My eyes widened as I came to the final sentence of this June 1 guardian article on the Patriot Act imbroglio.
“Snowden’s revelations pierced the veneer of government secrecy and ushered in perhaps the most open debate about surveillance powers in the NSA’s 63-year history.”
Really? And if so, WOW! Or are we about to witness (or be forbidden to witness) some kind of new or revised “law” even more draconian as the so-called U.S. “federal government” (read: puppet of transcorporate global hegemon) accelerates its impossible quest to rein in and control billions of increasingly free-spirited human beings.
Hmmmm. . . Dare we dream? Might this shallow human- and/or alien-made matrix illusion be right now imploding, its ashes raining down to fertilize Nature’s profound, mysterious, continuously regenerative soil/soul?
Sweeping intelligence capabilities exposed by Edward Snowden shut down as hawks concede defeat on first major surveillance reform in a generation
Here are the final paragraphs leading up to that remarkable statement above:
Obama and his intelligence chief, James Clapper, also made a final push on Friday for the Senate to pass the USA Freedom Act, alleging the expiration of the Patriot Act provisions would expose the US to terrorism.
But a Justice Department inspector general report found the FBI had come to use the business-records provision to amass “large collections” of Americans’ communications data. It noted that the spread of internet access had lead to an explosion in information accessible to the FBI, and cast doubt on Justice Department and congressional assurances that the authority, known as Section 215, is critical for counterterrorism.
“[T]he agents we interviewed did not identify any major case developments that resulted from use of the records obtained in response to Section 215 orders, but told us that the material produced pursuant to Section 215 orders was valuable in that it was used to support other investigative requests, develop investigative leads, and corroborate other information,” the DoJ report found.
Originally mindful of the privacy implications of Section 215, Congress permitted it to “sunset” after five years. Yet, with nearly all aspects of its practical applications hidden under extensive secrecy – especially the post-2006 addition of NSA bulk surveillance – reauthorization of the Patriot Act provisions had become routine.
The last time the legislation was considered, in 2011, it passed 72-23 in the Senate and 250-153 in the House.
But this time, Snowden’s revelations pierced the veneer of government secrecy and ushered in perhaps the most open debate about surveillance powers in the NSA’s 63-year history.