ArsTechnica.com reports that the new FISA law is worse than you think.

Remember last month when the Democrats took their pussification to new heights by passing the new FISA law that would grant the Telecoms immunity from prosecution as a compromise? As it turns out giving the Telecoms immunity is the least of the problems that bill creates:

The new FISA compromise: it’s worse than you think – ArsTechnica.com

The 114-page bill was pushed through the House so quickly that there was no real time to debate its many complex provisions. This may explain why the telecom immunity provision has received so much attention in the media: it is much easier to explain to readers not familiar with the intricacies of surveillance law than the other provisions. But as important as the immunity issue is, the legislation also makes many prospective changes to surveillance law that will profoundly impact our privacy rights for years to come.

Specifically, the new legislation dramatically expands the government’s ability to wiretap without meaningful judicial oversight, by redefining “oversight” so that the feds can drag their feet on getting authorization almost indefinitely. It also gives the feds unprecedented new latitude in selecting eavesdropping targets, latitude that could be used to collect information on non-terrorist-related activities like P2P copyright infringement and online gambling. In short, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 opens up loopholes so large that the feds could drive a truck loaded down with purloined civil liberties through it. So the telecom immunity stuff is just the smoke; let’s take a look at the fire.

Go read the full article as the law is stunning in terms of major changes it makes to what criteria the government must meet in order to spy on someone and how long they can do it before they have to submit to judicial oversight. The fact that the Democrats helped to rush it through the House without any real debate is simply astounding as noted by the folks at Ars:

Democratic leaders have worked hard to portray the legislation as a compromise, but close examination of its provisions suggests that it is an unvarnished victory for President Bush and his allies in Congress. The legislation eliminates meaningful judicial oversight of eavesdropping between Americans citizen and foreigners located overseas and effectively legalizes dragnet surveillance of domestic-to-foreign traffic. It stretches out the judicial review process so much that the government will in many cases be able to complete its surveillance activities before the courts finish deciding on its legality. And Democratic leaders have capitulated on the immunity question, agreeing to language that would almost certainly lead to retroactive immunity for lawbreaking telecom companies.

What the fuck is up with the Democrats? Why the hell are the bending over, lubing their asses up, and yelling “bring it on” to the Republicans? Just what is it they hope to accomplish with this legislation if (or when) they gain control of the Presidency? They sure seem to have something up their sleeves with as eager as they are to go along with the Neocons on this issue.

6 thoughts on “ArsTechnica.com reports that the new FISA law is worse than you think.

  1. “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one perhaps of the Right, and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy… But either party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same policies”.

      —Carroll Quigley, “Tragedy and Hope”, 1966, p. 1247-48

  2. What do the Dems hope to accomplish by
    caving on the telecom bill?

    They hope to avoid receiving weapons grade anthrax from a top secret military bio-weapons lab in their congressional mailboxes as happened to Senator Patrick Leahy and Tom Dashel when they threatened to hold up passage of the Patriot Act
    because of the large number of police state measures embedded in it.

    Resistance to the patriot Act evaporated after anthrax appeared in the Senators congressional mailboxes.  The case is still open according to the FBI.

    Congress is literally scared to death. The media will say terrorists did it.

    The National Security State is at war. War is total. In war time the new normalcy holds that the National Security State rules. Congress
    is limited to inconsequential domestic
    legislation subject to approval by homeland security and FEMA. The Congressional stand down has been in place since sept 11, 2001. Any congressional representative who pushes back will
    disappear from the scene one way or the other.

    The Pentagon has established a new regional command called Norcom encompassing the USA and Canada.

    Chenney invoked COG (continuity of government) on 9/11. It has never been rescinded. Congress is not allowed to look into it.

    Wake up and stop being so damn bewildered by the democratic party stand down. Congress is operating under a threat of death.

    People will wonder for many years to come how it was possible for intelligent people not to have seen that their democracy was dismantled in broad daylight no less so than the assassination of JFK in Dallas on Nov 22, 1963.

    Check out Peter Dale Scott’s book on the Deep State.

  3. gitbox – I don’t usually go in for conspiracies, but I think it is definitely time we stood back and examined just how our government is being run from an objective standpoint, with partisan feelings lain aside.  I’m not saying the quote you presented is absolutely correct at this point, but I think I’m beginning to really lean in that direction.

  4. what i’m curious about is how the laws are being passed when we already have the 4th amendment. Why aren’t they being struck down as illegal?

  5. They have to be challenged in court before that can happen. Given the secretive nature of some of the programs involved, that can be difficult.

    That said, there are already people formulating lawsuits over this new FISA law.

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