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|Tuesday, June 19th, 2007|
"Paul Hill Days" Call To Action
Dear Mr. Biskupic,
This is a public celebration of domestic terrorism. As a concerned American citizen, I demand that the US Government enforce the provisions of the PATRIOT Act that make the support of terrorism a prosecutable offensive.
Michael Varian Daly
United States Attorney Steve Biskupic is the chief federal law enforcement officer within the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Office of the United States Attorney
Eastern District of Wisconsin
517 E Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 530
Milwaukee, WI 53202-4580
Phone: (414) 297-1700
Fax (414) 297-1738
Toll-Free (800) 680-8949
TTD (414) 297-1088http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/wie/jurisdiction.html Current Mood: Militant
|Sunday, April 15th, 2007|
|Monday, April 2nd, 2007|
(article): UNDER SURVEILLANCE - The End of Illegal Domestic Spying? Don't Count on It
UNDER SURVEILLANCE - The End of Illegal Domestic Spying? Don't Count on It
By Joe W. Pitts | 03/15/2007
Americans of all persuasions were shocked by the revelations, first reported in the New York Times in December of 2005, that President Bush had authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop secretly for years on the calls and e-mails of American citizens, bypassing the warrants required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment. The administration's decision, in January, to subject the NSA program to review by the special FISA court, supposedly ending the controversial warrantless surveillance, was reported as a stunning and welcome reversal.
Yet the surveillance program isn't the only thing now "warranted"; so is skepticism about the administration's change of heart. The superficial change-back to FISA control merely masks more deeply hidden examples of secrecy and deception in the concerted attack on American constitutional values. Whether manifest in the Scooter Libby verdict, the recent scandalous disclosures that National Security Letters (NSLs) have been deceptively and illegally used by the FBI to spy on unsuspecting Americans, or in these NSA programs, this attack on our constitutional core demands a vigorous response.
( Read more...Collapse )
|Sunday, March 25th, 2007|
washingtonpost.com: My National Security Letter Gag Order
Current Mood: aggravated
My National Security Letter Gag Order
Friday, March 23, 2007; Page A17
It is the policy of The Washington Post not to publish anonymous pieces. In this case, an exception has been made because the author -- who would have preferred to be named -- is legally prohibited from disclosing his or her identity in connection with receipt of a national security letter. The Post confirmed the legitimacy of this submission by verifying it with the author's attorney and by reviewing publicly available court documents.
The Justice Department's inspector general revealed on March 9 that the FBI has been systematically abusing one of the most controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act: the expanded power to issue "national security letters." It no doubt surprised most Americans to learn that between 2003 and 2005 the FBI issued more than 140,000 specific demands under this provision -- demands issued without a showing of probable cause or prior judicial approval -- to obtain potentially sensitive information about U.S. citizens and residents. It did not, however, come as any surprise to me.
( Read more...Collapse )
Found via this thread & comments over on jwz
|Sunday, March 12th, 2006|
PATRIOT Renewal Rubber Stamped, NSA Spying May Be Next
From EFFector Vol. 19, No. 10 March 10, 2006 A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, ISSN 1062-9424
PATRIOT Renewal Rubber Stamped, NSA Spying May Be Next
Despite the best efforts of EFF, other civil liberties organizations, and their supporters, Americans' privacy rights took some serious body-blows from Congress this week. The USA PATRIOT Act was renewed without meaningful reform, and key Congressmen backed away from a full investigation of the NSA's domestic spying program, instead making a deal with the White House to legalize it.
Whether because of election year fears or White House pressures, Republican Senators who had been holding out for significant new checks on the PATRIOT Act dropped the fight when offered a few sham reforms. The renewal bill was then quickly approved by the Senate and, this week, approved by the House and signed by the President.
Why are the "compromise" bill's three reforms worthless? Let's take each in turn.
The bill provides a procedure for recipients of super-secret National Security Letters (NSLs) to challenge the never-ending gag orders that accompany these FBI-issued subpoenas. But the ACLU (with help from EFF) already demonstrated that these gag orders could be successfully challenged in court without a change to the law. This new "reform" actually makes things worse: under the new law, these gag orders can't be challenged at all within a year of being issued, and if the government simply tells the court that lifting the gag order will hurt national security, the government wins. We think this procedure is just as unconstitutional as the original law.
The bill didn't include a requirement that NSL recipients seeking legal advice disclose their lawyer's name to the FBI. But this "reform" simply removed something bad from one of the renewal bill's earlier versions; it didn't change the original PATRIOT Act at all.
Finally, the bill clarified that NSLs can't be served on libraries that don't provide electronic communication services. But NSLs already can't be served on libraries lacking those services.
Unfortunately, it gets worse. Senate Republicans this week stated that they had reached a deal with the White House to legalize the NSA's domestic spying program. The agreement allows government investigators to conduct warrantless wiretaps for up to 45 days before having to go to a court, even in non-emergency situations. Currently, the law only allows such surveillance without a warrant for 72 hours in emergencies and for 15 days by the Executive when war is declared. Because of this deal, an in-depth Congressional investigation of the NSA program -- what it actually involves and whether it broke the law -- has been deflected for now.
Nevertheless, this week's events shouldn't be taken as final defeats. Members of Congress who were dissatisfied with the PATRIOT bill -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- are already proposing new non-sham reforms, while the plan to legalize the NSA Program still has opponents on both sides of the aisle. EFF believes that the spying program did in fact break the law and violate the Constitution, as we have alleged in our lawsuit against AT&T for helping the NSA with this massive fishing expedition into Americans' private communications. As always, EFF will stay on the front lines and fight hard to ensure that your civil liberties are protected.
New York Times, "G.O.P. Plan Would Allow Spying Without Warrants":
AP, "Bush to Sign Patriot Act Renewal":
For more on the NSA domestic spying program:
For more on EFF's suit against AT&T:
For more on the PATRIOT Act:
|Monday, February 20th, 2006|
|Sunday, February 19th, 2006|
Vote Your Rights Away!
Here's the seemingly impossible scenario ... you're living in the most powerful country in the world. A single tragedy has occured and your leader has made it clear that some rights must be removed to protect the country from terrorism.
Are you ready?! VOTE
(must be registered
|Tuesday, January 31st, 2006|
|Saturday, January 28th, 2006|
|Friday, January 27th, 2006|
|Saturday, January 21st, 2006|
|Saturday, December 31st, 2005|
|Friday, December 16th, 2005|
Bush Approved Eavesdropping, Official Says
WASHINGTON (AP)-President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night.
The disclosure follows angry demands by lawmakers earlier in the day for congressional inquiries into whether the monitoring by the highly secretive National Security Agency violated civil liberties.( More of our tax dollars at workCollapse )
Feingold Now Has Numbers on His Side
WASHINGTON - In Congress, where numbers are everything, the math on the Patriot Act suddenly seems to be moving in favor of Sen. Russell Feingold.
He was a minority of one four years ago, when the Wisconsin Democrat cast the lone Senate vote against the USA Patriot Act in the traumatic weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. The law, he said then, gave government too much power to investigate its citizens. Ninety-nine senators disagreed.
Now add more than two dozen senators to Feingold's side, including the leaders of his party and some of the chamber's most conservative Republicans, and the balance of power shifts. ( The NRA didn't like that law enforcement et al started confiscating guns in NOLA in the aftermath of KatrinaCollapse )
|Wednesday, November 16th, 2005|
EFFector Special Action Alert, November 15, 2005
EFFector Special Action Alert, November 15, 2005 firstname.lastname@example.org
THE FINAL PATRIOT VOTE IS HERE --
TELL CONGRESS TO VOTE NO ON PATRIOT RENEWAL
The House of Representatives is expected to vote tomorrow on a bill to renew the USA PATRIOT Act. A Senate vote is expected before the week it out. Now is the time to call your senator and representatives and say "No!" to PATRIOT renewal.
The final conference process for PATRIOT reauthorization has gone very badly for those attempting to reform the bill. Growing concerns in the House, and key compromises agreed in the Senate have all been ignored. Indeed, the draft bill obtained by EFF actually makes some PATRIOT powers worse:
* "National Security Letters", which the Washington Post reveals have been used to spy on tens of thousands of
ordinary Americans, have been strengthened. New criminal penalties have been added for NSL recipients who try to speak
about their experience.
* The draft bill jettisons the four-year time limits on several PATRIOT powers,replacing them with longer, seven-year
"sunset" clauses. All other PATRIOT powers that were set to expire this year will be renewed without any time limit.
* Some politicians, confident that no one would dare vote against PATRIOT, have added their own irrelevant amendments:
piggybacking other unpopular reforms onto this terrible bill.
This bill flouts the growing concern in Congress with the documented abuses of the prior version of the Patriot Act and the flawed process of PATRIOT reauthorization. They're growing restless on Capitol Hill: one more call could be enough to start a rebellion in both Houses.
Time is short: sources say the PATRIOT vote will be rushed through in the next few days. Please call your representative and senators now. Ask them vote "no" on the PATRIOT reauthorization act.
Please visit our Action Center at the link below. It will give you the phone numbers to call, and suggestions on what to tell your elected official. https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?alertId=187&pg=makeACall
Learn more about the bill, and its new problems, see: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004166.php
Thanks for your help and determination,
The EFF Activism Team.
|Sunday, November 6th, 2005|
FBI Patriot Act Plan Concerns Lawmakers
By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 42 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers expressed concern Sunday that the
FBI was aggressively pushing the powers of the anti-terrorist USA Patriot Act to access private phone and financial records of ordinary people.
"We should be looking at that very closely," said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "It appears to me that this is, if not abused, being close to abused."
Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed, saying the government's expanded power highlights the risks of balancing national security against individual rights.
"It does point up how dangerous this can be," said Hagel, who appeared with Biden on ABC's "This Week."
Under the Patriot Act, the FBI issues more than 30,000 national security letters allowing the investigations each year, a hundred-fold increase over historic norms, The Washington Post reported Sunday, quoting unnamed government sources.
The security letters, which were first used in the 1970s, allow access to people's phone and e-mail records, as well as financial data and the Internet sites they surf. The 2001 Patriot Act removed the requirement that the records sought be those of someone under suspicion.
As a result, FBI agents can review the digital records of a citizen as long as the bureau can certify that the person's records are "relevant" to a terrorist investigation.
Calling the recent growth in the number of letters a "stunner," Biden said, "Thirty thousand seems like an awful, awful stretch to me."
Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said Sunday that he could not immediately confirm or dispute the 30,000 figure, but he said the power to use the security letters was justified.
"The Department of Justice inspector general in August 2005 found no civil rights violations with respect to the Patriot Act," he said.
Issued by the FBI without review by a judge, the letters are used to obtain electronic records from "electronic communications service providers." Such providers include Internet service companies but also universities, public interest organizations and almost all libraries, because most provide access to the Internet.
Last September in an ACLU lawsuit, a federal judge in New York struck down this provision as unconstitutional on grounds that it restrains free speech and bars or deters judicial challenges to government searches.
That ruling has been suspended pending an appeal to the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In a hearing last week the court suggested it might require the government to permit libraries, major corporations and other groups to challenge FBI demands for records.
The Patriot Act provision involving national security letters was enacted permanently in 2001, so it was not part of Congress' debate last summer over extending some Patriot Act provisions.
As the Dec. 31 deadline has approached for Congress to renew provisions of the act, the House and Senate have voted to make noncompliance with a national security letter a criminal offense.
Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the expanded use of security letters was a "clear concern" and that information gathered on citizens should be destroyed if it does not lead to a criminal charge.
Coburn said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he "certainly will" take steps to ensure that the documents are destroyed immediately.
A message left with the ACLU was not immediately returned on Sunday.
|Saturday, October 29th, 2005|
Uh, so I hear the Patriot Act essentially nullifies your Miranda Rights...
Hmm, I wanted to get some information on this. My sister was arrested at Wal-Mart with a friend today. They took 2 sweet teas, and 2 hair dyes. When the police showed up, they were handcuffed and questioned.... without being read their Miranda Rights. I, naturally, freaked out and did some research on this, and, lo and behold, her rights were violated! But then my husband tells me that due to the Patriot Act the police are no longer required to read you your rights. I am hoping that this is a case of my husband being ill-informed, and not the Patriot Act ganging up on college freshmen who like tea and blond hair. You seem quite knowledgeable about the rights-violation that is the Patriot Act. Could you tell me... who's right- me, or my husband? I've long been opposed to the PA, but now it has affected me on an in-my-face personal level.
|Tuesday, October 25th, 2005|
|Tuesday, September 27th, 2005|
Exposed as a male prostitute who advertises his sexual services openly on the Internet, James Guckert, aka Jeff Gannon, press maven, friend of top White House personnel, respected and addressed by President Bush, Mr. Guckert has been ousted from his cushy job in the seat of power and has become the Monica Lewinsky of the Bush Presidency.
To say that the White House was shocked when it was soon discovered that he was an aging male hustler with great ambitions and a considerable income from selling nude pictures of muscular young men to the public would only be to reinforce the theory that the top level of U.S. officials were completely unaware of the pending Arab attack on the World Trade Center.
~Okay, 'why is he posting this here?' some of you are saying. Well, look at the results of all the lobbing against The PATRIOT Act: 14 out of 16 of the most pernicious provisions were renewed. We can't play fair with these people, and Nietzsche's admonition about fighting dragons not withstanding, I really don't want to end up in a Dominionist Gulag. And don't think that 'it can't happen here', my friends..it can. Ideology won't defeat the Bushanistas, but a good sex scandal just might. Fight Dirty. X-post this story and keep it alive.