House Approves Foreign Wiretap Bill

Feb 20, 2006
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#1
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8QQJBQ00&show_article=1&catnum=3

House Approves Foreign Wiretap Bill

Aug 4 10:27 PM US/Eastern
By CHARLES BABINGTON
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House handed President Bush a victory Saturday, voting to expand the government's abilities to eavesdrop without warrants on foreign suspects whose communications pass through the United States.

The 227-183 vote, which followed the Senate's approval Friday, sends the bill to Bush for his signature. He had urged Congress to approve it, saying Saturday, "Protecting America is our most solemn obligation."

The administration said the measure is needed to speed the National Security Agency's ability to intercept phone calls, e-mails and other communications involving foreign nationals "reasonably believed to be outside the United States." Civil liberties groups and many Democrats said it goes too far, possibly enabling the government to wiretap U.S. residents communicating with overseas parties without adequate oversight from courts or Congress.

The bill updates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. It gives the government leeway to intercept, without warrants, communications between foreigners that are routed through equipment in United States, provided that "foreign intelligence information" is at stake. Bush describes the effort as an anti-terrorist program, but the bill is not limited to terror suspects and could have wider applications, some lawmakers said.

The government long has had substantial powers to intercept purely foreign communications that don't touch U.S. soil.

If a U.S. resident becomes the chief target of surveillance, the government would have to obtain a warrant from the special FISA court.

Congressional Democrats won a few concessions in negotiations earlier in the week. New wiretaps must be approved by the director of national intelligence and the attorney general, not just the attorney general. Congress has battled with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on several issues, and some Democrats have accused him of perjury.

The new law also will expire in six months unless Congress renews it. The administration wanted the changes to be permanent.

Many congressional Democrats wanted tighter restrictions on government surveillance, but yielded in the face of Bush's veto threats and the impending August recess.

"This bill would grant the attorney general the ability to wiretap anybody, any place, any time without court review, without any checks and balances," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., during the debate preceding the vote. "I think this unwarranted, unprecedented measure would simply eviscerate the 4th Amendment," which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

Republicans disputed her description. "It does nothing to tear up the Constitution," said Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif.

If an American's communications are swept up in surveillance of a foreigner, he said, "we go through a process called minimization" and get rid of the records unless there is reason to suspect the American is a threat.

The administration began pressing for changes to the law after a recent ruling by the FISA court. That decision barred the government from eavesdropping without warrants on foreign suspects whose messages were being routed through U.S. communications carriers, including Internet sites.
 

bethm1b

person of interest
Dec 1, 2006
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Just past the line.
#3
I'm getting too old to care anymore. But the word reasonable has been trampled on with warrantless searches since forever. As far as the head idiot and his solemn obligations. Civil liberties are far more important to me than safety. And I say that after losing three friends on 9/11 and almost losing my brother. It actually scares me that this simpleton is the glue holding our countries safety together. None of the new crop of morons give me much hope either.
 

MrAbovePar

En Taro Anthony
Mar 14, 2005
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#4
eh....

I don't consider foreigners in foreign countries to have any right to privacy. Tap them all day long...even if they're talking to an American.
 

abudabit

New Wackbag
Oct 10, 2004
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#5
Warrantless is idiotic, there needs to be checks and balances. Even if the warrants and warrant process are kept secret for an extended period, at least there is someone keeping an eye on things. Instead of approving all these warrantless allowances, maybe they should find ways to speed up the warrant process for emergency needs.

NeoCons talk about the 1st and 2nd amendment, but are mysteriously silent on the 4th.
 

Sct Ptersns Twn

Looking 4 a New 1st Mate
Dec 4, 2005
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#7
When will they start tapping or monitoring WB? Cause I despise our government and what it has become. I guess I better wise up and act like the rest.
 

queeby

Irrelevant Liberal
Jun 12, 2004
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#9
this story was the tipping point for me. I am voting Ron Paul. The democrats are not liberal, and don't even lean to the left. At least with Ron Paul the blue states will get to live like they want to and the red states will get to live in their wonderful anti-gay, anti-healthcare, anti-abortion police state.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#10
this story was the tipping point for me. I am voting Ron Paul. The democrats are not liberal, and don't even lean to the left. At least with Ron Paul the blue states will get to live like they want to and the red states will get to live in their wonderful anti-gay, anti-healthcare, anti-abortion police state.
So you're going to vote for Ron Paul to keep the NSA/CIA from wiretapping a phone call between an Egyptian in Egypt and a Jordanian in Jordan?

Ok.
:icon_eek:
 

jackjack

Registered User
May 12, 2007
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#11
Warrantless is idiotic, there needs to be checks and balances. Even if the warrants and warrant process are kept secret for an extended period, at least there is someone keeping an eye on things. Instead of approving all these warrantless allowances, maybe they should find ways to speed up the warrant process for emergency needs.
Absolutely. Make it easy to do, but keep a paper trail so it won't be abused.
Unless you can get someone to go into the archives and stick the paper trail in their sock.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#12
this story was the tipping point for me. I am voting Ron Paul. The democrats are not liberal, and don't even lean to the left. At least with Ron Paul the blue states will get to live like they want to and the red states will get to live in their wonderful anti-gay, anti-healthcare, anti-abortion police state.
I'm sorry, but why do you give a fuck if a phone call between an Egyptian in Egypt and a Jordanian in Jordan is being wiretapped without an American judge having to issue a warrant allowing it, even if the guy executing the "wiretap" never leaves his cubicle in Langley, VA?

If a CIA agent traveled, on the govt's dime, to the Sinai, put himself at risk physically tapping the phone line from Egypt to Jordan, there'd be zero requirement to get permission from anybody outside that agent's direct chain of command. Afterwards, maybe the Joint Select Congressional Committee on Intelligence would have to be informed, pro forma, but that's about it.

The only difference is, this law means that CIA agent doesn't have to spend the money traveling over there or put himself at risk. Some geek in a cubicle could do it instead.
 

abudabit

New Wackbag
Oct 10, 2004
14,802
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#13
I'm sorry, but why do you give a fuck if a phone call between an Egyptian in Egypt and a Jordanian in Jordan is being wiretapped without an American judge having to issue a warrant allowing it, even if the guy executing the "wiretap" never leaves his cubicle in Langley, VA
How convenient, use the most extreme example. What if the government taps the call of an American - Chinese call, or an American - Canadian call? With out warrants there is no protection from that happening.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#14
i hope your all enjoying your vote for bush
 

Mags

Edgelord
Donator
Oct 22, 2004
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#15
Name ONE American citizen whose phone was tapped without a warrant since the Patriot Act.

That's what I thought.
 
#16
Name ONE American citizen whose phone was tapped without a warrant since the Patriot Act.

That's what I thought.

Brandon Mayfield.


But other than that. The main issue isn't even the wiretapping. It's the data mining and creating dossiers of American citizens. All from a program that is illegally implemented and totally anti Constitution. I suspect the impeachment process gearing up for Alberto Gonzales won't be pretty.

These kinds of cases are always interesting to me. When some people will consciously argue against their better interests because they place their party, or their ideology, or their ego above their country and their liberty.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
41,326
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#17
Name ONE American citizen whose phone was tapped without a warrant since the Patriot Act.

That's what I thought.
mmm sarcasm,,,,, i like it
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#18
How convenient, use the most extreme example. What if the government taps the call of an American - Chinese call, or an American - Canadian call? With out warrants there is no protection from that happening.
Because it's a simply a logical and reasonable extension of the law, making allowances for how technology has changed.

Let's take your American-Chinese call, for instance. Before this bill, and before technology got to where it is now, if the NSA/CIA managed to get a physical wiretap onto a phone in China (at extreme risk and cost), and then the guy in China called a number in the US, that wiretap was still valid and didn't require a warrant of any sort.

Why? Because the wiretap was in China.

As things stand now, you don't need to go to China to attach a couple of wires to the phone trunk of a Chinese telephone exchange, because we've got all these super-cool and super-expensive satellites that let some geek in a cubicle in Langley do it.

So, they tap a Chinese telephone number. They never needed a warrant to do that before: they're just able to do it more safely and easily than they could back then, right? Is that unreasonable?

Now, does the wiretap get thrown out because the guy with the Chinese phone calls an American number? It didn't before, did it? Why would it now? Are you going to force the CIA/NSA to send a guy to China and physically tap that line on the off chance the dude in China makes a phone call to the US? Or whenever that phone call to the US occurs, that wiretap becomes null and void, and gets tossed out?

Shit, if that's the case, the first step to every secure Chinese phone call will be to call their embassy in Washington, which'll "clear" the line of any US wiretaps, and then they can use their phones with impunity, can't they?

Brilliant!

Now, here's where it gets a little scary and uncomfortable, even for those who are happy with this bill:
speed the National Security Agency's ability to intercept phone calls, e-mails and other communications involving foreign nationals "reasonably believed to be outside the United States."
Yes, that's right. If you read that carefully, that allows them to warrantlessly tape ANY telephone, as long as that phone is "reasonably believed to be outside the United States." That includes, BTW, cell phones and satellite phones with American numbers.

On the other hand, what happens when a foreign national, standing in a foreign country, calls another foreign national in another foreign country, and they both use American cell phones with American numbers?

Oooooooooooooooo!!!!! Isn't that just fine and dandy? You're an al Queda operative? Just buy a disposable US cell phone, because even if they see you buy the phone and/or the SIM card, and they see you on satellite photos in Afghanistan using the telephone, they can't tap that phone line until they wake up the judge and get a warrant for that number!!!!!

But it's okay that the NSA isn't able to listen to any of those phone calls, right? Because it's more important that a single Muslim lawyer who went out of his way to counsel AN HONEST TO GOD WANNABE TERRORIST (gee, why would he EVER be under fucking suspicion?) be kept out of jail for 2 weeks, even when he got handsomely compensated for his trouble?

Shit. Holding Brandon Mayfield up as the Great Martyr of the Evils of the Patriot Act is like holding up Mumia Abu-Jamal as the Great Martyr of the Evils of the Death Penalty.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#20
Brandon Mayfield.


But other than that. The main issue isn't even the wiretapping. It's the data mining and creating dossiers of American citizens. All from a program that is illegally implemented and totally anti Constitution. I suspect the impeachment process gearing up for Alberto Gonzales won't be pretty.

These kinds of cases are always interesting to me. When some people will consciously argue against their better interests because they place their party, or their ideology, or their ego above their country and their liberty.
Yeah. Like supporting a twat Muslim lawyer who supported an admitted wannabe terrorist, a guy who was actively trying to travel INTO Afghanistan to SUPPORT al Qaeda. Man, that's the guy I would want to be behind, all because you're afraid someone might be listening in on the 3 international phone calls you're going to make in your lifetime!

I noticed how fast you got off holding the banner for your pretty boy martyr there, bro. Let me correct your quote above:

But other than that. I don't like the gov't putting together dossiers on the kind of guys who would give legal counsel to admitted terrorists (or at least pathetic terrorist wannabes), because there's no reason whatsoever to look into their backgrounds. And it doesn't matter that those are REAL and PRACTICAL problems, I'm much more concerned about those rights that I never really had in the first place, and never used at all, but thought I had because I wasn't really paying attention before someone told me a bunch of shit that wasn't really so.
Here's a hint: you have NEVER had the right to call a foreign telephone number without a warrantless wiretap being placed on that call. Never ever. You might have thought you did, which would be a tragic hole in your education, but that's your problem, not mine.

Now, does the "reasonably believed to be outside the US" part of this bill bother me? Abso-fucking-lutely. And if you could reasonably figure out a way that a couple of terrorists, spies, or other foreign shitheads couldn't just buy a pair of American cell phones and use them without having to worry about the CIA/NSA listening in while eliminating the infinitesimal chance that gov't will listen to my phone calls without a warrant (oooh, they're going to listen to me argue with my mom and have phone sex with my girlfriend!), I'll listen to you.

There's a loophole there. Tell me how YOU would close that loophole: don't just bitch about someone else's way to close it.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#21
Get a fucking warrant. Enough said. Follow the fucking law. How hard is that?
Even if it's a phone physically in China calling a phone physically in Jordan, just because they're American numbers?

How fucking retarded is that?

How about gmail accounts? If a guy who's never been to the US puts on his gmail profile that he's in NYC, and the guy he's emailing (who has also never been to the US) put in his profile that he's in LA, and it's KNOWN that neither of them are in NYC or LA, should we still get a fucking warrant for an email between two guys who aren't in the US?
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#25
So, should the NSA or the CIA be required to get a warrant to wiretap a phone call from China to Jordan, if both phones have US numbers?

Easy question, bro.