Sunday, September 29, 2013

Is the Senate About to Pass a Bill Legalizing NSA Logging of Every American's Phone Calls?

This is what I feared would be the ultimate outcome of the Snowden revelations.

Early on, I wrote about the Edward Snowden NSA leaks that were reported by Glenn Greenwald:
Are we being set up for a more open aggressive tracking by the government? I have no reason to question the sincerity of Glenn Greenwald and his desire to break open the secretive tracking of Americans by the United States government. However, I am very suspicious of the manner in which MSM jumped on the story and pushed it so hard.
A bit later I wrote:
Greenwald has reported that there are more Snowden leaks to come. Let's see what the nature of those leaks are. Will they truly provide shocking revelations or just more unimpressive repackaged news? This may provide the best clue as to whether Snowden is a new generation anti-state cyber-warrior hero  or a cleverly crafted state operative in play to advance a very dangerous new totalitarian grab of control over the people.
And now we have this news from NYT  (my bold):
The Senate Intelligence Committee appears to be moving toward swift passage of a bill that would “change but preserve” the once-secret National Security Agency program that is keeping logs of every American’s phone calls, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the panel, said Thursday.
Ms. Feinstein, speaking at a rare public hearing of the committee, said she and the top Republican on the panel, Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, are drafting a bill that would be marked up — meaning that lawmakers could propose amendments to it before voting it out of committee — as early as next week.

After the existence of the program became public by leaks from the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, critics called for it to be dismantled. Ms. Feinstein said her bill would be aimed at increasing public confidence in the program, which she said she believed was lawful.[...]

Ms. Feinstein contended that “a majority of the committee” believed that the call log program was “necessary for our nation’s security.

Bottom line: At this point, the only clear result of the Snowden leaks is that the Senate is about to pass a bill legalizing the logging of the phone calls of all Americans. Further, who knows what amendments will be added in the mark up stage.  Don't for a minute think the mark ups are going to advance privacy. It will be all about complex paragraphs that will allow even greater surveillance.


  1. Damit California, recall this crazy bitch!

    1. Unfortunately, California's recall law only applies to state and local officials, not to congresspeople or federal senators.

  2. Feinstein is a goddamn nazi.

    1. Sadly, both here in the US and in Israel, I've observed Jews embrace the state's power grabs and machinations to subvert and control every aspect of everyone's lives. I've personally observed this behavior for the past 25ish years.

      You would think after what happened in Europe after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Jews would especially be wary of the state. It is just another verification of Lord Action's wise observation that: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

      Israeli and United States governments behave as bad as, or worse than the "boogeymen" they purport to protect us from. Any student of even basic history who is willing to take an unbiased, unnationalized comparison can see that we are no better than the Nazis, nor the other nefarious regimes of that period. And just like the citizens of the time, we don't realize who we are because we take the nanny state at its word.

      Nobody wants to admit they're evil, but words don't define us, our actions do. I challenge *ANYONE* who disagrees with what I am saying to substitute any other country, like Germany, or Italy, or Russia, or France and have them do to us what we are doing to ourselves and the rest of the world in the name of the "War on Terror" and find that these actions would be OK if any other country were doing it?

      Israeli intelligence surveilling US citizens? French? Russian? Anyone? How about lobbing missiles via drones at our homes? Is this not act of war if it is done by a state, or murder if not? (Then question why murder by state sanctioned action is not murder.)

  3. You were on it.
    Snowden was CIA. Its all part of the op. Snowden makes revelation and goes to china, russia, and tries to go to venezula. Any where else he missed. Maybe he should go to Cuba or North Korea.

    If you are for less NSA you are for all of our enemies and of course that homosexual Greenwald. They wanted to put the worst face on the privacy argument.