Congress: This is a Blackout

If you can read this, you aren't viewing my post from a Congress IP. Hello! If you were trying to access my blog from a Congress IP, though, you would be...somewhere else.




Thousands of websites block Congress in Patriot Act protest: "Led by the online activist group Fight for the Future, more than 10,000 sites have added code that redirects any visitors from Internet protocol (IP) addresses stemming from Congress away from their site and towards a protest page."

Want to know what the big deal is? Here's an old (in Internet terms) video that covers it really well:




The Patriot Act has been used by the NSA and other organizations to collect an unbelievable (and, turns out, illegal) amount of private information. Proponents argue it's necessary to fight terrorism, but the FBI has admitted it's ineffective for that purpose; it is used, inappropriately, for other issues - primarily narcotics cases. Some provisions, particularly Section 215, are about to "sunset" - that is, if Congress does nothing, it just...disappears. And, as Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, wrote for Forbes: A Sunset Is A Beautiful Thing! What should we be asking our Congressmen to do? 

Nothing.
So, let’s don’t just do something, let’s stand here. Let’s let 215 sunset. It was unthinkable a month ago. Today it’s likely. In combination with the Second Circuit opinion, the sunset will, irrefutably, put laws on the books that will end domestic dragnets. Then, let’s get serious. Let’s have hearings, really understand all the spying being done in our name, how the information is being used. Let’s set up real, comprehensive, robust checks and balances, starting with declassifying interpretations of law and changing the role of the FISA judges.
Of course, the intelligence community is going to come back to Congress and ask for more robust spying powers. Maybe the IC needs these powers. If so, it can make the case and we can publicly, democratically, debate it. But the sunset takes us back to first principles. This is America. No secret law. No suspicionless spying. The sunset is a necessary first step for a new day to dawn. [Source]

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