House Reauthorizes Intelligence Community Funding; Refuses To Consider Amendments To Limit Domestic Surveillance

from the because-of-course dept

This is hardly a surprise given the events of the past few weeks, but the House on Friday passed legislation to authorize intelligence activities for the next year. It sailed through easily, 345 to 59. While a number of Representatives, including Zoe Lofgren, Justin Amash and Rush Holt attempted to make amendments that would do things like stop the NSA from adding back doors to encryption, or beef up whistleblower protections, I imagine it will surprise none of you to discover that the Rules Committee did not allow those amendments to come up for a vote.

Notably, those three Reps whose amendments were ignored also voted against the overall reauthorization. It's interesting to note that Rep. Sensenbrenner voted against the reauthorization as well, though it's not clear why. Rep. Alan Grayson actually introduced a bunch of amendments to curb the NSA's powers, none of which were allowed, but he still voted in favor of the overall authorization. In the end, this reauthorization was going to go through one way or the other, so this isn't a huge surprise. With the failure of most of what was good in the USA Freedom Act in the House, it quickly became clear that the House wasn't going to fix things any time soon.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2014 @ 4:15pm

    Im starting to fear that we will only achieve change thru the use of force. Words and law dont seem to be doing it.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2014 @ 5:30pm

      Re:

      Not necessarily. Massive, non-violent protest and civil disobedience can also achieve the same thing. More Snowdens.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re:

        You would need a national strike, and most Americans still think that politicians are honest people doing a tough job.
        National solidarity is simply not possible until almost all Americans are subjugated and of course, at that point, its too late. Your future does not look good America.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 3:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          A national strike would be awesome, but isn't mandatory. We have made equally large shifts and reforms as a result of public pressure without it before. It can happen again.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2014 @ 4:39pm

    My rep voted for it...

    Which is interesting, considering his last response to me indicated that he was concerned about the NSA surveillance and would support reform.

    I'll be contacting him again now to let him know I am disappointed.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), May 30th, 2014 @ 4:45pm

      Re: My rep voted for it...

      Simple enough explanation: He lied, and you should call him out on it, not just express your 'disappointment'.

      What a politicians says is nothing more than empty words, unless it's followed by matching action.

       

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    Zathras, May 30th, 2014 @ 5:24pm

    All these speakings and spendings to pretend to fight an enemy much smaller than they are, Zathras does not understand. So much hurtings going on because of it, all to give a few men more power and more money. Zathras would explain to them, but they would not listen to poor Zathras. Not many people do, but Zathras does not mind. In fact, Zathras almost comes to like it. Zathras only hopes that more people like Mr. Snowden and the One can make things better. More light must come, that we might defeat the shadows.

     

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      Rekrul, May 30th, 2014 @ 7:49pm

      Re:

      Zathras only hopes that more people like Mr. Snowden and the One can make things better. More light must come, that we might defeat the shadows.

      Unfortunately the shadows are winning and the One is nowhere to be found. Kosh was right, the avalanche has already started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2014 @ 5:30pm

    Oh good - this is welcome news. Now they will have plenty of data on who is responsible for kicking the veterans to the curb - oh wait, they don't give a shit about them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2014 @ 6:43pm

    All your whining and glorification of Snowden, yet nothing's changed. Congrats!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2014 @ 7:19pm

    The terrorists win, again.

     

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    Pixelation, May 30th, 2014 @ 9:57pm

    It seems that We The People must demand reform.

     

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      GEMont, Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      Just curious, but precisely WHO are you planning to DEMAND change from??

      Surely you don't still think that the mob that runs the USA from Washington will actually hear your demands, or that, if they did, they would do anything other than laugh hysterically at your antics.

      Such determined loyalty to a dead system should be rewarded - but of course, it will only get more of the same.

      I suppose you could always, hehehehehe, cast a vote, hehehehe, and get "change", hahahahahaha, that way, hohohohoho.... you know, use that dead system that got you here to get you out of here. That should work well eh.

      Demand all you want to your heart's content - you'll not get anyone's attention - because the Fed and your local politicians are only listening to the guys waving fistfuls of money.

      Now if you happen to have a yacht or two you can offer, you might just get someone's attention. Mind you, they will very likely just lie to you to get the offered yacht, unless your demands are the same as the one's their other "benefactors" are demanding.

      ----

       

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    AC, May 31st, 2014 @ 8:51am

    Said it before will say it again, you need another civil war , it's the only way to take back control of your great country.

     

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    corn-anon, May 31st, 2014 @ 11:17am

    sigh

    I'm afraid that 'We The People' either don't care or don't understand the implications of mass surveillance. Most people in the US have never heard of COINTELPRO, etc., and are deluded that tyranny can't happen here.

    I can't get behind the idea of violence. I think that given the the corruption in Washington and the stupidity of the majority of citizens, the answer will largely be addressed by committed techies who understand the issues and devote energy to hardening the web. I'd donate to crowd-funded research to create privacy tools. Perfect? No, but at this point it seems like the most likely avenue to success. The only thing that policy makers appear to be good at these days is deception, so we can't rely on any kind of real oversight.

    I also think that as more companies (like UPS this week) are shown to be complicit in the surveillance, perhaps business will push back if it hurts their bottomline enough.
    These assholes need to start pushing back.

    Depressing.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2014 @ 11:35am

      Re: sigh

      You call the majority of citizens stupid after having claimed they are ignorant .. which is it? The two are not the same. I tend to think many are ignorant, some willingly, but they are not necessarily stupid.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 12:47pm

        Re: Re: sigh

        Perhaps what he meant was that those who are not just plain stupid, are still ignorant of reality. If you get your news from TV, you are likely both stupid and ignorant however.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2014 @ 4:28am

    Another milestone on the road they force us on

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2014 @ 4:50am

    i hope this is mentioned, and mentioned often, the hypocrasy of past statements, and no doubt future, except, this is not so easilly brushed away when people have the balls to confront them about it,

    Give no pressure, get no change, and curse the lot of them that only do the right thing........UNDER PRESSURE........being inept at the role they dont understand, or the special hell for those that do

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2014 @ 6:40am

    The problem is that most kids live their life in viral video ,and most adults are into reality tv , anything longer than a blip loses the attention our population,so no nothing will happen we're a doomed nation of the ignorant.

     

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    Whatever, Jun 1st, 2014 @ 6:57am

    U gotta giggle

    You really have to laugh when you read both the story and the comments here. It's pretty classic.

    Simply put, 345 to 59 isn't "snuck it by" or "just barely passed" it means that less than 15% voted against. In most parts of the world, that is a clear answer. Considering the frame of public debate on the subject, it's a pretty clear indication of where the majority of the house sits.

    As for amendments never coming up for a vote, if they really feel that they did everything by the book and the amendments never made it to the floor, then they should take legal action to deal with it. Reality is that their own parties likely killed the amendments before they made it to the floor, understanding that they did not have anywhere near the votes to get the amendment in.

    As for the comments, anyone suggesting armed rebellion really needs to take a time out. If you want change in America you don't do it with a gun. Plenty of people have those, and you aren't getting any positive change from them. You get positive change when you convince people through reasonable discourse to get rid of the lifetime congress critters and replace them with people you feel better represent your ideals. But remember, you may not be the majority, and the reason the critters are there is because the people vote for them plain and simple.

    The truth is that the US spy agencies aren't doing anything different today than they have done forever, please see the FBI files from the 60s as an example. The only difference, the only big revelation in the whole Snowden thing is that the government is actually pretty good at it, and they have used pretty much every trick available to them. That includes the things that many here would cheer on if a pirate or hacker was using them to "liberate" data.

    The best part about Snowden? 50% or more of it is likely disinformation. Which half do you think it is?

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jun 1st, 2014 @ 9:01am

      Re: U gotta giggle

      Interesting that you find tyranny so amusing. And make no mistake, tyranny is precisely what this is. I agree that calls for violence are deeply misguided or at least very premature, but it's not hard to understand the anger and frustration behind them.

      The truth is that the US spy agencies aren't doing anything different today than they have done forever, please see the FBI files from the 60s as an example."

      Absolutely true, but I'm not sure why you'd want to remind everyone. The history of these agencies is exactly how we know that their current actions need to be stopped because they only lead to abuse, oppression, and severe damage to us all.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2014 @ 3:41pm

      Re: U gotta giggle

      The only misinformation is your post.

      The truth is that most of our representatives are bought and paid for by big business. The NSA intercepts discussions talking about new technologies and trade secrets of businesses all over the world and provide those conversations and intercepted emails to their buddies at certain connected corporations. The same ones who's technology enables such spying. The corporation provides the technology and the NSA provides the intelligence in return.

      If big business is profiting significantly off of this technology provided to the NSA... why do anything to stop it. That is what you are seeing happen in Congress. That the limits on what the NSA can and cannot do being demanded by the people are not given a single second of consideration by the powers that be. Discussion of those limits is brushed aside as fast as it possibly can and in its place complete reauthorization with no discussion or debate whatsoever. The corporate bought representatives all falling in line.

      When it comes to representatives like Alan Grayson. I dont think they are corrupt themselves. But in having to deal with their corrupted colleagues they must sacrifice their principles if they are willing to get ANYTHING done. They got to their positions through willingness to get with the program. Once they actually have power that program they are supposed to go along with is being dictated to them. To stray from the program is to be cast out in the woods with nothing but a title. Good luck on re-election when you are out in the woods.

       

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