Man, do the hits keep on coming or what?
Congress seems intent on reauthorizing the Patriot Act after a mere hour of discussion today. And what will this paragon of a bill actually do?
- Extend Section 215 of the Patriot Act until 2019 while modernizing it (in order to suck up more information on the devices we use most commonly.)
- Expand the type of information the government can access, adding VoIP, video chats (Skype), and will also likely allow the government to access all data related to smartphone activity.
- The current claim is the new bill will end bulk collection, BUT would allow the Feds to continue collecting data by using broader search terms to target bigger portions of the populace as well as anyone who is “connected” to those targets.
- Provide legal immunity to companies that violate privacy laws. To add insult to injury the Feds will also pays them to participate in handing over data to the government. That’s right, yet another scheme to give your tax dollars to the very jackanapes spying on us.
- It will create broad “emergency” powers for the government to collect all kinds of personal data without prior court approval. Limits? We doan need no stinkin’ limits!
- Allows the FBI to access data collected for counterterrorism investigations and use it for investigations outside of counterterrorism cases. The FBI can then set up permanent gag orders to prevent public oversight into their use of this data.
- It will create a new public advocate at the FISA court…but then lets the government block that advocate from seeing any and all information they choose to keep secret.
In other words this bill will prevent *real* NSA reform. Yea for that, right?
It may be too late to thwart the bill, but it won’t hurt to try. You can tell Congress exactly how you feel by traveling here.