Tag Archive: Ron Wyden


OFFICIAL SIDESTEPS QUERIES ON CELLPHONE LOCATIONS

 

 

” The head of the National Security Agency sidestepped questions Thursday from a senator about whether the NSA has ever used Americans cellphone signals to collect information on their whereabouts that would allow tracking of the movements of individual callers.

Asked twice by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., if NSA had ever collected or made plans to collect such data, NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander answered both times by reading from a letter provided to senators who had asked the same question last summer. He also cited a classified version of the letter that was sent to senators and said, “What I don’t want to do … is put out in an unclassified forum anything that’s classified.”

Wyden promised to keep asking.

“I believe this is something the American people have a right to know, whether NSA has ever collected or made plans to collect cell site information,” Wyden said.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Senators Ask If NSA Collected Gun Data

 

 

 

” A bipartisan group of 26 senators, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to detail the scope and limits of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities in a letter released Friday.

The senators noted that the federal government’s authority under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is broad and rife with potential for abuse. Among the senators’ concerns was whether the NSA’s bulk data harvesting program could be used to construct a gun registry or violate other privacy laws.

“It can be used to collect information on credit card purchases, pharmacy records, library records, firearm sales records, financial information, and a range of other sensitive subjects,” the senators wrote. “And the bulk collection authority could potentially be used to supersede bans on maintaining gun owner databases, or laws protecting the privacy of medical records, financial records, and records of book and movie purchases.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government Says Secret Court Opinion on Law Underlying PRISM Program Needs to Stay Secret

 

 

 

” In a rare public filing in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the Justice Department today urged continued secrecy for a 2011 FISC opinion finding government surveillance to be unconstitutional.  Significantly, the activities at issue were carried out under the controversial legal authority that underlies the National Security Agency’s recently-revealed PRISM program.

EFF filed a suit under the Freedom of Information Act in August 2012, seeking disclosure of the FISC ruling.  Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall revealed the existence of the opinion, which found that collection activities under FISA Section 702  “circumvented the spirit of the law” and violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. But, at the time, the Senators were not permitted to discuss the details publicly. Section 702 has taken on new importance this week, as it appears to form the basis for the extensive PRISM surveillance program reported recently in the Guardian and the Washington Post.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Internet Sales Tax Rush

” Every time Congress has taken a serious look at proposals to boost Internet sales taxes, it has rejected them. That’s probably why pro-tax Senators are trying to rush through an online tax hike with as little consideration as possible.

As early as Monday, the Senate will vote on a bill that was introduced only last Tuesday. The text of this legislation, which would fundamentally change interstate commerce, only became available on the Library of Congress website over the weekend. And you thought ObamaCare was jammed through Nancy Pelosi‘s Democratic House in a hurry.

For Senators curious about what they’re voting on, it is the same flawed proposal that Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.) introduced in February. It has been repackaged to qualify for a Senate rule that allows Majority Leader Harry Reid to bypass committee debate and bring it straight to the floor.”

Progressive Dems Explain Why They Didn’t #StandWithRand Against Drone Strikes

 

 

 

Portraits Of Courage , Every One …

 

 

” Here are some of the saddest responses from exactly the sort of bleeding-heart Dems who say they care about executive-branch overreach, sticking up for the little guy, you name it:

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio): “I don’t know, there’s a lot of debates I don’t join that I agree — I’ve got stuff to do and was doing a lot of other things.”…

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt., who caucuses with the Ds): “I’m working right now on many, many, other issues.”…

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.): “Everyone’s got a lot of priorities and people are busy.”…

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon): “”I’m not supporting blocking the opportunity for [up or down votes on presidential appointees].”…

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.): “We all were shocked Republicans were doing a real filibuster instead of a procedural filibuster.”

 

 

 

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Demand An Apology From Senator McCain

 

 

 

” While Senator Rand Paul was filibustering John Brennan’s nomination for CIA Director over the Obama Administration’s implicit assertion that it can kill American citizens on American soil without charge or trial, Senator John McCain was schmoozing with President Obama over dinner.

Millions of people, from all political backgrounds, showed support for Rand Paul’s courageous filibuster on social media. Rand Paul was eventually joined by 14 senators, including Sens. Lee, Cruz, Toomey, and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden.

Instead of joining this important filibuster, Senator McCain mocked Rand Paul and made condescending statements towards libertarian young people. “If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms.” “

 

 

At the link you can send a message to McCain and express your dissatisfaction with his derogatory remarks regarding Senator Paul’s principled stand against tyranny and statism . Principle being something that 40 years inside the cloistered environment of Washington seems to have wrung out of the honorable man that survived the Hanoi Hilton .

   Below is the text of the form letter … read it , if you agree with it give it your blessing and send it on . Senator Paul , although doomed to fail in preventing the vote on Brennan to take place , took a bold stand and showed the entire country just what leadership really is .

 

The text : 

 

” Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster on the Senate floor was not a political stunt to “fire up impressionable libertarian kids.” I am a full grown adult and I agree with Sen. Paul that the President of the United States does not have the authority to assassinate American citizens on American soil without due process.

Your criticism of Sen. Paul’s brave filibuster is shameful. No American statesman would support the assassination of an American without proper due process. The President can’t just suspend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Our founding fathers would not approve of President Obama’s unprecedented authority grab and neither should you.

While Senator Paul stood for liberty and the rights of all Americans, you dined with the President. I demand you apologize to the millions of Americans who support our right to not be killed by the President.”

 

    If you find yourself in agreement with the above sentiment click the link and follow the instructions to send your own protest .

 

 

 

 

US Senate Approves FISA Warrantless Wiretapping Extension

 

 

 

 

” Washington – The Senate has voted to reauthorize a controversial amendment that allows US intelligence agencies to wiretap communications without warrants.

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was passed to allow the wiretapping of many US phone conversations and electronic communications and to grant retroactive immunity to Bush administration officials and telecom corporations for illegal wiretapping of domestic communications. FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, allows the NSA and other US intelligence agencies to wiretap conversations in which at least one of the parties is a foreign citizen without first obtaining a warrant. “

Despite Concerns By Fellow Democrats And Civil Libertarians, The Senator Says There’s Ample Oversight On Spying

Ample Oversight … Where have we heard that before ? Oh yeah . The Stimulus , Fannie Mae , Freddie Mac , Pigford , Gunwalker , Benghazi , Solyndra , need we go on ? Charlie Rangel , Maxine Waters , William Jefferson , Domestic Drones , TSA ?  Secret Service , GSA ?

” However, outgoing chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Dianne Feinsten, D.-Calif., defended the surveillance practices permitted under FISA’s current provisions. “I don’t think there’s any program that has more vigorous oversight,” she said in response to Wyden Thursday. Feinstein said that in regards to stopping domestic terrorist attacks in recent years, the surveillance program “has worked,” noting that some of the 100 arrests made over the past four years to prevent attacks on U.S. soil have been made based on intelligence gleaned under FISA.

According to the Guardian, “National Security Agency whistleblower Bill Binney has estimated that the agency has ‘assembled’ 20 trillion transactions between U.S. citizens.”

As Wyden put it Thursday, I think, when you talk about oversight, and you can’t even get a rough estimate of how many law-abiding Americans had their communications swept up by this law … the idea of robust oversight, really ought to be called toothless oversight if you don’t have that kind of information.”

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