June 10, 2013
Remembering Feingold’s Warning On The PATRIOT ACT

Russ Feingold was the only U.S. senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act. Here’s what he said at the time:

One provision that troubles me a great deal is a provision that permits the government under FISA to compel the production of records from any business regarding any person, if that information is sought in connection with an investigation of terrorism or espionage.

Now we’re not talking here about travel records pertaining to a terrorist suspect, which we all can see can be highly relevant to an investigation of a terrorist plot. FISA already gives the FBI the power to get airline, train, hotel, car rental and other records of a suspect.

But under this bill, the government can compel the disclosure of the personal records of anyone — perhaps someone who worked with, or lived next door to, or went to school with, or sat on an airplane with, or has been seen in the company of, or whose phone number was called by — the target of the investigation.

And under this new provisions all business records can be compelled, including those containing sensitive personal information like medical records from hospitals or doctors, or educational records, or records of what books someone has taken out of the library. This is an enormous expansion of authority, under a law that provides only minimal judicial supervision.

As I mentioned earlier, it is not necessarily news that the government is spying on us and has way too much authority to capture virtually any information about us it wants.  If anything, the recent NSA leaks simply represent the pot boiling over as a few concerned federal employees start to rebel against the surveillance machine that has arisen as a result of the PATRIOT Act’s expansion of the federal government’s authority to spy on us with very little procedural safeguards.

January 19, 2013
"Last month, while nobody was taking anyone’s gun, the senate voted to reauthorize a program that allows the government to collect data and hold on to it forever. They can look at your e-mails, your texts, your skypes, and not a peep out of the crowd that’s always bitching about what the Framers intended … the facebook generation in particular doesn’t seem to care that big brother now knows everything about you … doesn’t anyone care that this is the new normal? I guess not. Gun nuts don’t care, and neither do liberals. When Bush did warrantless wiretapping, oh! He was wiping his ass with the Constitution! But when Obama does it? Oh, whatever helps Jessica Chastain find Bin Laden … both parties compete to appear to be greater champion of our freedoms, but the only thing that still has bipartisan support in Washington is not giving a shit about privacy."

Bill Maher

h/t/ brooklynmutt

October 24, 2011
pantslessprogressive:

192,499: the number of National Security Letters (NSLs) issued between 2003 and 2006
1: the number of terror-related convictions as a result of the NSLs
Infographic: Surveillance Under the PATRIOT Act

pantslessprogressive:

192,499: the number of National Security Letters (NSLs) issued between 2003 and 2006

1: the number of terror-related convictions as a result of the NSLs

Infographic: Surveillance Under the PATRIOT Act

(via pantslessprogressive)

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