back to article You know this Land of the Free thing, yeah? Well then, why allow the FBI to trawl through America's browsing history without a warrant?

Congress has been urged to introduce a measure that would require the FBI to get a warrant before agents can review Americans’ internet browsing and search histories – just days after an amendment to do that fell by one vote in the Senate. More than 50 advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the …

  1. AustinTX
    Big Brother

    We Have Received No Complaints, And Don't Expect To


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    land of the free...

    to die in poverty

    to have easily treatable facial tumors

    to choose between insulin and being able to feed your family

    to choose between being poisoned at your place of work and having no income

    to choose not to go to the physician for the suspicious mole because you cannot afford the co-pay

    to work as an ambulace driver but not be provided with health coverage

    to believe that if you work hard enough you can break out of poverty

    to stay at home or go out for a run whilst black and risk being shot


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: land of the free...

      but...... GUNS!

    2. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

      Re: land of the free...

      "You are free to do as we tell you!"

      NSFW due to language

      I often wonder what Bill Hicks would make of the world today.

      1. TheRealRoland

        Re: land of the free...


    3. Snake Silver badge

      Re: land of the free...

      It didn't used to be this way. In the'70's we believed we were headed for 'enlightenment'; we believed that we wee working for some type of future where things would be great.

      Then Reagan came in. And then Chernobyl happened, the USSR went bankrupt and collapsed, but Americans were told that the collapse was due exclusively to our political and economic pressures. America "won". And if capitalism "won", then more capitalism, more personal, economic and social Darwinism (greed) - "Greed is good", using the exact and direct quote.

      So America has sold its soul for MONEY. Everything is OK as long as you can personally justify it, and it's PREFECT of e you're making money doing it.

      We've become...morally corrupt. And the constructs that are supposed to uphold a greater morality, up to and including religion, have been either enslaved or silenced by propaganda ("socialism!"), fear, or just outright selling out for that almighty Dollar.

      There are still people of conscious in this society. But all too often they stay home instead of voting that conscious, and greed continues to win. So we've gotten the government, the system, that we (continue to) pay for.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: land of the free...

        Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (George Santayana-1905)

        I'll guarantee not a single US Republican senator or congress-critter has read "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" (or if they did they failed to understand the relevance).

        If they had, the USA might not be the disaster we currently have unfolding before our eyes.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: land of the free...

      that's a LOT of pessimism! Now I'll need to wave a flag for a while to recover...

      THAT, and protest the shutdowns in my Guy Fawkes mask!

    5. HildyJ Silver badge

      Re: land of the free...

      You are free to exercise all of the rights granted to you by the Constitution . . .

      As long as you picked the right billionaire parents.

    6. EarthDog

      But we've got the best numbers!

      Incredible numbers. Numbers like no one else! No other COVID19 nation on Earth can beat us! They don't have our numbers. We're number 1! We're number 1! USA!USA! Whhooooohooooo!

  3. DerekCurrie
    Big Brother

    Fourth AND Fifth Amendments

    #MyStupidGovernment, which is to say #MyConstitutionallyIlliterateGovernment is assaulting TWO US Constitutional Amendments at the same time. For those concerned:

    Amendment IV

    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.

    Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    ♪♪ You can't have one without the other!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Fourth AND Fifth Amendments

      Yes, those are excellent words and they transcribe a wonderful ideal, ideal that the US government has been slowly chipping away at for decades.

      Now, that ideal is all but lying in the dust, gasping its last breaths. The Statue of Liberty is fixed, because if not she would have skipped town a long time ago.

      The thing is, if there is one thing that you cannot take away from the USA, it is its citizens. I know quite a few American people, they are good people. They will prevail, and I am convinced that America will once again be a true beacon of liberty and justice. It's just that, at this point in time, they have a bunch of right white racists in every position that counts.

      That will pass, in time, and things will get better. Right now, we all just have to weather the storm. The shit storm.

    2. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Fourth AND Fifth Amendments

      Well lets see now, how can we get around that. I know! So the second Amendment states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." If you own a gun then you're obviously part of a militia otherwise the second Amendment wouldnt really apply, right?

      And since President Trump has declared a Public Emergency with the Pandemic ("time of war or public danger"), that means you can forget the Fifth Amendment!

      God, this bypassing the rules stuff is easy!

      As for the Fourth Amendment, well websites are obviously not people, or houses, or effects, and unless you print them on paper, they dont count as papers. There, see, easy peasy, no way the Fourth Amendment should apply.

      Now FBI where's my bonus for solving this legal conundrum?

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Fourth AND Fifth Amendments

      It is the nature of governments to become TYRANNIES if the people allow it.

      I definitely have to side with the ACLU this time. Too bad they're not consistent with liberty and the U.S. Constitution on OTHER matters, though...

    4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Fourth AND Fifth Amendments

      Except I do not trust the Nine Seniles to read the Constitution. If they did they would not understand simple concepts like needing warrant to search, a conviction to seize property (see civil asset forfeiture), etc.

    5. EarthDog

      Re: Fourth AND Fifth Amendments

      the war on drugs shredded those two useless clauses years ago.

  4. Bloodbeastterror

    "1-hour Cleaners"

    "The Land of the Free" trademark reminds me of the Monty Python sketch where one of them presents a coat for cleaning and is told it will be ready in a week.

    "But this is 1-Hour Cleaners!"

    "That's just the name of the shop."

    1. oiseau Silver badge

      Re: "1-hour Cleaners"

      "That's just the name of the shop."

      Beat me to it.

      Congress has been urged to introduce a measure that would require the FBI to get a warrant before agents can review Americans’ internet browsing and search histories.

      All this is just pour la galerie.

      There will be protests, indignated congresspeople and senators, rights groups, etc.

      Ammendments will be passed and pledges made.

      But the powers that be will still search your whatevers when they please.

      You just won't find out about it till it's too late.

      In the end, it will be is up to us to (as far as it is possible) to make the effort to protect ourselves.


  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did you see Hong Kong?

    They had armed security guards drag elected representatives out, so that only the Chinese puppet leaders could vote on their new chairman. Suppressing the vote of those ELECTED leaders. The people left to vote were the Chinese puppets.

    The place is not the power. The room they were ejected from, is not the power, *they* are, they are the people chosen by the voters. They should have simply held their own vote outside and declared that the real vote. Sure the Chinese would arrest them, but again that was lack of planning. Did they not realize that the Chinese would arrive mob handed???? Did they not plan for it!? DUH!

    USA is about to face a coup, only yours is currently a bit more subtle at the moment. But the lessons apply, because you'll reach the same place very very quickly.

    When Trump refuses to leave the Whitehouse, remember the Whitehouse is just a building. When he refuses to concede the Presidency, remember that its just a title he gives himself, like the fake Trump-Crest, or the labels he gives himself. He is no longer the President and has no authority not matter what he or others say. The building is not the center of power, and he is a lying bullshitter. Simply take the levers of power from him and don't let any distractions take you from enforcing the constitution.

    The place is not the power. "Russian-Agent-Orange" is not the power. The democracy is the power.

    *PLAN FOR THE WORST*, you can see the plotters replacing all the IGs and trying to put their group into positions of power all through the infrastructure. You need to be aware of this and plan for it. Don't be taken by surprise like the HK legislature were.

    So, look at Bill Barr. He's 100% in on it. He will be spying on Republicans and Democrats for his boss and for Moscow Mitch trying to keep both enemies at bay and Republicans in line. When it comes time to hand over power, and Trump is refusing, he will go all-out. You can convene a new government, but he will try to have his 'guards' arrest you. His version of the Chinese HK coup. Plan for it.

    You need to have a new DOJ AG already chosen (and a backup in case Barr's group gets him first). You need to declare Barr sacked, order his arrest for refusing to stand down, declare him an 'outlaw-AG'. But also offer him immunity if he jumps ship and rejoins the democracy. If he immediately complies with the handover of power and obeys the law, he gets immunity. Divide the coup group.

    The House and Senate are also vulnerable. Their security is compromised because the rule of law is compromised. They too will find the Chinese way of simply using armed guards to secure a location is used. They too will have their day when only Moscow Mitch and his fellow plotters are allowed to vote.

    It may sound over the top now, but its like the virus. People told you to lock-down IMMEDIATELY and Fox News and Trump were pretending its just the flu. If the preparation work had been done, you would have had 100 people dead and be open and prosperous again by now. Not 100k dead and heading for a second wave, of 200k+.

    Now look at the Corona Virus situation. Trump and plotters are busy distracting like crazy. Republican states are trying to reseed the virus by opening early. Florida is suppressing the data, and other Republican states are not testing to reduce the numbers. Lawsuits are being started to attack the mail-in ballots, and force borders open, between infected and non-infected states to spread the virus again.

    The Republican strategy for winning elections is voter suppression & division. In States with Republican governors, they arrange for long lines of votes in districts that lean Democrat, and short lines in districts that lean Republican. If you have to wait 4 hours to vote in a line, then you tend not to vote. So this effect skews the vote towards Republicans, and results in a low turnout.

    If they reseed the virus successfully, a 4 hour wait in line is potentially life threatening. So this should help their vote suppression. Who wants to risk their lives to vote? On the other hand, if there is a large turnout with big queues, their vote suppression has failed, they can immediately shut down that vote, declare it 'unsafe'. Provoking a constitutional crisis.

    Kavanaugh is 100% in. He obtained that position by Moscow Mitch blocking a vote to create that position. He is an owned. He is a pure partisan player. Others like Roberts, are weak and won't realize they were manipulated into this situation. Roberts will reluctantly go along with it 'for safety' not realizing what's coming next.

    Watch Hong Kong, recognize what's about to hit the US. Prepare now.

    Look, if I told you that Trump would be backing armed militias invading Governors offices, you'd think it was crazy. Yet that is just a regular week now! It's all happening so fast you want to blot it out, don't, because by the time you respond it will be too late. Putin will be visiting, all smiles and smirks, meeting the regional manager, and it will all be too late.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Watch the Texas case

      "A Texas federal judge on Tuesday ruled that all voters afraid of catching the novel coronavirus can request absentee mail-in ballots due to the pandemic....

      District Judge Fred Biery ruled that the "disability" provision in the state's vote-by-mail election code applies to all registered voters who "lack immunity from Covid-19 and fear infection at polling places." Texas' election code defines "disability" as "a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place on election day without a likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring the voter's health."

      **Injuring the voter's health***, being the clear reason to vote by mail rather than vote in person.

      e.g. 2 asymptomatic infectious people at a church service, resulted in the death of 4 people, 3 in the church and 1 in the community before CDC managed to lock it down.

      This is clearly the likelihood of "injuring the voter's health" from the disability law, indeed there is a likelihood of *death* resulting from voting at a polling station in Covid times. It should be clear cut and in everyone's interest to encourage voting by mail, but as you'll see, Trump and Republicans and Fox will attack this as hard as possible.

      If you're an old Texan, who watches the liars of Fox News, realize those 4 dead people were just like you, and they had a horrible death where they struggled to breath till they blacked out and died. This is you, if Fox News and the Republicans gets their way. This is what they want for you, so they can suppress the vote.

      Watch the group attack this Texas decision. They'll quickly as they can move this up to Supreme Court and try to get a ruling to block all similar provisions that let voters vote by mail. Failing that they'll try for a stay on the order, and delay for the eventual decision until after the election date.

      There are fallback options here, you could have a 'pre-filled' ballot. Where the ballot is filled in at home, then handed over at the polling station, reducing the wait times to zero. Even if the Supreme Court tries to kill mail-in ballots, there are ways of having an election despite their attacks on voting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Watch the Texas case

        A pre-filled ballot wouldn't reduce wait times to "zero". They are still going to want to check your ID against the voter registration list, and if they dispute it because the poll worker doesn't think you look like your picture or doesn't think the signature on your ballot envelope matches the one on your ID then they have a different set of procedures. Introducing a new procedure like this on election day would be a disaster waiting to happen.

        If they really cared about protecting people from coronavirus they'd allow anyone to vote absentee. If they are worried about the security of that process do the drive thru I outline above for GETTING the ballot. That way you have a month or two where you could show up at a designated location for drive thru ID check and ballot issuance. You take the ballot home, then fill it in and mail it at your convenience.

        This process also gives you time to rectify any errors in your registration information or whatever that would have prevented you from voting on election day. Which is why republicans would never go along with it, because they are ALWAYS against anything that makes it easier to vote. They want long lines at the polls, mass confusion over inaccurate and outdated registration data, etc. because that's how they limit the black vote.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Make the ballot targetted

          Id is on the ballot, its *your* id's ballots as previously requested by you.

          @"Introducing a new procedure like this on election day would be a disaster waiting to happen."

          How is it a new procedure? Its a paper ballot delivered by mail, filled in at home, and delivered to a polling station. All elements that already exist.

          1. EnviableOne Silver badge

            Re: Make the ballot targetted

            Till the USPS runns oput of cash and falls over

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Did you see Hong Kong?

      Your plan falls flat

      On Jan 20th 2021 trumps reign as president ends by law (unless renewed by congress) however a lot of former US military types I talk to take the line "to defend the US from enemies both foriegn and domestic" rather seriously , regardless of political loyalties.

      So the republickons can try their little coup plan , but by the end of the first day , either the elected president will take the oath of office or the speaker of the house will according to the constitution.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Answer to 2nd question in article title: because they're free to do so.

  7. sjb2016reg

    Land of the free?

    The land of the free?

    Whoever told you that is your enemy.







    The elite

    All of which are American dreams

    All of which are American dreams

    All of which are American dreams

    All of which are American dreams

    All of which are American dreams

    All of which are American dreams

    All..of which...are American dreams

  8. codejunky Silver badge

    And who is shocked?

    This must surely have wide support from the population though surely? Those who want more government that is. Those demanding for more federal interference and demanding federal diktat must surely support this? Or do proponents of big government (R or D) think a big gov will only do what they want?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And who is shocked?

      There are idiots who post to this forum.. Should we therefore shut it down?

      It's a very defeative attitude you have there - "if we can't get it to work properly, give up"

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: And who is shocked?

        There are idiots who drink bleach but they are popular these days because the Internet means more to people than Democracy, we're all just smiling and floating down a river of shite while posting on Facebook and Instagram these days.

        1. Lotaresco

          Re: And who is shocked?

          "we're all just smiling and floating down a river of shite"

          This is a description of the west these days. There's a "Land of the Lotus Eaters" feel about the west as people become more interested in hedonism that actually doing anything. In social media today anyone who dares to suggest that things may not be as wonderful as portrayed tends to get a good shouting down. THX1138 anyone? "You are a true believer, blessings of the State, blessings of the masses. Work hard, increase production, prevent accidents and be happy."

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: And who is shocked?

          and biting into those Tide pillows... 15 seconds of fame, 15 days in the hospital

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: And who is shocked?


        It's a very defeative attitude you have there - "if we can't get it to work properly, give up"

        Thats an amazing defence of doing the same thing over and over no matter how stupid it turns out. Power corrupts being a fairly obvious observation of human nature. Then there is the one about people punishing you for your own good being the worst. Stuff like that.

        Thats before we get to the command economy stupidity and how it actually factually cannot work.

  9. Palpy

    But, but, but!

    Putting Americans in prison is a money-making proposition! We can't allow the private-sector prison-services corporations to slow their incredible growth, you know. (Even in states where private corporations don't run the prisons, they still provide phone and commissary, at incredibly inflated prices.) Not to mention the economic benefits of slavery -- prison labor is used by big players like Walmart and McDonalds because convicts can be paid virtually nothing, as little as twenty-five cents a day. Therefore, despite having a larger percentage of its citizenry living in cages than any other country, Republicans will champion American freedom by freeing the FBI (and every other law-enforcement agency possible) to arrest as many poor people as they can. It's money, you see.

    Land of the Free, my arse.

  10. joeydiggs

    Sorry Trumpetsters, there is this thing called the CONSTITUTION

    You can bet that it's DRUMPF and his trillionaire oligarchs who will use this to continue DRAINING America dry.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Sorry Trumpetsters, there is this thing called the CONSTITUTION

      Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Golfing through the Glen

      Donald Trump, Donald Trump, With his crooked men

      They rob from poor and give to the rich

      What a bitch, What a bitch, What a bitch.

      Apologies to Carl Sigman

      Feel free to expand, I'm sure there's material for dozens of verses.

  11. MrDamage Silver badge

    Don't worry

    It'll all come to an end once Emperor Trump has locked up everyone who has ever said anything nasty about him on the internet.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least ot looks like uss may get a vote. Our democracy was cancelled without a murmur but prople were still able to line up for food.

    The coup has already hsppened in uk.

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