Tag Archives: Mark Udall

Obama regime is spying on every phonecall, email, bank transfer, travel record of every American

Obama Sauron
You know that saying that even the paranoid sometimes are right?
14 months ago, on March 19, 2012, I wrote a post “2013: The end of privacy in America,” about the construction of a heavily fortified $2 billion Data Center in Utah, by the National Security Agency, in which the federal government will store (and analyze) your every email, cell phone call, Google search, parking receipt, credit card purchases, and more. The construction was expected to be completed by September of this year, but it looks like the Data Center is already up and running.

APTOPIX NSA Phone RecordsNSA Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah

For several years, two Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, have been cryptically warning that the Obama regime was interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming to the public if we knew about it.
Last year in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Wyden and Udall wrote: “We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted Section 215 of the Patriot Act. As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows. This is a problem, because it is impossible to have an informed public debate about what the law should say when the public doesn’t know what its government thinks the law says.”

The American people are now finding out to what the two senators were cryptically referring.

This discovery was disclosed yesterday by the UK paper, The Guardian, contained in a highly classified court order, signed in April by Judge Roger Vinson of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Vinson’s order directs a Verizon Communications subsidiary, VBNS, to turn over “on an ongoing daily basis” to the National Security Agency (NSA) all call logs “between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”
The FBI had asked for the court order under a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that regulates domestic surveillance for national security purposes, allowing the government to secretly obtain “tangible things” like a business’s customer records. The provision was expanded by Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which makes it easier to get an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain business records so long as they were merely deemed “relevant” to a national-security investigation.
The order was marked “TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN,” referring to communications-related intelligence information that may not be released to noncitizens. That would make it among the most closely held secrets in the federal government. The collection of call logs is set to expire in July unless the court extends it.
Judge Vinson’s order does not apply to the content of the communications, which means it’s a blanket order, instead of one that specifically targets only communications containing Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) “trigger words“. (For a list of those words, see our LTG’s post of May 27, 2012, “DHS Trigger Words?“.)
It is not clear whether similar orders have gone to other parts of Verizon, like its residential or cellphone services, or to other telecommunications carriers. The order prohibits its recipient from discussing its existence, and representatives of both Verizon and AT&T declined to comment Wednesday evening.
Obama administration officials at the F.B.I. and the White House also declined to comment on it Wednesday evening, but did not deny the report, and a person familiar with the order confirmed its authenticity. “We will respond as soon as we can,” said NSA spokeswoman Marci Green Miller in an e-mail.
Kate Martin of the Center for National Security Studies, a civil liberties advocacy group, said that “absent some explanation I haven’t thought of, this looks like the largest assault on privacy since the N.S.A. wiretapped Americans in clear violation of the law [under the Bush administration]. On what possible basis has the government refused to tell us that it believes that the law authorizes this kind of request?”
Even more alarming, Andy Greenberg reports for Forbes, June 5, 2013, that although the NSA has long justified its spying powers by arguing that its charter allows surveillance on those outside of the United States, while avoiding intrusions into the private communications of American citizens, the Obama regime’s spying order to Verizon specifically targets Americans, instead of foreigners.
It gets worse.
Elspeth Reeve reports for the Atlantic Wire that the NSA’s surveillance of our communications is most likely much, much bigger than that. Technology has made it possible for the American government to spy on citizens to an extent East Germany could only dream of. Basically everything we say that can be traced digitally is being collected by the NSA.
Previous reporting from many outlets suggests that’s true. In 2006, USA Today‘s Leslie Cauley reported the NSA was secretly collecting call records with data from AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth. A source told Cauley, “It’s the largest database ever assembled in the world” and that the NSA wanted “to create a database of every call ever made” within U.S. territory. Likewise, in 2011, The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer spoke to former NSA crypto-mathematician Bill Binney, who “believes that the agency now stores copies of all e-mails transmitted in America, in case the government wants to retrieve the details later.” He thinks the NSA wants all emails to be searchable, the same way we search with Google. “The agency reportedly has the capacity to intercept and download, every six hours, electronic communications equivalent to the contents of the Library of Congress,” Mayer said.
And the NSA isn’t just collecting the things we say. It’s also tracking what we buy and where we go. In 2008, The Wall Street Journal‘s Siobhan Gorman reported that the NSA’s domestic data collection “have evolved to reach more broadly into data about people’s communications, travel and finances in the U.S. than the domestic surveillance programs brought to light since the 2001 terrorist attacks.” That means emails records, bank transfers, phone records, travel records.
See also:

~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0
 

Sen. Feinstein Confirms S. 1867's Detention of U.S. Citizens w/out Trial

UPDATE:
Our concerns about Sec. 1031 are ignored. The reconcile conference committee has produced a final version of NDAA, which Obama says he will not veto. US citizens are NOT exempted from being arrested and detained without charge or trial. See my post of Dec. 14, 2011: “U.S. Citizens Still Subject to Detention w/out Trial in Final Version of Defense Bill.”
See also, “There Really Are FEMA Camps.”
+++

Sen. Dianne Feinstein


If you still have doubts that the recently passed Senate bill 1867 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012) is harmless, read this e-mail from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif).
S. 1867’s Sec. 1301 gives authority to the President to detain certain “covered persons” without charge or trial “until the end of the [war] hostilities.” There’s a dispute in the blogosphere as to whether “covered persons” include U.S. citizens.

Sen. Rand Paul


Feinstein — like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mark Udall (D-Colo)— had tried to get an amendment into S 1867 that would “limit the authority of the Armed Forces to detain citizens of the United States under section 1031″, but her proposal was rejected by the Senate 45Y – 55N.

Sen. Mark Udall


Here’s Sen. Feinstein’s e-mail to FOTM’s beloved Tina:

From: <senator@feinstein.senate.gov>
Date: Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 12:05 PM
Subject: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message

Dear Mr. and Mrs. ___:

Thank you for writing to express your concerns about the detention provisions in the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.”  I appreciate knowing your views and welcome the opportunity to respond.

This year’s defense authorization bill would, among other things, authorize funding for the U.S. Department of Defense.  As you know, section 1031 would authorize the U.S. government to detain suspected terrorists until the end of hostilities, and section 1032 would require that certain suspected terrorists connected to al-Qaeda be automatically detained in military custody when apprehended.

Like you, I oppose these provisions.  Section 1031 is problematic because it authorizes the indefinite detention of American citizens without due process.  In this democracy, due process is a fundamental right, and it protects us from being locked up by the government without charge.  For this reason, I offered an amendment to prohibit the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial or charge.  Unfortunately, on December 1, 2011, this amendment failed by a vote of 45-55.

I was, however, able to reach a compromise with the authors of the defense bill to state that no existing law or authorities to detain suspected terrorists are changed by this section of the bill.  While I would have preferred to have restricted the government’s ability to detain U.S. citizens without charge, this compromise at least ensures that the bill does not expand the government’s authority in this area.

I also oppose section 1032 of the defense bill, which creates a presumption that individuals associated with al-Qaeda will be held in military custody, as opposed to being processed through the criminal justice system.  I disagree with this approach, and believe that the President should be able to hold captured terrorists in the military or the criminal justice systems based on the individual facts and evidence of each case.  Accordingly, I offered an amendment to clarify that under section 1032, the presumption of U.S. Armed Forces detention only exists for an individual captured abroad.  Unfortunately, on December 1, 2011, this amendment also failed on a vote of 45-55.

Once again, thank you for your letter.  Please know that I am committed to ensuring that our nation has the appropriate tools to combat terrorism, and committed to upholding our fundamental constitutional rights.  If you have any additional comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.  I hope that you and your family enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season.
May I wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

In the end, however, both Feinstein and Mark Udall voted “yes” on S1867, while Sen. Rand Paul held firm and was one of seven senators who voted against the bill.
This is not the end of the story. Now that both houses of Congress have passed their respective versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (the House version of this Act is HR1540), they must now reconcile their two versions in committee. FYI, the House version of the Act is significantly different from the Senate’s version. More on this in a separate post to come.
~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0
 

Senate approves S.1867 bill that gives President power to detain U.S. citizens w/out trial

UPDATE: 
Our concerns about Sec. 1031 are ignored. The reconcile conference committee has produced a final version of NDAA, which Obama says he will not veto. US citizens are NOT exempted from being arrested and detained without charge or trial. See my post of Dec. 14, 2011: “U.S. Citizens Still Subject to Detention w/out Trial in Final Version of Defense Bill.”
See also, “There Really Are FEMA Camps.”
+++
On Thursday, December 1, while we were busily tearing at each other about what the language of Sections 1031-1032 of Senate bill 1867 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012) means — whether or not the authority given by the bill to the President to have the military arrest and detain without charge or trial is over not just “terrorists,” but U.S. citizensthe Senate breezily passed the bill on a 93:7 roll call vote.
Amendments that sought to insert language into the bill, limiting the President’s carte blanche authority over U.S. citizens were rejected.
Here’s the partisan breakdown:

  • Of the 93 senators who voted “Aye,” 48 are Democrats, 44 are Republicans, 1 is Independent.
  • Of the 7 senators who voted “Nay,” 3 are Democrats, 3 are Republicans, 1 is Independent.

As you can see, the Senate’s passage of S. 1867 was a bipartisan undertaking. A record of each senator’s position was not kept. For the names of the senators who support vs. voted against the bill, click here.
Alas, the Library of Congress’ THOMAS website has only a summary, instead of the full text of the final version of the S. 1867 because “The text of this legislation is not yet available on GovTrack. It may not have been made available by the Government Printing Office yet.”
Before S. 1867 was passed, 381 amendments to the bill were proposed.
Of those, 3 were amendments proposed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the substance of which is unknown because govtrack.us says “Amendment information not available.” But Oath Keepers and the John Birch Society say Paul’s amendment sought to delete Sec. 1031 from S. 1867. None of Paul’s proposed amendments was accepted.
An amendment (S.Amdt. 1107) “to revise the provisions relating to detainee matters” was proposed by Sen. Mark Udall [D-CO]. No text of Udall’s amendment is available. The amendment was rejected by the Senate 38Yea – 60Nay.

An amendment (S.Amdt. 1125) “to clarify the applicability of requirements for military custody with respect to detainees” was proposed by Sen. Diane Feinstein [D-CA]. The amendment was rejected by the Senate 45Y – 55N.

An amendment (S.Amdt. 1126) “to limit the authority of the Armed Forces to detain citizens of the United States under section 1031” was proposed by Sen. Diane Feinstein [D-CA]. No text for this amendment is available. The amendment was rejected by the Senate 45Y – 55N.

An amendment (S.Amdt. 1274) “to clarify the disposition under the law of war of persons detained by the Armed Forces of the United States pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force” was proposed by Sen. Jeff Sessions [R-AL]. No text of the amendment is available. The amendment was rejected by the Senate 41Y – 59N.

In the end, however, both Diane Feinstein and Mark Udall voted “yes” on S1867, while Sen. Rand Paul held firm and was one of seven senators who voted against the bill.
The House of Representatives’ version of S. 1867 is H.R. 1540. The House had passed HR 1540 on May 26, 2011, by a roll call vote, 322 – 96 (13 present/not voting).
Now that both houses of Congress have passed the bill, it will now proceed to a conference committee of senators and representatives to work out differences in the versions of the bill each chamber approved.
To read the critical Sections 1031-1033 of S. 1867, go here.
Welcome to the Fascist States of Amerika.
~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0