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back to article Keep calm and carry on spying on Americans, US politicos tell NSA

The US House of Representatives narrowly voted down a legal amendment that would have cut off funds to the NSA's homeland spying operations. The tally came to 217 against versus 205 in favour of the amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill that would have limited the US spook agency's ability to snoop on Americans' telephone …

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Ah well

how long until a new ammendment with a somewhat less "all out" approach IE forcing all future spying projects to first be approved by congress, rather than being handled entirely in secret, as well as the evanuation of current projects with the intention of culling thsoe which are seen as too obtrusive.

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Happy

Re: Ah well

I wouldn't hold your breath on that one. Particularly if you aren't in the US.

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Meh

The dirt

The NSA had too much dirt on those that were going to vote against them. 24 hours before the vote a number of brown envelopes were delivered to these Politicians with a note that said,

'Do you really want this to become public?'

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The fact it even came to a vote says more people are dissatisfied than I thought. Maybe the trend will continue and more Congresspeople will actually stand up for their constituency and their country. I'm probably being too optimistic, but I can hope...

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Anonymous Coward

The guy who proposed the PATRIOT act was voting against the administration here. If even *he* isn't happy with the amount of data gathering going on, you can be assured that changes are afoot.

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Meh

@16:59

"The guy who proposed the PATRIOT act was voting against the administration here. If even *he* isn't happy with the amount of data gathering going on, you can be assured that changes are afoot."

You mean he might not have written it all himself and didn't actually realize what he was sponsoring?

Surely not.

I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you.

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The boot's on the other foot

The Patriot Act was a Republican initiative, and today there is a Democrat President, so is that a surprise.

Love the idea that the NSA would go round Washington threatening to expose past sins, do you have any evidence for that? Security services that meddle in politics in most western democracies don't fare too well in the long term, their whole reason for being is to protect democracy, not subvert it, and I don't think the NSA are that stupid. They might do it once, but politicians will always get them back by a thousand cuts. I also suspect the Secret Service and the FBI are the ones with the real dirt on politicians, and they will quietly tell the parties who is, and is not trustworthy when it comes to national security. I'd be very surprised if they shared that with the NSA. But hell, I'm a Brit, so what do I know.

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The Golden Stormtrooper

In furtherance of the Peace Prize, Obama will also receive the Face-Stamping-Boot price. Pretty sure about that.

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Linux

The defeat was a win for the Obama administration, which was resolutely against the measure, calling it a "blunt approach that is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process". -- Just like the blunt, uninformed, closed and highly meditated process of spying on the entire US nation and the rest of the world.

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Anonymous Coward

The 'us' versus 'them' attitude most Americans have is slowly killing whatever good will they developed over the years.

If they do not change, and quickly, they will be isolated. When their financial system finally collapses under their debt load, they will turn to friends for help and be disappointed at the results.

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Unhappy

AC@15:42

"When their financial system finally collapses under their debt load, they will turn to friends for help and be disappointed at the results."

You're assuming such a crash won't take most of the rest of the worlds financial systems down the pan with it.

I wouldn't rely on that idea.

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Meh

China

China owns most of the American debt, by default they own America so it is really a moot point about them spying.

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Anonymous Coward

Pox on those yellow bellied mofos.

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Anonymous Coward

Score one for the good guys

At least the good guys will get to protect the dumbarses for a little longer. Some day maybe the dumb arses who think the NSA is bad, will pull their heads outta their arses?

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FAIL

Re: Score one for the good guys

Obvious troll is obvious.

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Trollface

Re: Score one for the good guys

Too bad you went AC, because this is the appropiate icon ----->

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Re: Score one for the good guys

Odd innit how those who support the activities of the NSA only do so by hiding their identities... they can't seem to grasp the irony of hiding who you are to support everyone else having no anonymity/privacy at all.

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So there are some hypocrites

Including those who, for example, lambast others for hiding their identities while doing precisely the same themselves -- or does it say "Obnoxious Git" on your birth certificate? Not that that wouldn't be hilarious, mind you, but I doubt somehow it's the case.

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Happy

Re: So there are some hypocrites

"Including those who, for example, lambast others for hiding their identities while doing precisely the same themselves --"

There is a difference between a shared identity, which is effectively no identity and a pseudonym.

His name has a list of posts he's put his name to and you can establish an idea of their character.

Just as I can look up yours and find out what sort of ideas you express with your posts.

If you really think the NSA are doing a good job what are you afraid of?

Isn't that the usual excuse people have for warantless mass surveillance ?

Now why don't you go away and have a go at constructing a proper argument and come back with it.

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Bronze badge

I have some bad news for all of you.

If ANY of you think that the US is the only country spying in this manner, you are sorely mistaken. They just happened to be caught...that's all.

Is it right? Absolutely not. Will it ever stop? Not likely.

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Re: I have some bad news for all of you.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that the US is unique, but the NSA has the biggest budget which makes them the most serious threat and the US has the constitution and political culture most likely to address that threat. Somehow I can't picture MPs standing up to GCHQ or MI5, or all that many of my compatriots feeling it is important to do so.

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Anonymous Coward

Morons in the mirror

As I've been saying...

It's all false disgust and hyperbole. When it is up against the wall with the opportunity to actually change, after all the whining and 'We are against it!', the people did...nothing. Congress is 'appalled' by the NSA eavesdropping when they are discussing the situation in front of a camera, but THEY are the people who constantly approve the funds for the programs in the first place.

And the American people are just as guilty, constantly re-electing the very people who vote against said American people's best interests.

And, dear European readers, don't get all misty-eyed over how 'great' your governments are. Or shall we discuss several recently passed British & EU laws?

"Beam me up Scotty, there's no intelligent life here" The world has degenerated to Lowest Common Denominator; the people will get the future they so rightly deserve.

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Unhappy

"blunt approach that is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process"."

A pretty good description of how THE PATRIOT Act got passed in the first place I think.

I guess quite a few people will be noting who voted this down.

Americans you got played after 9/11.

A 360+ paragraph bill, written in 6 weeks that mostly amends other bills (so it's very difficult to figure out how far it reaches).

In fact THE PATRIOT Act looks more like a computer virus than a bill in its own right, subverting and re-writing other bills to undermine what they say and turn them into something else.

It seems the Legislature needs some kind of "anti-virus"

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"Move along

Nothing to see here that is any different from what you have seen before!

And don't make any trouble; don't forget we know who you are and where you live!"

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Big Brother

What he meant to say was...

The defeat was a win for the Obama administration, which was resolutely against the measure, calling it a "blunt approach that is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process obfuscated, occult process that we came this close to getting away with if it weren't for that damn blabbermouth Ed Whazzisname".

There. Fixed it for ya.

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has a D notice been issued in .au

Note that in all this not even a mention of Australia's role in the matter. As one of the "Five Eyes" .au is one of the most "privileged" counties in the world. Note that New Zealand has just passed legislation legalising it's role. Given the shenanigans of the other "eyes" of Sauron (GCHQ) I wonder how our Asian neighbours will react when they realise that the "Deputy Sheriff" is listening and passing on their commercial in confidences and negotiating positions to Big Brother.

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WTF?

The closer to the next election ...

the more sensitive to the public's concerns the legislators are.

When pols with small majorities are targeted, there is a good chance this will pass.

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Go

Re: The closer to the next election ...

"the more sensitive to the public's concerns the legislators are.

When pols with small majorities are targeted, there is a good chance this will pass."

True.

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