OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

July 25, 2013

Amendment Curtailing the NSA Fails in the House


OK-SAFE, Inc. – On Wednesday, July 24, 2013 the U.S. House failed to pass an amendment to the 2014 Defense funding bill that would have ensured none of the funds could be used by the National Security Agency (NSA) to “collect records, including telephone call records that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215” of the Patriot Act.

The Amash amendment (Amendment #100) to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2014 was defeated on Wednesday July 24th by a vote of 205-217.

The White House and NSA Director General Keith Alexander lobbied Congress heavily to defeat this amendment.

Global Economy – Data Driven

Living in a borderless “global economy” means the end of everything, as we once knew it – nation, law, and boundaries.  Those boundaries are not just those within and around a country, state, institution or agency, but personal boundaries as well, including what we have thought of as our inherent right to privacy. 

Our so-called global economy is knowledge-based and data-dependent; information is the “fuel” that feeds it. “Privacy” and “rights” are considered antiquated and inconvenient ideals; barriers that, in the minds of some, must be eliminated.

NSA – Data Vampire

One of those entities that believe that individual privacy and rights are a hindrance to their objectives is the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA wants to know everything about everybody, everywhere, at anytime, without restriction.

For a visual reminder of the NSA’s objectives, see the their 2008 publication entitled Vision 2015 – A Globally integrated and Networked Intelligence Enterprise.

Vision 2015 Decision AdvantageVision 2015 Excerpt:

Strategy:

Integrate foreign, military, and domestic intelligence capabilities through policy, personnel and technology actions to provide decision advantage to policy makers, warfighters and homeland security officials and law enforcement personnel.- J.M. McConnell – Director of National Intelligence

We live in a dynamic world in which the pace, scope, and complexity of change are increasing. The continued march of globalization, the growing number of independent actors, and advancing technology have increased global connectivity, interdependence and complexity, creating greater uncertainties, systemic risk and a less predictable future. These changes have led to reduced warning times and compressed decision cycles. Although this interconnected world offers many opportunities for technological innovation and economic growth, it also presents unique challenges and threats. In this environment, the key to achieving lasting strategic advantage is the ability to rapidly and accurately anticipate and adapt to complex challenges.

Not only will thetype of customer change within our existing federal policy-making sets, but the range of customers will broaden to emphasize other federal departments (e.g., Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Commerce), state and local agencies, international organizations,and private sector and non-governmental organizations. 

The Amash amendment:

An amendment, offered by Mr. Amash, numbered 100 printed in House Report 113-170 to end authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act. It would also bar the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215.

Congressman Justin Amash is from Michigan.

OK Delegation Votes on Amash Amendment:

Yea:  Bridenstine, Mullin

Nay: Cole, Lankford, and Lucas

The House did pass the Pompeo amendment (Amendment #99) by a vote of 409-12.

The Pompeo amendment:

An amendment, offered by Mr. Pompeo, numbered 99 printed in House Report 113-170 to ensure none of the funds may be used by the NSA to target a U.S. person or acquire and store the content of a U.S. person’s communications, including phone calls and e-mails.

Congressman Mike Pompeo is from Kansas.

OK Delegation Votes on Pompeo Amendment:

Yea: Bridenstine, Cole, Lankford, Lucas, Mullin

H.R. 2397 Text

For the full text of H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2014, click here.

For a full listing of the proposed amendments to H.R. 2397 click here.

Protecting Yourself?

There is growing interest in cryptography (electronic encryption).  But you can also try going old school before you forget how to do so.  For starters you can reduce your electronic footprint. (Oh, one can hear the sighing)

For instance, do not put your life’s details online (via email, Facebook, etc.).  Email and social media communications are a mine of information for the data-gatherers and reveals a lot about you, your activities and your associations. And the information you post is out there…forever.

Do your banking in person, not on your phone or computer.  Pay your bills by check and mail them. Better yet, pay cash wherever and whenever you can.

As best you can, avoid interacting with state/government run agencies, all of which are now collecting and reporting data about each encounter with a citizen.

Do not answer nosy questionnaires, even those that assure you that the data will remain anonymous and be de-identified.

Want to communicate with someone?  Write them a letter and mail it. Or wait to talk to them in person.  (Novel idea, right?)

Try it for a while and you might just find that you like it.  And if it slows down entities like the NSA, so much the better.

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1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Finding Gems and Sharing Them and commented:

    An important update with details on some of the amendments offered. Please keep up the pressure to cut back government significantly. If we reduce spending NOW, maybe the nation can survive…

    Comment by SCadmin — July 25, 2013 @ 4:58 pm


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