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United States Government Privacy Security

FISA Court Extends Section 215 Bulk Surveillance For 90 Days 83

Trailrunner7 notes that the bulk telephone collection program was just extended another 90 days. "The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has authorized a 90-day extension to the Section 215 bulk telephone collection program used by the National Security Agency, giving the agency through the end of February to run the program in the absence of legislation establishing a new authority.

On Monday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed that the administration had applied for a 90-day extension to the existing Section 215 authority, and that the FISC had approved the request, extending the authority through Feb. 27.

'The Administration welcomes the opportunity to work with the new Congress to implement the changes the President has called for. Given that legislation has not yet been enacted, and given the importance of maintaining the capabilities of the telephony metadata program, the government has sought a 90-day reauthorization of the existing program, as modified by the changes the President directed in January,' a statement from the Office of the DNI and the Office of the Attorney General said."
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FISA Court Extends Section 215 Bulk Surveillance For 90 Days

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  • by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Monday December 08, 2014 @04:58PM (#48550273) Homepage Journal

    Isn't a court supposed to rule on the current law, rather than extending laws that have gone away?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Isn't a court supposed to rule on the current law, rather than extending laws that have gone away?

      They aren't a court.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      yes, but this is the kangaroo court extending kangaroo laws that were never actually voted for, they were just entered into the law books by the alphabet soup agencies without congress ever knowing they existed.

      Every member of the NSA, CIA and the FISA court should be arrested and shot for treason.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Really? Congress had no part? You're going with that, when TFA cites Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which was passed by Congress in October 2001? I mean, sure, rage against the machine, but don't flail about wildly because you're too stupid to read up on the issue. I'm pissed off about the dragnet spying too, but at least I understand that their power wasn't pulled out of thin air. The keys to their power: they don't need probably cause for a warrant, warrants can be extended indefinitely, and they ca

    • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

      I have altered our agreement. Pray I don't alter it again.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Isn't this grossly illegal?

    Congress must change the legislation or the expiration date
    stands.

    What happened to the horror of 'legislating from the bench'?!

    • Re:Illegal? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Monday December 08, 2014 @05:13PM (#48550367) Journal

      What happened to the horror of 'legislating from the bench'?!

      This is it.

    • Funny how nobody in the GOP is up in arms about these "activist judges" from the FISA star chamber usurping their authority.

    • That only applies when the courts do something one of the major political parties dislikes that happens to favor the other major political party. In this case they both want it but don't want the very small blow back. This also provide talking points so that one side can blame the other for not acting thus the court did the right thing further legitimizing this court's existence.
  • Which means they can just go forever, without telling anybody. Of course, they could do that anyway, but this *admits* that they can do that anyway.
  • by neo-mkrey ( 948389 ) on Monday December 08, 2014 @05:11PM (#48550343)
    And realize they now live in a police state?
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by faraway ( 174370 )
      Right after American Idle.

      And I know what idols are.
    • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday December 08, 2014 @05:33PM (#48550521)

      And realize they now live in a police state?

      Most don't know the difference.
      We've been in a police state since the Civil war.
      Once the feds take power... no matter how justified they are in that... they never give it up again.

      • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

        We've been in a police state since the Whiskey Rebellion.

        FTFY

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Monday December 08, 2014 @05:15PM (#48550385) Journal

    Let me clarify, as the two current posts indicate a misunderstanding. Currently, the law authorizing the snooping is set to expire in June 2015. Under that law, NSA must get court approval or any wiretaps, and those approvals can't last longer than 90 days. The court has been approving "spy on everyone" each 90 days.

    Obama asked Congress to renew the law rather than letting it expire in June, but change it in a couple of ways:
    Make the authorization permanent rather than requiring re-approval every 90 days
    Add some smokescreen language to say the dragnet isn't allowed under section 215, it has to be done under a different section.

    The Senate voted 58-42 to not extend the law as Obama asked, so currently the snooping must stop by June, when the law authorizing it expires.

    Only the current 90-day "warrant" expired, renewing that is standard operating procedure. The big deadline is June, when the whole program will have to stop if Congress doesn't re-authorize it.

    Democrats in Congress want to move the program around, so they can say they got rid of the section 215 authorization. Republicans have refused to do that, some like Paul want to let the whole thing expire. Others say the Democrat smokescreen plan only makes it harder to perform legitimate national security activities, without actually doing anything good for privacy.

    • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

      > Democrats in Congress want to move the program around, so they can say they got rid of the section 215
      > authorization. Republicans have refused to do that, some like Paul want to let the whole thing expire. Others say
      > the Democrat smokescreen plan only makes it harder to perform legitimate national security activities, without
      > actually doing anything good for privacy.

      This is what I have come to expect on matters of personal privacy. Republicans hate your privacy and don't know why you think

      • by zlives ( 2009072 )

        and neither of them have any knowledge or clue as to what is actually happening and if it is actually worth keeping the program.

        • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

          Of course it's worth keeping the program. It's much better to capture everything and later realize that you don't need any of it. Or better yet you don't need it for the reason that you thought you would but found another use that is equally beneficial to them. Can you imagine if the Government didn't have it AND they needed it? They might not get re-elected and they just can't have that.

    • by Endymion ( 12816 )

      "warrant"

      I believe you mean "writ of assistance".

  • Can't wait when comrad Putin arrives and two great nations become One.
    I announce: The Great Sovietico USA_RUSSIA State. Envy of all dictators.

    God Bless Soviet USA

  • Once one start using, one needs to continue doing.

    The same thing with those kangaroo courts. They will stick to whatever "their legal opinions" are, because the moment you stop all predecessors will be questioned. They have to remember that Nurnberg defense, "we just followed orders" does not work all the times. They KNOW what they are doing and, rest assured, they do not have clean conscience and do sleep well even if they say they do.

    Expect this to be election issue. Rand Paul's maximalistic approach will earn a lot of political capital, and Hillary Clinton will look like a big sister from 1984 Apple commercial. Perhaps this thing along will win former Obama's voters.

    One would be a fool to believe that anything in substance will change even when Rand Paul will stop renewal, but at least there will be a debate.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does anyone actually think it matters whether this bill passed or not?

    If they want to keep doing it, they're going to keep doing it. What the law says is irrelevant.

  • by Grog6 ( 85859 ) on Monday December 08, 2014 @06:51PM (#48551165)

    As long as they can OK this for themselves, in Secret Courts, We, the People are Seriously Fucked.

    I saw a major article today about how all the successful Supreme Court Cases are handled by an inner circle of DC Lawyers, who are personal friends of some of the Justices.

    It's All Insiders at this point in the government in the parts that matter; the rest are Country Hicks that will do whatever the Fuck they're told. Yes, I mean Congress.

    We are headed down a dark road my friends.

    It's already Ugly, why do you think so much was left out of the CIA Torture Report, and they're Still Worried it will lead to uprisings?!
    Note: they haven't said where they expect those to occur... :)

    • The Executive and Legislative branches (D and/or R) long ago demonstrated that they don't give a shit about the People and the Constitution.

      However, many had the naïve belief that a neutral Judiciacy, in particular the SCOTUS, acted as a bulwark against the tyrannical tendencies on the hill and in the White House.

      Now the scales have fallen from our eyes, and it is blatantly clear that the judges have totally abdicated their responsibility to protect and keep the Republic. They are as rotten as the pol

      • However, many had the naive belief that a neutral Judiciacy, in particular the SCOTUS, acted as a bulwark against the tyrannical tendencies on the hill and in the White House.

        To be fair, I don't think anyone ever believed that FISA was anything other than a kangaroo court with which the CIA and NSA could bureaucratically cover their asses. It's certainly disappointing that SCOTUS has so frequently declined even to hear PATRIOT-related cases: we deserve to have them make a final judgement whether bulk data collection/archiving constitutes search, or whether you really can bypass the 4th Amendment by claiming that it's only a search if a human looks at it.

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Monday December 08, 2014 @07:05PM (#48551265)

    Recipient and contents of application:

    (1) shall be made toâ"
      (A) a judge of the court established by section 1803 (a) of this title; or

      (B) a United States Magistrate Judge under chapter 43 of title 28, who is publicly designated by the Chief Justice of the United States to have the power to hear applications and grant orders for the production of tangible things under this section on behalf of a judge of that court; and

      (2) shall includeâ"
      (A) a statement of facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the tangible things sought are relevant to an authorized investigation ...

    What "authorized investigation" can possibly necessitate COLLECTION of EVERYONES phone records?

    If you can't answer the question then don't spew bullshit about section 215 red herrings.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <{moc.cam} {ta} {rcj}> on Monday December 08, 2014 @08:32PM (#48551777) Journal

    In a court of law, decisions are handed down in issues that are contended by TWO SIDES. When fourth amendment violators ask the FISA shysters for a rubber stamp of impunity for their crimes, there's nobody to stand up and argue for the constitution.

    -jcr

    • by Endymion ( 12816 )

      That would be why the 4th amendment got writtent in the first place - this kind of "writ of assistance" is an affront to the very ideas of "justice" and "rule of law".

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