back to article NSA spying is illegal? Then let's make it law, say Republicans

Now that a US federal court has ruled that the NSA's mass wiretapping program exceeded its legal authority, leaders of the US Republican party are pushing to make it legal. Within hours of the ruling by the US Second Circuit Court of Appeal that the NSA's bulk domestic surveillance program under Section 215 of the Patriot Act …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me sideways

    (I don't feel like I always have to use profanities)

    I suspect these guys watch NCIS and think it's a documentary.

    1. NoneSuch

      Re: Me sideways

      This is the new strategy.

      It takes years to contest an illegal law. When it is declared unlawful, no one is punished, they just vote in a new law to be fought in court.

      Someone needs to go to jail before this will change and as the government runs the courts, guess just how likely that is.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Me sideways

      Just to be clear, is the missing word fuck?

  2. Kernel

    That ship has already sailed

    ""One day, I hope that I'm wrong, but one day there will be an attack that's successful," "

    Sorry sunshine, but that attack took place on 119 - and you Merkins have all been running shit-scared ever since.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: That ship has already sailed

      Not all of us. Just the ones in power who want to increase their power, thus they trot this out again and again. Yeah, they Osama in their sights long before 11/9 or 9/11 (depends on your country) and basically did nothing.... nada.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: That ship has already sailed

      One day? How about the Boston Marathon bombing? That had the so-called PATRIOT act in place, shit they even had warnings from Russia that these guys were trouble, and what did it prevent?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    muh freedoms

    When I saw Mitch McConnell's fish face I knew it was bad

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: muh freedoms

      > "When I saw Mitch McConnell's fish face I knew it was bad"

      So the reg had the right photo after all.

      I thought it was a publicity photo of a sea devil from the original doctor who series...

      1. Sporkinum

        Re: muh freedoms

        Good ol' syncronicity.. just started watching http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Warriors_of_the_Deep last night . McConnell is a turtle, not a fish, therefore Sea Devil works!

  4. Bob Dole (tm)

    Sad but true

    Why does these idiots keep trotting out the line that they (the NSA) will prevent an attack. The NSA has proven time and again that they won't prevent an attack at all. Why? because to do so would let the bad guys know we are spying on them.

    If they were honest to god going to actually ACT before something happened then I'd be more inclined. If they were TRANSPARENT about what they are collecting, etc, I'd be more inclined.

    But that's not the situation we find ourselves in. Rather we have yet another government agency that consistently lies to the public, lies to congress - basically lies to pretty much everyone about what's going on. Further they don't prevent jack or shit. To sum up: they have zero credibility.

    So, no, I don't want them to have their hands in everything because I simply DON"T TRUST THEM.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Institutions seek to preserve the problems they were created to solve

      Stopping the next tourist attack is completely against the NSA's interests. A big bomb blast is something they can point at when they demand their next budget increase. Imagine how much dirt you could dig up on politicians with a $50billion budget. If there was any danger of the NSA's senior management being found guilty, politicians all over the country would leap up to change the law for them.

  5. Steve Knox
    Holmes

    The title is too long.

    "If our intelligence community cannot connect the dots of the information, we cannot stop this determined enemy from launching attacks,"

    Dear Mr. McConnell,

    Our intelligence community cannot connect the dots because they're fucking drowning in them. You don't gather intelligence by piling irrelevant data on top of irrelevant data.

    Also, if you have identified the "determined enemy" then the intelligence community doesn't need the mass surveillance; they can do targeted surveillance. And if "determined enemy" is used here to reference a hypothetical enemy, then you haven't met the level of evidence to justify mass surveillance.

    In either case, your statements do nothing to justify mass surveillance.

    PS. You do so look like a turtle.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <Puke>

    Looking at that face, and trying to wrap my mind around WTH is going on in the American political system is making me ill.

    They can't even catch terrorists that tweet their plans, we've got WW3 about to explode, and these morons are still re-arranging chairs on the Titanic arguing about metadata.. the issue has gone so far beyond surveillance now, we are talking about whether any part of the US government is even functioning anymore..

    stick a fork in America, she's done..

  7. mr. deadlift

    hmm?

    "If our intelligence community cannot connect the dots of the information within the current legal framework, our intelligence is utter crap clearly deficient."

    there...

    FTFY.

  8. MrDamage

    911

    "It's pretty clear that 9/11 could have been prevented if we had known about some of the communications that were linked to those who committed the terrible atrocity of 9/11,"

    You mean intelligence from the French and Germans that pointed out that this was going to happen, but that intelligence was ignored because US spooks couldn't be bothered getting their heads out of the donut box to confirm?

    But lets face it, you just wanted an excuse to rename the way you cook your potatos.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: 911

      Exactly. They even had, at one point, Bin Laden targeted and didn't take the shot. They knew what was coming. The actions of at least one of the hijackers was reported by a flight school and was ignored.

      It's a power grab pure and simple by the Congress for some warm fuzzies like the whole DHS thing. Pure theater for the masses and for the politicos... it's "see we did something.. vote for us".

    2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      Re: 911

      ....Or the US's very own prediction entitled : "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the US"...

      ..They ignored that too.

  9. phil dude
    WTF?

    $30 locks....

    would have prevented 9/11, sad and uninspiring though that may have been.

    Besides, it is not as if the criminals were not known to the government, all of them had visas and were from the same embassy...

    You guys should watch "The Unit", a masterpiece of military drama by David Mahmet. They have an episode that parodies it very well.

    P.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: $30 locks....

      "Besides, it is not as if the criminals were not known to the government, all of them had visas and were from the same embassy..."

      And mostly the same nationality.

      "But, but the Saudi's are our Friends! (Hey, have a hit of this sweet crude, it's good shit!)"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $30 locks....

      Andreas Lubitz changed everything.

      Now the threat can come within the pilot. hence we must monitor the communications of every human on the globe and eventually wrap our surveillance devices around the dendrites.

      1. Alister Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: $30 locks....

        and eventually wrap our surveillance devices around the dendrites.

        You're not wrapping that round my dendrites, sunshine!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: $30 locks....

          Well it's either that or your brain being replaced by a microchip...

          1. Gannon (J.) Dick

            Re: $30 locks....

            Define "replace", AC

  10. frank ly Silver badge

    Where did he learn his use of analogies?

    "The NSA doesn't sell data, your grocery store does," he said. "But I don't hear anyone complaining about the grocery store's discount card, because you get a discount."

    I chose to join the 'grocery store' scheme and gave them a 'junk' e-mail address so I can ignore any spam. I never choose (and didn't even know until recently) that the NSA(/GCHQ/etc) were making notes of who I called and when, where I was and when and which website I looked at and when.

    I have reasonable confidence that the grocery store will never try to blackmail me or embarass me in any way by revealing my purchases of tobacco/condoms/pile-ointment or try to spy on me while I use any or either of my purchases. I know that the NSA(etc) have already used their powers to spy on people's private web-cam chats for their own personal amusement and to spy on their own spouses to sniff out infidelity etc. For this, the individual operators get a 'stern talking to'.

    So, why should I trust them in any way and why should I pay attention to this idiot's analogies?

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Where did he learn his use of analogies?

      You also have the option of not signing up for the discount card or simply shopping somewhere else. How exactly does one opt out of the NSA's program?

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Where did he learn his use of analogies?

        Emigrate.

        Oh, wait, they'll still be watching, because now you're a potential enemy alien.

        America used to be such a nice place. Now I really don't want to go there any more.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Where did he learn his use of analogies?

          I guess you really don't want to go ANYWHERE anymore, because from where I sit, America is the worst country...except for all the others. Sure, some are supposedly better at privacy but they get you elsewhere...

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

            Re: Where did he learn his use of analogies?

            Oh indeed. Here I have (had) the choice of three major parties (two, or possibly one, after last night's showing) all of whom want to cheerfully slurp everything they can. Because terror.

            1. Teiwaz Silver badge

              Re: Where did he learn his use of analogies?

              I don't want to live on this planet any more.

              After last nights showing, I'm thinking of moving. The one party that tentatively suggested this that maybe all this slurping was unuseful were slapped and slapped hard (admittedly, they hardly stepped out from the shadows as the prop of the last government, but still.

              What fresh madness does the future hold in store today, another round of 'let's ban encryption' etc. etc.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Where did he learn his use of analogies?

                quite a lot of people would like to leave the planet, but very, very sadly even Branson can't get to some where livable out there

      2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: How exactly does one opt out of the NSA's program?

        Death

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: How exactly does one opt out of the NSA's program?

        Simples... destroy all your personal means of electronic communication... phones, tablets, pc's, etc. Turn off the cable and satellite tv. Then... oh... wait... then they come looking for you in person thinking you're some kind of survivalist terrorist and have lots of things to hide. You're damned if you do, damned if you dont'.

    2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      Re: Where did he learn his use of analogies?

      Also, grocery store had best not be selling personal data is almost certainly a breach of data protection laws.

      1. Gannon (J.) Dick

        Re: Where did he learn his use of analogies?

        Data Protection laws ?

        In the UK, but in the US it is in that "wrong but perfectly legal done all the time but not yet litigated" category; the bread and butter of self-identified under-rich members of the Legal Profession.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember 9/11?

    Er, what about remembering last week when a comic convention was attacked.... they had been watching one guys since 2006... didn't seem to make any difference there... only local law enforcement dealt with some people shooting... only later was it "terrorsim".

    Where in this very recent example did all the surveillance alter the outcome?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Remember 9/11?

      If I read an article published just yesterday, said cops WERE tipped off and therefore were ready for the attacker; thus why only the assailants are dead (the reaction to the initial shot was VERY swift and effective, you'll note).

      1. Six_Degrees

        Re: Remember 9/11?

        If you're referring to the attack in Texas, police weren't tipped off by any portion of the Patriot Act.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Remember 9/11?

          Oh? So you know exactly HOW the FBI got the information through which they tipped off the cops at the convention, allowing them to intercept the assailants before they did anything significant?

          1. Jos V

            Re: Remember 9/11?

            Ehm, not the nitty gritty on how they started tracking him, but: " while the FBI had been aware of Garland, Texas jihadist attacker Elton Simpson for nearly a decade, they did not follow his violent, pro-jihad tweets as closely as they could have because “there are so many like him” that the agency is overwhelmed."

            And:

            "Despite Simpson’s public calls for jihad on Twitter, one law enforcement official told the New York Times that this did not make him unique or demanding of special monitoring. "

            So much for blanket monitoring of anybody and everybody then eh?

            Source: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/05/06/official-fbi-overlooked-texas-shooters-violent-tweets-because-there-are-so-many-like-him/

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Facepalm

          Re: Remember 9/11?

          No need they are just that gun happy - no one with half a brain cell would attack a donut shoppe for example

  12. RedneckMother

    wow

    I don't know where to start with my criticisms of these idiots.

    I suspect that McConnell, Burr, Rubio, McCain, et al must have some SERIOUS skeletons that the NSA (etc) have documented.

    For $diety's sake - grow some, politicians! Live up to your oath to defend the Constitution!

    <disgust>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wow

      I think in some of their minds, they really ARE defending the Constitution from an existential threat can come anyWHERE, anyTIME, from anyONE. They're trying to prevent the last two dreaded words, "Without Warning." In which case, no holds are barred because The Enemy certainly won't play by the rules.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wow

        The thing is, they were warned and are being warned but have consistently ignored the warnings

  13. Six_Degrees

    The Patriot Act has never once connected any dots. Not once. When asked, not a single person in government or any of its intelligence or law enforcement agencies has been able to produce even one example of such utility.

    McConnell is flat-out lying here when he claims otherwise. If he wants to prove me wrong, all he has to do is show the nation a solitary instance of such connections made because of this odious piece of legislation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      not worth much if they do provide proof it will be either so heavily redacted it will be useless or simply be a pious fiction

  14. Six_Degrees

    "The NSA doesn't sell data, your grocery store does," he said. "But I don't hear anyone complaining about the grocery store's discount card, because you get a discount."

    1) I can shop somewhere else, or otherwise opt out of my grocery store's data collection.

    2) My grocer can't put me in prison.

    1. Def Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: My grocer can't put me in prison.

      Shhhhh. Don't give the Republicans ideas.

    2. naive

      NSA does not jail people, they collect information which may lead to jailing people if that information implicates them being part of a terrorist plot.

      US bashing is on the high again here, at least it is transparent, something that European government culture lacks by default.

      Also there are tens of millions at the south side of the Mediterranean, waving the Koran at us and cutting heads off. They are the same threat to us as the communists were, except they waved with "the red booklet of Mao", both live in failed societies and want to bring their failure to us.

      Nobody should blame the US for doing something to defend itself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nope, but at least get something that demonstably works - and doesnt turn the USA into Eastern Germany during the Cold War

      2. Swarthy Silver badge

        NSA does not jail people, they collect information which may lead to jailing people if that information implicates them being part of a terrorist plot of being someone "we don't like".

        <snip>

        Also there are tens of millions at the south side of the Mediterranean, waving the Koran at us and cutting heads off. (me:Then why do they want to surveail people on the west side of the Atlantic that have never held a Qoran?)They are the same threat to us as the communists were, except they waved with "the red booklet of Mao", both live in failed societies and want to bring their failure to us.

        Me: El Reg, can we PLEASE get the "You are completely insane" voting button?

      3. Chris G Silver badge

        @ naive, well at least your choice of user name is close, perhaps though you should have been more pedantic in your choice and gone for 'no fucking clue'.

        There are tens of millions of Muslims in the south of the Med as well as at the Eastern end and other places, many of these 'Quran wavers' come to Europe to live and work, they for the most part work hard and if you work with them you willfind they are good hearted, hard working, generous people. Branding them all because of a few fundamentalist loonies is the same as branding all Americans as Republican Right Wing Nutters who believe all furriners are evil incarnate because of a comment by a twat like you.

      4. hplasm Silver badge
        Facepalm

        So-

        "They are the same threat to us as the communists were..."

        Mostly imaginary and a means to trough-up the military-industrial pigs then?

        I'm surprised you can leave the house.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Alfred

      Like me

      Bingo. I don't have any "loyalty" cards for stores ("loyalty" is something I have towards people, involving giving them the benefit of the doubt in certain circumstances based on my past dealings with them; I will never feel loyalty towards a business, or indeed a government or nation). It's a choice I make, based on what I perceive to be the benefits and the drawbacks and my personal circumstances.

      If the senator wishes to liken governments spying on their own law-abiding citizenry to loyalty cards, might I suggest that they create a similar scheme, allowing people to opt in to being spied on?

      1. Pirate Dave
        Pirate

        Re: Like me

        "I suggest that they create a similar scheme, allowing people to opt in to being spied on?"

        We used to have one - it was called "Innocent until proven guilty". If you didn't break any laws, the gubermint (probably) didn't give a shit about you. You opted-in when you broke a law. Simples, no?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Like me

        "Bingo. I don't have any "loyalty" cards for stores ("loyalty" is something I have towards people, involving giving them the benefit of the doubt in certain circumstances based on my past dealings with them; I will never feel loyalty towards a business, or indeed a government or nation). It's a choice I make, based on what I perceive to be the benefits and the drawbacks and my personal circumstances."

        Frankly, I suspect they track you whether you use the things or not. The cards simply make it easier. Failing that, there's the plastic you may use to pay for your groceries and (if you insist on cash) images from the ubiquitous surveillance cameras.

  16. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    "we cannot stop this determined enemy from launching attacks"

    No kidding. The courts finally rule that the spying is illegal and Congress regroups to attack their citizens again.

  17. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Mitch McConnell and Senator Burr are being a bit dense...

    The court is striking down mass surveillance under section 215 of the PATRIOT Act as unconstitutional under the 4th Amendment. So the only way to make it constitutional would be to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow bulk surveillance. Simply passing another bill without changing the constitution would result in that bill being struck down as well.

    Remind me to send Mitch's office an email, pointing that out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mitch McConnell and Senator Burr are being a bit dense...

      That's not how the Court of Appeals ruled. They ruled that the specific collection of metadata is NOT COVERED by Section 215 of the Patriot Act. IOW, they didn't violate the 4th Amendment, they violated the Patriot Act. That's why there's a frenzy over at the Capitol to amend the Act to correct this. It would simply take the passage of an act specifically authorizing this collection on the grounds of national security (thus making the search reasonable under 4th Amendment grounds).

    2. Kane Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Mitch McConnell and Senator Burr are being a bit dense...

      Hey, Mr Hack, have you sent that email yet?

    3. Bob Dole (tm)

      Re: Mitch McConnell and Senator Burr are being a bit dense...

      >> Remind me to send Mitch's office an email, pointing that out.

      Don't bother. It's not like the lawmakers pay attention to the constitution unless it just happens to be inline with whatever crap they are pushing.

    4. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Mitch McConnell and Senator Burr are being a bit dense...

      re: legislative vs constitutional change... if they gave the new law a snappy name, probably nobody would notice. In the spirit of PATRIOT, why not LOOPHOLE, "letting our own previous hacking operate legally evermore"?

    5. Gannon (J.) Dick

      Re: Mitch McConnell and Senator Burr are being a bit dense...

      Bad move ... does Mitch sound like someone who can read* ?

      Be subtle, find out where he buys his groceries and have them put a coupon on the back of the receipt for a GED Diploma Mill.

      *curiously he seems to be able to breathe under water, from the picture. I thought you had to be a mammal, when did they change that ?

  18. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    Never saw that coming!

    "Drat we got caught, suppose we'd best raise the paperwork to make it official now."

  19. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    I am glad the article notices the Republicans are very split on the spying issue. If I remember right at least 2 running Republicans oppose it (Rand Paul being one). However I dont know about the other side of the isle. Do any Democrats oppose the spying and data collection? I would hope there was a choice from both parties but so far the Republicans appear to be fielding a varied group while Democrats field Hillary. She has a lot of weight on her shoulders

    1. Keven E.

      All that is left is to pay attention

      "Republicans appear to be fielding a varied group while Democrats field Hillary."

      Bernie Sanders.

      1. Irony Deficient

        Re: All that is left is to pay attention

        Keven E., Senator Sanders is an independent, although he caucuses with the Democrats (and despite his pursuit of becoming a Democratic presidential candidate).

  20. Anakin
    FAIL

    A wall between the NSA and the data it needs.

    NSA spying puts a wall betweeen american companies and customers around the world

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A wall between the NSA and the data it needs.

      The NSA has a stick to counter that kind of isolationism. The NSA may be bastards, but they have the tools. They'll just say if you don't want a 9/11 blowing up in your country and destabilizing it, you NEED our help. It's your funeral...

  21. jake Silver badge

    This mass surveillance of US civilians is clearly illegal ...

    ... according to the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution.

    The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008, allowing the .fed to apply ECHALON to the entire population of the US WITHOUT THE $TELCO IN QUESTION GETTING SUED does NOT automagically make the practice constitutionally legal.

    This concept hasn't been eyeballed by SCotUS yet, alas.

    I voted for Obama because I thought he was a Constitutional lawyer. My bad.

  22. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Am I the only one who read it ...

    ... as "One day, I hope ... there will be an attack that's successful"? Of course I personally do not expect this to ever happen, but I also think that's what they want - because it would legitimize all this spying. Little, twisted people with much too much power than is healthy for anyone.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Am I the only one who read it ...

      Exactly - if there are no attacks, "surveillance works but you never know when there will be an attack so we need more powers!" If there is an attack, "surveillance failed and so we need more powers!"

  23. gkroog
    Mushroom

    Forgotten about 9/11?

    That's not the fault of people striving to preserve liberty, that's the fault of their education system and the media. And I doubt people have forgotten anyway. Not agreeing with John McCain isn't a test for memory...

  24. Ben Bonsall

    NINE (cheer!)

    ELEVEN (cheer!)

    Hey, this politics lark is easier than I thought.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Relevant Family Guy

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YOh-rpvjYg

  25. Peter Simpson 1

    "People seem to have forgotten 9/11." ®

    No, they haven't.

    What they *have* forgotten, is that all of the hijackers were in the US legally, and many had overstayed student or tourist visas. The Immigration Service had done squat to locate them. The FBI had been alerted to those taking flying lessons and had done squat about it. All the agencies had their turf and viciously defended it, to the extent of not cooperating with other agencies.

    That is what caused the creation of the Orwellian "Department of Homeland Security", which excells at detecting bottles of shampoo and pocketknives, and placing surveillance cameras everywhere.

    There are those (myself among them) who believe that a US airliner will never again be taken by force, because the passengers know their fate and have nothing to lose by resisting as strongly as possible.

    Joke -> (It's all a distraction anyway -- while JADE HELM 15 allows Obama to occupy and subjugate Texas) <- Joke

  26. Velv Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "The NSA doesn't sell data, your grocery store does," he said. "But I don't hear anyone complaining about the grocery store's discount card, because you get a discount."

    You also don't hear of too many Supermarkets "disappearing" their customers. Governments on the other hand...

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      You also don't hear of too many Supermarkets "disappearing" their customers.

      But they sometimes have Extraordinary Reductions!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Laughable

    Every country monitors communications and they will continue to do so as it is a necessity for national security. Bulk analysis of mass communication is done by computer. No one cares about you unless you are a criminal.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Laughable

      "No one cares about you unless you are a criminal."

      Prove it.

    2. jake Silver badge

      @AC"14 hrs" (whatever that means, ElReg) Was: Laughable

      "No one cares about you unless you are a criminal."

      This is a variation on "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear".

      Might I point out that you don't have a plate glass exterior wall in your shower, and you do have drapes over the windows in your living room & bedroom ... and hopefully there is a door between your toilet and the rest of your house. What are you hiding? Are you a criminal?

      Privacy isn't always covering something illegal.

  28. fishman

    Discount Cards

    "The NSA doesn't sell data, your grocery store does," he said. "But I don't hear anyone complaining about the grocery store's discount card, because you get a discount."

    My grocery store won't throw me in jail for anything I buy in the store.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Discount Cards

      Do the T&Cs for Loyalty cards allow the grocery store to use extraordinary rendition, lock you up without due process and then use waterboarding or other torture if you break any of the T&Cs?

      1. Gannon (J.) Dick
        Joke

        Re: Discount Cards

        "Do the T&Cs for Loyalty cards allow the grocery store to use extraordinary rendition, lock you up without due process and then use waterboarding or other torture if you break any of the T&Cs?"

        Never mind that, you mean I could have asked the CIA for a Rain Check ???!!!???

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Discount Cards

      "My grocery store won't throw me in jail for anything I buy in the store."

      The NSA might after looking at the purchase records on the card showing Chemicals that Might be Used in the Pursuit of TURRR!! Eg, Peroxide, bleach, steel wool, iodine etc.

      er, I might have said too much...

  29. Colin Bain
    Mushroom

    How Odd!

    Republicans pose as freedom fighters for small government and get out of my face style. And yet want to have a large government department getting into way more than your face.

  30. Ramon Zarat

    What attack? When? Where? Republicans, how many "attack" have been prevented by NSA since 9/11??? A big total of ZERO.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "What attack? When? Where? Republicans, how many "attack" have been prevented by NSA since 9/11??? A big total of ZERO."

      How do you KNOW zero attacks have been prevented, given the NSA's level of secrecy? If an attack was prevented, you just wouldn't hear about it, biasing public perception since the NSA can only come out about failures.

  31. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Flame

    Forgotten 9/11, or simply fed up?

    ""It's pretty clear that 9/11 could have been prevented if we had known about some of the communications that were linked to those who committed the terrible atrocity of 9/11," he said. "People seem to have forgotten 9/11." ®"

    No, people haven't forgotten 9/11 - they are just sick of you and others dancing on the victims graves by trying to spin it to your advantage.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suspect that the US Government plans to use this spying to keep track of the American people. And GITMO will be expanded to take care of those who disagree with government policies.

  33. martinusher Silver badge

    The Party of Small Government

    .....with these exceptions (a huge list follows...).

    They drag out 9/11, conveniently forgetting that the puerps of 9/11 were sussed out before the attack by a relatively low level person in the FBI but she couldn't get the information up the chain of command.

    But then we all know its not all about being 'anti-terrorist', its 'anti-we-the-people'.

  34. nilfs2

    I can bomb whatever country I like to, but you are not allowed to bomb mine

    9/11 is just a "get out of jail card" for the Yanks, they are still butthurt about the attack they received, but how many countries have the Yanks attacked without a valid reason and got away with it? If the Yank gov't stopped sticking their noses up everyone's business, there wouldn't be so much people wanting to bomb the hell out of them.

    In order to get respect from people, you should start by respecting them.

  35. The Empress

    Maybe you're unclear who the president is

    Look it up. Black guy, funny name. A democrat. His program.

  36. Skymonrie

    Too many MCs, not enough mics

    In this world where fantasy becomes reality, didn't the latest Avengers movie tell these fools what they're letting themselves in for?

    I for one welcome Ultron as our new... *comet hits*

  37. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    So politicians are failing to uphold their pledge

    So here we have politicians that are failing to uphold their pledge to defend and protect the Constitution (these NSA programs are, after all, not only illegal but unconstitutional). Time to kick these guys out of office!

    The big problem we have in the US is having effectively a one-party system... you have these Republicans that say they are all for freedom and doing whatever, while at the same time wanting a massive government to restrict people's freedoms (which they falsely call "balancing" them.) The Democrats say "unlike" the Republicans they are all for freedom, while in reality seeming to think the solution to any problem is additional government programs and regulation ("let's ban it!").. Of course, at the same time both parties want all this stuff that adds to the government debt, they simultaneously CLAIM they are all for reducing it and the debt is the other party's fault. At present a few like Ron Paul (who due to the broken political system runs as Republican even though he's clearly Libertarian) not only spoke out against laws like the Patriot Act but ACTUALLY VOTED AGAINST THEM... but most of these guys in both parties will speak out against laws like this but then WILL VOTE FOR THEM ANYWAY.

    The root of the problem is the broken polling system -- political polls in the US ask if you're a Democrat or Republican... if you are a Libertarian, for example, the pollster will either hang up on you and fail to record a choice at all, or falsely record you as "undecided". Every poll I've seen (both results and getting polled) is inherently inaccurate in that it not only doesn't list any 3rd parties, it doesn't even have a choice of "3rd party" or "none of the above" or "other". So, we've got 2 mashed-together parties encompassing what SHOULD be AT LEAST a centrist party (the "central" republican/democrats), a "far right" party (the religious nut Republicans), tea party (tea party Republicans), some kind of Green party or the like for "far left" Democrats.

  38. Mark Quesnell

    Nice headline. I suppose that the fact that there are Democrat supporters of this idiotic law would be bad to point out. Senator Diane Feinstein (a Democrat) says the program is OK and that the judge was/is wrong. I guess it doesn't make as good a headline to note that both liberal and conservative idiots are supporting this infringement on Americans constitutional rights.

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