Amendments Offered To NDAA To Try To Stop NSA Surveillance Abuse

from the forcing-hands dept

If you're wondering why the USA Freedom Act finally started moving forward again, a good place to look is tomorrow's vote on re-upping the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), with a variety of folks in the House proposing amendments that would lead to defunding certain NSA activities. As you may recall, last year, Rep. Justin Amash proposed defunding the NSA's Section 215 bulk data collection program, which came very close to passing. Fearing a similar effort, the House leadership decided to finally get moving on USA Freedom. Of course, with USA Freedom watered down, attention is turning back to the NDAA Amendments, with the vote on all of this happening tomorrow.

There are a ton of amendments, many of which won't get anywhere at all, but Amash is back with a few amendments, along with Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Rush Holt, Alan Grayson and some others. Amash, Lofgren and Holt have teamed up for a couple of amendments trying to block bulk collection under Section 215. Meanwhile Lofgren and Holt have an amendment to deny funding for the NSA's weakening of encryption and inserting back doors in technology. Lofgren and Amash, along with Rep. Thomas Massie, have an amendment defunding Section 702 "warrantless wiretapping" efforts. Grayson goes for the gold with an amendment that would block funds for any surveillance done on American citizens inside the US without probable cause. While there's no way this amendment will get approved, it's basically just saying "hey, you know what, we should obey the 4th Amendment."









Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 21st, 2014 @ 5:48am

    it's basically just saying "hey, you know what, we should obey the 4th Amendment."

    Actually, I think it is really saying "hey, you know what, since we know you don't care about the 4th amendment, we are at least going to stop paying you to violate it"

     

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  2.  
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    David, May 21st, 2014 @ 5:54am

    So what?

    "hey, you know what, since we know you don't care about the 4th amendment, we are at least going to stop paying you to violate it"

    They'll do it for free then and earn their money by extortion. They probably already do so for part of their financing, so it would just be a small change.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    mcinsand, May 21st, 2014 @ 6:04am

    Re: So what?

    Agreed. Nothing will happen to stop undermining the Constitution until there are significant consequences. Activities that undermine the US Constitution need to become criminal offenses. Employees should be held **PERSONALLY** liable, so that they cannot get off by merely claiming to have been following orders.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Whatever, May 21st, 2014 @ 6:18am

    defunding = bypassing the law?

    I have to say that defunding seems to be the talking point of the defeated these days. Republicans tried it with Obamacare, and we all know how that turned out. Defunding is essentially an attempt to circumvent the laws as written, to selectively deny money when they cannot muster enough votes to actually change the law.

    It's cheap, and it shows that their desires do not reflect the will of the people. Support defunding here, and you will have to support every other time the minority party tries to usurp the system.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2014 @ 6:35am

    I like how Congress, supposedly the "representatives of the people" don't like laws that agree with and reinforce the Constitution....that's what it has come to in the "land of the free".

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2014 @ 6:46am

    Re: defunding = bypassing the law?

    "Defunding is essentially an attempt to circumvent the laws as written"

    That is applicable to the attempt at stopping ACA.

    Defunding the violation of existing law (the bill of rights) via secret interpretations of recent congressional authorizations is not circumventing the laws as written.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2014 @ 6:49am

    Re:

    Clearly, Congress represents whomever gives them the most money. They couldn't give a hoot about the people who are most affected by their ill advised shenanigans.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Someantimalwareguy, May 21st, 2014 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re:

    And the SCOTUS made damned sure that rather than a government of the many, by the many, for the many; we will have a government of the money, by the money, for the money.

    JMNSHO

     

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  9.  
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    nasch (profile), May 21st, 2014 @ 7:38am

    Re: defunding = bypassing the law?

    It's cheap, and it shows that their desires do not reflect the will of the people.

    It shows no such thing. That claim rests on the assumption that the laws as written reflect the will of the people, which is unproven at best and strikes me as downright preposterous.

     

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  10.  
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    nasch (profile), May 21st, 2014 @ 7:39am

    Sad

    While there's no way this amendment will get approved, it's basically just saying "hey, you know what, we should obey the 4th Amendment."

    That such an amendment has no chance of passing is really sad.

     

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  11.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 21st, 2014 @ 7:56am

    Re: defunding = bypassing the law?

    "Support defunding here, and you will have to support every other time the minority party tries to usurp the system."

    I don't follow. Why is this necessarily so?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Whatever, May 21st, 2014 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: defunding = bypassing the law?

    If you support them using it this time, then every other time someone comes to the table without enough votes to amend the law, you have to stand up for their right to hold a program or department hostage by choking off it's funds.

    It is generally an idea that won't work, unless there is some serious horse trading to encourage the majority to support the minority. If they had a clear majority, they would just pass a law to stop or limit the NSA. They don't have that majority, neither in the house nor in the public at large.

     

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  13.  
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    Rekrul, May 21st, 2014 @ 8:42am

    How about an amendment to remove the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA?

     

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  14.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 21st, 2014 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: defunding = bypassing the law?

    " you have to stand up for their right to hold a program or department hostage by choking off it's funds."

    And I do, actually. This is something that Congress is Constitutionally empowered to do, so I don't fault them for doing it in general. But there's a big difference between standing up for their right to do it and supporting them in a particular instance of doing it. When this has been done in the past to achieve ends I disagree with, I would never argue that they don't have the right, but I would argue that it's not the right thing to do.


    "It is generally an idea that won't work"

    This is a time-honored tactic, that has been around (and used frequently)for literally as long as the government has. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2014 @ 9:09am

    Re: defunding = bypassing the law?

    Except the "will of the people" is not for allowing the NSA to continue to violate the Constitution.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2014 @ 9:13am

    We should call these the "Hey, NSA. Go have a bake sale." Amendments.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2014 @ 10:43am

    Re:

    Actually that would be a rather funny demonstration for an activist group to stage. I can see a group, (think: the Yes Men) showing up outside Congress with a booth and various assorted confectioneries and big signs explaining how they are trying to raise money to support the poor NSA.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Lars, May 21st, 2014 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: So what?

    Activities that undermine the US Constitution need to become criminal offenses.


    Article 3, Section 3 of the US Constitution. In short: treason.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 21st, 2014 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: defunding = bypassing the law?

    Ah, the argument of "if enough people clearly disagreed with this it wouldn't exist, but since it does, people agree with it".

    Nice turd polishing, troll boy.

     

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


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