed nuclear weapons at them believing them to be the totalitarian enemy and now we are them.

      • by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @05:36PM (#53957301)

        That's silly. Alright, I don't like where America is heading, but I grew up a couple miles from the Berlin Wall, and I can tell you that what I saw when I looked out over it looked nothing remotely like America. We do not know fear or hopelessness the way East Germans did. This kind of hysterical false equivalency does not help the cause because it makes pro-privacy look alarmist. We are on a bad trajectory, that's enough to argue from.

        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          The paper files on every interesting person are the same, East or West. All the audio tapes, paper files found in East in the early 1990's got presented to the media. The reports back to the Soviet Union.
          Often the same East German workers are now working for Germany as policy advisors. The German press even knows they worked in the East German security bureaucracy and have now found roles in German politics and government.
          Germany now has better computers, the help of the NSA, GCHQ for the BND. The ne
        • You have obviously never visited the rust belt states, they clearly resemble the rot in East Germany.
          Goingby what I see, there is a lot of fear and hopelessness in the US currently, from those not fooled by President baboon.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      True. This is only noteworthy because Trump's campaign pledges included limiting the power of the executive branch and "draining the swamp". He was elected, partly, precisely because he wasn't going to continue with "business as usual".

      So here we are.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The administration seems ready to rubber stamp anything the intelligence creeps want.

  • Maybe the next step can be for them will be to introduce an internet curfew. It can be a cost saving measure so that data only need be collected between 8am and 4pm monday through thursday. Friday through sunday, we'll be expected to take our agression inhibitors. Close the universities, public schools, and public libraries and then burn the books because those spawn ideas of dissent.
  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @05:32PM (#53957269)


    But seriously, President Obama was in love with the various spy laws as well...

    • Given that most Americans favor the surveillance [apnorc.org], including both Republicans and Democrats, it would be rather foolish politically to try to change them. Something bad is going to happen that's bigger than LOVEINT or even spying on politicians, because the NSA has done both of those things.
      • We're living in bizarre times. We have the best communication technology available in the history of humankind, and yet it's politically foolish to be a political leader rather than an elected follower.

        Frankly, if anyone could have ended our security state, it's Trump. He was only sorta joking when he said he could shoot someone and his voters wouldn't care. He says "we don't need big brother spying on us" and BAM, a good chunk of america decides we don't need security theater. Which makes it all the mo
        • Yeah, it seems like it's something he doesn't care about either. He probably thinks, "it's a reasonable way to stop terrorists" and it hasn't caused him any problem personally, so what's the big deal?
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's more worrying with Trump. What are the chances he will ask the NSA to investigate journalists he thinks are creating "fake news"? He thinks Obama is behind leaks from his administration, and has the means to access Democrats' communications.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        >What are the chances he will ask the NSA to investigate journalists he thinks are creating "fake news"?

        About as likely as the Obama administration's prosecution of journalists doing their jobs...


        Mr. Trump made his animus toward the news media clear during the presidential campaign, often expressing his disgust with coverage through Twitter or in diatribes at rallies. So if his campaign is any guide, Mr. Trump seems likely to enthusiastically embrace the aggressive crackdown on journalists and whistle-blowers that is an important yet little understood component of Mr. Obama’s presidential legacy.


  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @05:37PM (#53957311) Homepage Journal

    [Insert Government Name Here] Supports Renewal of Spy Law Without Reforms

    That's pretty much a universal truth lately, isn't it?

  • In other words... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @05:48PM (#53957389) Homepage

    Trump is a slimy politician just like all the Career politicians.

    Not one of them give a flying fuck about the constitution.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Trump is a slimy politician just like all the Career politicians.

      Not one of them give a flying fuck about the constitution.

      To be fair, Trump only promised to "drain" the swamp. He didn't actually say he'd clean up the muck.

      And truth is, he did. He drained the swamp and exposed all the corruption happening (usually by who he installs). Better to be corrupt in public, it's the Trump way!

  • You'd think he'd have SOME reservations about continuing to expand the powers of our three-letter-agencies after they use them to undermine his own cabinet members, but whatever floats his boat, I guess.

  • UK political leaders are pushing for diversity in the security services.
    "Why GCHQ needs to fix its diversity problem" (22 November 2016)
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-379... [bbc.com]
    The GCHQ will have to become culturally enriched with lots of new staff.
    Questions of security, merit and skill will no longer hold any applicant back from getting a job in or been rapidly promoted within the UK security services.
    Once staff who are loyal to a cult or only their faith advance up in the UK security services the US wil
    • I would be more than happy for Australia to cease any involvment with the US, be it millitary or intelligence, because that means our data will be kept private, and our young soldiers wont die being involved in wars of agression forvthe benefit of US corporations.
      Our future is trading with China, not the incresingly decrepit and divided USA.
      American is rapidly becoming aworld wide laughing stock. I really pity those who live outside the flyover states, who cared tarred with the rdneck bigot brush.

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        The last time that split with the US and UK was considered in any detail was near the end of 1945 during a crypto review.
        What the US and UK understood, what codes they had on Japan and Germany in the 1930's-45. What was held back and what would have been vital in the war with Japan.
        The feeling was split. Go alone and try and decode Russia, China, Asia using local experts after 1945. Or sign up with what would be the NSA, CIA and get given all the raw intercepts in real time.
        The cost and risk of going

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