Seeing Opportunity, Congress Tries To Rush Through Its Plan To Legalize FBI Abuses Citing 'Orlando!'

from the let-no-crisis-go-unwasted dept

Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about the FBI pushing strongly for an update to the law that covers National Security Letters (NSLs) to cover up the fact that the FBI has been using them to get electronic communications records. The current law on NSLs doesn't cover that information, though the FBI insists that it's just a "typo" in the law, and still frequently asks for them in its NSLs, because NSL recipients often don't know the law themselves and will still turn over the info. Of course, it helps that the NSLs often come with gag orders. Reports going back a decade have shown that the FBI has a serious problem with abusing its NSL powers to get lots of information it's not supposed to have. And rather than do something to stop such abuses, the FBI's friends in Congress have, instead, been trying to legalize such abusive practices to allow the FBI to do even more.

And, in the spirit of "leave no crisis unexploited," Senator Mitch McConnell is pushing forward on the amendment put forth by Senators McCain and Cornyn to expand NSLs. And, cynically, they're citing the Orlando shootings as the reason why, despite the fact that this amendment was being pushed for before the shootings even occurred and the fact that this would have done absolutely nothing to stop the shootings.
“In the wake of the tragic massacre in Orlando, it is important our law enforcement have the tools they need to conduct counterterrorism investigations,” Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican and sponsor of the amendment, said in a statement.
The FBI and others in law enforcement already have plenty of tools to do counterterrorism investigations (and, again, it's not even clear that the Orlando shooting was a terrorist activity in the first place). Nothing in this amendment would change how the FBI was investigating the attack. This is just McCain, McConnell and others exploiting the shooting to help the FBI further abuse its surveillance powers.

Filed Under: john mccain, mitch mcconnell, national security letters, nsls


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    ECA (profile), 21 Jun 2016 @ 10:50am

    WARNING

    IN THE USA...
    A Crime ISNT a crime, until someone COMMITS IT..
    NOW,
    If you want to HELP people Before the fact...
    BECOME A SOCIAL WORKER that has abit of POWER to do something..

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

    • identicon
      thank you sir, 21 Jun 2016 @ 11:52am

      Re: WARNING

      thank you sir, so true

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jun 2016 @ 5:33pm

      If you want to help, at least do this much.

      Rule 41 is coming.

      So at the very least, email your objections to FBI abuses to your representative. And as always, post your objections anywhere and everywhere.

      ***Excerpt from email on Rule 41 from the EFF:

      On or before June 21, you can send an email to your member of Congress. Please post about Rule 41 on social media or a blog, and ask your friends to speak out. Feel free to get creative by hosting events in your home community, taking a photo, and sending it our way. And if you do plan something, please let us know!

      Thanks for your help,

      Rainey Reitman
      Activism Director
      Electronic Frontier Foundation

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    ahmed, 21 Jun 2016 @ 11:10am

    cars qatar

    start searching by Choosing the brand and model , view all models of cars , features , specs , prices , details and photo , and we have new cars , second hand cars , renting cars and everything you need to your Car Maintenance Service online in showroom in Qatar
    http://autozqa.com/

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jun 2016 @ 11:12am

    Yeap, never waste a crisis. Only the boat already sailed on this one. The FBI had more than a fair chance at nabbing the individual before he committed this act. It didn't require more haystack, since it already had it.

    Throwing gasoline on the fire doesn't put it out. This is basically what these idiot senators are doing.

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

  • identicon
    Alex Trebek, 21 Jun 2016 @ 12:14pm

    The anserw is: America

    What is a police state?

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

  • identicon
    Anon, 21 Jun 2016 @ 12:16pm

    Really?

    Is it really religious extremist terrorism when a guy shoots up the gay bar he's been frequenting for 3 years? Just as, is it really religious terrorism when a guy goes postal on his workplace in San Bernardino? Especially when in either case, we have seen zero evidence of any two-way conversation between them and real terrorists, or even with FBI fake terrorists...

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

  • icon
    HegemonicDistortion (profile), 21 Jun 2016 @ 12:39pm

    It's funny how, despite passing previous legislation to give law enforcement the "tools they need," that law enforcement never seems to have the tools they need.

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

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 21 Jun 2016 @ 12:46pm

    Sadly, our law enforcement agencies have failed again to protect us, despite being given all the tools they asked for, and despite being forgiven for taking liberties not granted to them by law.

    Rather than empower the law enforcement agencies to conduct yet another antiterror investigation, how about Senator McCain and his peers started to do their job, and investigate why the FBI and other agencies failed yet again (and deliberately misled the public by broadcasting theories based on nothing but wishful thinking?).

    Senator McCain's job is to protect America, not the DOJ!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jun 2016 @ 1:18pm

    Same with gun laws. Let's ban anyone on the no fly list or terror watch list from buying guns (actually, I think this is a no brainer.) Of course, that ignores the fact that neither this douchbag or the San Bernardino shooter were on either lists, which means if these laws were in place, they would have had absolutely no impact on either of these shooters. Hmmm, wouldn't have stopped the Connecticut shooting either.

    Seems talking about passing ineffective laws is popular nowadays.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jun 2016 @ 1:31pm

      Re:

      Obviously they just have to make the whole country a gun free zone. Limiting it to the bars area was thinking too small.

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

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 21 Jun 2016 @ 5:43pm

      Re: Same with gun laws

      He used an assault weapon, didn’t he? Which had been banned under Clinton, unbanned under G W Bush.

      Would he still have been able to get one if they were still banned?

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

      • icon
        Rapnel (profile), 21 Jun 2016 @ 6:06pm

        Re: Re: Same with gun laws

        It's a state of mind that fired. Which, in itself, is the only weapon that matters.

        Ban anything you like and that same state of troubled mind will strike again. And again.

        Ban guns, encryption, the Internet - the troubled minds give no fucks.

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

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 22 Jun 2016 @ 12:04am

          Re: Same with gun laws

          But there was never a mass shooting like this while the ban was in effect, was there?

          It’s like there’s a determined effort by the gun lobby to hold on to its faith regardless of the facts...

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2016 @ 2:37pm

        Re: Re: Same with gun laws

        Even if only the police, military and private security firms had access to guns. Criminals would still get them.

        There would be a black market, corrupt people in those organizations that would sell off weapons for cash to the criminals. Also murdering people to get the weapons they carry.

        There will never be a way to stop criminals from having access to weapons in our lifetime.

        Why disarm the law abiding citizens when criminals will never follow these anti gun laws anyway?

        Would it not be better to have every criminal outgunned by law abiding citizens?

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 22 Jun 2016 @ 3:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Same with gun laws

          While I do not support banning guns (something for which there is nearly zero support anyway, despite the rhetoric)...

          "Would it not be better to have every criminal outgunned by law abiding citizens?"

          No. It would most certainly be worse. The last thing we need is for multiple, uncoordinated, and untrained (for this sort of thing, not for guns) people to start shooting no matter how good their intentions.

          We get enough of that nonsense just from the cops.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jun 2016 @ 1:46pm

    What's the typo?

    I couldn't find anything in the linked articles about what the FBI consider the typo to be. Is it a mistyped section number? An extra comma? "And" instead of "or"?

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

  • identicon
    Yoo Hoo, 21 Jun 2016 @ 3:15pm

    Hmmmmm

    Cannot help suspect the fibers helped set this up. Seems to be their M.O.

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

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 21 Jun 2016 @ 4:04pm

    I hate that it needs to be said every time

    But it needs to be said every time. The absolute worst time to implement new law or change existing law is right after a major disaster, when people are still more emotional than thoughtful.

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

  • icon
    Rapnel (profile), 21 Jun 2016 @ 5:34pm

    You all realize that when the regime realized that the military had tapped the planet that they wanted in, right? Enter the Patriot Act. Enter LEAs. Enter equipment grants. Enter parallel construction. Exit stage left.

    Can we just dispense with the formalities and call this duck a duck yet? When law enforcement gets unfettered, or barely fettered, access to each and every digital print you lay down then that's called tyranny, by default. And fuck-all any good intentions.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 21 Jun 2016 @ 6:22pm

      Re:

      Agreed. I've not been shy about calling it tyranny at all. What I find most interesting is that I have never had anyone argue against that assertion -- even when I've made it to people who I would have thought would be genetically allergic to the idea (cops, legislators, etc.)

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

      • icon
        Rapnel (profile), 21 Jun 2016 @ 6:56pm

        Re: Re:

        That's probably because they've been, or are being, bootstrapped to the logic of tyranny. This would be readily accomplished via interactions, influence and advisors of the military and defense establishment - these are not democratic. It's the natural and frighteningly logical progression of laws and enforcement. Sight begets power and unnatural sight begets unnatural cravings for yet more power.

        As we are seeing play out in front of us - tyranny can easily and readily take hold beneath the appearance of, or perhaps even true, democracy. The onion is rotting.

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 22 Jun 2016 @ 6:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This makes sense to me. Your comment reminds me of an interaction I had that stunned me so much that it remains near the top of my consciousness.

          I was talking with a staunch right-winger and said that I was deeply concerned about the growing amount of fascism in the US. His response was "we need more fascism in the US."

          It stunned me not because that was his belief, but because he was so unabashed and above-board about it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2016 @ 6:49am

    Assault Rifle? Yeah, legally bought. You do realize that a "Assault Rifle" ban is completely stupid right? All it does is ban a gun for how it looks, not how it performs. I can go an buy a more powerful rifle (7.62) that will cause more damage, kill from a longer range, accept more powerful ammunition (which will penetrate body armor much better than your typical AR 15 .223)and is semi automatic (just like the AR 15) and it isn't classified as a assault rifle.

    The truth is, in a confined area (like a school or a nightclub) a shotgun is the weapon of choice, because your targets are close and nothing beats a shotgun at close range. You can buy a shotgun that is fed with a 17 round clip. Now that is something you wouldn't want to run into.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2016 @ 7:32am

    The world would be a better place,

    if the Republican Congress spent a little time in gay dance clubs. They just need a full scale attitude change.

    Brand R, and brand D don't care about about guns, or gun control. they just care about the related donations. It's just Congressional theater. They bang their drum, and 30 round clips fly off the shelves at every gun shop in town. All the while wailing fearful mothers send cheques to that good girl whose going to stop the meanies.

    My guess is the Clintons probably bought every domestic 30 round clip they could find before the campaign as an investment, so they could sell them to fund their campaign as prices rise.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2016 @ 9:42am

    Just keep re-electing the mentally challenged America, you can not win the hearts and minds when there aren't any. Career politicians does not a democracy make.
    Hillary 2016

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2016 @ 7:19am

    John, if someone in that bathroom in Orlando had a gun, the outcome couldn't have been worse. Here is the problem, if you ban assault rifles (which are cosmetic) it makes sense to ban all semi automatic weapons.

    A 9MM semi automatic handgun at close range is just as lethal as a AR 15, as its rate of fire is just as fast (and in fact fires a more lethal round at close range). Semi automatic shotguns are even more dangerous at close range.

    The majority of gun owners in the US are law abiding citizens who are responsible gun owners. Should they be denied guns? Should they have to undergo background checks? If you are talking terrorist act prevention, since the few acts of terrorism are done by Muslims, would anyone accept a government requirement for a background check or a database list done on US Muslims?

    Deny gun ownership to No Fly lists or watch list? Who is on that list or how do people get put on that list? Oh, that is a government secret.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 23 Jun 2016 @ 6:28pm

      Re:

      This sort of response is an example of why it's impossible to have a real conversation about guns. Your comment not only doesn't really address what I said, it goes on and on about how banning them is bad, even though I explicitly stated that I do not support banning them.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.