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United States Privacy Your Rights Online

NSA Surveillance Reform Bill Passes House 303 Votes To 121 208

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-than-nothing dept.
First time accepted submitter strangeintp (892348) writes "The first legislation aimed specifically at curbing US surveillance abuses revealed by Edward Snowden passed the House of Representatives on Thursday, with a majority of both Republicans and Democrats. But last-minute efforts by intelligence community loyalists to weaken key language in the USA Freedom Act led to a larger-than-expected rebellion by members of Congress, with the measure passing by 303 votes to 121. The bill's authors concede it was watered down significantly in recent days but insist it will still outlaw the practice of bulk collection of US telephone metadata by the NSA first revealed by Snowden."
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NSA Surveillance Reform Bill Passes House 303 Votes To 121

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  • Re:Slow clap (Score:5, Informative)

    by scuzzlebutt (517123) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @04:22PM (#47070307)
    That's the slow clap. It's sarcastic applause.
  • Re:Slow clap (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2014 @04:29PM (#47070375)

    Oh, and let's find out who the 121 douches were that voted against this.

    Here you go: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2014/roll230.xml [house.gov]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2014 @04:33PM (#47070411)

    Justin Amash voted against his own bill. In an article for "the Hill" (http://thehill.com/policy/technology/206929-house-votes-to-limit-nsa-spying) he is quoted as saying:

    “This morning's bill maintains and codifies a large-scale, unconstitutional domestic spying program,” he wrote in a post on Facebook.

    Changes to the language, for instance, would allow the government to obtain data about a broad section of phone records such as "area code 616" or "phone calls made east of the Mississippi."

    “The bill green-lights the government's massive data collection activities that sweep up Americans' records in violation of the Fourth Amendment,” he added.

    Seems that what was actually passed should actually be called the "Placate the Plebs while Continuing to Screw Them Act of 2014"

  • Worse than nothing. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2014 @04:37PM (#47070437)

    The bill basically says that metadata and data should not get collected without a warrant except when one thinks one has a reason. What kind of reason would count as an exception is not actually specified.

    So while the previous practice was clearly illegal, this bill makes everything legal since it only applies the "but only if you think this a good idea" metric and clearly everybody already thought it was a good idea to spy on everyone without warrant.

  • Re: Slow clap (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2014 @04:58PM (#47070595)

    Dude, the fucking sponsor was among the nays. It wasn't "watered down": it was castrated and then turned into a pro-NSA bill that continues the status quo and adds more time in for parts of the PATRIOT act. We should find out who did that to this bill and piblicize their names with infamy from now until the next election.

  • Re:Slow clap (Score:4, Informative)

    by SydShamino (547793) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @05:35PM (#47070831)

    I think there were other reasons to vote against it, if only because Lloyd Doggett is one of the most liberal members of the house.

    Indeed, daily kos calls the watered-down bill "an authorization of domestic spying in violation of the 4th amendment" and is congratulating the 121 members who had the backbone to vote against it.

    So I think your attack on (at least part of) the 121 is unfounded; they are a mix of those who refused to authorize spying with those who thought existing law was great. Likewise, the 303 who approved are probably a mix of those who thought this "reining in" was better than nothing, along with the truly evil who did the closed-door rewrite to make it mostly ineffective.

  • Re:BFDâ¦. (Score:5, Informative)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Thursday May 22, 2014 @06:09PM (#47071079) Homepage

    RTFG

    "As Feared: House Guts USA Freedom Act, Every Civil Liberties Organization Pulls Their Support"

    http://www.techdirt.com/articl... [techdirt.com]

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