Earlier this month the House of Representatives passed the Massie-Lofgren Amendment to the Defense Appropriation bill that would prohibit the National Security Agency (NSA) from (1) rifling through the stored communications of Americans without a warrant, and (2) trying to sabotage Internet security by forcing private companies to weaken the privacy protections of their customers by installing “backdoors” into their software with the goal of enabling domestic surveillance. Under the pretext of monitoring foreign communications, the NSA has amassed a huge database that includes the communications of Americans that its minions claim it has the authority to search without seeking a warrant. The amendment would prohibit the spending of any funds by the NSA for either activity.
Importantly, the amendment which passed by a vote of 255 to 174 would simply require that federal officials who want to look at the communications of an American citizen go get a warrant as provided for by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Now the chief Congressional stooge for the surveillance state, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has sent out a letter urging all of those members of Congress who voted for the Massie-Lofgren Amendment to reconsider and rescind their votes.
Nunes includes a letter from confessed perjuror Director of Central Intelligence James Clapper who claims that the requirement to obtain a warrant would unduly interfere with the identification of terrorist plots in the U.S. As examples, Clapper then mentions such plots as the 9/11 atrocities, Fort Hood, the Underwear Bomber, the Navy Yard shootings, and Boston Marathon bombing. For his part Nunes notes that “in recent weeks, law enforcement agencies have disrupted homegrown terrorist attacks in Garland, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts.” So far as I can tell from news reports, not one of the attacks and plots mentioned by either Clapper or Nunes was identified in advance by NSA surveillance. (And even had they been, tolerating such surveillance is still not worth the damage caused to our civil liberties.)
Full Story @ [reason]