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Last Monday, a bipartisan group of Senators and a coalition including libertarian and progressive activists thwarted a scheme to ram through the Senate legislation renewing three provisions of the USA FREEDOM Act (previously known as the USA PATRIOT Act). The bill had already been rushed through the House of Representatives, and most expected it to sail through the Senate. But, instead, Senate leadership had to settle for a 77-day extension.

Senate leadership was also forced to allow consideration of several amendments at a later date. Included is Sen. Rand Paul’s amendment that would forbid the FISA court from issuing warrants targeting American citizens.

Deep state supporters claim the expiring business records provision (which authorizes the collection of our communications and was at the center of Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations), lone wolf provision (which allows government to subject an individual with no known ties to terrorists to warrantless surveillance), and roving wiretaps provision (which allows government to monitor communications on any device that may be used by a targeted individual) are necessary to keep Americans safe. But, since Congress first passed the PATRIOT Act almost 20 years ago, mass surveillance, warrantless wiretapping, and bulk data collection have not stopped a single terrorist attack.

The legislation does have “reforms” aimed at protecting civil liberties, but these new protections contain loopholes that render the protections meaningless. For example, the bill requires those targeted for surveillance to be notified that the government spied on them. However, this requirement can be waived if the government simply claims — not proves but just clams — that notifying the target would harm “national security.”

The notice provision also only applies to the target of an investigations. So, if you were caught up in a federal investigation because a coworker is being targeted and you shared an office computer, or if a store clerk reported to the government you and others bought pressure cookers, the government could collect your phone records, texts, and social media posts without giving you the chance to challenge the government’s actions.

The bill also makes some reforms to the special FISA court, which serves as a rubber stamp for the intelligence community. These reforms are mainly aimed at protecting political campaigns and candidates. They would not stop the FISA court from rubber-stamping surveillance on organizations that oppose the welfare-warfare-surveillance-fiat money status quo.

Anything limiting warrantless wiretapping and mass surveillance should be supported. However, nothing short of repeal of the USA FREEDOM Act will restore respect for our right to live our lives free of the fear that Big Brother is watching. The path to liberty, peace, and prosperity starts with eliminating all unconstitutional laws and returning to a system of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, sound money, and a foreign policy that seeks peaceful commerce and friendship with all instead of seeking new monsters to destroy.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: FISA, Government Surveillance 
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  1. They’ve picked a good time to try this one, with Americans distracted by this Kung Flu infotainment panic-fest. (Most Americans don’t pay attention anyway, because if you’ve got nothing to hide …)

    I am glad to see Ron Paul bringing this to light though. What I am worried about just as much is this virus, and the crash in the economy due to mandatory business closures, to be used to push this country up a whole nother level of Socialism. This thing may be the Socialists’ 9/11.

    • Agree: Robert Dolan, AaronInMVD
    • Replies: @Iva
  2. Realist says:

    The Deep State never misses an opportunity to extend their tentacles and increase their control over the US.

  3. Cowboy says:

    Socialism!? Ha! In the coming (arrived?) totalitarian state Bernie Sanders will seem like a cute teddy bear. I’m not sure even the good doctor sees it. The bougie class has been all comfortable and willing to allow their corporate overlords to dictate ever more restrictions against their freedoms in order to achieve a semblance of the “American Dream”. The new normal is that if you want to avoid being thrown into the coming warring lower class you better stay holed up in your residence and do as your corporate overlord dictates. Trying to retain a semblance of the rule of law around the edges of a heinous act is going to be like sex in the brave new world; you feel better after jacking off but its not like the real thing. So when you see your bougie neighbor bending over taking it up the arse from their corporate overlord be sure to kick them in the face just to make it hurt a little more.

  4. NEWSFLASH FOR ALL UNZ ROCKET SCIENTISTS:

    Boris Johnson has just nationalized the railways because privatized railways are not efficient enough.

    Read it and weep, free-market delusionals.

    • Replies: @Cowboy
  5. Iva says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Globalists who tell Trump and told Obama what to do want to crash businesses so they can have masses of unemployed people to start manufacturing in the US. Hoping people will be willing to work for Chines wages not even US min. wage. 

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  6. @Iva

    I don’t think they’re smart enough to have an actual plan for that, Iva, but that does indeed work for them.

    I don’t know if they even care where the manufacturing happens. They just want to keep Americans in Bread & Circuses while they buy up all significant assets. Most importantly, they HAVE TO make sure the middle class is destroyed. They can’t have smart people with discretionary income forming associations, questioning the system, and otherwise horning in on the lifestyle of the Globalist elite.

  7. Cowboy says:
    @obwandiyag

    Thanks for the update il douche

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
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