back to article White House goes to court, not Congress, to renew warrantless spy powers

The Biden Administration has asked a court, rather than Congress, to renew controversial warrantless surveillance powers used by American intelligence and due to expire within weeks. It's a move that is either business as usual or an end-run around spying reforms, depending on who in Washington you believe. Both may be true. …

  1. tip pc Silver badge
    Big Brother

    I thought it was just the communists & dictators who spied on their citizens & distrusted them

    "It's utterly ridiculous for the administration to make such a blatant end-run around Congress to reauthorize this often-abused, unconstitutional warrantless surveillance of Americans," Gilligan told The Register. "Congress must significantly reform the law, or it must sunset — those are the only two options to protect Americans' rights."

    Not much to add to that.

    1. Catkin Silver badge

      Re: I thought it was just the communists & dictators who spied on their citizens & distrusted them

      Checks and Balances is, like, such a drag, man.

    2. Brian 3

      Re: I thought it was just the communists & dictators who spied on their citizens & distrusted them

      I'd like to add criminal charges for every single congressperson who voted for it, and every single person who used it. Life sentences for every judge who gave it their OK.

    3. Dimmer Bronze badge

      Re: I thought it was just the communists & dictators who spied on their citizens & distrusted them

      Wait!

      I was told the the GOP that wanted this. If they both are wanting this - there must be a third party that is pushing this. We the people don’t want it.

      By the way, has tech reached the point where we can serval them back?

  2. AVee

    Or perhaps it's

    "End-run around lawmakers or business as usual?"

    both.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Or perhaps it's

      Or maybe neither. Truth of the matter is that the US legislative branch is currently in a state of extreme disarray. The Senate where the Democrats have a razor thin majority is moderately functional and a well thought out Section 702 revision might stand a chance of passing there. The House of Representatives where the Republicans hold an even slimmer majority is pretty much completely paralyzed by a group of extreme right wingers who view any attempt to legislate as an opportunity for extortion. Pretty much nothing is getting done there. The chances of any meaningful legislation actually getting through the legislative branch this year appear to be slim to none. I suppose pragmatically that the courts might be the only recourse. (Personally Section 702 going away completely wouldn't trouble me at all).

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Or perhaps it's

        "an even slimmer majority is pretty much completely paralyzed by a group of extreme right wingers who view any attempt to legislate as an opportunity for extortion"

        Ok, politics as usual. Nothing earthshaking in those observations. What is an issue is the authorization that must be re-approved each year BY CONGRESS has a puppet President's office trying to circumvent the law as written by taking the re-authorization to a court. The courts should have no standing to make a decision to extend the act. There's nothing about the requirement that congress must reauthorize something periodically that's out of sorts with the Constitution and relevant laws for a court to rule over. Plenty of things must be reauthorized by Congress or they expire.

        The US Federal government was set up in three parts with specific duties, responsibilities and limitations to instill checks and balances within. Too much has been allowed such as Executive Orders that have been applied much more broadly than intended and need to be brought back in line. If the Judicial Branch can intrude on the prerogatives of the Legislative Branch by request of the Executive Branch, only madness lies ahead.

      2. VicMortimer Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Or perhaps it's

        The only "well thought out Section 702 revision" would be to let it expire. It should never have been law in the first place.

  3. johnrobyclayton

    Think of the Children!!! Reds under the beds!!! Waillee Waillee!!!

    Sticky beaks need to sticky beak.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Power is never willingly rescinded

    Governments would like to know everything and control everything, it's in their nature. They have long forgotten that they are supposed to be servants of the people and see themselves as rulers. In the West they rule through lies and deception. In the East it is more blatant. Their biggest tool for this is the claim of "safety". Safe spaces, safe speech, safe information. If we don't start saying no to the constant overreach soon, there will be no choices. Before big data analytics and AI it was not an issue, the capability to know everything did not exist. Now it does.

    People need to wake up to this. UN Agenda 21 is an Orwellian nightmare. Ignore the fluff and extrapolate the impact on people.

    1. blackcat Silver badge

      Re: Power is never willingly rescinded

      "If we don't start saying no to the constant overreach soon"

      We should have done that 20+ years ago! Anyone remember the clipper chip?

    2. Bearshark

      Re: Power is never willingly rescinded

      Word

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Power is never willingly rescinded

      WTF are you on about?

      Agenda 21 isn't an Orwellian nightmare. I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of the free trade crap, but the overall concept of combating poverty and disease and trying to fix the environment isn't a bad thing at all.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

      https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf

      Are you one of those "every child should get to experience measles" assholes?

  5. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Holmes

    No Stupid Administration

    The situation described has existed for at least 50 years, the NSA was originally given the requirement of observing all non-American citizens and monitoring their conversations with anyone (including American citizens) to detect any anti-American actions. This was never political, just a result of the cold war issues. As an English citizen I have lived in the US for 45 years and have always accepted that this might be happening but I have never seen any problems and all of the Americans I have communicated with (including my wife LOL) have never had any issues. I have always been working in the American health industry so I have no stupidity that they might monitor although my company had sold a few products to Russia, China and other counties too ... but only to help physicians and physical therapists do a good job.

    Most likely I have been monitored but I have never had any problems. Why did I move to America? - I have always loved Jazz, Blues, The Grateful Dead and was so happy to be able to go and see Allen Toussaint performing wonderfully!

    I expect that every country in the world has the ability to monitor local foreign interactions, but most of them just "do it" without ever describing it. This "incident" looks like the White House just acting sensibly (continuing a traditional non-political action) to separate "safety" from "politics"

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