Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rand doesn't stand

The Kentucky senator helped block NSA reform. Now civil liberties groups are feeling betrayed.


FedUp said...

Just like Dr Ron Paul, it looks like Rand is going to be known for opposing bills because they've got bullshit hidden in them:

“Last night, I stood on principle by opposing a bill that that included a provision reauthorizing elements of the Patriot Act that violate the Bill of Rights. I have always been steadfast against the Patriot Act and I will continue to do all I can to prevent its extension.”

smitty said...

There may be more to this legislation than meets the eye.

From the Market Ticker:

The Essential Truth On Encryption

I've said this before in many more words, but I'm going to be more-succinct and concise this time around.

Let's start with this article from Engadget:

Google, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook. Normally these companies are mortal enemies. But, when it comes to curbing government surveillance, they're all on the same page. They've joined forces to form the Reform Government Surveillance coalition. The group is calling the US Senate to pass the USA FREEDOM Act, which could go up for vote as early as this week. The bill would enact a number of important reforms regarding the government's collection and use of data. For one it would end the practice of bulk metadata collection from the internet. It would also demand greater transparency from both the government and the tech companies themselves.

This bill, bluntly, is hokum. It's utter and complete nonsense and will do exactly nothing to address the problem.

Let me tell you first what the bill would do:
•It will require a specific search term (or terms) to be included in the FISA warrant application for call detail records, and end blanket data ("metadata") collection.

•It would limit the term of any such order to 180 days (which can be extended, but would require a second application to the court.)

•It would require the destruction of all records that are not foreign intelligence information, or those produced under an order that are once the authority to access and use them expires. That is, you can get the warrant but if you don't go after someone with the information you gain from it you can't keep the data.

•Does allow an immediate override by the US Attorney General but concurrently application must be made for said warrant, and if it is denied or never sought the data must be destroyed and any evidence or information produced must be destroyed unless it documents a threat of death or serious bodily harm.

•Requires an audit by the IG's office of the DOJ of 2012 - 2014 (ab)uses of the previous authority to determine whether the legal standards required for said record-keeping were met, and for production of that report to Congress.

•Extends these protections to National Security Letters (today there are literally no requirements of any substance on those, and that's horse****.)

In response to this Michael Hayden and Michael Mukasey opined in the pages of the WSJ that this is NSA Reform That Only ISIS Could Love.

This bill in fact goes nowhere near far enough.

Look folks, here's reality: Weakening encryption protection via any means whatsoever will never improve our national security. It will, in point of fact, eventually get millions of Americans if not half the population killed.

Let me explain.


see next post for the rest of the article.

smitty said...

First, the 4th Amendment is quite clear and specific: For anyone subject to the US Constitution, which means any US Citizen, the requirements for interception and surveillance by anything not voluntarily in the public view are quite clear. Go read the 4th Amendment if you need a refresher.

Requiring this is not onerous, provided you actually have something called "evidence" of wrong-doing. If you don't, and you're a cop no matter what sort of cop, then **** off.

If you are conducting intelligence gathering on non-US persons outside of the United States then none of this applies to you anyway and there is thus no impact of this law on your operations no matter who you are or what agency you work for, and you know it.

It is only when you want to look at the activities of US persons or those inside the US that this issue comes into play.


Therefore last night's "standing" by both McConnell and Paul is nothing more than grandstanding.

Second, and I want to emphasize this: If we weaken cryptography in any form, no matter how, we are claiming that we are smarter than everyone else in the world in that nobody but us will ever discover what we did and use it against us.

That is flat-out stupid and eventually it will get huge numbers of Americans killed because our enemies, and we do have them, will discover what we did, use it to penetrate our systems, and when they do they will then disable or destroy those systems that control critical infrastructure in the United States. The damage that can be done by such an attack is utterly catastrophic and we are fools to enable that behavior.

You must accept that when you weaken a lock so that you can break in, whether it is by keeping a "master key" or otherwise, that someone else may discover that key and when they do they can walk in the door exactly the same way you want to reserve the ability to.

If you want to wake up one day with every nuclear power plant in the United States offline with no operating generators, a crashed electrical grid, hours remaining until they all melt down and spew radioactive waste across the countryside while at the same time our oil refineries, pipelines and natural gas facilities have all exploded due to their control systems being tampered with in a coordinated hacking attack enabled by our stupidity in putting back doors into our encryption processes and software then go ahead and support this.


link to entire Market Ticker article:

Anonymous said... the article...he opposed it b/c it extended Patriot. Nothing contradictory in this.

Anonymous said...

With our political process as corrupted as it is now, I don't think its a good idea to open debate on ANY legislation that contains items you are fundamentally opposed to. If you are in the minority its a great way to get bad legislation shoved down your throat.

So BRAVO for Mr Paul.

Paul X said...

I ran the Wyoming Liberty Index for some years, which rated bills according to their effect on liberty. It is commonplace for each bill, even the small ones in the Wyoming legislature (never mind the monster bills Congress deals with) to have both positive and negative effects on liberty. One can only make an educated guess of the overall effect. So while I have my own problems with Rand Paul, I wouldn't ding him on this particular vote.