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Congress Is Irrelevant on Mass Surveillance — Here’s What Matters Instead

by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept:

The “USA Freedom Act”—the proponents of which were heralding as “NSA reform” despite its suffocatingly narrow scope—died in the august U.S. Senate last night when it attracted only 58 of the 60 votes needed to close debate and move on to an up-or-down vote. All Democratic and independent senators except one (Bill Nelson of Florida) voted in favor of the bill, as did three tea-party GOP Senators (Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Dean Heller). One GOP Senator, Rand Paul, voted against it on the ground that it did not go nearly far enough in reining in the NSA. On Monday, the White House had issued a statement “strongly supporting” the bill.

The “debate” among the Senators that preceded the vote was darkly funny and deeply boring, in equal measure. The black humor was due to the way one GOP senator after the next—led by ranking intelligence committee member Saxby Chambliss of Georgia (pictured above)—stood up and literally screeched about 9/11 and ISIS over and over and over, and then sat down as though they had made a point. Their scary script had been unveiled earlier that morning by Wall Street Journal op-ed by former Bush Attorney General Mike Mukasey and former CIA and NSA Director Mike Hayden warning that NSA reform would make the terrorists kill you; it appeared under this Onion-like headline:

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5 comments to Congress Is Irrelevant on Mass Surveillance — Here’s What Matters Instead

  • Gnostic

    6 links that will show you what Google knows about you

    Want to find out all the things Google knows about you? Here are 6 links that will show you some of the data Google has about you.

    http://grizzom.blogspot.com/

  • Rob

    “Congress Is Irrelevant”

    Right!

  • Angel

    From the article:

    “The entire system in D.C. is designed at its core to prevent real reform. This Congress is not going to enact anything resembling fundamental limits on the NSA’s powers of mass surveillance.”

    EXACTLY. And if anybody thinks I’m going to beg and plead with my masters like some sniveling idiot to “please stop spying on me!”, they’re highly mistaken.

    The best way that we can revolt is by showing these creeps just how much their spying really means to us, which requires going about our daily lives and doing all the things that we would normally do, oblivious to their shenanigans. Don’t empower them by giving their scare tactics ANY credibility.

    When we must go through life watching our every word and deed, hiding behind this encryption or that encryption, even writing in code because it might be misinterpreted by some government hack, then they REALLY HAVE beaten us down and stifled us into submission.

    Granted, I use encrypted search engines and email services, but I’m not naive enough to believe that if someone from that den of vipers near DC REALLY wanted to monitor me, these things would actually stop them. Because NOTHING will. My reasons for using these services are more practice in nature. Hence, my life is an open book to them, as is everyone’s.

    As far as TPTB are concerned, all of us are already terrorists. Anything we say or do can be considered a terrorist act in their eyes, no holds barred. So seeing that we are already the enemy (the failure of even this feeble bill to pass proves it), doesn’t it seem rather pathetic and degrading that we would even consider relying on a bunch of completely corrupted creatures who’re operating within a completely corrupted system, to actually look out for our interests? They are the fox guarding the hen house, and yet we legitimize them?

    Screw em’, live life oblivious to the hovering Beast, holding to the basic considerations of morality, ethics and decency, of course, and let the chips fall where they may. WE aren’t the terrorists, THEY are the terrorists, and they already know that. So let’s cut to the chase: if they want us, come and get us. Because WE have the high moral ground, and they know that, too.

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