Obama authorizes five more years of warrantless wiretapping — RT

January 2, 2013
U.S. President Barack Obama (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

via rt.com

Federal detectives won’t need a warrant to eavesdrop on the emails and phone calls of Americans for another five years. President Obama reauthorized an intelligence gathering bill on Sunday that puts national security over constitutional rights.
President Barack Obama inked his name over the weekend to an extension of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a George W. Bush-era legislation that has allowed the government expansive spy powers that has been considered by some to be dragnet surveillance.
FISA, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, was first signed into law in the 1970s in order to put into place rules regarding domestic spying within the United States. Upon the passing of the FAA in 2008, however, the online and over-the-phone activities of Americans became subject to sweeping, warrantless wiretapping in instances where investigators reasonably suspect US citizens to be engaged in conversation with persons located outside of the country.
Congress had only up until the end of 2012 to either reauthorize FISA and the FAA, or let the bill expire. Despite a large grassroots campaign from privacy advocates and civil liberties organization to ensure the acts would fade from history, though, the Senate approved a five-year extension of the legislation on Friday. Just two days later, Pres. Obama signed his name to the act, opening up the inboxes and phone records of US citizens to the federal government until at least 2018.
Although on the books since 2008, the FAA has come under increased criticism this year thanks to efforts from a select group of lawmakers who have adamantly demanded answers about a program largely considered to be cloaked in secrecy. In May, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Udall (D-CO) sent a letter to the National Security Agency asking for an estimate of how many Americans have been targeted since the FAA went on the books. In response, Inspector General I. Charles McCullough said honoring that request would be “beyond the capacity” of the office, and that “dedicating sufficient additional resources would likely impede the NSA’s mission.”
“If no one will even estimate how many Americans have had their communications collected under this law then it is all the more important that Congress act to close the ‘back door searches’ loophole, to keep the government from searching for Americans’ phone calls and emails without a warrant,” Wyden, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told Wired.com’s Danger Room.
Although Americans cannot be specifically targeted under the FAA without getting the approval of a select panel of FISA judges, the warrantless monitoring of messages involving anyone outside of the country can easily collect collateral information about US citizens.
Speaking on the Senate floor on Friday before the FISA vote, Wyden warned, “You can’t just go out checking everybody in sight with the prospect of that maybe there’s someone who’s done something wrong.”
“Government officials may only search someone’s house if they have evidence that someone is breaking the law and they show the evidence to a judge to get an individual warrant,” he said.
Despite attempts from Wyden and others to overturn the FAA, though, it cleared the Senate by a vote of 73-23 on Friday and was signed by Pres. Obama in Washington just two days later.


Why does your media ignore these stories?

October 12, 2011
Another Florida Imam Arrested by the FBI, Media Ignores (h/t:Docs Talk/Creeping Sharia)
On August 23, 2011 the FBI arrested Imam Abu Taubah aka Marcus Dwayne Robertson. The charge was possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, Case Number: 6:11-mj-1380 Attached to Imam Abu Robertson’s case is a Notice of Intent To Use Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Information (FISA).
The U.S. Government’s intention to use its FISA powers signals probable cause to charge Imam “Taubah” Robertson “the target of such search is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power”.
The facts presented in these filed charges leads this reporter to suspect an element of foreign intrigue may be a key component in the prosecution of this case. Imam Robertson’s Mosque is located at 6630 Pershing Road in Orlando, FL. The Mosque’s website Masjid al-Ishaan is down for maintenance and hopefully out of business, if these charges prove the Imam’s guilt. Thank you to The Internet Haganah for breaking this story, and shame on The Orlando Sentinel’s refusal to publish a story on the arrest. This reporter sent all the court case documents to Sentinel reporter Jeff Kurneth, a letter to the editor accompanied the documents.
On September 2nd the Orlando Sentinel did run a front page story on Imam Muhammad Musri who was charging his fellow Muslims $5 to park for Friday Jumma prayers calling it the infamous “Pay to Pray” scandal. As important as “pay to pray” may be to some, it does not take a Sentinel Editor to realize that when the FBI arrests an Orlando Muslim Imam it is big news, especially to the residents who live and work near the Mosque in question.
In another Orlando Imam related story, the Orlando Sentinel neglected to print an alarming incident with Imam Musri back in 2010. A team of eight investigative reporters caught on film Orlando Imam Muhammad Musri hosting a fundraiser featuring the infamous George Galloway, who raised over $50,000 from local Orlando Muslims for Hamas – video link. After the video was released George Galloway’s visa to enter the United States was revoked by United States Government. Imam Musri remains on the Governor of Florida’s Faith Based Advisory Council and is considered the “go to” person in Orlando for all things Islamic.
A poster at Internet Haganah states correctly that,
“In Brooklyn, NY during the early 90s, Abu Taubah and a group of young Muslims executed a number of postal office and bank robberies under the direction of Abu Taubah, who used his military expertise to plan the armed robberies. When the young men and a sister were apprehended by authorities, Abu Taubah turned to a federal witness testifying against the very Muslims he trained to commit crimes.”
Imam Taubah Robertson was a snitch who sold out his Muslim friends to successfully receive a lighter sentence for himself. Imam “Snitch” Robertson is out of jail while his Muslim partners in crime are serving 50+ year sentences according to court records. The Qur’an demands harsh punishments against those Muslims who turn on their fellow Muslims.
Read it all.
A bio from Robertson/Taubah’s website states he is a former United States Marine and the first mosque he attended was that of unindicted co-conspirator to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Siraj Wahhaj.
Also read this post at The Ummah.com for the comment thread as Muslims defend Taubah and infight.
Comment: We are entering a critical stage in the evolution of the world and specifically the democracy in the USA. From the beginning the media had a major responsibility in our developing Democracy and it has abandoned its necessary role at this point in time. The tragedy is that the public is not receiving the information that is required of a responsible citizen in a democracy in order to make correct judgments. The cost to a republic is enormous. This is but one of an ever increasing nimber of such stories that is going unreported.
Orlando Sentinel? Covering up Islam? Nah!