August 7, 2007
Big Brother getting BIGGER: Super V-Chip, Surveillance laws in works.
There’s been some major shit going on over the weekend that will allow the US government to turn the Internet into one big spynet. Anyone who doesn’t believe that king D’uh’bya wants total information awareness better pay attention and take notes:
Right, like the Clipper chip was supposed to help secure telecommunication lines without leaving a backdoor… or handing the keys to the government.
Given the current V-Chip’s status as a useless appendix for most parents, it’s unlikely that v2.0 will be used by them, or even marketed to them. Instead, it will most likely wind up inside the systems of ISPs and cellular carriers. You can pretty much figure out what will happen then, and that may not even include whatever “backdoors” the government will mandate into the chips.
Now, over the weekend, Congress manages to hurriedly whomp together a “Protect America Act,” approved and signed by king D’uh’bya, that will allow the regime a six-month window of opportunity to force possibly permanent wiretaps and backdoors on the telecom infrastructure. Here are the key elements of the “law” as Wired points out:
* Defines the act of reading and listening into American’s phone calls and internet communications when they are “reasonably believed” to be outside the country as not surveillance.
* Gives the government 6 months of extended powers to issue orders to “communication service providers,” to help with spying that “concerns persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States.” The language doesn’t require the surveillance to only target people outside the United States, only that some of it does.
* Forces Communication Service providers to comply secretly, though they can challenge the orders to the secret Foreign Intelligence Court. Individuals or companies given such orders will be paid for their cooperation and can not be sued for complying.
* Makes any program or orders launched in the next six months last for a year after being authorized.
* Grandfathers in the the current secret surveillance program — sometimes referred to as the Terrorist Surveillance Program — and any others that have been blessed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
* Requires the Attorney General to submit to the secret surveillance court its reasons why these programs aren’t considered domestic spying programs, but the court can only throw out those reasons if it finds that they are “clearly erroneous.”
* Requires the Attorney General to tell Congress twice a year about any incidents of surveillance abuse and give statistics about how many surveillance programs were started and how many directives were issued.
* Makes no mention of the Inspector General, who uncovered abuses of the Patriot Act by the FBI after being ordered by Congress to audit the use of powerful self-issued subpoenas, is not mentioned in the bill.
As mentioned before, the regime now has six months to mandate permanent backdoors and wiretaps on the US communication infrastructure… unless the Supreme Court wakes up, gets their heads out of their asses, and sees this power grab for the unconstitutional lie that it is. Most laws given such fast-track treatment have been struck down by the Supreme Court before, so this… hopefully… may not last long, unless they recently received iPhones with Super V-Chips.
On a related note: Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has approved a law granting state security agencies the power and authority to intercept and monitor communications including postal mail, telephone conversations, and what Internet they have. (Link to Reuters story)
All bow before the All-Seeing Eye. Anybody bring a sharp, pointed stick?