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posted by martyb on Friday January 12, @01:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the pay-no-attention-to-the-TLA-behind-the-curtain dept.

The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that would extend a controversial government spying power known as "Section 702" for another six years—without new privacy safeguards that had been sought by civil liberties groups.

Debate over the legislation now shifts over to the Senate, where it faces a filibuster threat from both Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

"If this Section 702 bill comes to the Senate, I will filibuster it," Wyden wrote in a tweet shortly after the House bill passed.

Wyden opposes the legislation because he believes that it offers too few protections for Americans' privacy rights. The powers granted by Section 702 are only supposed to be used against foreigners on foreign soil. But an American's communications can get swept up in the NSA's surveillance dragnet if they communicate with people overseas. Privacy advocates have championed an amendment to impose new privacy safeguards on the use of Section 702. But it was voted down by the House on Thursday.

[...] There isn't much time for the Senate to act. Section 702 expires on January 19, a little more than a week away.

Original Submission


Reply to: Intentional inaction

    (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @11:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @11:28PM (#621606)

    The fake filibuster (nobody is actually talking until they piss their pants) is allowed because the uniparty wants an excuse to avoid legislation.

    Both republicans and democrats are free to say things to please the voters, safely knowing that bribe payers ("campaign donors") won't get pissed.

    So the republicans can go on about something like repealing Obamacare or building a wall, but they will always be a vote short. That vote used to be Obama's veto. Now it is McCain or Murkowsky or Flake. Likewise, the democrats can go on about something like jailing bankers or something really foolish like 100% paid college, but they will always be a vote short.

    Politicians seem to trade off the role of being the person to cast the vote that pisses people off. It typically goes to somebody who is certain to not be reelected.

    The filibuster helps politicians to hide their malice. With it, they don't have to vote on something that would force them to choose between pissing off voters and pissing off donors.

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