Archive for August 8th, 2007

A new law expanding the government’s spying powers gives the Bush Administration a six-month window to install possibly permanent back doors in the nation’s communication networks.  The legislation was passed hurriedly by Congress over the weekend and signed into law Sunday by President Bush.The bill, known as the Protect America Act, removes the prohibition on warrantless spying on Americans abroad and gives the government wide powers to order communication service providers such as cell phone companies and ISPs to make their networks available to government eavesdroppers.

The Administration pushed for passage of the changes to close what it called a “surveillance gap,” referring to a long-standing feature of the nation’s surveillance laws that required the government to get court approval to capture communications inside the United States.

While the nation’s spy laws have been continually loosened since 9/11, the Administration never pushed for the right to tap the nation’s domestic communication networks until a secret court recently struck down a key pillar of the government’s secret spying program.

The Administration argues that the world’s communication networks now route many foreign to foreign calls and emails through switches in the United States.

Prior to the law’s passage, the nation’s spy agencies, such as the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, didn’t need any court approval to spy on foreigners so long as the wiretaps were outside the United States.

Now, those agencies are free to order services like Skype, cell phone companies and arguably even search engines to comply with secret spy orders to create back doors in domestic communication networks for the nation’s spooks.  While it’s unclear whether the wiretapping can be used for domestic purposes, the law only requires that the programs that give rise to  such orders have a “significant purpose” of foreign intelligence gathering.

The law:

Read it at Threat Level – Wired Blogs

SWEET!

Rudy Giuliani’s Daughter Comes Out For Obama 

The leading Republican for next year’s presidential contest, Rudy Giuliani, is having to contend with the embarrassment of discovering his teenage daughter signed up as a supporter of Barack Obama, one of the Democratic frontrunners.Mr Giuliani, whose family relationships are fraught after a messy divorce, is well ahead of his Republican rivals in spite of reports about his personal life.

His children have already signalled they do not intend to campaign for him. But the Slate political website discovered that his daughter, Caroline, 17, had gone further and signed up to social networking group Facebook’s “Barack Obama (1 Million Strong for Barack)” site.

Read the rest of the article – Guardian.co.uk

It’s an interesting thing to us around here that the candidate that seems to be getting the most attention from The People (you know – as in “We The People”) has been virtually ignored or downright excluded from discussions, debates, “serious news coverage,” etc. Now – we’re not here to suggest anything “funny” is going on (oh yes we are) but, like we said – it’s “interesting.”

We’re not going to tell you who to vote for – our readers are among the smartest on the ‘net and can decide for yourselves – but we think you should be given ALL the information – something apparently ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox don’t agree with.

The fact of the matter is that “THEY” have decided that Ron Paul can’t win – and so you don’t get the opportunity to hear about him. Oddly enough, we hear plenty about John McCain – and yet Dr. Paul has raised more money than McCain. We think you owe it to yourselves to at least check him out and see if he shares your views on the issues – the same thing we want you to do with the “major” candidates.

 

Read the article below – and then Google “Ron Paul.” You’ll get an education.  Also take a look at an article on a non-political site – we’re not the only ones talking!

 

Paul’s Active Service Member Donations Get Noticed

August 03, 2007 – TheHill.com

Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), the anti-Iraq war candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and darling of the Internet, said his colleagues have taken notice that he has raised more money from active service members than any other GOP White House hopeful.

“Lots of military people turned out to be aware that our campaign got more donations from soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines than any other,” said Paul in a statement on his website. “Funny, that made a big impression in Congress too. Many of my colleagues were amazed and encouraged that you can be against this unconstitutional and disastrous war, and get military support.”

While campaign spokesman Jesse Benton did not name names, he said that “two southern Republicans” recently approached Paul. They noted that his success in getting money from members of the active military is “turning some heads.”

Paul said it is “an outrage that we are accused of not supporting the troops” and called it a “scam when the warmongers claim to be pro-soldier.”

Despite his popularity on the Internet and a surprisingly strong second quarter fund-raising effort, which saw his campaign haul in $2.4 million, Paul is universally considered as a long shot candidate for the nomination.

However, he told supporters that he is “cautiously optimistic” about next week’s Iowa straw poll.

Paul also noted that he has received some good press about being frugal with his campaign contributions.

“I treat every donation with care, since it comes from a good American who shares our hope for the future, and who had to work hard to earn that money,” Paul said.

Benton added that the prudence in spending is a sign of what is to come.

“The way he runs his campaign is a microcosm of how he would run the country,” said Benton of his boss. He added that Paul would spend money where it needs to be spent but would otherwise be careful not to waste a penny.