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Thread: FISA: The crucial privacy debate happening in the shadows of the coronavirus

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    FISA: The crucial privacy debate happening in the shadows of the coronavirus

    The crucial privacy debate happening in the shadows of the coronavirus
    Should the government have carte blanche to dig into the brains of your phone and computer?
    By Patricia Murphy - May 21, 2020

    Take a break from those headlines for a minute to focus on HR 6172, the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act, which has passed both the House and Senate, but is back in the House for consideration since the two chambers have yet to agree on identical language. The legislation would reauthorize and amend crucial portions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, the law that governs intelligence agencies’ search and surveillance activities in national security investigations. Although the Senate passed an amended version of the bill last week to expand oversight of the FISA court process, a separate amendment from Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden and Montana Republican Steve Daines related to internet search history failed by a single vote.

    Does all of this matter to your average bear, sheltering in place somewhere in America, working from the kitchen table and Googling everything from coronavirus symptoms to brownie recipes to “How to file for Paycheck Protection Program funds”? It matters quite a lot, actually, because today the federal government has the legal authority to access those very Google searches, along with reams of internet browsing history, all without a warrant from a judge to rule that it’s necessary and proper. If Congress does not change the bill as it’s written, the government will keep the right to your browser and search history, even if you’re not accused of committing a crime.

    As Wyden said on the Senate floor last week, with everything from health history and political views to employment and relationships embedded in people’s internet searches, monitoring a person’s browser history is “as close to reading minds as surveillance can get.”
    ...
    Since then, a coalition of more than 60 groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, FreedomWorks and Human Rights Watch, has sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rules and Judiciary committee leaders, urging them to state definitely that the FBI should not be allowed to spy on Americans’ internet activity without a warrant. Any time FreedomWorks and the ACLU are in the same place on the same issue, it’s time to pay attention.

    So pay attention to this — the effort isn’t over yet, but it’s close. Two House sources familiar with the negotiations said that California Democrat Zoe Lofgren and Ohio Republican Warren Davidson have been looking for House support for language that mirrors the Wyden-Daines amendment and would eventually be matched back up with the Senate, where 60 votes should be waiting. Like the Senate, House proponents are looking for a bipartisan coalition of Freedom Caucus-minded privacy advocates and Progressive Caucus-friendly civil libertarians. It’s a last attempt to use the rare bipartisan agreement, even in an election year, to address this crucial, but under-the-radar issue.
    ...
    It’s a debate that deserves far more attention and mind space from the public than it’s been getting. If you don’t believe me, just Google it.
    ...
    More: https://www.rollcall.com/2020/05/21/...e-coronavirus/
    "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
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    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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    Pelosi is most likely going to rip up that letter the moment she receives it.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge



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