Obama urges Senate to renew NSA’s bulk phone surveillance program

“President Barack Obama called on the Senate Tuesday to extend key Patriot Act provisions before they expire five days from now, including the government’s ability to search Americans’ phone records,” Erica Werner reports for The Assoicated Press. “‘This needs to get done,’ he told reporters in the Oval Office. ‘It’s necessary to keep the American people safe and secure.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Throughout the lifetime of the once-secret program, which began in October 2001, it has never been the difference maker in thwarting any terrorist attack, according to testimony and government reports.The New York Times, May 23, 2015

“But with the May 31 deadline fast approaching, there was scant evidence Tuesday of a search for a deal on Capitol Hill,” Werner reports. “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling the Senate back into session on Sunday, May 31, just hours before the midnight deadline, but it’s not clear lawmakers will have any new solution. Back home in Kentucky on Tuesday, McConnell offered no hint of how the impasse might be resolved. ‘This is a very big issue that people are divided on. That’s what we do. So we’re going to work it out in some way and go forward. But there are deep differences of opinion,’ McConnell told reporters after addressing the Elizabethtown Rotary Club. ‘We’ve got to figure some way out of this.'”

“The House bill, which passed by a wide bipartisan margin, was just a few votes short in the Senate Friday, and House Republicans appear content to hold off on a search for compromise in hopes that pressure will increase on McConnell to accept their bill or see the Patriot Act programs lapse,” Werner reports. “Paul was unapologetic about his role in defying fellow Kentuckian McConnell, despite criticism that he’s used the issue to raise money. Paul sent out fundraising appeals after holding the Senate floor for nearly 11 hours last week in what he billed as a filibuster. ‘I think I’m right in line with what the founders would have fought for, and I’m proud of the fight,’ Paul said on CBS’ ‘This Morning.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Adhere to the U.S. Constitution.

Visit the Apple-backed reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

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U.S. Senate blocks measures to extend so-called Patriot Act; NSA’s bulk collection of phone records in jeopardy – May 23, 2015
Rand Paul commandeers U.S. Senate to protest so-called Patriot Act, government intrusion on Americans’ privacy – May 20, 2015
Apple, others urge Obama to reject any proposal for smartphone backdoors – May 19, 2015
U.S. appeals court rules NSA bulk collection of phone data illegal – May 7, 2015
In open letter to Obama, Apple, Google, others urge Patriot Act not be renewed – March 26, 2015
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Apple CEO Tim Cook advocates privacy, says terrorists should be ‘eliminated’ – February 27, 2015
Apple’s Tim Cook warns of ‘dire consequences’ of sacrificing privacy for security – February 13, 2015
DOJ warns Apple: iPhone encryption will lead to a child dying – November 19, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
A message from Tim Cook about Apple’s commitment to your privacy – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
Apple, Google, others call for government surveillance reform – December 9, 2013

33 Comments

  1. Dear senators:
    “We ask you to renew this vital program that it is vital for us to blackmail you (with your own phone records) in case you do not agree with our policies, i mean, to solidify the security for our people”.
    The president.

    1. And that Alexander is why all this spying on citizens is so important. Not only does it provide control of politicians, whether is is our own Senators or foreign officials like Angela Merkel, but it also provides data that can be used when anyone gets out of line.

      For example, if some future whistle blower wants to disclose some illegal government activity, I’m sure all the darkest parts of the whistle blower’s web browsing history will be disclosed to discredit him or her.

      The only thing George Orwell got wrong was the date.

    1. Presidents all are on a short leash, thanks to the members of the permanent government, Wall Street, and various oligarchs who run most of everything.

      1. How exactly does the world suffer when people from the Northeast section of the United States suffer? Mind you, I despise most Yankees, too, and they have indeed made many of my fellow American suffer, but not so much the world.

        The world suffers because:

        1) It is largely comprised of backwards pagans – brutal, barbaric, 3rd World heathen.

        2) The part of the world that does not fall under the first category described above is mostly leftwing.

        Categories 1 and 2 are a very bad combination, and are the cause for world suffering.

        1. To the rest of the world, “Yankee” means “American.” This is no different from how you probably don’t know that Holland is only a province in a country called The Netherlands.

    2. The characteristic of “spying” does not necessarily make one a “hawk”.

      And, I don’t see Obama as a hawk by any stretch of the imagination.

      Spying for one’s own benefit is closer linked to totalitarianism, and I do see this as part of his presidential characteristic.

    3. You actually admit to having voted for B.O.?

      While you’re at it, why don’t you just admit to still wetting the bed and sucking your thumb.

      Sheesh, but humanity really cannot stand so much stupidity for very much longer.

      1. beranbob: I admit voting for B.O. (lol) the first time around, specifically because the Republican alternative and especially his chosen VP, was abysmal! I’ll skip over my inevitable political diatribe and say:

        If we’re offered a TURD SANDWICH or a GIANT DOUCHE as the only choices for leadership, to hell with BOTH. I’m very much into supporting third parties at this point as I’m sick of playing the idiot’s game of ‘lesser of two profound evils’. Not acceptable in my country!

        So go stuff it, both decrepit parties.

    4. But let’s not forget that George W Bush was the one who ushered in the Patriot Act in the first place.

      Feel free to blame Obama for wanting provisions extended, but don’t forget to place an appropriate amount on W’s head, too.

  2. Apart from the ethical , legal ,and political aspects of this data collection one has to wonder about exactly how efficacious this is . The most recent severe islamist terrorist attack on the USA was the Boston Marathon bombing . The people who did it were known to the government and indeed the Russians warned that Tsarnaev was a problem when he returned from Dagestan but he was not stopped and interrogated because of a spelling issue with his last name .
    What is the point of collecting huge amounts of data 99.999% of which come from totally innocent people when you can’t even deal with the genuine tips that could have prevented a disaster . More signal less noise .

    1. Agreed.”Intelligence” is a very bad joke when applied to decision-making by governments made up of fallible, biased human components. Hell, they can’t agree on the value of pi. All we can do is vote them out, after it’s already too late. What a world.

      1. I do not believe this is a simple problem with a simple solution nor do I believe a constitution written 250 odd years ago addresses this issue adequately. It will always be possible for institutions whether domestic or foreign to gather wireless data but perhaps domestic governments should be required to show some probable cause before accessing and analyzing that data

  3. Well citizen’s of the free and civilized world keep munching that popcorn, the bareback prez wants to keep this surveillance program going, no surprise there but it looks like some people from that nation are trying to crawl back to the light. Cheer them on, who knows some day/year/decade/century they might wise up and actually be worthy to rejoin humanity.

      1. Gee you must be wearing blood tinted glasses to have to ask that question. It’s a pretty long answer, you have to look at countries that do things like don’t drop weapons of mass destruction on unarmed civilians (or post photos of their weapons of mass destruction blowing up again and again and again ad nauseum), countries that don’t go overboard on spying on everyone, countries that don’t invade others on a whim, countries that don’t engage in the barbaric practice of torture or slavery, countries that have been at war a lot less than 50% of their history.

        Might want to try Iceland to start, but I know as soon as I give out any country the hordes will be out to insult and denigrate it, it’s a patriotic thing for some countries to show a total lack of respect for others. Goodness knows it sure happened the last time I gave Iceland as a starting point. Makes me wonder why oh why would you even ask the question, but from my experience it hasn’t been to get the answer but to start a flow of insults. We’ll see…

        Actually, it would be easier to answer “where is the lack of humanity, in which countries” as it’s a shorter list. Remember there are over 140 of them and most of them are peace loving nations. I know that’s a tough concept to grok for many.

  4. Obama is ostensibly a constitutional scholar, so he knows full well that the PATRIOT act violates the first, fourth, fifth, and tenth amendments. It is not, and has never been a law, since acts of congress don’t trump the constitution. What it is, is an act of usurpation. Any elected official who ever supported it violated his oath of office.

    -jcr

    1. “the PATRIOT act violates the first, fourth, fifth, and tenth amendments.”

      The US constitution can be amended any time and has effectively been amended by GW Bush. The US constitution is a document in progress occasionally driven by the clueless and frightened. It could be further amended to be based on sound universal principles and perhaps also include not only rights but also responsibilities. One can only hope.

      a·mend·ment (ə-mĕnd′mənt)
      n.
      1. The act of changing for the better; improvement: “Society may sometimes show signs of repentance and amendment” (George G. Coulton).
      2. A correction or alteration, as in a manuscript.
      3.
      a. The process of formally altering or adding to a document or record.
      b. A statement of such an alteration or addition.
      c. Amendment One of the provisions in the US Constitution protecting individual rights.

  5. The NSA program is illegal and Obama- a Harvard trained lawyer who taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago-knows so. Apparently he does not give a damn like Dubya before him.

    It is interesting that the opposition to this program has come from both the Progressive Left and the Libertarian Right- the “centrists” of both parties and the DC Villager hangers on are all in the bag for this most Un-American law.

  6. Several terrorist attacks in Australia have been thwarted through the legal collection of metadata. For what it is worth, the constitution is not worth the paper it is written on, if it doesn’t protect its citizens from acts of terrorism.

    1. After the threats blow over, complacence sets in and the newly emboldened leaders begin to consider new uses for their patriotically decorated powers. The leaders will see a common good in suppression of political dissent, and can persuasively argue for safety over chaos. If ever there was a slippery slope, this is it.

    2. You’re dumb.

      It’s not the purpose of the Constitution to protect citizens from Terrorism. A President and Congress who didn’t hate the American people, who didn’t especially hate white people, and who didn’t even more especially hate white Christian people, nor a POTUS/Congress of the Neocon persuasion could protect the American people from terrorism if they had the political will to do so.

      Step 1: Outlaw all muslim immigration and travel to the United States.

      Step 2: Evict all muslims from all United States territory, premises, property, and land.

      Step 3: When muslims and left-wingers whine that that is unconstitutional, remind these blowhards that the U.S. Constitution was written by and for a white Christian people and no other – and that parasites of any kind are trespassers.

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