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Thread: Ron Paul's statement on reauthorization of FISA

  1. #1

    Default Ron Paul's statement on reauthorization of FISA

    Statement on HR 5949, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act

    Mr. Speaker: I rise in strong opposition to the reauthorization of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, as it violates the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution. Supporters of this reauthorization claim that the United States will be more vulnerable if the government is not allowed to monitor citizens without a warrant. I would argue that we are more vulnerable if we do allow the government to monitor Americans without a warrant. Nothing makes us more vulnerable than allowing the Constitution to be violated.

    Passage of this reauthorization will allow the government to listen in to our phone calls, read our personal correspondence, and monitor our activities without obtaining a warrant. Permission for surveillance obtained by a secret FISA court can cover broad categories of targets rather than specific individuals, as the Fourth Amendment requires. Americans who communicate with someone who is suspected of being affiliated with a target group can be monitored without a warrant. The only restriction is that Americans on US soil are not to be the primary targets of the surveillance. That is hardly reassuring. US intelligence agencies are not to target Americans on US soil, but as we all know telephone conversations usually take place between two people. If on the other end of the international conversation is an American, his conversation is monitored, recorded, transcribed, and kept for future use.

    According to press reports earlier this summer, the Director of National Intelligence admitted to the Senate that "on at least one occasion" US intelligence collection agencies violated the Constitutional prohibitions on unlawful search and seizure. Without possibility for oversight of the process and with the absence of transparency, we will never know just how many Americans have been wiretapped without warrants.

    Creating a big brother surveillance state here is no solution to threats that may exist from abroad. I urge my colleagues to reject these FISA amendments and return to the Constitution.
    The House passed their bill 301 - 118.
    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll569.xml


    The Senate has yet to vote on their bill, S. 3276, the FAA Sunsets Extension Act of 2012.

    Please contact your Senators and urge them to oppose S. 3276. This will be voted on by the end of the year as the law expires 12/31/12.


    As a side note, when S. 3276 was debated in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mike Lee offered an amendment that would have required a warrant to search for data on a specific US person but it was defeated by a 3 to 15 vote.

    http://www.coons.senate.gov/blog/?ta...ry%20Committee

    Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), with whom Senator Coons rarely agrees, proposed an amendment that would have prohibited the U.S. government from using communications obtained through wiretaps and foreign intelligence operations to search for information on U.S. citizens without a warrant. Put another way, let's say you're an American citizen your name happens to appear in records the intelligence community collected while surveilling a suspected terrorist. You're not suspected of terrorism, but for some reason, you're name is dragged into it. This measure would prevent the government from searching for your name and using what it found against you without a court order.

    "The FISA Amendments Act is an important and valuable law for our national security," Senator Coons said. "But its use needs to be watched closely to prevent abuses like the ones we saw in 2008."

    Senator Coons voted for Senator Lee's amendment. As did Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), but they were the only three to vote for this privacy-protection measure, and the amendment failed, 15-3.



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  3. #2

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    http://www.senate.gov/general/contac...nators_cfm.cfm

    Is Lee going to offer it again on the floor?

    And Ron needs a twitter link on his House page....
    "Integrity means having to say things that people don't want to hear & especially to say things that the regime doesn't want to hear. -Ron Paul

    "Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it." -Edward Snowden

  4. #3

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    You can retweet roll call and call senator alert here: https://twitter.com/usernamenuse/sta...77911929020416
    "Integrity means having to say things that people don't want to hear & especially to say things that the regime doesn't want to hear. -Ron Paul

    "Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it." -Edward Snowden

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by sailingaway View Post
    Is Lee going to offer it again on the floor?
    I hope so but Reid does control the amendment process.

    Here's more info about FISA from ACLU:
    http://www.aclu.org/blog/tag/fisa

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