The House wants to empower deep state intelligence gathering because anything else is to side with ISIS.
It is terrible, in my opinion, that Congress would vote to empower deep state surveillance in the name of fighting terrorism at the same time that Senators are refusing to end the diversity visa lottery program that allowed a recent terrorist into the country to kill people. Basically, organizations that should be punished for treason against the President are getting rewarded instead.
The New York Times reported, “House Extends Surveillance Law, Rejecting New Privacy Safeguards.”
The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to extend the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program for six years with minimal changes, rejecting a push by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to impose significant privacy limits when it sweeps up Americans’ emails and other personal communications.
The vote, 256 to 164, centered on an expiring law that permits the government, without a warrant, to collect communications from United States companies like Google and AT&T of foreigners abroad — even when those targets are talking to Americans. Congress had enacted the law in 2008 to legalize a form of a once-secret warrantless surveillance program created after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.[…]
The legislation must still pass the Senate. But fewer senators appear to favor major change to spying laws, so the vote on Thursday in the House was the pivotal test.
Effectively, the vote was almost certainly the end of a debate over 21st-century surveillance and privacy rights that broke out in 2013 after the leaks by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden.
The Senate began considering the newly approved House bill on Thursday afternoon; Senators Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, and Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, are expected to oppose the measure in the coming days. But Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, moved to essentially ensure that no amendments to the House legislation would be considered, and it appeared to be on a path to final approval when senators return to Washington next week.
It is important to remember Snowden in all this. Willis Krumholz listed many illegal surveillance abuses in The Federalist and then writes:
Remember all the intelligence community abuses listed at the top of this article? These are the abuses that we know about, many of which were only made possible by Snowden’s imperfect disclosure. In other words, Congress didn’t even know about these programs.
Is it really wise to allow, and even encourage and enhance, unchecked federal government power? Rubio says laws that reform our intelligence agencies might as well have been lobbied for by ISIS. Is it really smart to give immense power to agencies that have routinely abused that power and ignore Congress, then essentially accuse anyone who wants to lessen those powers of abetting terrorists?
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