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Posts Tagged ‘patriot act’

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Like Freedom? Then You Won’t Like the FREEDOM Act

Posted by M. C. on March 24, 2020

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/march/23/like-freedom-then-you-won-t-like-the-freedom-act/

Written by Ron Paul

Last Monday, a bipartisan group of Senators and a coalition including libertarian and progressive activists thwarted a scheme to ram through the Senate legislation renewing three provisions of the USA FREEDOM Act (previously known as the USA PATRIOT Act). The bill had already been rushed through the House of Representatives, and most expected it to sail through the Senate. But, instead, Senate leadership had to settle for a 77-day extension.

Senate leadership was also forced to allow consideration of several amendments at a later date. Included is Sen. Rand Paul’s amendment that would forbid the FISA court from issuing warrants targeting American citizens.

Deep state supporters claim the expiring business records provision (which authorizes the collection of our communications and was at the center of Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations), lone wolf provision (which allows government to subject an individual with no known ties to terrorists to warrantless surveillance), and roving wiretaps provision (which allows government to monitor communications on any device that may be used by a targeted individual) are necessary to keep Americans safe. But, since Congress first passed the PATRIOT Act almost 20 years ago, mass surveillance, warrantless wiretapping, and bulk data collection have not stopped a single terrorist attack.

The legislation does have “reforms” aimed at protecting civil liberties, but these new protections contain loopholes that render the protections meaningless. For example, the bill requires those targeted for surveillance to be notified that the government spied on them. However, this requirement can be waived if the government simply claims — not proves but just clams — that notifying the target would harm “national security.”

The notice provision also only applies to the target of an investigations. So, if you were caught up in a federal investigation because a coworker is being targeted and you shared an office computer, or if a store clerk reported to the government you and others bought pressure cookers, the government could collect your phone records, texts, and social media posts without giving you the chance to challenge the government’s actions.

The bill also makes some reforms to the special FISA court, which serves as a rubber stamp for the intelligence community. These reforms are mainly aimed at protecting political campaigns and candidates. They would not stop the FISA court from rubber-stamping surveillance on organizations that oppose the welfare-warfare-surveillance-fiat money status quo.

Anything limiting warrantless wiretapping and mass surveillance should be supported. However, nothing short of repeal of the USA FREEDOM Act will restore respect for our right to live our lives free of the fear that Big Brother is watching. The path to liberty, peace, and prosperity starts with eliminating all unconstitutional laws and returning to a system of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, sound money, and a foreign policy that seeks peaceful commerce and friendship with all instead of seeking new monsters to destroy.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : The Coronavirus Hoax

Posted by M. C. on March 17, 2020

The head of the neoconservative Atlantic Council wrote an editorial this week urging NATO to pass an Article 5 declaration of war against the COVID-19 virus! Are they going to send in tanks and drones to wipe out these microscopic enemies?

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/march/16/the-coronavirus-hoax/

Written by Ron Paul

Governments love crises because when the people are fearful they are more willing to give up freedoms for promises that the government will take care of them. After 9/11, for example, Americans accepted the near-total destruction of their civil liberties in the PATRIOT Act’s hollow promises of security.

It is ironic to see the same Democrats who tried to impeach President Trump last month for abuse of power demanding that the Administration grab more power and authority in the name of fighting a virus that thus far has killed less than 100 Americans.

Declaring a pandemic emergency on Friday, President Trump now claims the power to quarantine individuals suspected of being infected by the virus and, as Politico writes, “stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease.” He can even call out the military to cordon off a US city or state.

State and local authoritarians love panic as well. The mayor of Champaign, Illinois, signed an executive order declaring the power to ban the sale of guns and alcohol and cut off gas, water, or electricity to any citizen. The governor of Ohio just essentially closed his entire state.

The chief fearmonger of the Trump Administration is without a doubt Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Fauci is all over the media, serving up outright falsehoods to stir up even more panic. He testified to Congress that the death rate for the coronavirus is ten times that of the seasonal flu, a claim without any scientific basis.

On Face the Nation, Fauci did his best to further damage an already tanking economy by stating, “Right now, personally, myself, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant.” He has pushed for closing the entire country down for 14 days.

Over what? A virus that has thus far killed just over 5,000 worldwide and less than 100 in the United States? By contrast, tuberculosis, an old disease not much discussed these days, killed nearly 1.6 million people in 2017. Where’s the panic over this?

If anything, what people like Fauci and the other fearmongers are demanding will likely make the disease worse. The martial law they dream about will leave people hunkered down inside their homes instead of going outdoors or to the beach where the sunshine and fresh air would help boost immunity. The panic produced by these fearmongers is likely helping spread the disease, as massive crowds rush into Walmart and Costco for that last roll of toilet paper.

The madness over the coronavirus is not limited to politicians and the medical community. The head of the neoconservative Atlantic Council wrote an editorial this week urging NATO to pass an Article 5 declaration of war against the COVID-19 virus! Are they going to send in tanks and drones to wipe out these microscopic enemies?

People should ask themselves whether this coronavirus “pandemic” could be a big hoax, with the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit – financially or politically – from the ensuing panic.

That is not to say the disease is harmless. Without question people will die from coronavirus. Those in vulnerable categories should take precautions to limit their risk of exposure. But we have seen this movie before. Government over-hypes a threat as an excuse to grab more of our freedoms. When the “threat” is over, however, they never give us our freedoms back.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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A Primer on Domestic Spying – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 13, 2020

Also unabated and equally unlawful and unconstitutional is the government’s use of cell towers as monitors of movement. Whenever anyone travels with a mobile device in the U.S., the nearest cell tower picks up signals from the mobile device, even turned off. The government, which either owns the cell towers or under Section 215, captures all the data the towers amass, can effectively follow any person with a mobile device in real-time.

How does the government get away with this?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/02/andrew-p-napolitano/a-primer-on-domestic-spying/

By

“The Framers … conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized men.” — Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941)

While we were all consumed by impeachment, a pernicious piece of legislation was slowly and silently making its way through Congress. It is a renewal of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

The Patriot Act of 2001 has three sections that are scheduled to expire on March 15. One of those sections is the infamous 215, which authorizes the federal government to capture without a warrant all records of all people in America held by third parties.

Do we really want the federal government to spy without warrants? How can Congress, which has sworn to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, legislate such a blatant violation of it? Here is the backstory.

After the Constitution was ratified in 1789, it was soon amended to recognize the existence of natural rights and to keep the government from interfering with them. As Justice Brandeis wrote 140 years afterward, the most comprehensive of those rights was the right to be let alone, which today we call privacy.

To secure that right, the Fourth Amendment was ratified. The purpose of the Fourth Amendment was to prevent the government from utilizing general warrants and to require judicially authorized search warrants issued under narrow circumstances. James Madison, who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, shared the hatred that colonists-turned-Americans had for general warrants.

A general warrant was a document issued by a secret court in London authorizing the bearer of the document, usually a British soldier or intelligence agent, to search wherever he wished and to seize whatever he found. The applicant for the warrant needed to demonstrate to the court only that the warrant was intended to unearth something that the government wanted. Because these warrants did not specify the object of the search, there was no limit to them.

Hence Madison’s language in the Fourth Amendment preserving privacy but permitting the government to invade it only upon a showing, under oath, of probable cause of crime, and then requiring the warrant to specify in writing the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized.

After 9/11, in the collective spirit of fear, timidity and subservience to the presidency, and in utter disregard for its members’ oaths to uphold the Constitution, Congress enacted the Patriot Act. It permits one federal agent to authorize another federal agent to search and seize whatever the latter wishes to look at and capture so long as it is in the possession of third-party financial institutions.

Over the years, the definition of “financial institution” has been radically expanded by both legislation and presidential executive orders so as to include nearly every conceivable entity that has any records about any person in America — from banks to hospitals to lawyers to merchants to credit card issuers to telecoms and computer service providers and even the post office.

At the same time that the Patriot Act was being expanded, the National Security Agency — America’s 60,000-person strong domestic spy apparatus — was not even pretending to follow legislation. We know from Edward Snowden’s revelations — which have never been disputed by the government — that since 2003, the NSA has captured not only the records of Americans held by third parties but also the records of every keystroke touched by every person in America and every telephone call transmitted over fiber optic cable. That includes every email, text message and piece of data — even what was deleted. This warrantless mass surveillance continues today unabated.

Also unabated and equally unlawful and unconstitutional is the government’s use of cell towers as monitors of movement. Whenever anyone travels with a mobile device in the U.S., the nearest cell tower picks up signals from the mobile device, even turned off. The government, which either owns the cell towers or under Section 215, captures all the data the towers amass, can effectively follow any person with a mobile device in real-time.

How does the government get away with this?

The feds have labored mightily to keep all of these constitutional violations as far from judicial scrutiny as they can. They rightly fear — they know — that all of this violates the Fourth Amendment. If their nefarious behavior, which we know they have used on the president of the United States and on the Supreme Court, comes under judicial scrutiny, the feds will argue that the Fourth Amendment only pertains to criminal prosecutions and not to domestic spying; thus, they can ignore it when they spy.

They have made up this argument out of thin air. There is neither a hint in the language of the amendment nor a whiff in its history to support that argument.

Has the government lost sight of our birthright? It is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — not to mention getting into Heaven. How can we do any of this if the government we have hired to preserve our liberty is surreptitiously destroying it?

Brandeis’ language about being let alone was written in 1928, in a dissent to a Supreme Court opinion that failed to recognize the right to privacy. Today, his dissent is the law of the land, but the feds ignore it. He wrote that there is more to life than owning material goods. There is the fulfillment of spiritual, intellectual and cultural goals and the achievement of intimate aspirations, none of which are the government’s business.

Why do we permit the government to assault our most basic freedoms, under the law or under the table?

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While You Were Obsessing Over Impeachment

Posted by M. C. on January 4, 2020

The political class, including the mainstream media, would prefer you pay attention to the fluff, not to the things that really matter. Perhaps instead of obsessing over impeachment or the latest debate over a Trump tweet, you would be better served to pay attention to what they don’t want you to pay attention to.

https://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/12/20/while-you-were-obsessing-over-impeachment/

…While you argued over the gory details of impeachment with your friends on Facebook, Congress passed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. The nearly 3,500-page bill authorizes $738 billion in defense spending in Fiscal Year 2020. It creates a “Space Force,” so the U.S. can expand its empire into the cosmos. And Congress rejected a provision that would have made it just slightly harder for the president to unilaterally send American troops into combat. In other words, Congress agreed that it would not bother to do its job and declare war before sending the U.S. military to conduct offensive combat operations as required by the Constitution. It will continue to let the president make that call on his own. You know – the president the House just impeached.

Even worse, the current iteration of the NDAA extended provisions written into the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that effectively authorize government kidnapping. The vaguely worded sections purport to authorize the arrest and “indefinite detention” of anybody the president decides might be associated with “terrorism” and subject them to the law of war. In effect, the government can deem you a terrorist and lock you away without due process. Government kidnapping may sound like hyperbole, but that’s exactly what the NDAA authorizes in effect.

Speaking of war, while all eyes were glued to the three-ring circus in D.C., the Washington Post released documents revealing that the U.S. government has been lying to us about the war in Afghanistan for decades.

“A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.”

As one three-star general put it, “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking. If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction .?.?. 2,400 lives lost.”

This seems, maybe, just a tiny bit, significant. But the news barely saw the light of day. It was completely buried under an avalanche of impeachment reporting…

So, let’s review. While America was mesmerized by the pro-wrestling event on Capitol Hill, Congress agreed to maintain the government’s “authority” to kidnap you, to keep spying on you without a warrant, to continue unconstitutional wars, and to spend you deeper into debt.

Political theater makes for splashy headlines and heated debates, but it really has very little impact on your life. The political class, including the mainstream media, would prefer you pay attention to the fluff, not to the things that really matter. Perhaps instead of obsessing over impeachment or the latest debate over a Trump tweet, you would be better served to pay attention to what they don’t want you to pay attention to.

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Trump Invokes PATRIOT Act to Detain Palestinian Adham Amin Hassoun Forever

Posted by M. C. on November 30, 2019

What happens when corrupt, inept government has to make crimes look legitimate.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-invokes-patriot-act-to-detain-palestinian-adham-amin-hassoun-forever

Never in 18 years has the government used Section 412 of the PATRIOT Act, which permits indefinite detention of resident aliens on national-security grounds. Until now.

For the 18-year lifespan of the war on terrorism, an obscure provision of the PATRIOT Act permitting the indefinite detention of non-citizens on U.S. soil has gone unused. But to keep a Palestinian man behind bars even after he finished serving his sentence, the Trump administration has fired this bureaucratic Chekhov’s gun.

Adham Amin Hassoun, now in his late 50s, has spent nearly the entire war on terrorism in cages. First picked up on an immigration violation in June 2002, he ended up standing trial alongside once-suspected “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla. But Hassoun was never accused of any act or plot of violence. His crime was cutting checks to extremist-tied Muslim charities operating in places like Kosovo and Chechnya that Congress outlawed after the 9/11 attacks. Hassoun wrote all but one of those checks before 9/11.

Sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, Hassoun should have been a free man in 2017. Instead, he found himself in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which locked him up in western New York. It was there that Hassoun’s case turned extraordinary.

ICE wanted to deport Hassoun, but his statelessness as a Palestinian got in the way. No country—not the Lebanon of his birth, not the Israel that occupies the West Bank and Gaza—was willing to take him. Aided by attorneys at the University of Buffalo Law School, Hassoun in January won what should have been his freedom, on the grounds that his deportation was unlikely.

The Trump administration instead declared him a threat to national security. It did so at first using an also-obscure immigration regulation designed to sidestep a 2001 Supreme Court ruling imposing a six-month detention limit. And it was aided by a testimonial, under seal, of Hassoun’s alleged misdeeds behind bars as related by what his attorneys describe as jailhouse snitches who provided second- or third-hand accounts. But as the government fought what had become a habeas corpus case for Hassoun’s release, the Department of Homeland Security invoked, for the first time in U.S. government history, section 412 of the PATRIOT Act. ..

Attorneys for Hassoun, who were in federal court on Friday to argue for his freedom, are stunned at the invocation of Section 412. They noted that the PATRIOT Act provision is written to “take [a non-citizen] into custody,” not to retroactively designate someone already in detention as a threat.

“If the government were to prevail in its claim of extraordinary and unprecedented executive power, the government would be free to lock up non-citizens indefinitely based solely on executive say-so, even after they completed serving their sentences,” said Jonathan Hafetz, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union…

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Republicans & Democrats Agree: Give Vast Snooping Powers to The U.S. Government

Posted by M. C. on November 25, 2019

https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/republicans-democrats-agree-give-vast-snooping-powers-to-the-u-s-government_11212019

Mac Slavo

Even in our polarized and right vs. left political paradigm, there is one thing both republicans and democrats can agree on: The federal government should have vast snooping powers and conduct mass surveillance on everyone. They simply disagree over who should be in charge of abusing those excessive powers.

The impeachment circus did one thing successfully. It took attention from the government’s mass surveillance programs that are constantly expanded. As Reason proposed: If Democrats really feared Donald Trump’s exercise of the powers of the presidency, why would they propose extending the surveillance powers of the controversial Patriot Act?

House Democrats have successfully slipped an unqualified renewal of the draconian PATRIOT Act into an emergency funding bill – voting near-unanimously for sweeping surveillance carte blanche that was the basis for the notorious NSA program.
Buried on the next-to-last page of the Continuing Appropriations Act, meant to keep the government’s lights on and dated yesterday, is the following language:

Section  102(b)(1)  of  the  USA  PATRIOT  Improvement  and  Reauthorization  Act  of  2005  (50  U.S.C.  101805  note)  is  amended  by  striking  “December  15,  2019”  and inserting “March 15, 2020”.

This relatively innocuous language pushes back the sunset provision of the Patriot Act by three months, leaving its vast powers in the hands of a president who Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden charges with “failure to uphold basic democratic principles,” who House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused of “alarming connections and conduct with Russia” and, joined by Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, says is making an attempt to “shred the Constitution.” –Reason

If democrats honestly believed that Trump was all of the things he’s being accused of, why trust him with the Patriot Act?

The American Civil Liberties Union agrees, calling the Patriot Act “an overnight revision of the nation’s surveillance laws that vastly expanded the government’s authority to spy on its own citizens, while simultaneously reducing checks and balances on those powers like judicial oversight, public accountability, and the ability to challenge government searches in court.”

Attempts to roll back the spying powers of the government have all failed. This power is only expanding and it’s going to get harder for people to protect themselves against the government when they abuse this power. The last time (in 2018) libertarian-leaning Republicans and a handful of Democrats wanted to strip the government of some of its mass surveillance power, it failed.

“It became quickly apparent that leading Democrats intended to side with Trump and against those within their own party who favored imposing safeguards on the Trump administration’s ability to engage in domestic surveillance,” The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald wrote at the time. “The most bizarre aspect of this spectacle was that the Democrats who most aggressively defended Trump’s version of the surveillance bill—the Democrats most eager to preserve Trump’s spying powers as virtually limitless—were the very same Democratic House members who have become media stars this year by flamboyantly denouncing Trump as a treasonous, lawless despot in front of every television camera they could find.”

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Edward Snowden on the Joe Rogan Podcast – Says US Government Could Have Prevented 9/11

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2019

https://www.wakingtimes.com/2019/10/23/edward-snowden-on-the-joe-rogan-podcast-says-us-government-could-have-prevented-9-11/

Vic Bishop

ince 2013 the real government whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has been in political asylum in Russia, where he continues to write books and tell his story of how as an employee of the NSA he discovered that the government was breaking the law in constructing a massive surveillance state. Today, the surveillance is such a ubiquitous par of our lives, that people have come to see it as a normal part of everyday life, and hardly any politician bothers to work against it. It’s here to stay, sadly.

Recently, Snowden published a book entitled Permanent Record, which was immediately attacked by the US government, prompting them to sue Snowden for all of the profits related to the book. The government does not want you to hear his message. Ironically, though, Permanent Record became an instant bestseller, and Snowden’s popularity has only increased in recent years.

In a newly released podcast by Joe Rogan, Snowden calls in from Russia, talking about his understanding of how corruption from within has led the permanent establishment of the massive and highly profitable surveillance state which has filled the coffers of defense contractors and corrupt politicians. Snowden discusses the fact that all three branches of the U.S government are corrupt and that for admirable government employees who witness government agencies breaking the law have no available channels to blow the whistle and get the truth out to the American people.

Interestingly, in the podcast Snowden also talks about his experience on 9/11 when he was working for a small business out of a house on Fort Meade near the DC metro area. He describes how the base, which is home to a vast portion of the U.S. Military’s intelligence apparatus, was immediately dispatched and the base cleared as soon as the events of the day began to unfold.

Snowden points out how strange this was, considering that all of the personnel on the base would have been more than willing to take the risk of being attacked in order to fulfill the duty they has all signed up for, that of protecting the American people. Snowden’s point here is that the intelligence agencies were essentially taken off-line at the most critical moment in the entire history of their existence.

So, why did the directors of these agencies send all of these resources home on 9/11?

Snowden continues…

“It says so much about the bureaucratic character of how the government works. The people who rise to the top of these governments. It’s about risk management for them. It’s about never being criticized for something…

 

Everybody wants to believe in conspiracy theories because it helps life make sense. It helps us believe that somebody is in control… that somebody is calling the shots, that these things all happen for a reason. There are real conspiracies… but when you look back at the 9/11 report and when you look back at the history of what actually happened, what we can prove. Not on what we can speculate on, but what are at least are the commonly agreed facts… it’s very clear to me, as someone who worked in the intelligence community… that these attacks could have been prevented.” ~Edward Snowden

He goes on to explain that the government’s excuse for not preventing the attacks was essentially due to the fact that the various intelligence agencies were unable to effectively share information, coordinate investigations, and work together. Snowden is implying that 9/11 was essentially allowed to happen so that the mass surveillance state, which is insanely profitable to certain people, could be created. And it has since been created.

Considering that the Patriot Act soon followed 9/11, and in the nearly two decades since, the massive warfare and surveillance state continues to balloon and spread its reach into American citizen’s lives and around the globe, Snowden’s assessment seems rather accurate.

The full interview is almost 3 hours long, and is posted in full here:

Read more articles by Vic Bishop.

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Secret F.B.I. Subpoenas Scoop Up Personal Data From Scores of Companies

Posted by M. C. on September 20, 2019

Your FIB

I suppose some would consider this a surprise.

Secret F.B.I. Subpoenas Scoop Up Personal Data From Scores of Companies

ENM NEWS

The F.B.I. has used secret subpoenas to obtain personal data from far more companies than previously disclosed, newly released documents show.

The requests, which the F.B.I. says are critical to its counterterrorism efforts, have raised privacy concerns for years but have been associated mainly with tech companies. Now, records show how far beyond Silicon Valley the practice extends — encompassing scores of banks, credit agencies, cellphone carriers and even universities.

The demands can scoop up a variety of information, including usernames, locations, IP addresses and records of purchases. They don’t require a judge’s approval and usually come with a gag order, leaving them shrouded in secrecy. Fewer than 20 entities, most of them tech companies, have ever revealed that they’ve received the subpoenas, known as national security letters.

The documents, obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and shared with The New York Times, shed light on the scope of the demands — more than 120 companies and other entities were included in the filing — and raise questions about the effectiveness of a 2015 law that was intended to increase transparency around them.

“This is a pretty potent authority for the government,” said Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas who specializes in national security. “The question is: Do we have a right to know when the government is collecting information on us?”

The documents provide information on about 750 of the subpoenas — representing a small but telling fraction of the half-million issued since 2001, when the Patriot Act expanded their powers.

The credit agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion received a large number of the letters in the filing. So did financial institutions like Bank of America, Western Union and even the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. All declined to explain how they handle the letters. An array of other entities received smaller numbers of requests — including Kansas State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, probably because of their role in providing internet service.

Other companies included major cellular providers such as AT&T and Verizon, as well as tech giants like Google and Facebook, which have acknowledged receiving the letters in the past.

Albert Gidari, a lawyer who long represented tech and telecommunications companies and is now the privacy director at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, said Silicon Valley had been associated with the subpoenas because it was more willing than other industries to fight the gag orders. “Telecoms and financial institutions get little attention,” he said, even though the law specifically says they are fair game.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation determined that information on the roughly 750 letters could be disclosed under a 2015 law, the USA Freedom Act, that requires the government to review the secrecy orders “at appropriate intervals.”

The Justice Department’s interpretation of those instructions has left many letters secret indefinitely. Department guidelines say the gag orders must be evaluated three years after an investigation starts and also when an investigation is closed. But a federal judge noted “several large loopholes,” suggesting that “a large swath” of gag orders might never be reviewed.

According to the new documents, the F.B.I. evaluated 11,874 orders between early 2016, when the rules went into effect, and September 2017, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, requested the information.

“We are not sure the F.B.I. is taking its obligations under USA Freedom seriously,” said Andrew Crocker, a lawyer with the foundation. “There still is a huge problem with permanent gag orders.”…

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Facebook’s Hire of Patriot Act Co-Author Raises Questions on Company’s Commitment to Privacy

Posted by M. C. on April 26, 2019

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/24/facebooks-hire-patriot-act-co-author-raises-questions-companys-commitment-privacy

Facebook’s Hire of Patriot Act Co-Author Raises Questions on Company’s Commitment to Privacy

“What could go wrong?”

Sometimes I feel like, somebody's watching me.

Sometimes I feel like, somebody’s watching me. (Image: Flickr)

Social media giant Facebook made a major hire Monday, bringing on lawyer Jennifer Newstead as the company’s general counsel—a move that generated criticism due to Newstead’s work two decades ago drafting the Patriot Act.

The company announced the hire by citing Newstead’s extensive work in government. Most recently, Newstead acted as the legal adviser for the State Department.

During her time in the Bush administration, Newstead was known for being the “day to day manager of the Patriot Act in Congress,” according to torture memo author John Yoo.

“Jennifer is a seasoned leader whose global perspective and experience will help us fulfill our mission,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement.

Newstead referred to Facebook’s role in the public discourse in a statement released by the company.

“Facebook’s products play an important role in societies around the world,” said Newstead. “I am looking forward to working with the team and outside experts and regulators on a range of legal issues as we seek to uphold our responsibilities and shared values.”

Newstead’s history in government, though, triggered criticism of Facebook for putting her in a position of power—especially in light of recent comments from the company’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg that emphasized a more secure and private experience for users.

The Observer, in a report on the hire, took a skeptical view of Newstead’s past as far as it related to tech.

Ironically, the newly minted Facebook chief lawyer has made a career out of helping the government gain access to private citizens’ data in the name of security. Perhaps the most notable of Newstead’s work is helping draft and present Congress with the Patriot Act, a post-9/11 bill that helped the Bush administration utilize Americans’ phone and internet records.

Thus, as technologist Ashkan Soltani pointed out to Politico, the hire of Newstead is incompatible with the company’s public pivot to privacy.

“It’s almost as if we’re living in some bizarro world where the company does exactly the opposite of what Zuckerberg states publicly,” said Soltani.

Fight For the Future deputy director Evan Greer mused about how Newstead’s hiring fits into an ostensibly different privacy culture at Facebook.

“I can’t help but wonder how all the ‘privacy advocates’ that Facebook has been hiring lately are going to feel about working with a LITERAL AUTHOR OF THE PATRIOT ACT as their general counsel,” Greer tweeted.

Writer Jonah Blank put the hire in perspective, implying that Newstead’s addition to the Facebook team was not the best move.

“How has #Facebook responded to charges that it violates its users’ privacy, fuels ethnic/racial/religious tension, and may have helped #Russia interfere with the 2016 US election?” asked Blank.

“By hiring Trump appointee as its general counsel.”

“What could go wrong?” producer Evan Shapiro asked sarcastically.

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Personal Bank Accounts in Venezuela Frozen to “Fight Terrorism” | The Daily Sheeple

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2018

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/personal-bank-accounts-in-venezuela-frozen-to-fight-terrorism_122018

 

Editor’s Note: This article by Jose about the blocking of personal bank accounts in Venezuela made me think about how the “Patriot” Act put similar rules in place here in the United States. When you open an account at a bank here, you have to prove you aren’t a terrorist by using multiple forms of ID and you become aware that you are constantly under suspicion of being guilty of money laundering with terrorists. Banks can quiz you about transactions and report you if they feel you’re suspicious. You can learn more about how the “Patriot” Act could potentially set us up for something identical to what Jose is describing here.  And the next time you’re in the bank, look for those little triangle paper signs sitting around everywhere that explain why your transactions may be questions in the name of “fighting terrorism.” ~ Daisy

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Controlling a society is not an easy task. It is about controlling food production means, limiting the mobility of people, denying access to everything, allowing basic human rights to be violated by the uniformed corps (very important because these groups have weaponry), and allowing irregular gangs take over resources that, otherwise, they would never be able to have control of.

Therefore, they NEED desperately to make people knee, and one of the ways they can do it, is via the control of the circulating money. This is nothing new.

The original Rothschild said once “give me the control of the currency of a country, and I wouldn´t mind who governs it”. Or something like that. That is exactly what this mafia has done.

They’re now freezing bank accounts within Venezuela

To do so, the criminal gang in power has reinforced their strategy.  They are freezing bank accounts inside Venezuela, in our national currency, if they detect someone is using the account from another country. My own bank accounts, with over 15 years of history, included.

This is against the right to use the private and personal property, guaranteed in our Constitution. They want so eagerly to change and seize our private property, just like Cuba did. Sending money back to family is not an easy task. There is an entire underground economy that works receiving money in foreign currency in accounts overseas and exchanging national currency in a circular flow because the bolivar is not exchangeable for some other currency.

The last steps to instate totalitarianism definitely, are now slowly being taken: the financial infrastructure is being stormed with greater intensity these days.

Let’s make this clear. Since the beginning of the takeover, when everyone was charmed by the Uncle Hugo´s charisma, without any clue about what was going on under the table (things like Alejandro Andrade being in charge of the National Treasury, ”assigned” personally by Hugo), this was the plan. The subjugation of any private initiative in the financial world.

“The state must control everything” is the communist motto in Venezuela.

The “empire” (sounds familiar?) is ready to “attack us” because they “need our resources”. Read the rest of this entry »

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