Daily Archives: June 9, 2013

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Changing attitudes on the USA PATRIOT Act

spy_camera_CCTV.jpgThe USA PATRIOT Act was passed with near unanimous and bipartisan support (Senate vote, House vote) and signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. Many controversial provisions wisely included sunset clauses which would force Congress to reauthorize them at least once, otherwise they’d expire and no longer be valid law.

Both President Bush and Barack Obama have advocated for those provisions to be repeatedly renewed, but it didn’t take very long for a lot of congressmen to regret what they had done.

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Left vs Right on the national security surveillance state

This isn’t a right or a left thing, this is a POTUS and a bunch of corrput (sic) politics getting involved in your persoanl (sic) business.

Is that right?

It depends on what exactly the discussion is. The NSA phone/CC dragnet has now run during two administrations of opposing ideologies, but there are differences even in how that program was operated during that span. I’m not a lawyer, but my best estimate is that this program which dates back at least to 2006, was flatly illegal. Otherwise there wouldn’t have been any need for Congress to pass the Protect America Act in 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, the two laws that are now used to justify the legality of that dragnet.

It’s significant and meaningful that this program was run illegally by one administration initially, but not the other.

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