“Report: Obama Officials Authorized New ‘Cybersecurity’ Warrantless Surveillance Program, Fresh Immunity Given to ISPs | Electronic Frontier Foundation”

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/04/report-obama-officials-authorized-new-cybersecurity-warrantless-surveillance

APRIL 24, 2013 | BY TREVOR TIMM

Report: Obama Officials Authorized New ‘Cybersecurity’ Warrantless Surveillance Program, Fresh Immunity Given to ISPs

Yesterday, in a disturbing report published on CNET, new documents obtained by EPIC reveal that Obama administration officials have authorized a new government program involving the interception of communications on Internet service providers, including AT&T —one of the key players in the NSA warrantless wiretapping program.Under long-standing federal law, the government needs to use legal process to compel service providers to hand over customer communications, yet reportedly, the government is promising these companies they will not to prosecute them for violating US wiretapping laws if they hand over the information voluntarily. And the secret surveillance authorization seems quite broad, touching on huge swaths of private, domestic activity:The secret legal authorization from the Justice Department originally applied to a cybersecurity pilot project in which the military monitored defense contractors’ Internet links. Since then, however, the program has been expanded by President Obama to cover all critical infrastructure sectors including energy, healthcare, and finance starting June 12.CNET reported also that the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Defense were “deeply involved in press for the secret legal authorization” further underscoring widespread worries that the military may be given access to Americans’ personal information through cybersecurity operations. The report comes as Congress is debating CISPA, a dangerous bill that carves a “cybersecurity” loophole in all our privacy laws.While we are still sifting through the more than thousand pages of documents—obtained by EPIC Privacy through the Freedom of Information Act and posted to their website—the most controversial aspect of this program seems to be that the government has not used legal process to obtain Internet traffic from AT&T and other ISPs involved in the program. Instead, the Justice Department has handed them what the Justice Department calls a “2511 letter”—named after a section of the Wiretap Act—which purports to immunize them from prosecution.Section 2511 makes it a crime to wiretap—intercept electronic communications—with some exceptions, like a properly issued warranted. It provides no exception for a letter from the Justice Department. CNET reported an industry representative told them “the 2511 letters provided legal immunity to the providers by agreeing not to prosecute for criminal violations of the Wiretap Act. It’s not clear how many 2511 letters were issued by the Justice Department.”Beyond what CNET reported, we still need to analyze these new documents to determine how pervasive this surveillance is and its impact on the American public. We are currently reading them over and will have a more detailed analysis soon.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/04/report-obama-officials-authorized-new-cybersecurity-warrantless-surveillance

Senator Johanns e-Update: “Path to Prosperity: A Step in the Right Direction”

Historical government spending by major functi...

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The following, is an email I received earlier today from the office of Senator Johanns (Mike_Johanns@Johanns.senate.gov):

 

Senator Johanns e-Update
April 5, 2011 6:40 PM

Today, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin introduced a plan entitled The Path to Prosperity to tackle our nation’s debt problem. The plan offers a stark contrast to our current course of trillion-dollar deficits and runaway spending. It cuts more than $6 trillion in spending compared to the President’s proposed budget levels over the next decade, reduces government spending by limiting it to a percentage of the economy, and paves a path to pay off our bloated debt. This is now the second serious proposal introduced in recent months to address our debt crisis. While I may not fully support either proposal in their entirety, I applaud the leadership being shown on this important issue and hope the President will step-up to advance the discussion.

 

KEY PROVISIONS OF THE PATH TO PROSPERITY

SPENDING

• Cuts $6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade compared to the President’s budget, and $5.8 trillion relative to the current-policy baseline.
• Eliminates hundreds of duplicative programs, reflects the ban on earmarks, and curbs corporate welfare bringing non-security discretionary spending to below 2008 levels.
• Brings government spending to below 20 percent of the economy, a sharp contrast to the President’s budget, in which spending never falls below 23 percent of GDP over the next decade.

DEBT AND DEFICITS

• Reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion compared to the President’s budget over the next decade.
• Surpasses the President’s low benchmark of sustainability – which his own budget fails to meet – by reaching primary balance in 2015.
• Puts the budget on the path to balance and pays off the debt.

TAXES

• Keeps taxes low so the economy can grow. Eliminates roughly $800 billion in tax increases imposed by the President’s health care law. Prevents the $1.5 trillion tax increase called for in the President’s budget.
• Calls for a simpler, less burdensome tax code for households and small businesses. Lowers tax rates for individuals, businesses and families.
• Sets top rates for individuals and businesses at 25 percent. Improves incentives for growth, savings, and investment.

GROWTH AND JOBS

• Creates nearly 1 million new private-sector jobs next year, brings the unemployment rate down to 4 percent by 2015, and results in 2.5 million additional private-sector jobs in the last year of the decade.
• Spurs economic growth, increasing real GDP by $1.5 trillion over the decade.
• Unleashes prosperity and economic security, yielding $1.1 trillion in higher wages and an average $1,000 per year in higher income for each family.

*Source: House Budget Committee

 

It certainly sounds compelling, but what does it all mean -in “layman’s terms” (ie. what’s it going to entail for the average, everyday American)? It’s the “fine print”, afterall, that generally spells it out for us and will ultimately give us the whole story …the “bigger picture”, if you will.

…What’s your take, or view, on the topic?

 

 

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Boycott GoDaddy.com and Its Elephant-Killing CEO!

Bob Parsons

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Please check out this important information about GoDaddy.com’s CEO, Bob Parsons! Parsons gets a kick out of killing animals in Africa and then bragging about it online.

Please click the link below to sign a pledge to boycott GoDaddy.com’s services until Bob Parsons stops killing animals.

To take action on this issue, click on the link below:
http://www2.peta.org/site/Advocacy?s_oo=48xXWEjYnOurY6nDkP76Fw..&id=3643