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Obama And Clinton Endorse USA Freedom Act After Court Ruling

In the aftermath of yesterday’s court ruling and the looming June 1st deadline to reauthorize the section of the PATRIOT Act the court ruled illegal, the Democratic Party establishment appears to have shifted somewhat on domestic spying. President Barack Obama, through a White House spokesman, has said he supports the USA Freedom Act – which would reform the phone collection program.

Hillary Clinton also endorsed the NSA reform bill tweeting: “Congress should move ahead now with the USA Freedom Act—a good step forward in ongoing efforts to protect our security & civil liberties.”

One of the USA Freedom Act’s biggest promoters is Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner who helped author the PATRIOT Act. Sensenbrenner has been adamant post-Snowden that the NSA was never given the powers it was using under the bill he helped write. After the court decision Sensenbrenner reaffirmed his view saying that Congress never intended Section 215 to authorize bulk collection of phone records and that “This program is illegal and based on a blatant misinterpretation of the law. It’s time for Congress to pass the USA Freedom Act in order to protect both civil liberties and national security with legally authorized surveillance.”

But the USA Freedom Act is by no means fundamental reform. While the bill would reform NSA’s bulk collection practices domestically it would leave in place the massive spying apparatus along with the unrestricted information warfare overseas that will inevitably lead to the agency vacuuming up US citizen’s data.

The truth likely is that as long as the US maintains its national security state mentality and massively funds permanent agencies of war like the NSA there will always be these kind of abuses. Ultimately, the greatest impact from the Snowden disclosures may be the public being more vigilant with their private information and more skeptical of the state’s claims regarding power.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.

  • Chris Maukonen

    So freedom now requires a presidential endorsement of an act of congress ? Apparently I was misled into thinking that freedom was what this country was all about.

    I seem to have been in error.

  • Edgar

    I’d rather USAF not pass and just let the patriot provisions expire. Rollback is better than this so-called reform.

  • http://www.google.com Frito

    How about C(r)lapper? Are we going to see any form of accountability here?

  • bsbafflesbrains

    We know “our” Government is not doing all this spying and data collection for our safety so any reform through the bought and paid for Congress won’t address the real problem. Who is Watching the Watchers? But for Snowden this discussion isn’t even happening. Security for the 1% and control of their servants in the 99% is all that matters and even if laws are changed how does the public verify that these people are following the rules?

  • JamesJoyce

    Mondale Humphrey vs CIA Postal Spying on Americans’ mail for 20 years-Church Committee (1975)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj0ellsyaT8

    Amazing the sense of entitlement to spy on Americans?
    We have been here before. Cliff Notes?

  • JamesJoyce

    “…it would leave in place the massive spying apparatus along with the unrestricted information warfare overseas that will inevitably lead to the agency vacuuming up US citizen’s data.”

    As we have see the “abuse of power,” by government is well documented. In 1975 the intelligence services were spying on US Senators and had been for 20 years. All these “abuses of power,” were addressed and the very laws designed to stop these documented “abuses of power,” have been twisted post 911 and with the advent of the internet, this is “Savak” on steroids. I beginning to wonder if Americans can even comprehend the danger to a republic and free society, this is?

  • bsbafflesbrains

    MOTU need the nannycams to make sure they get what they pay for in Wash DC.
    I saw a rich person watching their maid clean the silver while she was laying on a lounge chair at a resort. I imagine Koch’s and Buffet checking a report on the activities of their Senators and revolving door Administrators.

  • JamesJoyce

    Of course! The best money can buy!!

  • jo6pac

    Oh the good days.
    Isn’t this fun no more links but the clip embedded.

  • mulp

    The appeals court did not rule any part of the patriot act illegal.

    It ruled the fisa court exceeded its authority under the law is authorizing bulk data collection, and the reason the appeals court ordered no halt is it expects the Congress elected by We the People who vote in all elections, not just the presidential elections, to change the law to expand the law to authorize bulk data collection.

    After all, We the People who are white and vote in all elections, not just the presidential elections, are clearly willing to give up liberty for security on the basis the law will be used only against non-whites.

  • mulp

    There is no discussion or debate. Go someplace where people gather, say a shopping center or school ball game, and ask random people about the NSA and Snowden, whatever. I doubt you will find many people who know who Snowden is. Put three pictures on a poster, say UK footballer, Blair, Putin with “Is one of these people Snowden?” I doubt less than half will be able to say “no” with certainty.

  • mulp

    You sound like right-wingers talking about the IRS that has lots more data on you than the NSA.

  • Screwtape

    It’s not just about phone records, either. There would be license plate scanners and so many other bons bons. It’s the world we live in, and any success against reality will merely result in some other Whac-A-Mole.

    So. . . Is this more like East Germany or the Soviet Union? Doesn’t matter, since any gov’t which can, probably does.

  • JamesJoyce

    Unrolled independent. Dispense with your political conditioning. Remove blinders….

    BTW, have you ever heard of the phrase, “”relieving a burden of government,” within the context of tax exempt status. granted by the IRS to a corporate entity???