imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Congressional Democrats to unveil new domestic spying bill

by bill van auken Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2007 at 9:05 AM

The Democratic leadership in Congress is preparing to introduce new legislation this week that would permanently legalize the Bush administration’s warrantless domestic surveillance, while possibly providing a blanket amnesty for private telecommunications firms that helped the Bush administration illegally spy on their own customers. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Democrat, Maryland) hastily called off a press conference called last Friday to introduce the bill, but indicated that a draft would be available by next week. The postponement apparently involved continuing differences within the Democratic caucus over the contents of the legislation.



The new bill is meant to replace the “Protect America Act” rammed through Congress with little debate last summer. This temporary law, which “sunsets” in February, handed the administration sweeping new powers to conduct warrantless wiretapping on US citizens, without any serious court or congressional oversight.

The Protect America Act, passed by a two-to-one margin in the Senate and signed into law by Bush on August 5, gives the government the power to eavesdrop on the phone calls and emails of US citizens, so long as they are in communication with individuals “reasonably believed to be located outside the United States.”

Under the bill’s provisions, such wiretapping can be initiated and continued for up to a year on the sole say-so of the US attorney general and the director of national security.

The legislation, which was largely dictated by the White House, was crafted to rescue the administration’s domestic surveillance program in the wake of revelations at the end of 2005 concerning the massive and secret wiretapping program conducted through the National Security Agency, without any legal authorization. The NSA program was found by a federal court to constitute a violation of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

The Protect America Act essentially enshrined this shredding of the Fourth Amendment into law, albeit on a temporary basis. Now the congressional Democratic leadership is preparing to make it permanent, by means of amending the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which already granted the government sweeping powers to spy on Americans.

According to the Washington Post, the new legislation would allow for a secret FISA court to issue “umbrella” warrants permitting the government to monitor telephone conversations and emails to the US from targeted foreign nationals, without seeking individual warrants in each individual case. The sole condition imposed would be a requirement that the Justice Department’s inspector general issue quarterly reports on the use of the umbrella warrants, providing them to both Congress and a special FISA court.

The Post reports that the House legislation does not include a provision demanded by the Bush administration that would make telecommunications firms that collaborated in the wiretapping operation retroactively immune from prosecution for violating the rights of their customers. The legislation passed last summer already immunized the companies from prosecution for similar collaboration in the future.

The newspaper added, however, that the Senate is expected to include some form of protection for the telecom giants—which include some of the largest corporate campaign contributors in Washington—either in the form of a blanket amnesty or an agreement by the government to cover any financial settlements that could result from scores of pending lawsuits.

“Democrats are wary of being called weak on national security,” the Post reported. “That concern is exacerbated by the government’s withholding of details on its surveillance activities that would enable Congress to gauge whether expanded powers are needed.”

Stoking such fears, the administration sent Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell to Capitol Hill last month to argue that even debating limits on government surveillance powers constituted a threat to “American lives.” McConnell made the inflammatory claim that FISA requirements—supposedly still operative before the bill passed in August formally waived them—had caused a critical 12-hour delay in conducting wiretapping of Iraqi insurgents who had captured three US soldiers last May. One soldier’s body was later found, while the other two are still listed as missing.

It later emerged, however, that the wiretap was not sought until nearly four days after the capture and was then held up, not by any onerous FISA restrictions, but by bureaucratic fumbling between the Justice Department and US intelligence agencies.

In any case, the old FISA procedures allowed the government to conduct surveillance for three days before showing probable cause needed for a warrant from a FISA secret court—which granted such requests almost without exception. In surveillance involving only foreign nationals, no such warrants are required.

The claims by the government that opposition to the permanent expansion of its surveillance powers is tantamount to granting “Fourth Amendment rights to terrorists” is meant to cover up the far-reaching implications of the legal changes now being implemented.

What is involved is opening up the entire US communications system to ceaseless surveillance, with the government sifting through every email and telephone call for content that it deems related to “terrorism” or “extremism,” and with the telecommunications companies and Internet Service Providers acting as full partners—protected by law from those paying for their services.

The Bush administration has repeatedly defied congressional subpoenas demanding information on the NSA spying program. It remains the administration’s position that the president, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, is empowered to carry out any form of surveillance he sees fit, regardless of the constitution or laws passed by Congress.

Under conditions in which the Democratic leadership in Congress refuses to hold the White House accountable for its criminal domestic spying operation, the new legislation, combined with some form of amnesty for the telecoms, will only serve as a legal cover for the continuation of massive and patently unconstitutional data-mining and electronic surveillance against large numbers of American citizens.
Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy