Negotiations Continue Over Extension Of Feds Ability To Spy On Americans; But No Debate On The Issues

from the of-course-not dept

With the end of the year approaching, Senator Ron Wyden has admitted that he's willing to drop the hold on the renewal for the FISA Amendments Act in exchange for allowing some key amendments to be voted on. As summarized by David Kravetz at Wired:
Wyden said he would lift his hold in exchange for a Senate floor vote on an amendment requiring the government to account for how many times Americans’ communications have been accepted, and another amendment prohibiting U.S. spy agencies from reviewing the communications of Americans ensnared in the program.

If that doesn’t go over, he’d lift the hold so the Senate could vote on brief extension of the act so his amendments and others could be fully debated next year.

“I’m willing to go along with a short-term extension as long as we have a chance in the early future, in 2013, to have a debate,” Wyden said.
Of course, we've seen this before. Just last year we had a "short-term extension" on these things for the sake of debate, but the "debate" never came. Instead, everyone waits until now, when the rules are about to expire, and then demand that it be renewed, sans debate, or else "terrorism!" The whole process is really kind of unfortunate. There should have been a debate years ago, before the FISA Amendments Act was rushed into law. But, unfortunately, actually considering the implications of these laws -- and how they're used and interpreted -- just doesn't seem to be a major issue for Congress.

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  • identicon
    jjmsan, 13 Dec 2012 @ 3:42pm

    It hasn't happened to them

    They won't see it as a problem until it affects them. If they are spied upon suddenly it will be a big deal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Old Dog learns New Tricks, 13 Dec 2012 @ 4:30pm

    Simple Solution

    Anonymous tips do wonders to get surveillance on disreputable people. Send in the clowns to get the job done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PT (profile), 13 Dec 2012 @ 5:40pm

    Seems pointless

    I can understand why Congress doesn't think it's a big deal. They never worried about it being illegal in the past, and I can't believe the Act expiring will have any effect on the program now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2012 @ 3:00am

    As representatives of the people, congress should keep tight reigns on the security services, but instead they are lettingthem run rampant. Soon the security service will be able to control the elections by using information they have about politicians they don't like.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    The Real Michael, 14 Dec 2012 @ 4:58am

    Why many *real* terrorist plots have been foiled using this program? How much of our budget does this massive program cost? How many Americans have they spied upon without a warrant? How much information do they gather? And who's running the show?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2012 @ 4:15am

    Authoritarian Dictators don't care if something is Unconstitutional. The very definition of an Authoritarian Dictator states, "Not bound by a Constitution or Judicial oversight". Therefor, it doesn't matter that the FISA, NDAA and PATRIOT Act are unconstitutional, because our Authoritarian House, Senate and President are no longer bound by the Constitution. The Constitutional is now 'optional'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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