Congress re-authorized PATRIOT Act #NWO

Compiled by Lisa Phillips of OpDeepState.com

Just six weeks after the September 11 attacks, a panicked Congress passed the “USA/Patriot Act,” an overnight revision of the nation’s surveillance laws that vastly expanded the government’s authority to spy on its own citizens, while simultaneously reducing checks and balances on those powers like judicial oversight, public accountability, and the ability to challenge government searches in court.

Why Congress passed the Patriot Act

Most of the changes to surveillance law made by the Patriot Act were part of a longstanding law enforcement wish list that had been previously rejected by Congress, in some cases repeatedly.  Congress reversed course because it was bullied into it by the Bush Administration in the frightening weeks after the September 11 attack.

The Senate version of the Patriot Act, which closely resembled the legislation requested by Attorney General John Ashcroft, was sent straight to the floor with no discussion, debate, or hearings.  Many Senators complained that they had little chance to read it, much less analyze it, before having to vote.  In the House, hearings were held, and a carefully constructed compromise bill emerged from the Judiciary Committee. But then, with no debate or consultation with rank-and-file members, the House leadership threw out the compromise bill and replaced it with legislation that mirrored the Senate version.

Neither discussion nor amendments were permitted, and once again members barely had time to read the thick bill before they were forced to cast an up-or-down vote on it.  The Bush Administration implied that members who voted against it would be blamed for any further attacks – a powerful threat at a time when the nation was expecting a second attack to come any moment and when reports of new anthrax letters were appearing daily.

Congress and the Administration acted without any careful or systematic effort to determine whether weaknesses in our surveillance laws had contributed to the attacks, or whether the changes they were making would help prevent further attacks.  Indeed, many of the act’s provisions have nothing at all to do with terrorism.

The Patriot Act increases the government’s power to spy in four areas

The Patriot Act increases the governments surveillance powers in four areas:

    1. Records searches.  It expands the government’s ability to look at records on an individual’s activity being held by a third parties. (Section 215)
    2. Secret searches.  It expands the government’s ability to search private property without notice to the owner. (Section 213)
    3. Intelligence searches.  It expands a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment that had been created for the collection of foreign intelligence information (Section 218).
    4. “Trap and trace” searches.  It expands another Fourth Amendment exception for spying that collects “addressing” information about the origin and destination of communications, as opposed to the content (Section 214).

1.  Expanded access to personal records held by third parties

One of the most significant provisions of the Patriot Act makes it far easier for the authorities to gain access to records of citizens’ activities being held by a third party.  At a time when computerization is leading to the creation of more and more such records, Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows the FBI to force anyone at all – including doctors, libraries, bookstores, universities, and Internet service providers – to turn over records on their clients or customers.

Unchecked power
The result is unchecked government power to rifle through individuals’ financial records, medical histories, Internet usage, bookstore purchases, library usage, travel patterns, or any other activity that leaves a record.  Making matters worse:

  • The government no longer has to show evidence that the subjects of search orders are an “agent of a foreign power,” a requirement that previously protected Americans against abuse of this authority.
  • The FBI does not even have to show a reasonable suspicion that the records are related to criminal activity, much less the requirement for “probable cause” that is listed in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.  All the government needs to do is make the broad assertion that the request is related to an ongoing terrorism or foreign intelligence investigation.
  • Judicial oversight of these new powers is essentially non-existent.  The government must only certify to a judge – with no need for evidence or proof – that such a search meets the statute’s broad criteria, and the judge does not even have the authority to reject the application.
  • Surveillance orders can be based in part on a person’s First Amendment activities, such as the books they read, the Web sites they visit, or a letter to the editor they have written.
  • A person or organization forced to turn over records is prohibited from disclosing the search to anyone.  As a result of this gag order, the subjects of surveillance never even find out that their personal records have been examined by the government.  That undercuts an important check and balance on this power: the ability of individuals to challenge illegitimate searches.

Why the Patriot Act’s expansion of records searches is unconstitutional

Section 215 of the Patriot Act violates the Constitution in several ways. It:

  • Violates the Fourth Amendment, which says the government cannot conduct a search without obtaining a warrant and showing probable cause to believe that the person has committed or will commit a crime.
  • Violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech by prohibiting the recipients of search orders from telling others about those orders, even where there is no real need for secrecy.
  • Violates the First Amendment by effectively authorizing the FBI to launch investigations of American citizens in part for exercising their freedom of speech.
  • Violates the Fourth Amendment by failing to provide notice – even after the fact – to persons whose privacy has been compromised. Notice is also a key element of due process, which is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.

2. More secret searches

For centuries, common law has required that the government can’t go into your property without telling you, and must therefore give you notice before it executes a search. That “knock and announce” principle has long been recognized as a part of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

The Patriot Act, however, unconstitutionally amends the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to allow the government to conduct searches without notifying the subjects, at least until long after the search has been executed. This means that the government can enter a house, apartment or office with a search warrant when the occupants are away, search through their property, take photographs, and in some cases even seize property – and not tell them until later.

Notice is a crucial check on the government’s power because it forces the authorities to operate in the open, and allows the subject of searches to protect their Fourth Amendment rights. For example, it allows them to point out irregularities in a warrant, such as the fact that the police are at the wrong address, or that the scope of the warrant is being exceeded (for example, by rifling through dresser drawers in a search for a stolen car). Search warrants often contain limits on what may be searched, but when the searching officers have complete and unsupervised discretion over a search, a property owner cannot defend his or her rights.

Finally, this new “sneak and peek” power can be applied as part of normal criminal investigations; it has nothing to do with fighting terrorism or collecting foreign intelligence.

3. Expansion of the intelligence exception in wiretap law

Under the Patriot Act, the FBI can secretly conduct a physical search or wiretap on American citizens to obtain evidence of crime without proving probable cause, as the Fourth Amendment explicitly requires.

A 1978 law called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) created an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s requirement for probable cause when the purpose of a wiretap or search was to gather foreign intelligence. The rationale was that since the search was not conducted for the purpose of gathering evidence to put someone on trial, the standards could be loosened. In a stark demonstration of why it can be dangerous to create exceptions to fundamental rights, however, the Patriot Act expanded this once-narrow exception to cover wiretaps and searches that DO collect evidence for regular domestic criminal cases. FISA previously allowed searches only if the primary purpose was to gather foreign intelligence. But the Patriot Act changes the law to allow searches when “a significant purpose” is intelligence. That lets the government circumvent the Constitution’s probable cause requirement even when its main goal is ordinary law enforcement.

The eagerness of many in law enforcement to dispense with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment was revealed in August 2002 by the secret court that oversees domestic intelligence spying (the “FISA Court”). Making public one of its opinions for the first time in history, the court revealed that it had rejected an attempt by the Bush Administration to allow criminal prosecutors to use intelligence warrants to evade the Fourth Amendment entirely. The court also noted that agents applying for warrants had regularly filed false and misleading information. That opinion is now on appeal. [link to FISA page]

4. Expansion of the “pen register” exception in wiretap law

Another exception to the normal requirement for probable cause in wiretap law is also expanded by the Patriot Act. Years ago, when the law governing telephone wiretaps was written, a distinction was created between two types of surveillance. The first allows surveillance of the content or meaning of a communication, and the second only allows monitoring of the transactional or addressing information attached to a communication. It is like the difference between reading the address printed on the outside of a letter, and reading the letter inside, or listening to a phone conversation and merely recording the phone numbers dialed and received.

Wiretaps limited to transactional or addressing information are known as “Pen register/trap and trace” searches (for the devices that were used on telephones to collect telephone numbers). The requirements for getting a PR/TT warrant are essentially non-existent: the FBI need not show probable cause or even reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. It must only certify to a judge – without having to prove it – that such a warrant would be “relevant” to an ongoing criminal investigation. And the judge does not even have the authority to reject the application.

The Patriot Act broadens the pen register exception in two ways:

“Nationwide” pen register warrants

Under the Patriot Act PR/TT orders issued by a judge are no longer valid only in that judge’s jurisdiction, but can be made valid anywhere in the United States. This “nationwide service” further marginalizes the role of the judiciary, because a judge cannot meaningfully monitor the extent to which his or her order is being used. In addition, this provision authorizes the equivalent of a blank warrant: the court issues the order, and the law enforcement agent fills in the places to be searched. That is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment’s explicit requirement that warrants be written “particularly describing the place to be searched.”

Pen register searches applied to the Internet

The Patriot Act applies the distinction between transactional and content-oriented wiretaps to the Internet. The problem is that it takes the weak standards for access to transactional data and applies them to communications that are far more than addresses. On an e-mail message, for example, law enforcement has interpreted the “header” of a message to be transactional information accessible with a PR/TT warrant. But in addition to routing information, e-mail headers include the subject line, which is part of the substance of a communication – on a letter, for example, it would clearly be inside the envelope.

The government also argues that the transactional data for Web surfing is a list of the URLs or Web site addresses that a person visits. For example, it might record the fact that they visited “www.aclu.org” at 1:15 in the afternoon, and then skipped over to “www.fbi.gov” at 1:30. This claim that URLs are just addressing data breaks down in two different ways:

Web addresses are rich and revealing content. The URLs or “addresses” of the Web pages we read are not really addresses, they are the titles of documents that we download from the Internet. When we “visit” a Web page what we are really doing is downloading that page from the Internet onto our computer, where it is displayed. Therefore, the list of URLs that we visit during a Web session is really a list of the documents we have downloaded – no different from a list of electronic books we might have purchased online. That is much richer information than a simple list of the people we have communicated with; it is intimate information that reveals who we are and what we are thinking about – much more like the content of a phone call than the number dialed. After all, it is often said that reading is a “conversation” with the author.

Web addresses contain communications sent by a surfer. URLs themselves often have content embedded within them. A search on the Google search engine, for example, creates a page with a custom-generated URL that contains material that is clearly private content, such as:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=sexual+orientation

Similarly, if I fill out an online form – to purchase goods or register my preferences, for example – those products and preferences will often be identified in the resulting URL.

The erosion of accountability

Attempts to find out how the new surveillance powers created by the Patriot Act were implemented during their first year were in vain. In June 2002 the House Judiciary Committee demanded that the Department of Justice answer questions about how it was using its new authority. The Bush/Ashcroft Justice Department essentially refused to describe how it was implementing the law; it left numerous substantial questions unanswered, and classified others without justification. In short, not only has the Bush Administration undermined judicial oversight of government spying on citizens by pushing the Patriot Act into law, but it is also undermining another crucial check and balance on surveillance powers: accountability to Congress and the public. [cite to FOIA page]

Non-surveillance provisions

Although this fact sheet focuses on the direct surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act, citizens should be aware that the act also contains a number of other provisions. The Act:

Puts CIA back in business of spying on Americans. The Patriot Act gives the Director of Central Intelligence the power to identify domestic intelligence requirements. That opens the door to the same abuses that took place in the 1970s and before, when the CIA engaged in widespread spying on protest groups and other Americans.

Creates a new crime of “domestic terrorism.” The Patriot Act transforms protesters into terrorists if they engage in conduct that “involves acts dangerous to human life” to “influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.” How long will it be before an ambitious or politically motivated prosecutor uses the statute to charge members of controversial activist groups like Operation Rescue or Greenpeace with terrorism? Under the Patriot Act, providing lodging or assistance to such “terrorists” exposes a person to surveillance or prosecution. Furthermore, the law gives the attorney general and the secretary of state the power to detain or deport any non-citizen who belongs to or donates money to one of these broadly defined “domestic terrorist” groups.

Allows for the indefinite detention of non-citizens. The Patriot Act gives the attorney general unprecedented new power to determine the fate of immigrants. The attorney general can order detention based on a certification that he or she has “reasonable grounds to believe” a non-citizen endangers national security. Worse, if the foreigner does not have a country that will accept them, they can be detained indefinitely without trial.

Source: https://www.aclu.org/other/surveillance-under-usapatriot-act

USA PATRIOT Act (H.R. 3162)

Text of the bill:  https://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html

WARNING!

Before you read the next two articles in this compilation, please be aware that Operation Talpiot has back doored all computer hardware and software and everything you do electronically is stored, and analyzed by Israeli’s military unit 8200 within the IDF.

For more information about Operation Talpiot:

ISRAEL – THE GREATEST SPY MACHINE OF ALL TIME #OperationTalpiot #TalpiotFlyer

Operation Talpiot – videos and articles

Secret NSA facility in Jerusalem

How Israel Hardware Back Doored Everything – Arc Processors

The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs in 8 US Cities and the Link to AT&T and Israel’s Talpiot Program

The Active Long Term Soviet Israel Cell In The US Must Be Exposed And Removed

Russian-Israeli and Chinese Communist World Domination in the New World Order

Trump Signs Law Allowing Mass Spying on Citizens

Alarm as Trump Requests Permanent Reauthorization of NSA Mass Spying Program

Law Enforcement to Flag and Spy On Future Criminals

CIA/Mossad/KGB have been working in concert for the NWO since the 1940’s

So much for the #Resistance! While all eyes were on impeachment hearing, House re-authorized PATRIOT Act — RT USA News

House Democrats have slipped an unqualified renewal of the draconian PATRIOT Act into an emergency funding bill – voting near-unanimously for sweeping surveillance carte blanche that was the basis for the notorious NSA program.

A three-month reauthorization of the notorious PATRIOT Act was shoehorned into a last-minute continuing resolution (CR) funding the US government, bundling measures needed to avert yet another government shutdown with a continuation of the wildly-intrusive surveillance powers passed after the 9/11 terror attacks. Democrats voted almost unanimously for it, granting the far-reaching surveillance capabilities to the very same president they’re trying to impeach.

A roll-call vote on the bill was split exactly along party lines, with all 230 Democrats standing up for unconstitutional mass surveillance – including progressives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), who spoke out against it earlier. Two other Democrats opted not to vote, but not a single representative dared oppose party groupthink.

Not only did Democrats unanimously stand for the bill, they backed the waiver of a rule that would have at least allowed members of Congress to read it.

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Thomas Massie’s Patriot Act tweet

Aside from renewing the PATRIOT Act for another three months and keeping Washington’s lights on, the bill hikes military pay and tosses extra funding to the Commerce Department and state highways. Republicans had hoped to pass a “clean” funding bill without add-ons of any kind, so their opposition to the measure did not necessarily hinge on its inclusion of the surveillance provision. Still, the PATRIOT Act was born from a Republican administration and its rejection by the same party, 18 years later, suggests a dramatic shift in the US political landscape.

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Fight for the Future’s tweet (Communism)

It’s not just domestic surveillance that has driven Democrats and Republicans together. Despite the contrarian stance of the “Squad” and other outspoken #Resisters against President Donald Trump, House Democrats have largely gone along with Republicans in giving the president all the money he wants to wage war. Just 16 Democrats voted against the near-record ‘defense’ budget in July, a bloated $1.48 trillion over two years that dwarfs US defense spending at the height of the wars in Korea and Vietnam and gives the Pentagon more money than the rest of government combined.

Nor is Tuesday’s vote the first time Democrats have voted with, or to the right of, their colleagues across the aisle to back domestic surveillance programs, despite casually comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler and other fascist bogeymen.

Source:  https://www.digitalmunition.me/so-much-for-the-resistance-while-all-eyes-were-on-impeachment-hearing-house-re-authorized-patriot-act-rt-usa-news/

We can expect more treason since both political parties are controlled by the Israel (AIPAC) Lobby:

THE ISRAEL LOBBY Controls America – Video

Why the Hell Did Democrats Just Extend the Patriot Act?

House leadership included the measure in a government funding bill—and even members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus went along with it.

November 20, 2019

by Sam Adler-Bell

It may seem to many Americans that Washington is entirely consumed by the impeachment inquiry, and that no other important business is getting done on Capitol Hill. But on Tuesday, in a break from televised hearings, the House of Representatives voted to fund the government through December 20. If passed by the Senate, the continuing resolution would prevent a government shutdown and forestall a debate about border-wall funding.

That’s all well and good, except that Democratic leaders had slipped something else into the bill: a three-month extension of the Patriot Act, the post-9/11 law that gave the federal government sweeping surveillance and search powers and circumvented traditional law-enforcement rules. Key provisions of the Patriot Act were set to expire on December 15, including Section 215, the legal underpinning of the call detail records program exposed in the very first Edward Snowden leak.

“It’s surreal,” Representative Justin Amash told me on Tuesday, just before the vote. Amash, an independent who left the Republican Party over his opposition to President Trump, pointed to the hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle. Republicans have “decried FISA abuse” against the president and his aides, he said, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, “and Democrats have highlighted Trump’s abuse of his executive powers, yet they’re teaming up to extend the administration’s authority to warrantlessly gather data on Americans.”

By tucking the measure into a must-pass bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi forced many members who oppose the Patriot Act to vote in favor of its extension. “Although I do have serious concerns with reauthorizing Section 215,” Representative Bobby Rush of Illinois told The Hill, “we must focus on the bigger picture here.” In late October, Rush signed a letter co-authored by Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Earl Blumenauer, which read, “We will not support any legislation that extends Section 215’s sunset date if it fails to contain robust reforms that protect innocent people from unjust surveillance.”

On Monday night, Amash submitted an amendment to strip the Patriot Act language from the budget bill, but the amendment was blocked by Democrats on the Rules Committee.

Just 10 Democrats defied the leadership to vote against the resolution, including Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar (a.k.a. “the Squad”). “I cannot in good conscience vote in favor of a [continuing resolution] that reauthorizes unconstitutional mass surveillance authorities,” Tlaib told me, “especially under a president who has retweeted images of his opponents jailed and suggests anyone who disagrees with him is a criminal.” AOC tweeted before the vote, “Yeah that’s gonna be a no from me dog.”

Ultimately, the funding bill passed 231-192, mostly on party lines.

Some advocates have questioned whether the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), which includes the Squad, should have done more to combat—or, at least, register its dissatisfaction with—the last-minute maneuver by Democratic leadership. On Wednesday morning, leaders of the CPC and the libertarian House Freedom Caucus circulated a joint letter on Capitol Hill calling for extensive reforms to the Patriot Act before it is reauthorized. But when it came time for the floor vote, CPC co-chairs Pramila Jayapal and Mark Pocan voted in favor of the funding measure. So did most of the caucus’s members. The only person in CPC leadership to vote against the bill was Omar.

“We needed a show of resolve from House progressives to underscore that protections for civil liberties are vital,” said Norman Solomon, the co-founder of digital activist group RootsAction.org. “Instead we got a cave-in from CPC leadership along with all but 10 Democrats.”

“There’s no other way to spin this,” a progressive staffer on the Hill told me. “This was a major capitulation. The progressive caucus has touted itself as an organization that can wield power and leverage the votes of its 90 members. And they didn’t lift a finger. Democratic leadership rammed this down their throats.”

Repealing the call records program had been considered relatively low-hanging fruit by reform advocates—not least because it’s no longer operational. The National Security Agency announced a year ago that it had shut down the program after a series of compliance mishaps (during which many millions of innocent Americans’ phone records were accidentally collected). Lawmakers in both parties have expressed bewilderment about why they should reauthorize a program the NSA doesn’t use.

But in recent hearings, Trump administration officials have argued that the government should retain the authority in case it needs it later. In early November, an NSA official told the Senate Judiciary Committee the agency feared losing a “tool in our toolbox” that could prove “valuable moving forward.”

Thanks to House Democrats, those fears are allayed for the moment.

The late-game maneuver irked some advocacy groups, which have argued that Democrats’ broader complaints about the Trump administration—its white nationalist advisers, hostility to immigrants, disregard for the Constitution, and disdain for the press—should compel them to prioritize surveillance reform, too.

“Democrats are actively arguing that Donald Trump is unfit for office,” said Sandy Fulton of Free Press. “They’ve repeatedly acknowledged that he’s a threat to our most vulnerable communities. And yet they’re going to give him the Patriot Act?” Democratic leaders want to isolate the debate about intelligence from the debate about Trump’s fitness for office, Fulton explained. “They want to have these two conversations separately. But that doesn’t make sense. They should be the same conversation.”

A CPC spokesperson defended its members’ support of the continuing resolution. While acknowledging the caucus would have “preferred a clean CR without the 215 extension,” she said, “the top priority for the Progressive Caucus is to ensure major surveillance reform is included in any ultimate reauthorization.” The extension will help this goal, she argued: “Without a short extension that allows us to obtain these major reforms, we would end up in a much worse position.”

Jayapal, the CPC co-chair, denied that this was a situation of Democratic leadership bearing down on progressives. “That happens pretty often,” she said, laughing. “So I actually know what that feels like. This wasn’t one of them.”

According to Jayapal, negotiations between members of the Judiciary Committee and the NSA-friendly House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence (HPSCI) were going well. “Almost every single thing in our letter has been addressed, but not quite to our level of satisfaction,” Jayapal said. “We’re still pushing really hard, and we need this extra time to be able to finish that.” Without HPSCI’s buy-in, she said, “there’s no point in marking up a bill … because that is often where we run into problems.”

But some advocates say the best way to get buy-in from the intelligence committee is a show of strength. It would only have taken a few dozen progressive defections to kill the continuing resolution, after which the leadership would have been forced to strip the Patriot Act from the bill and schedule another vote on funding the government. “Self-identified progressives should have thrown a monkey wrench into the Orwellian machinery,” said Solomon. “Putting up a fight now would have opened up possibilities for rolling back key aspects of the surveillance state.”

Jayapal disagreed. If the House had not passed the extension, she said, the GOP-led Senate would have sent over a clean reauthorization bill (with no reforms), and she worries moderate Democrats might have gone along with it—especially if faced with the alternative of allowing the provisions to expire altogether. “You could go through and name any strategy for me, and I would tell you why it would fail,” she said.

As for allowing the Patriot Act to sunset, Jayapal told me, “There was no scenario in which this thing was going to expire.” Eighteen years after 9/11, raising the specter of “the next attack” still has political potency. “We already heard that from the Senate,” Jayapal said.

These views represent competing visions for how progressives should wield power in Congress. Jayapal’s pragmatic streak has often contrasted with the more openly confrontational approach of Ocasio-Cortez or Tlaib. While members of the Squad have seemed to relish fights with top Democrats, Jayapal has advocated for sticking to principles, while finding ways to work collaboratively with leadership.

“In my ideal world, we wouldn’t have the Patriot Act. Period,” Jayapal said, “but that’s not where we are. So we’ve got to fix these things, and they need to be substantive, real changes. That’s what we’re working on.”

Source:  https://newrepublic.com/article/155793/hell-democrats-just-extend-patriot-act

 

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