back to article US govt's 'foreign' spy program that can snoop on Americans at home. Sure, let's reauth that...

The reauthorization of a controversial US government spying program has made further progress with the Senate's intelligence committee putting forward its recommendations to the whole Senate. This follows a similar move by its counterpart in the House of Representatives last week. The report [PDF] from the Senate committee …

  1. James 51

    Surely at some point the inmates are going to lose control of the asylum?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      If the founding fathers had wanted people to have any rights about unreasonable searches and warrants then they should have added an amendment, like the one about guns - then it would have become holy writ.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        At what point will the general population of the US finally understand the nature of the boot on their face do you think?

        I'm guessing they'll only know when they can't actually breath, and the only thought in their head will be 'how did this happen..I've got nothing to hide!

        We are doomed by morons.

        Democracy is as dead as this parrot.

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Russian for section 702 shitshow is

    Closes to Section 702 shitshow is:

    Section 2 to be more exact: Quoting:

    Статья 23 Конституции РФ

    1. Каждый имеет право на неприкосновенность частной жизни, личную и семейную тайну, защиту своей чести и доброго имени.

    2. Каждый имеет право на тайну переписки, телефонных переговоров, почтовых, телеграфных и иных сообщений. Ограничение этого права допускается только на основании судебного решения.

    Translation of section 2:

    Everyone has the right to secrecy of his correspondence, telephone conversations, mail, telegraph or any other means of communications. This right may be restricted only by a court decision.

    I believe the American equivalent is the second amendment - everyone has the right to bare guns.

    Matter of life priorities: Guns GOOOOOOD, tits bad, Guns GOOOOOD, privacy bad. Sharing is caring you know. Always share everything with BIG BROTHER too.

    I know, I should put some SARCASM tags, but cannot be arsed to.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: Russian for section 702 shitshow is

      I know, I should put some SARCASM tags, but cannot be arsed to.

      I'm pretty sure that it's unnecessary in this instance :)

  3. captain_solo

    The fact that they are willing to do this when it is publicly known what is going on is pretty scary to me. They obviously don't fear the electoral process, perhaps they don't know what the next step is in the process of destroying a democratic system once they have nullified the will of the people.

    If they reauth all of this bullshit without any meaningful reform, it would be nice to see some tech money flow to some of the more religious open source zealots to build some tools and platforms to allow compatible standards based implementations that will just make everything go dark. Also it would be nice to see more direct action from the big 5 but that is just not going to happen until they realize how much they have to lose and we aren't there yet because there aren't meaningful alternatives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why should they fear the electoral process, when both parties are colluding to erode privacy of American citizens?

      The game is rigged heavily in favor of incumbents, so whether a challenger is from the left or from the right against an incumbent who supported this ball of shit, they will have an uphill climb to win. Couple that with ads saying "candidate X's position on section 702 would leave the US open to terrorist attack, Senator Y supports keeping Americans safe" since few people understand the issues, or care to once the dogwhistle term "terrorist" is applied in campaign ads and during debates.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        candidate X's position on section 702 would leave the US open to terrorist attack, Senator Y supports keeping Americans safe"

        Which is one of the reasons why most of Europe (not counting UK here as it has no concept of written constitution) have the right to privacy of correspondence as a constitutional right. The ones that do not (once again except UK) have a law to that effect. The chapter 23.2 from the RF constitution I quoted earlier is a cut-n-paste+translate from the German one (if memory serves me right).

        USA has NO right to privacy of correspondence period. Neither in law, nor in constitution. There is a patchwork of precedent derived from litigating correspondence related cases on 4th amendment grounds, but they do not make up a law. As a result, using 9/11 as a precedent Mr Shrub and Co have successfully pushed into production a system which would make Stazi proud (*).

        (*)No comment on UK. It is pointless to comment when a country is competing with Saudi Arabia to be the last country in the world to have a written constitution and the concept of fundamental rights.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          to be the last country in the world to have a written constitution

          I believe you're forgetting to add New Zealand to the list of competitors...

          1. silverfern

            Re: to be the last country in the world to have a written constitution

            And Israel, I believe.

        2. EnviableOne Silver badge

          There is a UK constitution, it is written down, its just not tidly in one document. It starts with The Magna Carta, and is built up by several pieces of legislation, a few treaties and some case law for interpretation.

          The US has a right ot privacy of communications, which stems from the same route as EUropes and The UK, its one of the fundemental agreements of the UN:-

          International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

          Article 17

          1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

          2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

          1. silverfern

            Ah, yes, but has Uncle Sam signed up to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights?

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    FAscinating this seems to be the one area of cooperation between both sides of the Houses

    Clearly they understand who the real enemy is.

    The American people.

    That is the implication of this sort of Draconian legislation, is it not?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FAscinating this seems to be the one area of cooperation between both sides of the Houses

      I think it is more that they are too cowardly to stick their necks out, because they feel there's a lot of risk in supporting something that could be used against them in a future election if there's another 9/11 type event. Their opponents would undoubtedly try to claim it happened because they tied the government's hands W.R.T. surveillance.

      There's little benefit to them in trying to stop this, because only a small percentage of citizens understand the freedom they are losing...or would care even if they do (the old "if you have nothing to hide..." bullshit)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    „Говнораздел №702” No, wait...

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Old News

    It's been well known (but ignored) for years that the agencies can legally target anyone who is in contact with a foreign national, or is associated with someone who is in contact with someone who is in contact with a foreign national.

    I work with many people overseas and so I assume that they are reading my email (and this post) and also the emails from everyone that I contact ... in my line of business that's about 5,000 people.

    But this came as a complete surprise to a certain politician in the US.

  7. ma1010
    Big Brother

    Doubleplus Good!

    We must eliminate crimethink.

    (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.)

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    A side effect of this will be

    That every office used by Law Enforcement will have to have a room dedicated to the interrogation of US Domestic Terrorists. I could suggest it be called Room 101 but most Americans won't understand why. It will be far to subtle for them.

  9. oneeye

    Does committee know something we dont?

    like how much information the spies already have on each one of the 11 voter's, to kill our privacy? I can't help but think, that they are massively ignorant, and or being blackmailed. It wouldn't take much of a threat to give these spineless critters a chill. Just some veiled innuendo.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: Does committee know something we dont?

      It's easy to blackmail someone whom you are paying to vote a particular way. Just a general observation of course.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shakespeare, Henry IV

    "Therefore, my Harry,

    Be it thy course to busy giddy minds

    With foreign quarrels, that action, hence borne out,

    May waste the memory of the former days."

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    James Madison

    “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: James Madison

      As H.L.Mencken wrote in 1938:

      "My own belief, more than once set afloat from this spot, is that it will take us, soon or late, into the stormy waters of Fascism. To be sure, that Fascism is not likely to be identical with the kinds on tap in Germany, Italy and Russia; indeed, it is very apt to come in under the name of anti-Fascism. And its first Duce, whether the Hon. Mr. Roosevelt or another, will not call himself a dictator, but a scotcher of dictators."

      Which is a variation of the famous quip often attributed to Huey Long:

      "When the United States gets fascism, it will call it anti-fascism."

      1. Uncle Slacky
        Thumb Up

        Re: James Madison

        There's also this, attributed to Sinclair Lewis (probably wrongly) but still an apposite quote:

        ""When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

  12. x 7

    the yanks have been happily spying on the rest of us for years, about time they brought their own country up to the same standard

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