Tom Coburn Suggests Problems with Use of PATRIOT Act Section 215 Will Be Big Court Battle

By: Wednesday June 8, 2011 8:06 am

I’m watching the SJC’s 51 minutes of almost entirely pathetic questioning of Robert Mueller to remain Director of FBI for two more years (the only real challenge came from Al Franken on civil liberties issues). And while by far the most telling aspect of the questioning came in Mueller’s repeated assertion that aspirational internet terrorists [...]

Using Domestic Surveillance to Get Rapists to Spy for America

By: Tuesday June 7, 2011 2:26 pm

The reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act focused a lot of attention on the fact that the Administration is interpreting the phrase “relevant to an authorized [intelligence] investigation” in Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act very broadly. As Ron Wyden and Mark Udall made clear, the government claims that phrase gives it the authority to collect [...]

DiFi’s Secret Law

By: Saturday May 28, 2011 8:42 am

Steven Aftergood linked to this colloquy on the PATRIOT Act which reveals a lot about Ron Wyden and Mark Udall’s efforts to force the government to admit how it’s suveilling Americans. The colloquy basically puts not just the agreement, but the circumstances that went into the agreement, into the Congressional record. After some Senatorial blathering [...]

Happy Memorial Day! Remember Your Government Will Be Tracking with Whom You Celebrate this Weekend

By: Friday May 27, 2011 11:14 am

As I’ve said repeatedly in discussions of the secret interpretations of the PATRIOT Act provisions that Ron Wyden and Mark Udall complained about, those interpretations probably claim the government can collect mass information on geolocation. Julian Sanchez lays out why that is almost certainly the case in this worthwhile post. The three main points (there [...]

The PATRIOT Act Vote: One Quarter of the Way to a Fourth Amendment

By: Thursday May 26, 2011 4:19 pm

The final vote in the Senate opposing yet another sunset of the PATRIOT act was 72-23-5, meaning we’re almost a quarter of the way to regaining some semblance of a Fourth Amendment. Heh. Those voting against the forever PATRIOT? Akaka (D-HI) Baucus (D-MT) Begich (D-AK) Bingaman (D-NM) Brown (D-OH) Cantwell (D-WA) Coons (D-DE) Durbin (D-IL) [...]

Clapper: We Need to Pass PATRIOT to Make Sure Apple Continues to Track Your Location

By: Thursday May 26, 2011 12:58 pm

I’m very sympathetic to what Glenn and bmaz and Spencer and Julian have to say about the stupid fear-mongering around today’s PATRIOT extension. Julian’s explanation of how the grandfather clause would work is particularly important: . A lapse of these provisions for a few days—or a few weeks—would have no significant effect. First, they’re all [...]

The Changes Wyden/Udall Wanted to Section 215

By: Wednesday May 25, 2011 6:10 pm

As I’ve been reporting, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall unsuccessfully tried to get the Senate to require the government to reveal how it interprets the PATRIOT Act. And since both have made it clear that Section 215 is one of the concerns, I wanted to look at the amendment they’ve proposed to fix Section 215. [...]

The Government’s PATRIOTic Databases on Innocent Americans

By: Wednesday May 25, 2011 3:28 pm

As I reported yesterday, one of the amendments to the PATRIOT Act Harry Reid made sure wouldn’t get a vote pertained to making it clear how the government interprets the PATRIOT Act. Mark Udall and Ron Wyden wanted to force the government to at least explain how they were interpreting the law so constituents would [...]

Wyden and Udall Want Obama to Admit to Secret Collection Program

By: Tuesday May 24, 2011 3:27 pm

Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have an amendment to the PATRIOT Act that makes it clear the Obama Administration briefed the Intelligence Committees in February on an intelligence collection program, conducted under PATRIOT authority, that interprets the language of the law so broadly as to mean something it really doesn’t say. The amendment reads, in [...]

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