Dianne Feinsten Defends NSA Spying, We Push Back

Dianne Feinsten Defends NSA SpyingLast week, during a hearing in the Imperial Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dianne Feinsten went to bat for the NSA – defending their wildly unconstitutional spying program as “lawful, effective and constitutional”

This is in light of the fact that the NSA intends to collect all U.S. telephone records and put them in a searchable “lock box” in the interest of “national security.” That’s how PCWorld reported on what General Keith Alexander, the NSA’s director, told U.S. senators.

There is no upper limit” on NSA telephone-records collection, Alexander said. “I believe it is in the nation’s best interest to put all the phone records into a lock box that we can search when the nation needs to do it.”

Fact: The 4th Amendment doesn’t authorize this kind of mass intrusion into your privacy, no matter what these people happen to say.


Alternative to University Research Funding for NSA Projects

Many think university research is funded by tuition and student fees. This is false. In fact, research in colleges (both public and private) gets most of its funding through federal grants.

In scientific research, a majority of these federal grants comes from the NIH, NSF, and DoE. Some of it comes from private sources, but most flows from federal sources. And private funding becomes harder to get every year. The Ghostbusters line sums it up: “Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.”

This being the case, getting universities to stop accepting federal grants that promote NSA won’t be easy and will call for some creative thinking. But it’s not and impossible task.

What we need is funding competition.


Blueprint to Nullify the NSA: 4th Amendment Protection Act

For far too long, Americans blindly obeyed the “national security” experts at the cost of personal liberty.

Fortunately a healthy trend of defiance has been eclipsing that mindset and the Fourth Amendment is making a comeback.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Never before has the Fourth Amendment been under such assault as by the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA has a secret spying program that’s not so secret now thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden. Once Americans learned their online, phone, and texting communications were being watched and stored without probable cause or a warrant, they demanded accountability. Polls from Quinnipiac, Pew, Rassmussen, and others all show Americans don’t trust their liberty under this so-called anti-terrorism policy.

Division of power makes America great, and protects the liberty our founders dreamed of and fought for. The role of states isn’t to simply salute and follow federal orders. The Fourth Amendment Protection Act instructs the people’s state officials on how to deal with federal officials enforcing unconstitutional surveillance.

Learn about it and start working to get it passed, here:


Obama Administration Removes Ban on Warrantless Surveillance of Americans

President Obama sought and obtained permission from a secret surveillance court to disregard previously enacted restrictions on the domestic, warrantless spying programs of the National Security Agency (NSA), the Washington Post reports.

According to sources cited in the story, in 2011, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, former chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, issued an order “permitting the agency [NSA] to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases.”

Also included in the order was an extension of the amount of time the NSA can store the electronic communication data it collects in the United States. Prior to the judge’s decision, such files could be retained for only five years; the limit was pushed back to six years by the terms of the ruling.

The order, the story claims, reversed an “explicit ban” on such unconstitutional searches imposed by the same court in 2008. These restrictions reportedly were “not previously acknowledged.”

A decision of this type would cause immediate and irreparable harm to the Constitution and the right of Americans — and all free people — to be free from unwarranted surveillance by agents of their own government.

What’s more troubling and tyrannical is the fact that none of these changes to exceptions to the Fourth Amendment was ever debated or passed by the people’s elected representatives in Congress. Rather, this fundamental civil liberty was repealed by a judicial appointee at the behest of the very department who sought the expanded authority.


Obama Packs Surveillance Review Board With D.C. Insiders

After the uproar over his plan to appoint Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to head his intelligence review board, President Obama promised to pack the group with “outside experts.”

News of the names of board members reveals that the president’s definition of “outside” comes from somewhere outside the dictionary.

The five men tapped to lead the panel known officially as the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies are Richard A. Clarke (shown), Michael Morell, Cass Sunstein, Geoffrey Stone, and Peter Swire.

It would be challenging to assemble a group more “inside” the government.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s response to the announcement of the board members sums up the situation exactly. Said EFF: “A task force led by General Clapper full of insiders — and not directed to look at the extensive abuse — will never get at the bottom of the unconstitutional spying.”


Ruling Reveals NSA Lies to Courts, Congress About Scope of Surveillance

originally posted at The New American

The National Security Agency was forced to de-classify a document, the contents of which make it easy to see why the snoops wanted it kept secret.

In an 85-page ruling handed down by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (commonly known as the FISA court) judge John D. Bates, the NSA was called out “for repeatedly misleading the court that oversees its surveillance on domestic soil, including a program that is collecting tens of thousands of domestic e-mails and other Internet communications of Americans each year,” the New York Times reported on Thursday.

Bates found that the NSA routinely misled the court as to the scope of its domestic surveillance activities.

“The court is troubled that the government’s revelations regarding N.S.A.’s acquisition of Internet transactions mark the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program,” former FISA court chief judge Bates wrote in his ruling.

Most of the secret NSA programs recently brought to light by the Edward Snowden leaks are mentioned by Bates as being evidence of the NSA’s blatant disregard for the Constitution and for legal limits on its surveillance authority.

As reported by the New York Times:


Mike Maharrey Talks Patriot Act and NSA Spying with the Forgotten Men

http://media.ccomrcdn.com/media/station_content/1142/TFM081013-h1_1376316347_17926.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey spent an hour talking with the Forgotten Men about the Patriot Act, NSA spying, the specter of indefinite detention, government secrecy and other threats to liberty flowing out of the “War on Terror.” As you’ll hear, the subject stirred…