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Patriot Act

The Whistleblowers Who Challenged Mass Surveillance After 9/11

Mark Klein worked for over twenty years as a technician for the AT&T Corporation. He blew the whistle on the AT&T’s collaboration with the National Security Agency, which allowed for warrantless wiretapping of phone and internet communications. In 2006, Klein came to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) with documents of AT&T’s involvement in the United States’ domestic spying program. His whistleblowing became the basis of the organization’s lawsuit against the NSA. According to Kevin Bankston [PDF], who was an EFF staff attorney, Klein described the “technology behind AT&T’s participation in the program, whereby the NSA had been given complete access  to  the  Internet  traffic  transiting  through  at  least  one,  and  probably  more,  AT&T  Internet  facilities.”

US Prisoner Of Never Ending War, With Never Ending Sentence, Released

Adham Amin Hassoun, a 58-year old US citizen and a Palestinian born in Lebanon, who is the first person detained indefinitely under the Patriot Act over terrorism-related charges, has been freed. Hassoun has been deported after a legal battle to hold him indefinitely failed, Associated Press reports.  He left the US for an unknown country aboard a charter flight arranged by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Last month, a judge ordered his release because the government failed to prove he is a threat to national security.

Deploying Federal Troops In A War At Home Would Make A Bad Situation Worse

As the George Floyd Uprising intensified in Minneapolis on Friday and Saturday, President Trump asked Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper for options to deploy federal troops to the city. He signaled to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, “We have our military ready, willing and able if they ever want to call our military, and we can have troops on the ground every quickly.” Military Police soldiers from Fort Bragg (North Carolina), Fort Drum (New York), Fort Carson (Colorado), and Fort Riley (Kansas) were ordered to be ready to deploy for crowd and traffic control duties, if the state National Guards could not quell the unrest. On Monday, Trump put Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mark Milley “in charge,” lambasted state governors, and said he would soon order active-duty federal troops into U.S. cities to “quickly solve the problem for them.”

FBI Used Patriot Act To Obtain ‘Large Collections’ Of Americans’ Data, DoJ Finds

By Spencer Ackerman for The Guardian - As lawmakers and security agencies braced for a potential loss of the heart of the Patriot Act, a long-delayed Justice Department report showed that the FBI uses the surveillance authorities it provides for “large collections” of Americans’ internet records. Section 215 of the Patriot Act permits the FBI to collect business records, such as medical, educational and tax information or other “tangible things” relevant to an ongoing counter–terrorism or espionage investigation. Since 2006, the NSA had also secretly used it to collect US phone data in bulk. After Edward Snowden’s leaks allowed the Guardian to reveal the phone-records bulk collection in June 2013, deep political opposition coalesced around the bulk program – eclipsing the FBI’s acquisition of other data, which has long been an issue only for civil libertarians. But a Justice Department inspector general’s report finally released on Thursday covering the FBI’s use of Section 215 from 2007 to 2009 found that the bureau is using the business-records authority “to obtain large collections of metadata”, such as “electronic communication transactional information”.

Newsletter: See You At The Barricades

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese at Popular Resistance. We are at a crossroads to either a future of global corporate governance or a chance for democracy. As Chris Hedges writes in his new book, "Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt," a revolution is coming but we can't guarantee which way it will go. Will you be there to fight for justice? You have an opportunity to do that now. This is the critical week to stop Fast Track legislation from passing in Congress. Fast Track could last for the next six years and would enable passage of not just the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but also the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). There are different ways to define security. Some would say that security means a police or military force to protect people from those who might cause harm. Others would say that security means the government has a responsibility to make sure that the basic needs of its people are met which in itself would reduce crimes and the need for a violent security force. This is your food for thought for this week. How do you define security?

Act Out! Episode 13 – #ShellNo, Sun Sets On Patriot Act

By Eleanor Goldfield in Occupy - This week we dive into the toxic sludge of the oil industry, beginning with Shell’s latest plans to drill in the Arctic. Luckily, activists are standing, and sitting, up to these corporate cronies. We talk to Bill Moyer of Backbone Campaign and George Edwardson, Inupiat leader, about the #ShellNo protests, how you can get involved and the importance of leaving the Arctic the f#@% alone. Moving on to Santa Barbara, Nigeria and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the oil industry easily gets this week’s lowlife scum award. Speaking of lowlife scum, frack is wack and Beyond Extreme Energy is making sure the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hears them loud and clear over the sound of their rubber-stamped fracking rigs. Join them this week!

Newsletter: Movements And Elections

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Popular Resistance was created to help build a broad-based movement that is informed and acts strategically to challenge the status quo. There are so many crises today and we have been focused on trying to stop those crises from worsening (“stop the machine”) while using the fights and partial victories to build capacity for the movement. We have avoided putting emphasis on elections in part because it is important not to get caught up in the electoral cycle which has been nothing more than a periodic horse race between corporate candidates chosen through a rigged system. Instead, we hoped that more people would step out of the electoral cycle and take a longer-term view of the work that must be done to build a movement with real power.

Even If Patriot Act Expires, Government Will Keep Spying

By Washingtons Blog. Mass surveillance under the Patriot Act is so awful that even its author says that the NSA has gone far beyond what the Act intended (and that the intelligence chiefs who said Americans aren’t being spied on should be prosecuted for perjury). Specifically, the government is using a “secret interpretation” of the Patriot Act which allows the government to commit mass surveillance on every American. So it’s a good thing that the Patriot Act may expire, but don’t get too excited … Wikileaks’ Julian Assange said today:

Nationwide Sunset The Patriot Act Protests

Last week, the House overwhelmingly voted to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act by passing the USA FREEDOM Act, a dangerous bill that would authorize intrusive surveillance practices that a federal court just ruled are illegal. This is the last week the Senate is in session before the PATRIOT Act expires, so we have to speak out now and urge senators not to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act via the USA FREEDOM Act or any other bill. There's a rally near you. Will you attend? What: Emergency rallies to pressure Congress to sunset the PATRIOT Act When: Tomorrow, Thursday, May 21 Where: There are dozens of rallies all across the country – including one near you.

Right-Left Unite Over Extension Of Patriot Act

A coalition of advocacy groups from all sides of the political spectrum has joined forces to warn against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) plan to renew expiring portions of the Patriot Act without changes. Traditionally conservative organizations such as FreedomWorks and Gun Owners of America joined the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP and dozens of other groups to warn the Senate majority leader against his “clean” reauthorization of the national security law. “In the absence of meaningful reform, it is unacceptable to rubber stamp reauthorization of an authority that the government has used to spy on millions of innocent Americans,” the groups told McConnell and other leaders of Congress on Wednesday. “These bulk surveillance programs raise serious constitutional concerns, erode global confidence in the security of digital products, and are unnecessary for national security,” they added.
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