Lawmakers, privacy experts sound alarm on most ‘Terrifying Expansions of Government Surveillance’ in history in Spy Powers Bill | Eastern North Carolina Now

Sean Moran, writing at, reports:

Eighty-six House Republicans last Friday voted for the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act (RISAA), a bill that would reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Section 702 is a government surveillance authority that is meant to target foreign adversaries, but often surveils Americans’ communications without a warrant.

Despite the outrage at the passage of the legislation, 110 Republicans also voted for an amendment proposed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) and committee Ranking Member Jim Himes (D-CT) that would seek dramatically expand the ability for the government to surveil Americans’ communications.

The measure updates the definition of electronic service provider to also include “any other service provider who has access to equipment that is being or may be used to transmit or store wire or electronic communications.”

The amendment would significantly expand the number of businesses and their employees who could be compelled to spy on their customers and provide warrantless access to their communications systems in accordance to this controversial FISA provision.

This provision has been referred to by privacy advocates as a “trojan horse” for “PATRIOT Act 2.0.”

Steve Bradbury, a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation and former Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department under George W. Bush, told Breitbart News during a press conference on Monday that the Turner-Himes is so vast in scope that experts may not truly understand how many companies, staffers, and other entities may be forced to surveil Americans.

He said to “think about third party contractors who may have access to equipment? What about, for example, a janitorial company, who has a key to a data center and comes in and cleans up the data center floor or something? Technically, they have access to the equipment. Could the NSA [National Security Agency] hit the janitorial company with an order requiring them to give the NSA access to that data center? So, the implications of it are troubling. And the full scope is unknowable at this point.”

Bradbury said it is clear that the intelligence community lobbied that the Biden administration and the lobbied the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) to get this amendment included in the bill.

The former Justice Department official said that the proposal raises “obvious civil liberties concerns just because we do not know the potential sweep and how they will try to use it.”

He said, “This collection is so sensitive and so powerful, that you really want to limit the universe of, of entities that may be involved and make it an order to participate in this. And, when you really need to know who they are, right now, you can basically count them on your two hands, you know, the, for the most part, the entities that operate systems where the surveillance would actually occur. And who knows now, how many are potentially swept in, it’s just an unknowable. And that’s a bad thing when it comes to powerful program like this that can sweep up so many communications.”

Billy Gribbin, the communications director for Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), told Breitbart News, “Senator Lee opposes this attempt to expand government surveillance by forcing even more private businesses to hand over the data of law abiding Americans. We must first reform FISA Sec. 702 before handing Washington additional ways to spy on our fellow citizens.”

Mark Davis, a former presidential administration staffer and policy director for the Project for Privacy & Surveillance Accountability, said the Himes-Turner amendment will bring America closer to a “Chinese-style Panopticon”:

This amendment represents a breathtaking expansion of the American surveillance state. It enlists landlords and owners of small businesses of all sorts — retail stores, fitness centers, dentists’ offices and commercial office buildings — as the government’s partners in warrantless surveillance. Lacking the expertise of major telecoms to categorize communications, small business owners will likely just hand over all their data or give the government direct access to their equipment. These privacy breaches will poison consumer confidence in the businesses they patronize. It will complicate the deep divide that already exists between the U.S. and the EU over privacy and spying. And it will be yet another massive step toward bringing a Chinese-style Panopticon to the United States. [Emphasis added]

Those on the left have also cried foul at the Turner-Himes proposal, referring it to as the “Everybody Is a Spy” amendment.

Demand Progress Policy Director Sean Vitka said in a written statement on Monday:

These moves from the Intelligence Committee add up to a brazen and deliberate attempt to sneak through one of the most terrifying expansions in the history of government surveillance. This is not speculative: the amendment clearly allows the government to secretly conscript uninvolved Americans and American businesses to spy on each other. These KGB-style powers pose an existential threat to our civil liberties. The Senate must block this provision.

If the Senate fails to remove this amendment from the bill, it will be handing the president, and whoever the next president is, a knife to ram through the back of democracy. [Emphasis added]

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), after the House passed RISAA, said in no uncertain terms:

The House bill represents one of the most dramatic and terrifying expansions of government surveillance authority in history. It allows the government to force any American who installs, maintains, or repairs anything that transmits or stores communications to spy on the government’s behalf. That means anyone with access to a server, a wire, a cable box, a wifi router, or a phone. It would be secret: the Americans receiving the government directives would be bound to silence, and there would be no court oversight. [Emphasis added]

He added, “I will do everything in my power to stop this bill.”

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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( April 20th, 2024 @ 7:38 pm )
Thom TIllis AND Ted Budd both betrayed our liberty on this FBI power grab. Tillis has always been an undocumented Democrat but it is shameful that Budd joined him on this.
Big Bob said:
( April 19th, 2024 @ 10:22 am )
As I remember, y'all loved GB back in the day. Funny how he isn't nuts enough for you anymore.
( April 19th, 2024 @ 8:55 am )
FISA - brought to you by the UNIPARTY - RINOs and Democrats.
Big Bob said:
( April 18th, 2024 @ 11:08 pm )
FISA- brought to you by republicans.
( April 17th, 2024 @ 10:28 am )
It is appalling that Greg Murphy voted for this awful provision, not just the overall bad bill, but for the specific amendment that authorizes these KGB-like powers. Shame on him.
( April 17th, 2024 @ 10:14 am )
No man has the right to feel safe. The world is not a safe place. Safety cannot be given from one man to another. It is a state of being. The flesh is never safe but the spirit is saved through faith in Christ Jesus.

Whether you be terrorized by events and circumstance is up to you. Those who believe, know what is to come upon the Earth.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

If you look for something to fear then, Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Big Bob said:
( April 17th, 2024 @ 2:18 am )
Worried that it will be used to combat domestic terrorism?
( April 17th, 2024 @ 12:24 am )
Consider this as an example of strange:

I used to have a Twitter account. The logo was a little blue bird because the site is a platform for small statements called tweets. Basically amounting their website to a bunch of squawking seagulls on a pier. Also, blue birds are known to be a nasty acting bird, in terms of attitude. The site holds the thoughts and opinions of millions worldwide.

One day I read this verse and inspiration from the Holy Ghost came upon my mind:

“Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.”

I said wow, that could be considered a warning about social media. It can be directly linked to Twitter not only as a warning, but also as prophecy for what is to come.

I posted the verse on Twitter to warn other tweeters. Coincidentally not long afterwords, the site was sold and rebranded.

To see the world through the Word of God, is to see the world for what it is. The only power of the devil be that of deception. Through the scriptures a man can not be deceived.
( April 16th, 2024 @ 10:03 pm )
If it weren’t for my old dogs and the Good Lord
They would have me strung up in the psych ward

Everyday livin in this new world,
Is one too many days for me.
( April 16th, 2024 @ 9:44 pm )
RINO Congressman Greg Murphy voted to add this police state amendment to FISA. That is a good reason to send him a message and vote Libertarian in November. Greg Murphy is NOT a friend of individual liberty, and in fact is an enemy of it. Shame on him. In the legislature, he was known as Medicaid Murphy, and now in Congress maybe he should be known as Gestapo Greg.

Soros-funded NGO passing out flyers to illegal aliens telling them to vote for Biden Editorials, Beaufort Observer, Op-Ed & Politics "Woke" DEI speech police strike in NC public school


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