LP: Government phone, Internet snooping demands immediate, dramatic downsizing of all spy agencies, repeal of Patriot Act, FISA, NDAA

Posted on lp.org on June 6th: 

Government phone snooping demands immediate repeal of Patriot Act, FISA, NDAATaking its cue from George Orwell’s famous novel 1984, the Obama administration is mining customer data from major Internet vendors and collecting telephone records of millions of U.S. citizens indiscriminately — regardless of whether they are suspected of a crime.

The National Security Agency (NSA) is currently collecting the records U.S. customers of Verizon under a top secret court order issued in April. It is requiring Verizon to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its system — and also demanding Verizon’s silence on the order.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

In addition, the Washington Post reports that the NSA and the FBI are tapping directly into the servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Under a program called PRISM, they’re extracting audio and video chats, photographs, emails, documents, and connection logs that enable government analysts to trace a user’s network of associates.

“How many violations of the Bill of Rights will it take for civil libertarians to abandon their support of a president who has not only continued — but escalated — the sins of the Bush administration?” asked Geoffrey J. Neale, chair of the Libertarian Party.

The FBI/NSA’s broad surveillance of domestic calls is allegedly authorized by the Patriot Act and by 2008 reforms of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Then–U.S. Sen. Barack Obama voted in favor of the reforms.

“Full repeal of FISA, the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and massive downsizing of federal spy agencies is the only answer,” said Neale. “Not maybe. Not later. Now. This will stop the incremental yet rapid decline of our privacy and civil liberties, put a check on government power, and help to ensure that every American is afforded due process and justice if charged with a crime.”

48 thoughts on “LP: Government phone, Internet snooping demands immediate, dramatic downsizing of all spy agencies, repeal of Patriot Act, FISA, NDAA

  1. Nicholas Sarwark

    Solid release from the LP and very timely. With such bipartisan cheer leading from Pelosi, Reid, Chambliss, and Graham, this is the perfect opportunity to remind Americans that the Ds and Rs agree on having more government power and less freedom.

  2. marzak

    this is what people want, it’s what they voted for, “business as usual”, and next time they will vote for a dem. or rep. because they’re afraid of a bunch of goat farmers on the other side of the world, and only the govt. can do anything about it.

  3. George Phillies

    George Phillies Writes

    NSA — Enemies of America

    AS I said

    Back in 2008 when I ran for our Presidential nomination against Republican Bob Barr, Republican Wayne Root, and their LNC supporters:

    1) Electronic Warfare is Warfare. If you don’t believe me, look up how much money the military spends on it.

    2) America is the American People. America is not a flag, or a piece of hemp paper: America is its people.

    3) Waging electronic warfare on the American people, listening to their phone messages and reading their email, is waging war on the American people

    4) Waging War on America is treason. It’s one of the three crimes enumerated in our Constitution.

    5) We have our two witnesses: Senator Feinstein. Senator Chambliss.

    Therefore:

    Try the electronic warriors against America, for treason. That appears to be around 40,000 NSA employees, for starters.

    And when I was asked, how we would try and imprison so many people, well, we tried the drug users. We can try these people to. There are fewer of them. Some of them may even be innocent. That’s why we have judges and juries. As for the rest, well, after we free the drug users, there will be plenty of space in Federal prisons for twenty or forty or a hundred thousand new life prisoners.

    Perhaps in 2020 we will get things right, rather than running yet another Republic rose fertilizer for brains.

  4. Deran

    Privacy, ani-Big Brother is definitely a point where the Left and libertarians could work together. I am not talking abt the liberals/Democrats, they are still Obama believers, but this morning the Leftist blogs and websites are all lit up abt this totalitarianism.

  5. paulie

    I agree. Some of the conservative constitutionalists that are not beholden to the Republicans and their wars, too. We can all work together on this.

  6. Sam Kress

    Nice to see the LPHQ pick up the pace of news releases. This was a good one, well done!

  7. paulie

    If we nominate the 2012 dude again, yes.

    He’s good on this issue, and almost all others and it’s far from certain he will want to run again.

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    It’s not about what “issues” he’s “good on.” He’s just not a credible candidate for a party that claims to be about personal and fiscal responsibility.

    He ran one campaign into debt, got another party to nominate him to get a welfare check to erase that debt, then ran the second campaign into debt … although calling the second one a “campaign” is stretching things a bit, unless by “campaign” we mean “fund for the care and feeding of Ron Nielson.”

  9. paulie

    I’d call it a campaign. Plenty of travel, media, etc. Nielson did rack up a bunch of dubious charges which he may or may not have hoped to eventually collect on, but I don’t think that’s as much of a big deal as some other people do.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @ 14,

    “I’d call it a campaign.”

    Q: How many legs does a dog have if you call its tail a leg?

    A: Four. Calling it a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

    For a long time I wondered how it was that LP presidential nominating convention delegates let themselves get rooked almost every goddamn time. I’m beginning to think the answer may be found in the old maxim “you can’t cheat an honest man.”

  11. Michael H. Wilson

    Okay I have question given all the criticism. What did Gary Johnson get out of the campaign? Did he make some money? Get exposure for a book?

    I’m not taking sides one way or another but the man put in a lot from what I saw and I don’t know what if anything he managed to make off of the campaign.

  12. Robert Capozzi

    13 tk: He’s just not a credible candidate for a party that claims to be about personal and fiscal responsibility. He ran one campaign into debt, got another party to nominate him to get a welfare check to erase that debt, then ran the second campaign into debt….

    me: Check this premise. Is “debt” somehow contrary to “personal responsibility”? If it is, please share your rationale, since probably most businesses and most individuals use debt to advance their agendas all the time.

  13. paulie

    Q: How many legs does a dog have if you call its tail a leg?

    A: Four. Calling it a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

    True, you calling it a non-campaign does not make it a non-campaign; it was still a campaign.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 17,

    “Is ‘debt’ somehow contrary to ‘personal responsibility?’ ”

    It is when you run that debt up, then look for a government bailout, then run the project you used to get that bailout into debt yet again, at no point delivering anything remotely resembling a real political campaign.

    The Johnson “campaign” was essentially a series of internal fundraisers to pay off debt and feed “consultants,” coupled with less external media than might have been expected on name recognition by itself, let alone any actual effort being put into earning coverage.

    Not that that’s unusual. In fact, since I joined the LP in 1996, I’ve only seen one real post-nomination campaign, and that was Badnarik’s. The others were internally focused medicine shows.

    If I walked into the next national convention, stole the mic and announced that the word “gullible” was written on the ceiling, 50%+ would probably look up.

  15. Nicholas Sarwark

    @19: For some reason, there are a lot of people in the LP who don’t understand the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions.

    You won’t have a successful campaign without consultants, a campaign manager, and a lot of fundraising. However, having consultants, a campaign manager, and a lot of fundraising doesn’t necessarily lead to a successful campaign.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    NS @ 20,

    Yes, it’s true — a successful campaign will have consultants, a campaign manager, and lots of fundraising.

    But’s kind of a circular thing: The idea is to use the funds you raise to run the kind of campaign that more people want to contribute to, thus allowing you to achieve real results AND pay those consultants and that campaign manager. No guarantees, but that’s the goal.

    Most post-nomination LP presidential campaigns treat their fundraising as a direct feed bag on the noses of the consultants and manager. Instead of raising shitloads of money, producing real results, and the consultants and manager getting paid, all that happens is the consultants and manager get paid … if even that.

    Johnson was slightly diferent — he appears to have run something resembling a real campaign on the Republican side, and was just so out-classed that it dug itself into a hole. Then he came to the LP, asked for its nomination, asked for contributions, asked for a government welfare check … and then dug the fucking hole AGAIN, LP-style.

    It’s honestly hard to tell whether he’s some kind of con man, or just completely disconnected from earthly reality.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    tk 16: I’ve only seen one real post-nomination campaign, and that was Badnarik’s.

    me: We’d need to understand why you use this one as the modern standard for LP prez campaigns.

    It was more guerilla than the last two, as I recall. It was pretty ineffective, even by LP standards, but I wonder if your apparent appreciation of self-marginalizing tactics and messaging may be coloring your assessment of that campaign.

  18. Just remembering

    The 2008 LP prez nom was speaking out against illegal NSA spying on Americans as early as the 1990s

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 23,

    “We’d need to understand why you use this one as the modern standard for LP prez campaigns.”

    It’s not “the standard” for LP prez campaigns.

    It’s the only prez campaign I’ve seen since joining the LP in 1996 that was a campaign in any meaningful sense of the word.

    It was not an effective campaign. I don’t know if one of those is possible. But it was at least frugally managed and outwardly directed. It’s the only LP presidential “campaign” I’ve seen that did not direct most of its efforts toward shaking down LP members for money in order to finance shaking down more LP members for more money.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    26 tk:frugally managed and outwardly directed

    me: I take these as your standards, then. So, say the LP nominee is Perry in 16. Say his campaign is him walking coast to coast with no staff except Jim “Rebar” Davidson, who walks with him to provide security, and no fundraising. They dumpster dive where they can’t find a soup kitchen. The campaign does stop in hometown newspaper offices and UHF TV stations, begging for coverage.

    Preferable in your view to most LP prez campaigns?

  21. George Phillies

    @27 Trolling, trolling, under the bounding bridge.

    @26 Badnarik set an up-to-then modern record for raising post-nomination money for a campaign, beating out Harry Browne post-nomination. Browne raised much more in total. Barr set a modern record for how little he spent on doing politics, including not covering his VPs legitimate expenses. Johnson set the modern record for how large the salaries *that he actually paid* were for all his campaign staff members.

    Badnarik had a campaign.

    There have been people with decent nominating campaigns.

  22. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 27,

    We reach this point — the point where I wonder whether you are stupid or just being disingenuous — in most of our conversations, but not usually this early.

    Badnarik raised more than a million dollars post-nomination. With that money, he had television ads professionally produced and broadcast, commissioned real polling, and kept up a grueling travel schedule that actually looked like a POLITICAL CANDIDATE’S travel schedule.

    For example, in his first post-nomination swing through Missouri, he did visit an LP fundraiser event — after speaking at the Kansas City Board of Trade in the morning, visiting the state’s largest Rural Electric Cooperative meeting in the afternoon (five-figure attendance, and I suspect he shook high four-figure numbers of hands), and taking no fewer than 8 radio and 3 television interviews.

    When a local LP group asked if Badnarik could visit them, the first question was “what kind of community events and local media can you hook us into? This is a CAMPAIGN. We’ll get him there for your meeting if you’re willing to help us do the CAMPAIGN stuff to make that a productive stop.” He traveled with an aide occasionally, but usually entourage consisted of local Libertarians who had taken time out of their schedules to make things happen.

    Contrast that with Harry Browne’s campaign stop in St. Louis in 2000. He swooped in to a hotel ballroom with a large entourage, preached to the choir for 20 minutes, then handed them over to Michael Cloud so they could be pumped for enough money to pay for the trip and keep that entourage paid. IIRC, there was one brief radio interview. And then he was gone.

  23. Steven Wilson

    Candidates are just products and the voters are the customers telling the company(party) what will sell the most.

    Badnarik’s campaign was much more functional as a campaign, but the candidate and the campaign are not correlative to the results.

    Both Badnarik and Johnson lost badly so it does not matter which ran a better campaign because the outcomes are identical.

    To use the campaigns as a means of recruiting support and money still requires using the outcomes.

    Third party members have always made the same mistake in thinking the country would just wake up and understand.

    The recipe is simple. Tell the customer what they want to hear and you have them for life.

  24. Robert Capozzi

    29 tk: you are stupid or just being disingenuous

    me: Certainly not disingenuous, I assure you. You can, of course, think whatever you’d like, but consider the possibility that your interpretations are themselves limited and/or projections. (Don’t feel bad though, that’s the human condition, near as I can tell.)

    Thank you for clarifying what you found so attractive about the MB campaign. Until this post, I was just seeing unsubstantiated assertions, which in my experience are not persuasive, but then again your experience may differ!!!!

    I never saw MB commercials. But the campaign may well have been well run. Mostly I was interested in what you thought was so well run about it, so now I’ve got somewhat of an idea.

    It’d be nice to incorporate some of MB’s approach in a best-practices memo.

    For a no-name candidate, he certainly handled himself pretty well, especially as the campaign progressed. I’m not a big fan of his ideologically, but I admire and respect his efforts.

  25. Mark Jones

    Not sure where Phillies and Knapp get their idea of how the Johnson campaign went. Multiple speeches at colleges to hundreds of students and others, large amounts of yard signs, bumper stickers and handouts printed and distributed, and plenty of media for an LP candidate, as well as a strong social media effort. As for Browne, read his archived campaign journal, still available online.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    28 gp: @27 Trolling, trolling, under the bounding bridge.

    me: Sure, thanks. Mea culpa. 27 could be “inflammatory,” although I see it more as “cage rattling.” When presented with deflections, redirections, and unsubstantiated assertions, I prefer to gently guide things back toward reality, but sometimes, provocation is indicated.

    You, Good Professor, should know that better than most. Consider that moment when you pressed the “Send” button to narc on the LP. You tell us you had no choice, but – really – we all know that explanation is a smokescreen.

    You were playing provocateur that fateful day, yes? Likely angry provocateur.

  27. paulie

    Johnson set the modern record for how large the salaries *that he actually paid* were for all his campaign staff members.

    Nielson denies this.

    In Alabama the LP presidential campaigns we saw actual on the ground evidence of in the last 20 years were Browne and Johnson. I can’t say before that.

  28. George Phillies

    @32 I am doing a line by line analysis of the Johnson campaign’s FEC reports, so I am rather clear on where Johnson actually put his money.

    With respect to Browne, read my book “Funding Liberty”.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    MJ @ 32,

    “Not sure where Phillies and Knapp get their idea of how the Johnson campaign went.”

    Some from the FEC reports.

    Some from the campaign’s and candidate’s statements.

    And then there’s the subjective element: I was actually looking for the Johnson campaign, and it was very hard to find in evidence on the ground.

  30. Andy

    George Phillies said: “Johnson set the modern record for how large the salaries *that he actually paid* were for all his campaign staff members.”

    I remember looking through the campaign finance reports for the Bob Barr campaign, and there appeared to be an obscene amount of money paid to Shane Corey.

  31. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “And then there’s the subjective element: I was actually looking for the Johnson campaign, and it was very hard to find in evidence on the ground.”

    I drove through Virginia and I saw a lot of Gary Johnson for President signs along Highway 81. I also saw a lot of Gary Johnson signs and stickers in Washington DC.

  32. George Phillies

    @38 Ayup. But 50 hours at $325/hour, month after month? Then there were the ‘midlevel management’ people at the bottom averaging $95/hour.

  33. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “I never saw MB commercials.”

    I only saw the Michael Badnarik commercials on the internet.

    Having said this, I petitioned to regain ballot access for the Libertarian Party of New Mexico in 2005, and when I was there, I ran into a surprising number of people who knew about the Libertarian Party because of the Michael Badnarik for President campaign commercials that had aired in that state. New Mexico was one of the few “battleground” states that the Michael Badnarik campaign targeted for advertising. Everyone I encountered who said they saw ads enthusiastically signed the petition.

  34. Andy

    “George Phillies // Jun 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm
    @38 Ayup. But 50 hours at $325/hour, month after month? Then there were the ‘midlevel management’ people at the bottom averaging $95/hour.”

    I also looked through the campaign finance reports for the Harry Browne campaign, and the Michael Badnarik campaign, and after comparing them to the campaign finance reports for the Bob Barr campaign, it looked as though Shane Corey may have been the highest paid campaign worker in the history of the LP (at least to that point). I’m not sure about the Johnson campaign.

  35. Robert Capozzi

    These hourly rates do seem high, but then campaigns are extremely short-lived gigs. If someone is highly skilled, I assume that compensation needs to be high enough for someone to put whatever else s/he is doing on hold.

    What would a market-price be for these sorts of positions, then?

  36. paulie

    Look at the FEC filings.

    There may have been some kind of game played with those in the hopes of getting more money in matching funds, or from the campaign if it brought in more money later. Nielson claims that this happened and also that it was legal.

  37. paulie

    I am doing a line by line analysis of the Johnson campaign’s FEC reports, so I am rather clear on where Johnson actually put his money.

    Again, the FEC filings may not have been accurate.

    With respect to Browne, read my book “Funding Liberty”.

    Read http://www.harrybrowne.org/2000/toc.htm scroll to campaign journal.

  38. paulie

    Some from the FEC reports.

    Some from the campaign’s and candidate’s statements.

    And then there’s the subjective element: I was actually looking for the Johnson campaign, and it was very hard to find in evidence on the ground.

    Not hard enough I guess. I saw a lot of yard signs (many of which I put up). Bumper stickers, handouts, college tours, media appearances, social media – all kinds of campaigning went on.

  39. Andy

    paulie said: “Not hard enough I guess. I saw a lot of yard signs (many of which I put up). Bumper stickers, handouts, college tours, media appearances, social media – all kinds of campaigning went on.”

    I personally handed out lots of Gary Johnson campaign material in Alabama.

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