Even If Patriot Act Expires, Government Will Keep Spying On All Americans

George Washington's picture

Mass surveillance under the Patriot Act is so awful that even its author says that the NSA has gone far beyond what the Act intended (and that the intelligence chiefs who said Americans aren’t being spied on should be prosecuted for perjury).

Specifically, the government is using a “secret interpretation” of the Patriot Act which allows the government to commit mass surveillance on every American.

So it’s a good thing that the Patriot Act may expire, but don’t get too excited …

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange said today:

Our sources say that the NSA is not too concerned, that it has secret interpretations of other authorities that give it much the same power that it would have had under the secret interpretation of 215 and other areas of the USA PATRIOT Act.

ZDNet agrees … and notes that Congress doesn’t even know about many of the government’s spying programs. And see this.

Indeed, the government now uses secret evidence, secret witnesses, secret interpretations, and even secret laws. See this and this.

High-level NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake told us:

It’s not rule of law. This secret law, secret rule, executive authoritarianism has saddled up again.

EFF notes:

Under international human rights law, secret “law” doesn’t even qualify as “law” at all.

 

***

 

This includes not just the law itself, but the judicial and executive interpretations of written laws because both of those are necessary to ensure that people have clear notice of what will trigger surveillance.

 

This is a basic and old legal requirement: it can be found in all of the founding human rights documents. It allows people the fundamental fairness of understanding when they can expect privacy from the government and when they cannot. It avoids the Kafkaesque situations in which people ... cannot figure out what they did that resulted in government scrutiny, much less clear their names. And it ensures that government officials have actual limits to their discretion and that when those limits are crossed, redress is possible.

 

***

 

To bring the U.S. in line with international law, it must stop the process of developing secret law and ensure that all Americans, and indeed all people who may be subject to its surveillance have clear notice of when surveillance might occur.

Remember, the Nazis claimed - just like the NSA - that the truth was too complicated and dangerous to disclose to the public. That was B.S. then ... and it's B.S. today.

Constitutional and civil rights attorney John Whitehead writes:

It doesn’t matter who occupies the White House: the secret government with its secret agencies, secret budgets and secret programs won’t change. It will simply continue to operate in secret until some whistleblower comes along to momentarily pull back the curtain and we dutifully—and fleetingly—play the part of the outraged public, demanding accountability and rattling our cages, all the while bringing about little real reform.

 

Thus, the lesson of the NSA and its vast network of domestic spy partners is simply this: once you allow the government to start breaking the law, no matter how seemingly justifiable the reason, you relinquish the contract between you and the government which establishes that the government works for and obeys you, the citizen—the employer—the master.

 

Once the government starts operating outside the law, answerable to no one but itself, there’s no way to rein it back in, short of … doing away with the entire structure, because the corruption and lawlessness have become that pervasive.

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Hannibal's picture

Patriot Act or not, Govt and their thug cops dont give one flying fuck.

Bastiat's picture

For a mere $100/mo donation subscription to the Clinton Foundation you can receive their gaurantee that your communications will be secure.  For an additonal $25/mo you can get plans for your own super-secret email server setup.

topshelfstuff's picture

One way to move the Federales into every State. Didn't hear a word about this, just stumbled on this info...last month it was State Helicopters ???

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/27/obama-admin-asserts-dominion-over-creeks-streams-w/#ixzz3bPEEEdx8

CURL: Obama admin asserts dominion over creeks, streams, wetlands, ditches — even big puddles

Wed 27, 2015

President Obama’s administration on Wednesday claimed dominion over all of America’s streams, creeks, rills, ditches, brooks, rivulets, burns, tributaries, criks, wetlands — perhaps even puddles — in a sweeping move to assert unilateral federal authority.

The Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, says it has the authority to control all waterways within the United States — and will exercise that authority.

Bastiat's picture

 "The Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, says it has the authority to control all waterways within the United States — and will exercise that authority."

--------quote from the second link.

"Brooks, revulets, creeks and wetlands" are not "waterways" are they?  WaterWAY is a body of water on which navigation is practiced or practicable as oppose to a "watercourse."

Low Tech Future's picture

Even a puddle in a parking lot falls under Clean Water Act

I know of one case where CWA was used against a photography developer in a parking lot who spilled a little silver solution in a parking lot, and that's just how they were nailed.

(And in the meantime, you have people drinking colloidal silver and flushing it on a daily basis).

OLD YELLER's picture

How anyone can deny that this is all part of conspiracy to enslave Americans is beyond me. The Republican party is Treason central, the political arm. The Federal reserve is the paymaster for these criminals. You personally owe $157000 to the government in the form of Bonds, as in THE LAND OF BONDAGE! That's the opposite of THE LAND OF THE FREE.  The press is now merely the mouth piece of the Government Mafia. The Military has been cowed and vetted. The Police are being hardened and armed for whats coming. Hollywood provides propaganda, history revision and bebouchery. The NSA provides the gesatapo with names for arrest lists. YOU! are being watched right now, this web site and every one on it that uses it in particular, you disloyal revolutionary TERRORISTS!! 

Cheers! Have a nice day Slaves!

Duc888's picture

 

 

Old Yeller :"The Republican party is Treason central"

 

Yea, the fucking dumocrats are our saviors. (rolling eyes).

 

Oblabla and Clinton are stalwarts of Freedum.

topshelfstuff's picture

We need to get a real viable 3rd Party Movement in action, and very soon. The best way to do this is to get a committee formed that can put together a Platform, perhaps include the 10 most important objectives, changes sought, laws passed, laws removed, etc...you get my drift. This would make it easy for People to run for Office, by simply agreeing with the platform. A People's Party. I'm surprised this hasn't begun. Never before has America been so ripe and ready for a 3rd party, to eject All current Office holders (a small group of current are OK). Every Office, Local, State, Federal needs a candidate. Most important, if that can be done, is to assure an accurate Vote Count...pretty obvious every attempt would be made to prevent an accurate count. Considering that past elections had such a large percentage of non-Voters, getting a Movement in action could really work...w/o much Funds perhaps Social Media could be put to use

OLD YELLER's picture

A Skunk is an animal with a front and a back, but still a Skunk.

q99x2's picture

Who cares if they spy. They are retarded. They send anthrax to themselves via regular mail. Maybe they'll spy on the FED, Dimon and Blankfein and report it on the TV evening news.

shovelhead's picture

Reminds me of a conversation between Uncle Beauford and the Sheriff.

Sheriff: "All those cattle yours?"

UB: "Yup".

S: "Twice as many as last week."

UB: "Yup"

S: "Where you get em?".

UB: "Found em."

S: "Yeah?"

UB: "Yup".

S: "Okay, bye."

UB: "Yup. Bye."

VWAndy's picture

This is why the only way to handle stuff like this is third party access to all of the data. First things first. Who did it get used against? What did these jerks do to those people? When did they start doing this stuff. bla bla bla.

 That said. Imagine how our understanding of how the world really works would be forever changed. In my humble opinion its the next step in human evolution. Its called accountability get use to it. The time for grown ups is getting near. This war on honest people needs to be stopped before these children destroy the planet chasing their thirst for absolute power.

 So whats it going to be? Truth or lies. I figure we tried it the lying scumbag way for long enough.

Reaper's picture

Law is a myth to control the less powerful. Justice in courts is a myth to deceive men from protecting themselves. Secret laws could be just if universally applied,instead of arbitrarily.

Sheeple crave order and consistent rules so dearly that they deny the reality of their courts and governments. We believe juries protect us from abuse of law, but juries are forbidden to be told of nullification, the right of the jury to determine the law, and the validity of the law. http://www.nycourts.gov/history/legal-history-new-york/legal-history-era...

Once in America, a large number of men lived among obedient sheeple. Now few men live among more ignorant obedient sheeple. The government spies, so that it would be believed in its lies. The NSA, the FBI, the government prosecutors will lie to deceive the sheeple, to eliminate rivals, to create false flagged enemies and to satisfy their venal whims. The Law, secret or public, is a lie.

Blood Spattered Banner's picture

"Top NSA whistleblower Bill Binney told us that nothing will change unless we fire all of the corrupt officials within the NSA and other government agencies."

Why?  So the next MIC bureacrats can take their place?  We need to fire the government as a whole;  Cut the head off the snake.  The MIC & Security State are too entrenched and have too much dirt on everyone.  It's an all or nothing proposition at this point.

Hongcha's picture

Remember the difference between a code and a cipher.

Chupacabra-322's picture

"Top NSA whistleblower Bill Binney told us that nothing will change unless we fire all of the corrupt officials within the NSA and other government agencies."

How about arrest, Tri, convict then Execute those Tresonist bastards.

TheGreatRecovery's picture

Since that huge NSA facility is in Utah, what does the Church of Latter Day Saints say about it?

Too bad there is not a Commandment that says, "THOU SHALT NOT SPY UPON THY NEIGHBOR.  Especially, thou shalt not fund a government agency to spy upon thy neighbor.  And if a government agency does spy on your neighbor, then thou shalt not work for that government agency, and thou shalt vote AGAINST any Congressman or Senator representing thee, who does not speak and vote AGAINST funding that government agency". 

TheGreatRecovery's picture

:-)   ..."for any such Congressman or Senator, no matter what he claims, must be a worshipper of Mammon, and thou not abide him, but shalt send him away from thee, that he may do penance (with maybe much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but maybe not) in Las Vegas, or maybe Bangkok, or, should it be reopened to Mammon, Havana... or perhaps Qatar, where he might help rig World Soccer and such, pretending to bring the joy of sports to the world, while actually holding sports hostage to his demands for ransom money, which he would use to worship Mammon".

illyia's picture

And, to make the circular logic even more confusing and circular:

MAMMON = MONEY

So:

..."for any such Congressman or Senator, no matter what he claims, must be a worshipper of Money, and thou [shall] not abide him, but send him away from thee, that he may do penance  in [the Land of Money Worship], or maybe [the Land of Sex for Money], or, should it be reopened to Money, [Money Heaven in Cuba?]... or perhaps [Really BIG money], where he might help rig World Soccer and such, pretending to bring the joy of sports to the world, while actually holding sports hostage to his demands for ransom money, which he would use to worship Money".

Whew... corruption is exhausting!

Earl Slaughter-- Truck Driver.'s picture

Citizens United. Insider trading. Revolving-door employment.

 

The USSA federal government is like a hog-trough...

 

"...because the corruption and lawlessness have become that pervasive."

usednabused's picture

Yes, a hog trough for sure, literally as well as figurativly. Not only a finacial one, but a real one. I have never been to DC but I would imagine it reeks like that hog trough you speak of. They couldn't buy enough perfume and painnt to cover up all that filth.

JailBanksters's picture

It will never be taken down, it will be expanded to making it a Crime to critisuze the Government.

No Wait, that's already in it.

 

They'll make it Illegal for people to report crimes commited by people in Government.

No Wait, that's already in it as well.

 

 

 

 

Chupacabra-322's picture

It's not a Government God Dammit! Stop using Slavespeak & referri g to it as such. It's a Fucking Criminal Fraud Entity UNITED STATES, CORP. INC. posing as functioning Government.

Get it know?

Captain Willard's picture

This is all about suppressing dissent, not catching terrorists.

JRobby's picture

I think that goes without saying. There are only laws for those that can't afford influential representation. There is no longer constitutional basis as a defense.

Stuck on Zero's picture

The government doesn't need no stinking badges.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The only purpose of power is to use it.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

They have a hammer and aren't afraid to use it. When everything is secret, all the power becomes a weapon.....

stiler's picture

As Adam, more precisely, Eve, learned of herself. But it never has turned out well.

TruxtonSpangler's picture

You totally missed the most important piece George, the SAFETY act. They dont need the Patriot act when they have the SAFETY act, why do you think there is bipartisan support to repleal patriot act?

 

https://www.safetyact.gov