CONGRESS LET SPY POWERS EXPIRE LAST MONTH, WHICH IS HAVING ALMOST NO EFFECT ON CURRENT SPYING | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

CONGRESS LET SPY POWERS EXPIRE LAST MONTH, WHICH IS HAVING ALMOST NO EFFECT ON CURRENT SPYING

SOURCE: TECH DIRT
FROM THE HEY-YOU-GUYS-NEED-TO-KNOCK-IT-OFF-WHENEVER-IT'S-CONVENIENT-FOR-YOU DEPT
Thanks to the goddamn everything else going on in the world right now, we've now learned what happens when Congress lets surveillance authorities expire. Nothing, really. Here's Charlie Savage for the New York Times.

House Democrats left the capital on Friday after passing the $2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation without taking up a Senate bill to temporarily revive three expired F.B.I. surveillance tools for terrorism and espionage investigations, ensuring that the laws will remain lapsed at least until the Senate returns from vacation next month.

The authorities created by the US Patriot Act -- specifically, the bulk collection of business records and roving wiretaps -- both expired on March 15th. More pressing issues backburnered the reauth, which is probably preferable to the alternatives: a blanket reauthorization rush job or some rights-wrecking abomination tacked onto a must-pass coronavirus response bill.

But letting these authorities expire doesn't change much of anything, especially since the FISA Court is presumably on limited duty like other courts in the nation while waiting for the pandemic curve to flatten a bit. It's still business as usual for any surveillance business in progress before the March 15th cutoff, as Julian Sanchez explains.

A so-called savings clause permits the laws to remain in effect for investigations that already existed on March 15, or for new investigations into events that occurred before then.

“The authorities remain available for either investigations open at the time of expiration or investigations predicated on underlying conduct that predates the sunset date,” Mr. Sanchez said.

This means agencies can initiate surveillance using these expired authorities so long as they backdate the impetus for the investigation. We're in the midst of a never-ending War on Terror, so any targets loosely associated with the terrorist networks we've targeted for decades will remain surveilled under expired authorities

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Welcome to the unhinged, surveilled, and thoroughly dystopic State of Amerika; your papers, please!!

Comments

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA