By a vote of 73 to 23, the US Senate, on December 29, 2012, voted to extend the FISA Amendments Act for five years a.k.a. until December 31, 2017.
(some history real quick)
In 2008, congress passed The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (abbreviated FISA) Amendments Act. This act by congress was basically seen by the public as yet another link in a long chain-of-reactions aimed at the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th, 2001. At its core, the main function of this amendment was to extend the – similar but not quite carbon copy – provisions encompassed by the Protect America Act of 2007. Similar to how certain components of the Patriot Act – particularly ones condemned by the public – have survived thru bill-rehashing and manipulation; it seems that the Protect America Act of 2007 is also becoming an undead bill.
No matter how we argue or protest, the original intent and purpose of this act have survived by taking on the mask of FISA, FISA amendments and now the FISA amendments extension. And I’m not saying that the entire act is bad or that every provision is controversial, I just want to point out that our words are not being heard and change is not coming anytime soon.
In its most recent context – a 5-4 vote nation’s highest court that definitively ended the case of a group of individuals who said “said their communications were likely being scooped up by the government’s expanded spying powers in violation of their constitutional rights”. The court ruled – based on the recent extension of the FISA Amendments – that these groups don’t have the right to sue at all, because they can’t prove they were being spied on.
This is a silent problem that affects few United States citizens – but that’s how every landslide starts. I firmly believe that if we don’t stick up for the little guys, we’ll soon all be in their shoes – cursing our ignorance. What do you guys think? Can you think of any other laws or other political agendas that have been similarly manipulated by The Man?