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NSA court plea: ‘Let us spy 6 more months’

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Department of Justice officials have asked a federal court to restart the NSA spy programs shut down when portions of the Patriot Act expired on June 1. The US government claims the Freedom Act allows surveillance to continue for six more months.

In a filing to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), revealed Monday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) requested permission to continue the “bulk production of call detail records” for 180 days, arguing that the USA Freedom Act allows a six-month transition period.

The motion was filed at 9:50 PM on Tuesday, June 2, shortly after President Obama enacted the Freedom Act following its passage in the Senate. It was signed by Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart J. Evans.

“The Government respectfully submits that such authorization is appropriate notwithstanding the Second Circuit’s recent panel opinion in ACLU v. Clapper, No. 14-42 (2d Cir. May 7, 2015),” Carlin and Evans wrote, referring to the Second Circuit Court’s decision ruling the Section 215 of the Patriot Act illegal.

“Second Circuit rulings do not constitute controlling precedent for this Court,” the officials wrote to the FISC. “Although each such request sought a large number of call detail records, the vast majority of which ultimately will not be terrorist-related, the Government has argued and this Court has agreed… that the NSA bulk telephony metadata collection program is authorized by Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act.”

Furthermore, the officials wrote, the USA Freedom Act extended Section 215 powers from the Patriot Act through December 15, 2019.

On June 5, former Virginia attorney-general Ken Cuccinelli and the conservative group FreedomWorks filed their own motion with the FISC, urging the court not to approve the government’s request, on grounds that the NSA program violated the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.

“As we’ve repeatedly stated before, we believe the program is lawful,” replied Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi. “Moreover, in passing the Freedom Act Congress provided for a 180 day transition period for the government to continue the existing collection program until the new mechanism of obtaining call detail records is implemented.”

Section 215 actually expired on May 31, after the extraordinary Sunday session of the Senate adjourned without passing the Freedom Act, partly thanks to the delaying tactics by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM). The NSA had to shut down the program by the evening of May 31, to comply with the law. Senators eventually voted to pass the House-approved text of the USA Freedom Act on June 2.

Reacting to the rumors the government might request permission to restart the program, Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and one of the Senators who crossed the aisle to work with Paul against the Patriot Act extension, urged against it.

“I see no reason for the executive branch to restart bulk collection, even for a few months, and I urge them not to attempt to do so,” Wyden told the Guardian on June 4. “This illegal dragnet surveillance violated Americans’ rights for 14 years without making our country any safer, and the administration should leave it on the ash heap of history.”

The FISC has given the government until June 12 to respond to the challenge by Cuccinelli and FreedomWorks. Until then, the NSA cannot restart the bulk collections program.


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  • noode US

    In real world scenario down to US home-land, and Canada, six months , or six years, or sixty years of extension to NSA prism – Mass Surveillance Programs to collect private electronic meta data belonging to users really does not matter much. In fact, the nuisance started at the cost of billions of dollar investment would never end in real life, as collection of users private electronic meta data and passing it to certain business corporations and agencies gave birth to dark and under-table million dollars industry. Americans and Canadians need proper plan to defeat NSA Mass Surveillance and Wire-Tapping.

    Here is Funny Or Die Master Plan to Defeating NSA Mass Surveillance and Wire-Tapping


    When Every single American Talking like a Terrorist in a funny way, NSA, FBI, and CIA must be banging their heads. And Freedom of Speech Is Our Born Right.

    here is an example…
    Following story may come true…
    FBI arrest Alif Gani upon NSA Wire-Tapped / Intercept Call as under:

    Hi there…
    This is Alif Gani speaking, Tomorrow I have biggest Operation (my marriage). Do you have tailor’s list ready?
    I will pick-up few buns before I hit the (your or tailor’s shop) place. Also keep Mitchelle (bride) ready.

    Upon NSA wire-tapped intercept the call as follows, FBI arrested Alif Gani from his Sorelle Tailor Shop in Manhattan.
    “This is Afghani speaking, Tomorrow I have biggest Operation. Do you have terrorists ready?
    I will pick-up few bombs before I hit the place. Also keep missile ready.”

    Alif Gani was released immediately to kiss the bride Mitchelle without any charges as FBI could not establish any positive link either as a “Lone Wolf” or with any terrorist group.

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  • noode US

    With Section 215 of the Patriot Act has expired. At least for now…
    How legit is FISA : Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act?
    FISA : Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
    50 U.S. Code § 1802 – Electronic surveillance authorization without court order
    (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—
    (A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—
    (i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or
    (ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;
    (B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party; and
    (C) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 1801 (h) of this title; and…

    50 U.S. Code § 1861 – Access to certain business records for foreign intelligence
    Collection of foreign business records including books, records, papers, documents, and other items information.

    Is it espionage? If any US agent engaged in collecting such information about foreign businesses without juridiction and, without consent and support of local intelligence authority. Will Apple, Microsoft, facebook and Google follow privacy and security policies overseas?

    Every nation need to re-write their own privacy and security policies manual.

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  • JaimeCA

    SSL is false-positive assurance to end-users as it de-SSLed in clouds. End-users should keep dreaming about privacy and security. Have a detalied look at following pic:

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