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Thread: No Foreign Spy Program Reauthorization Without Citizen Protections

  1. #1

    No Foreign Spy Program Reauthorization Without Citizen Protections

    No Foreign Spy Program Reauthorization Without Citizen Protections
    The federal government has no business using information gathered under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act against Americans.
    By Rand Paul | January 2, 2018

    The federal government's greatest constitutional responsibility is keeping America safe and secure. One of many tools in its arsenal is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was meant to strengthen our ability to monitor foreign threats.

    Since the intention of FISA is to spy on foreigners, we don't require that the government obey the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protections of privacy are not extended to foreigners.

    Congress agreed to a less-than-constitutional standard as long as the targets were foreigners in foreign lands. Even many privacy advocates can accept this lower standard for foreign intelligence. But few, if any, privacy advocates believe that information vacuumed up without constitutional protections should be used against Americans accused of domestic wrongdoing.

    Unfortunately, that's what we believe is happening now. In the vast dragnet of data files collected on foreigners under Section 702 of FISA, millions of bits of information are also collected on Americans. We don't know the exact amount because our overlords in the intelligence community won't tell us.

    Apologists for any and all spying on anyone anywhere, foreign or domestic, want to permanently reauthorize this program. Permanent reauthorization would mean Congress would never again debate or oversee any abuses in this spy program. I can't think of an approach more callous in its disregard for our cherished Bill of Rights.

    I will do whatever it takes, including filibuster, to prevent any reauthorization without new constitutional controls on this program.
    ...
    Some reformers believe that the government should not be able to search this massive database, or any database for that matter, without a judicial warrant. Absolutely, a warrant should be required, but really no information gathered without constitutional protection should be used, with or without a warrant, in domestic crime.
    ...
    Our Founders gave us the Fourth Amendment to prevent a tyrannical government from invading our privacy, and we are fools to relinquish that hard-won right because of fear. Some argue that "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear," but this is a slap in the face to our constitutional standard of "innocent until proven guilty."

    Madison wrote that the chains of the Constitution are necessary because men are not angels. Bias enters into the minds of even the most well-meaning of souls.

    Questions remain about whether high-ranking Obama administration officials, such as Susan Rice, "unmasked" Trump transition officials for political reasons. Questions remain about who in government feloniously leaked General Flynn's telephone conversation to the press.

    Recent discoveries that a high-ranking FBI official and his mistress conspired with someone named "Andy" about an "insurance policy" to prevent Trump from becoming President should scare all impartial observers.

    The bias and potential for bias among intelligence officials means we need more oversight, not less. Anyone who has witnessed the institutional bias and hatred of this president by the deep state should want more oversight of FISA's 702 program.

    Such stories, and more, pose many questions that must be answered to reveal whether or not the real collusion of 2016 concerned any efforts to smear President Trump or even prevent him from taking office.

    While I believe that most people within the intelligence community are hard-working, patriotic Americans with whom we can have an honest discussion about the best way to protect America, it only takes a handful in the right positions to corrupt the system, and we should find out more about what has really been happening behind the scenes.

    Ultimately, this debate focuses on a truth that many seem to have forgotten: the Founders did not include the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights as a suggestion.
    ...
    More: https://reason.com/archives/2018/01/...uthorization-w
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.



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  3. #2
    If only one GOP senator stands with Rand, that would kill it (or at least force the GOP leadership to bring in scabs from across the aisle).

  4. #3

  5. #4
    "Special Requests" How special!





    DACA S**thole Dreamers - Make America Great Again?

  6. #5
    Key votes:

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    Action alert: contact your representative at 202-224-3121.

    - NO on the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act, S. 139.
    - YES on the USA RIGHTS Act Amendment to S. 139.

    https://twitter.com/RandPaul/status/951177046843158529
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  7. #6

    https://twitter.com/RandPaul/status/950812154566934531
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  8. #7

  9. #8
    Congress Plotting to Cut a Hole in the 4th Amendment, Again

    By Andrew P. Napolitano

    January 11, 2018

    Hidden beneath the controversy stirred up last week by the publication of a book called “Fire and Fury,” a highly critical insider’s view of the Trump White House that the president has not only denounced on national television but also tried to prevent from being published and distributed, are the efforts of the Trump administration and congressional leadership to bypass the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

    Here is the back story.

    After the excesses of the Watergate era, during which the Nixon administration used the FBI and the CIA unlawfully to spy without warrants on the president’s real and imagined domestic political opponents, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA prohibited all domestic surveillance except that which is pursuant to warrants signed by federal judges.

    The Fourth Amendment — which guarantees privacy in our persons, houses, papers and effects — permits the government to invade that privacy only when a judge has signed a warrant that authorizes surveillance, a search or a seizure. And judges may only issue warrants when they have found probable cause to believe that the government surveillance or invasion of the target’s privacy will produce evidence of criminal behavior. The Fourth Amendment further requires that the judicial warrant describe specifically the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized.

    All these requirements are in the amendment so as to prevent any court from issuing general warrants. Before the Constitution, general warrants were issued by British courts that met in secret in London. They were not issued based on probable cause of crime but issued based on the government’s wish to invade the privacy of all Americans living in the Colonies to find the more rebellious among them. This was the king and Parliament’s version of protecting national security.

    General warrants did not describe the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized. They authorized the bearer — usually a British soldier physically located in the Colonies — to search where he wished and seize whatever he found.

    FISA did not interfere with the standard understanding or use of the Fourth Amendment by the government and the courts. But it did add another way for the government to invade privacy when its wish is to surveil people for national security purposes — a return to general warrants — as opposed to solely gathering evidence of crimes.

    The FISA-created procedure, enacted in defiance of the Fourth Amendment — which makes no distinction between government evidence gathering and government intelligence gathering — permits a secret court in Washington to issue general warrants based on the government’s need to gather intelligence about national security from foreigners among us. It pretends that the standard is probable cause of foreign agency, but this has now morphed into the issuance of general warrants whenever the government wants them.

    Since 1977, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has issued well over 99 percent of the warrants that the government has requested. And these warrants do not specifically describe the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized. A typical FISC-issued warrant authorizes government surveillance on all landlines, mobile devices and desktop computers in a given area or ZIP code. One infamous FISC-issued search warrant permitted the feds to surveil all Verizon customers in the U.S. — in excess of 115 million people — without any evidence of crime or even suspicion about any of them.

    Now back to the Trump administration’s work below the radar. Even in the fresh aftermath of 9/11, when the government’s respect for constitutional norms was at a lamentably low point, the government interpreted the Fourth Amendment as requiring the government to separate its intelligence functions from its law enforcement work. The government recognized that its trigger for mass surveillance — namely, looking for a foreign agent among the populace — was a far lower standard than probable cause of crime, which is what the Fourth Amendment requires.

    Today, the federal government’s computers are permanently connected to the mainframes of all telecoms and computer service providers in America, so the spying is in real time. Today, the federal government employs more than 60,000 domestic spies — one spy for every 5,500 Americans. Today, if any of them come across evidence of crimes while listening to your telephone calls or reading your texts or emails ostensibly for intelligence purposes, there is little they can do about it.

    Until now.

    Now, hidden beneath the “Fire and Fury” controversy is the muffled sound of the Trump administration and Republican congressional leaders plotting the enactment of an addition to FISA that would permit the use of evidence of crimes in federal court even when it is discovered during mass surveillance authorized by general warrants.

    If enacted, this radical, unconstitutional hole in the Fourth Amendment would bring the country full circle back to the government’s use of general warrants to harass and prosecute — general warrants so odious to our forebears that they took up arms against the king’s soldiers to be rid of them.

    I am surprised that President Donald Trump supports this. He has himself been the target of unlawful foreign surveillance and unconstitutional FISC-authorized domestic surveillance. “Fire and Fury” even quotes former British Prime Minister Tony Blair warning a newly elected Trump about this. And now he wants to unleash upon us all the voracious appetite for surveillance that was unleashed upon him and prosecute us for what is found, the Constitution be damned.

    Whatever happened to the public promise to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution as it is written? That’s in the oath all in government have taken. That is the oath that the president and his Republican allies reject.
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/01/...endment-again/
    There is no spoon.



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  11. #9
    It's kind of funny. The Trump "Administration" supports the full FISA renewal. Now they just have to keep Trump off of Twitter...


    https://www.twitter.com/realDonaldTr...31836030459905
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    It's kind of funny. The Trump "Administration" supports the full FISA renewal. Now they just have to keep Trump off of Twitter...


    https://www.twitter.com/realDonaldTr...31836030459905
    Now Rand will have to filibuster the Trump administration while endorsing Trumps ideas?

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by nikcers View Post
    Now Rand will have to filibuster the Trump administration while endorsing Trumps ideas?
    I'm sure Rand will oppose it no matter what. And if Rand is the last person Trump talked to, he'll oppose it too...for an hour or so.
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

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  18. #16
    Sen. Rand Paul doubles down on FISA filibuster threat

    By Sally Persons
    Friday, January 12, 2018

    Sen. Rand Paul threatened to filibuster the FISA bill Friday if certain changes were not made.

    “If there were ever something worth filibustering, I think it would be filibustering for the Bill of Rights,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said on Fox News.

    The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was reauthorized by the House on Thursday and heads to the Senate for further debate. Section 702 of the FISA bill allows surveillance agencies to collect intelligence on those suspected of espionage or terrorism.

    Mr. Paul threatened to filibuster the bill soon after it passed the House.



    ...
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news...buster-threat/



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