How The House Leadership Tried To Misrepresent Amendment That Defunded NSA Backdoor Searches

from the and-yet-it-still-passed-overwhelmingly dept

We already wrote about how Reps. Goodlatte and Ruppersberger misrepresented the milestone amendment put forth by Reps. Massie, Lofgren and Sensenbrenner to defund the NSA's backdoor searches and mandates to put (different kinds of) backdoors in technology. However, we'd heard that the House leadership was so desperate to block the amendment that they put a totally misleading description on it -- and it's true:
If you can't see that, it says:
Prohibits funds from being used to fully exploit lawfully collected foreign intelligence information collected under Sec. 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
This is, of course, nearly identical to the language that Goodlatte himself used on the floor to urge his colleagues to vote against it. And, of course, as it was when Goodlatte said it, it's tremendously misleading here. It presumes that the information is "lawfully" collected, and also leaves out the rather key point that the amendment was merely blocking the ability to search the communications of Americans collected in this manner without a warrant. In other words, it not only totally misrepresented the amendment, but it purposely painted it in a ridiculous light, pretending that it was about blocking the NSA from doing something perfectly legal.

Given just how laughably misleading the House's own description of the amendment is, it's that much more incredible that the House overwhelmingly voted for the amendment, 293 to 123. In the end, it's a small miracle that it still passed, and by such a large margin -- but it also shows that many more in the House are realizing just how misleading leadership and "NSA-friendly" Representatives are being about these programs.

Filed Under: backdoor search, bob goodlatte, defense appropriations, house leadership, james sensenbrenner, nsa, section 702, surveillance, thomas massie, zoe lofgren


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2014 @ 10:38pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm not so sure. Voting is (mostly) compulsory in Australia, and we have some of the same problems, and some novel new ones.

    Same problem: We basically have two major parties (and several smaller parties), and each election comes down to choosing between Labour and Liberal.

    Novel problem: While we do have small parties to choose from, I think compulsory voting actually makes it harder for the smaller parties to have a chance, since they need half of the people in their electorate to vote for them, rather than merely half of the people who vote. Net impact means that every person who votes for "the major party that they dislike the least" (practically the national sport) also happens to be voting against the small guy/gal.


    So... forcing everyone to vote is really only an inaccurate proxy for the real goal of wanting everyone to care.

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