Warrantless Wiretapping, Part VIII   6 comments

Yes, the Senate passed the FISA amendments act. Here’s the voting record, from GovTrack:


Aye AL Shelby, Richard [R]
No Vote AL Sessions, Jefferson [R]


Aye AK Murkowski, Lisa [R]
Aye AK Stevens, Ted [R]


Aye AZ Kyl, Jon [R]
No Vote AZ McCain, John [R]


Aye AR Lincoln, Blanche [D]
Aye AR Pryor, Mark [D]


Aye CA Feinstein, Dianne [D]
Nay CA Boxer, Barbara [D]


Aye CO Allard, Wayne [R]
Aye CO Salazar, Ken [D]


Aye CT Lieberman, Joseph [I]
Nay CT Dodd, Christopher [D]


Aye DE Carper, Thomas [D]
Nay DE Biden, Joseph [D]


Aye FL Martinez, Mel [R]
Aye FL Nelson, Bill [D]


Aye GA Chambliss, C. [R]
Aye GA Isakson, John [R]


Aye HI Inouye, Daniel [D]
Nay HI Akaka, Daniel [D]


Aye ID Craig, Larry [R]
Aye ID Crapo, Michael [R]


Aye IL Obama, Barack [D]
Nay IL Durbin, Richard [D]


Aye IN Bayh, B. [D]
Aye IN Lugar, Richard [R]


Aye IA Grassley, Charles [R]
Nay IA Harkin, Thomas [D]


Aye KS Brownback, Samuel [R]
Aye KS Roberts, Pat [R]


Aye KY Bunning, Jim [R]
Aye KY McConnell, Mitch [R]


Aye LA Landrieu, Mary [D]
Aye LA Vitter, David [R]


Aye ME Collins, Susan [R]
Aye ME Snowe, Olympia [R]


Aye MD Mikulski, Barbara [D]
Nay MD Cardin, Benjamin [D]


Nay MA Kerry, John [D]
No Vote MA Kennedy, Edward [D]


Nay MI Levin, Carl [D]
Nay MI Stabenow, Debbie Ann [D]


Aye MN Coleman, Norm [R]
Nay MN Klobuchar, Amy [D]


Aye MS Cochran, Thad [R]
Aye MS Wicker, Roger [R]


Aye MO Bond, Christopher [R]
Aye MO McCaskill, Claire [D]


Aye MT Baucus, Max [D]
Nay MT Tester, Jon [D]


Aye NE Hagel, Charles [R]
Aye NE Nelson, Ben [D]


Aye NV Ensign, John [R]
Nay NV Reid, Harry [D]

New Hampshire

Aye NH Gregg, Judd [R]
Aye NH Sununu, John [R]

New Jersey

Nay NJ Lautenberg, Frank [D]
Nay NJ Menendez, Robert [D]

New Mexico

Aye NM Domenici, Pete [R]
Nay NM Bingaman, Jeff [D]

New York

Nay NY Clinton, Hillary [D]
Nay NY Schumer, Charles [D]

North Carolina

Aye NC Burr, Richard [R]
Aye NC Dole, Elizabeth [R]

North Dakota

Aye ND Conrad, Kent [D]
Nay ND Dorgan, Byron [D]


Aye OH Voinovich, George [R]
Nay OH Brown, Sherrod [D]


Aye OK Coburn, Thomas [R]
Aye OK Inhofe, James [R]


Aye OR Smith, Gordon [R]
Nay OR Wyden, Ron [D]


Aye PA Casey, Robert [D]
Aye PA Specter, Arlen [R]

Rhode Island

Aye RI Whitehouse, Sheldon [D]
Nay RI Reed, John [D]

South Carolina

Aye SC DeMint, Jim [R]
Aye SC Graham, Lindsey [R]

South Dakota

Aye SD Johnson, Tim [D]
Aye SD Thune, John [R]


Aye TN Alexander, Lamar [R]
Aye TN Corker, Bob [R]


Aye TX Cornyn, John [R]
Aye TX Hutchison, Kay [R]


Aye UT Bennett, Robert [R]
Aye UT Hatch, Orrin [R]


Nay VT Leahy, Patrick [D]
Nay VT Sanders, Bernard [I]


Aye VA Warner, John [R]
Aye VA Webb, Jim [D]


Nay WA Cantwell, Maria [D]
Nay WA Murray, Patty [D]

West Virginia

Aye WV Rockefeller, John [D]
Nay WV Byrd, Robert [D]


Aye WI Kohl, Herbert [D]
Nay WI Feingold, Russell [D]


Aye WY Barrasso, John [R]
Aye WY Enzi, Michael [R]

Unless and until this is overturned as unconstitutional, here is the nuts and bolts of the consequences:

The NSA is now legally funneling virtually every packet of voice or data communication that passes through the communications networks of the United States through data capturing and analysis tools, in real time.

This data is being analyzed by algorithms written to search for “suspicious” behavior. Currently, outside the NSA, there are maybe a couple dozen people who know what these algorithms are supposed to do. Probably, even inside the NSA, there is a tiny population of people who know what the algorithms actually do.

There is now one person in the United States (the Attorney General) who can declare outright that someone is worthy of advanced direct surveillance. There is no judicial oversight (contrary to the popular statements of several members of Congress) as the FISA court must accept this declaration at face value.

In the future, if this declaration is found to be based upon faulty reasoning (for example, if the algorithm flags you as a potential terrorist due to a bug and the AG elevates you to “person of interest”), any evidence gained by the active wiretapping of your communications is acceptable in a court of law.

Congratulations, my fellow Americans. You are now capable of being put on a terrorist watch list due to a software bug. And while I do believe that it is unlikely that this will stand up to a SCOTUS challenge, and equally unlikely that it will be abused horribly in the long run, I’m frankly utterly disgusted.


Posted July 9, 2008 by padraic2112 in news, politics, security

6 responses to “Warrantless Wiretapping, Part VIII

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  1. Interesting. And, disgusting.

  2. Hillary! Hillary!!


  3. Land of the ffffrrrreeeeee…..(?) and the home of the brave.

  4. 100 votes.

  5. Pingback: Occasionally, something odd shows up « Pat’s Daily Grind

  6. Pingback: Warrentless Wiretapping, The Irony Edition « Pat’s Daily Grind

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