My colleague Caleb Howe put together a brief on tonight’s Patriot Act vote…

here.  I am, ah, unconvinced that we’re going to end up better off for junking these provisions.  But, on the bright side?  Maybe Ed Snowden will now think that the coast is clear, and go somewhere where we can extradite him and put him on trial for espionage.  That’s worth something, at least.

4 thoughts on “My colleague Caleb Howe put together a brief on tonight’s Patriot Act vote…”

  1. If we want the government to be accountable to the citizenry, instead of vice-versa, then the government cannot be allowed to monitor the citizenry.
    If a specific individual needs to be monitored, get a warrant. For that specific person.

    Want to monitor international communications? I’ve got no problem with that. Counties have always had the right to inspect what passes their borders, and data packets are no different.

    1. You don’t need a warrant to monitor a citizen as they walk down the street, or to patrol the streets.

  2. This? This is at best theater…
    It’s “throw Rand a bone and maybe he’ll quit peeing on the carpet”.
    FISA can still issue a warrant – without anyone but an agency and a phone company knowing it – to pull phone data .. they just have to actually *do the work* now; instead of issuing *one* warrant, they need to issue *lots* of them. Big deal.
    And .. waiting in the wings is the Freedom Act that … fixes the Patriot Act *how* again?
    So .. yeah. Enjoy the meaninglessness, if you like that kind of thing.

    1. One question, cat. Do you believe that this administration, following the Chicago Way, was restricting their usage of this data to terrorism searches? There was no possibility of oversight, especially when they were willing to lie to Congress about even its existence. Now there is at least some possibility. So it’s a baby step, but it is a step.

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