noworldsystem.com


Verizon Terminating Copyright Infringers’ Internet Access

Verizon Terminating Copyright Infringers’ Internet Access

Wired
July 20, 2010

Verizon is terminating internet service to an unknown number of repeat copyright scofflaws, a year after suggesting it was not adopting a so-called graduated-response policy.

While it was not immediately clear whether other internet service providers were following suit, the move comes as the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America are lobbying ISPs and Congress to support terminating internet access for repeat, online copyright offenders.

All the while, the United States has been privately lobbying the European Union to “encourage” so-called three strikes policies, according to leaked documents surrounding a proposed international intellectual property accord.

Verizon was not immediately prepared to comment in detail on the developments, first reported by CNET, or to detail how many of its more than 8 million broadband subscribers it has terminated — although CNET said the number was “small.” The RIAA declined comment.

“We reserve the right to do that,” Verizon spokeswoman Bobbi Henson said in a telephone interview regarding the terminations. The next day, it “disputed” the accuracy of CNET’s story.

The RIAA announced a year ago it was winding down its litigation campaign against individual file sharers, about 30,000 lawsuits in all. Instead, the music industry’s lobbying and litigation arm said it would rely on a series of accords it had reached with “leading” internet service providers, in which ISPs have agreed “on principle” to shut off internet access to customers the RIAA catches file sharing repeatedly.

At that time, in a Jan. 5, 2009 interview, Verizon spokeswoman Ellen Yu said that, in reference to the RIAA announcement: “We are not working with them on this.”

Cara Duckworth, an RIAA spokeswoman, said the same day that “We have an agreement on principle with several leading ISPs but not all, and the agreement on principle is confidential.”

Other than Verizon, none of the leading ISPs have acknowledged practicing what the content industry is calling “graduated response.” Under Verizon’s plan, the ISP notifies customers that unlawful file sharing allegedly is taking place on their accounts — file sharing discovered by the RIAA or other intellectual property holders who actively police networks and IP addresses. Internet service could be terminated perhaps after several warnings.

Italy to Require Anyone Who Uploads Video to the Internet to Obtain Government Authorization

Global treaty could ban file-sharers from Internet after ‘three strikes’

 



Senate panel approves Patriot Act renewal

Dem-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee extends PATRIOT Act provisions

Capitol Hill Blue
October 9, 2009

Key US lawmakers passed legislation Thursday extending three key provisions of the PATRIOT Act, the sweeping intelligence bill enacted after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Backing a White House request, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the measure 11 votes to 8 to extend until 2013 three clauses that would have expired by 31 December. The bill now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

The provisions include the “roving wiretap” clause, used to monitor mobile communications of individuals using multiple telephone lines, and the “lone-wolf” provision, which enables spying on individuals suspected of terrorist activity but with no obvious connection to extremist groups.

Lawmakers also extended the life of controversial section 215, known as the “library records provision” that allows government agencies to access individual’s library history.

The committee had earlier met in a closed-door meeting with members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the intelligence community on ensuring their actions would not impede investigations already underway.

The senators also debated freeing up law enforcement actions that have been hampered by legislation and court rulings since the first program was launched by former president George W. Bush in the wake of 9/11, which enabled collecting sensitive information for years without a court order.

Republicans senators have remained critical of placing restrictions on the intelligence community, saying they should more of a free hand in the early stages of investigations.

But their Democratic counterparts have decried the fact that the provisions still do not in their view adequately respect the privacy of ordinary Americans.

Democratic Senator Russ Feingold said he feared handing a “blank check” to law enforcement agencies and criticized the Democrat-controlled committee for not passing safeguards that even Republicans supported during the Bush administration.

“Among the most significant problems is the failure to include an improved standard for Section 215 orders, even though a Republican controlled Judiciary Committee unanimously supported including the same standard in 2005,” he said in a media advisory.

“But what was most upsetting was the apparent willingness of too many members to defer completely to behind the scenes complaints from the FBI and the Justice Department, even though the administration has yet to take a public position on any of the improvements that I and other senators have proposed. … [While] I am left scratching my head trying to understand how a committee controlled by a wide Democratic margin could support the bill it approved today, I will continue to work with my colleagues to try to make improvements to this bill.”

Michael Macleod-Ball, acting director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington legislative office said the rights group was “disappointed” that further moves were not made to protect civil liberties.

“This truly was a missed opportunity for the Senate Judiciary Committee to right the wrongs of the PATRIOT Act,” he said.

“We urge the Senate to adopt amendments on the floor that will bring this bill in line with the Constitution.”

Obama Supports Renewing The PATRIOT ACT

 



Telephone Companies Are An Arm Of Government Admits DOJ

Telephone Companies Are An Arm Of Government Admits DOJ

Wired News
October 9, 2009


AT&T was the first of many telcos sued for helping the NSA spy on Americans without warrants

The Department of Justice has finally admitted it in court papers: the nation’s telecom companies are an arm of the government — at least when it comes to secret spying.

Fortunately, a judge says that relationship isn’t enough to squash a rights group’s open records request for communications between the nation’s telecoms and the feds.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation wanted to see what role telecom lobbying of Justice Department played when the government began its year-long, and ultimately successful, push to win retroactive immunity for AT&T and others being sued for unlawfully spying on American citizens.

The feds argued that the documents showing consultation over the controversial telecom immunity proposal weren’t subject to the Freedom of Information Act since they were protected as “intra-agency” records:

“The communications between the agencies and telecommunications companies regarding the immunity provisions of the proposed legislation have been regarded as intra-agency because the government and the companies have a common interest in the defense of the pending litigation and the communications regarding the immunity provisions concerned that common interest.”

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffery White disagreed and ruled on September 24 that the feds had to release the names of the telecom employees that contacted the Justice Department and the White House to lobby for a get-out-of-court-free card.

“Here, the telecommunications companies communicated with the government to ensure that Congress would pass legislation to grant them immunity from legal liability for their participation in the surveillance,” White wrote. “Those documents are not protected from disclosure because the companies communicated with the government agencies “with their own … interests in mind,” rather than the agency’s interests.”

The feds were supposed to make the documents available Friday, but in a motion late Thursday, the Obama administration is asking for a 30-day emergency stay (.pdf) so it can file a further appeal.

Read Full Article Here

Obama Pushes For Renewal of Warrantless Spying

 



Obama Supports Renewing The PATRIOT ACT

Obama Pushes For Renewal of Warrantless Spying

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
September 16, 2009

President Barack Obama has once again betrayed his promise to restore liberties eviscerated by the Bush regime by pushing Congress to renew Patriot Act provisions that allow for warrantless spying on American citizens, even in cases where there is no link to terrorism whatsoever.

According to a Wired News report, the “Obama administration has told Congress it supports renewing three provisions of the Patriot Act due to expire at year’s end, measures making it easier for the government to spy within the United States.”

Obama’s support for the provisions should come as little surprise because he first voted for warrantless wiretapping of Americans in 2008 when he was an Illinois Senator, while also lending support for immunizing the nation’s telecommunications companies from lawsuits charging them with being complicit in the Bush administration’s wiretapping program.

One of the provisions Obama is pushing to renew is the so-called “lone wolf” provision, enacted in 2004, which allows for the electronic monitoring of an individual without the government having to prove that the case has any relation whatsoever to terrorism or a foreign power. This is in effect a carte blanche for the government to use every method at their disposal to spy on any American citizen they choose.

The “lone wolf” provision is opposed by the ACLU, whose legislative counsel Michelle Richardson told Wired, “The justification for FISA and these lower standards and letting it operate in secret was all about terrorist groups and foreign governments, that they posed a unique threat other than the normal criminal element. This lone wolf provision undercuts that justification.”

Another Patriot Act provision Obama wants Congress to renew gives the government access to business, library and medical records, with the authorities generally having to prove that the investigation is terrorism related. However, since according to Homeland Security guidelines the new breed of terrorist is classified as someone who supports a third party, puts a political bumper sticker on their car, is part of the alternative media, or merely someone who disagrees with the authorities’ official version of events on any given issue, the scope for the government to use this power against their political adversaries is wide open.

The third provision Obama is pushing to renew allows a FISA court to grant “roving wiretaps” without the government having to even identify their target. This is another carte blanche power that gives the state the power to monitor telephone calls, e mails and any other form of electronic communication.

Barack Obama swept into office on a mandate of “change” and a commitment to restore liberties that were eviscerated under the Bush regime. Despite promising to do so, he has failed completely to overturn Bush signing statements and executive orders that, according to Obama, “trampled on liberties.” Indeed, despite promising to end the use of signing statements, he has continued to use them.

Obama has failed to close Guantanamo Bay or any other CIA torture “black site” as he promised to do.

Obama has failed in his promise to “reject the Military Commissions Act” and instead has supported the use of military commissions.

Obama has continued to allow the rendition and torture of detainees, while protecting Bush administration officials who ordered torture from prosecution and blocking the release of evidence related to torture.

Obama has gone even further than the Bush administration in introducing “preventative detention” of detainees, ensuring people will never get a trial.

In restating his support for warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, Obama has once again proven that his promise of “change” was nothing more than a hollow and deceptive political platitude to ensure his election. Since he took office, Obama has betrayed almost every promise he made and effectively become nothing more than the third term of the Bush administration.

 



Secret Service & FBI Intel Center Oversees RNC Protests

Secret Service & FBI Intel Center Oversees RNC Protests

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNULowrOhXs

Colorado ’fusion center’ to step up intelligence gathering during DNC
http://www.coloradoindependent.com/4424/colo..elligence-gathering-during-dnc/

ACLU Weighs In On Attempt to Expand Law Enforcement Intelligence Systems
http://www.aclu.org/natsec/spying/36598prs20080829.html?s_src=RSS

ACLU Slams Classified FBI Memorandum Directing Law Enforcement to Engage in Protest Suppression Tactics
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/16960prs20031123.html

 



Joe Biden’s pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record

Joe Biden’s pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record

CNET
August 23, 2008

By choosing Joe Biden as their vice presidential candidate, the Democrats have selected a politician with a mixed record on technology who has spent most of his Senate career allied with the FBI and copyright holders, who ranks toward the bottom of CNET’s Technology Voters’ Guide, and whose anti-privacy legislation was actually responsible for the creation of PGP.

That’s probably okay with Barack Obama: Biden likely got the nod because of his foreign policy knowledge. The Delaware politician is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee who voted for the war in Iraq, and is reasonably well-known nationally after his presidential campaigns in 1988 and 2008.

Copyright
But back to the Delaware senator’s tech record. After taking over the Foreign Relations committee, Biden became a staunch ally of Hollywood and the recording industry in their efforts to expand copyright law. He sponsored a bill in 2002 that would have make it a federal felony to trick certain types of devices into playing unauthorized music or executing unapproved computer programs. Biden’s bill was backed by content companies including News Corp. but eventually died after Verizon, Microsoft, Apple, eBay, and Yahoo lobbied against it.

A few months later, Biden signed a letter that urged the Justice Department “to prosecute individuals who intentionally allow mass copying from their computer over peer-to-peer networks.” Critics of this approach said that the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, and not taxpayers, should pay for their own lawsuits.

Last year, Biden sponsored an RIAA-backed bill called the Perform Act aimed at restricting Americans’ ability to record and play back individual songs from satellite and Internet radio services. (The RIAA sued XM Satellite Radio over precisely this point.)

All of which meant that nobody in Washington was surprised when Biden was one of only four U.S. senators invited to a champagne reception in celebration of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act hosted by the MPAA’s Jack Valenti, the RIAA, and the Business Software Alliance. (Photos are here.)

Now, it’s true that few Americans will cast their votes in November based on what the vice presidential candidate thinks of copyright law. But these pro-copyright views don’t exactly jibe with what Obama has promised; he’s pledged to “update and reform our copyright and patent systems to promote civic discourse, innovation and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated.” These are code words for taking a more pro-EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) than pro-MPAA approach.

Unfortunately, Biden has steadfastly refused to answer questions on the topic. We asked him 10 tech-related questions, including whether he’d support rewriting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as part of our 2008 Technology Voters’ guide. Biden would not answer (we did hear back from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Ron Paul).

In our 2006 Technology Voters’ Guide, which ranked Senate votes from July 1998 through May 2005, Biden received a mere 37.5 percent score because of his support for Internet filters in schools and libraries and occasional support for Internet taxes.

Privacy, the FBI, and PGP
On privacy, Biden’s record is hardly stellar. In the 1990s, Biden was chairman of the Judiciary Committee and introduced a bill called the Comprehensive Counter-Terrorism Act, which the EFF says he was “persuaded” to do by the FBI. A second Biden bill was called the Violent Crime Control Act. Both were staunchly anti-encryption, with this identical language:

It is the sense of Congress that providers of electronic communications services and manufacturers of electronic communications service equipment shall ensure that communications systems permit the government to obtain the plain text contents of voice, data, and other communications when appropriately authorized by law.

Translated, that means turn over your encryption keys. The book Electronic Privacy Papers describes Biden’s bill as representing the FBI’s visible effort to restrict encryption technology, which was taking place in concert with the National Security Agency’s parallel, but less visible efforts. (Biden was no foe of the NSA. He once described now-retired NSA director Bobby Ray Inman as the “single most competent man in the government.”)

Biden’s bill — and the threat of encryption being outlawed — is what spurred Phil Zimmermann to write PGP, thereby kicking off a historic debate about export controls, national security, and privacy. Zimmermann, who’s now busy developing Zfone, says it was Biden’s legislation “that led me to publish PGP electronically for free that year, shortly before the measure was defeated after vigorous protest by civil libertarians and industry groups.”

While neither of Biden’s pair of bills became law, they did foreshadow the FBI’s pro-wiretapping, anti-encryption legislative strategy that followed — and demonstrated that the Delaware senator was willing to be a reliable ally of law enforcement on the topic. (They also previewed the FBI’s legislative proposal later that decade for banning encryption products such as SSH or PGP without government backdoors, which was approved by one House of Representatives committee but never came to a vote in the Senate.)

“Joe Biden made his second attempt to introduce such legislation” in the form of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which was also known as the Digital Telephony law, according to an account in Wired magazine. Biden at the time was chairman of the relevant committee; he co-sponsored the Senate version and dutifully secured a successful floor vote on it less than two months after it was introduced. CALEA became law in October 1994, and is still bedeviling privacy advocates: the FBI recently managed to extend its requirements to Internet service providers.

CALEA represented one step in the FBI and NSA’s attempts to restrict encryption without backdoors. In a top-secret memo to members of President George H.W. Bush’s administration including Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and CIA director Robert Gates, one White House official wrote: “Justice should go ahead now to seek a legislative fix to the digital telephony problem, and all parties should prepare to follow through on the encryption problem in about a year. Success with digital telephony will lock in one major objective; we will have a beachhead we can exploit for the encryption fix; and the encryption access options can be developed more thoroughly in the meantime.”

There’s another reason why Biden’s legislative tactics in the CALEA scrum amount to more than a mere a footnote in Internet history. They’re what led to the creation of the Center for Democracy and Technology — and the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s simultaneous implosion and soul-searching.

EFF staffers Jerry Berman and Danny Weitzner chose to work with Biden on cutting a deal and altering the bill in hopes of obtaining privacy concessions. It may have helped, but it also left the EFF in the uncomfortable position of leaving its imprimatur on Biden’s FBI-backed wiretapping law universally loathed by privacy advocates. The debacle ended with internal turmoil, Berman and Weitzner leaving the group and taking their corporate backers to form CDT, and a chastened EFF that quietly packed its bags and moved to its current home in San Francisco. (Weitzner, who was responsible for a censorship controversy last year, became a formal Obama campaign surrogate.)

“Anti-terror” legislation
The next year, months before the Oklahoma City bombing took place, Biden introduced another bill called the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995. It previewed the 2001 Patriot Act by allowing secret evidence to be used in prosecutions, expanding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and wiretap laws, creating a new federal crime of “terrorism” that could be invoked based on political beliefs, permitting the U.S. military to be used in civilian law enforcement, and allowing permanent detection of non-U.S. citizens without judicial review. The Center for National Security Studies said the bill would erode “constitutional and statutory due process protections” and would “authorize the Justice Department to pick and choose crimes to investigate and prosecute based on political beliefs and associations.”

Biden himself draws parallels between his 1995 bill and its 2001 cousin. “I drafted a terrorism bill after the Oklahoma City bombing. And the bill John Ashcroft sent up was my bill,” he said when the Patriot Act was being debated, according to the New Republic, which described him as “the Democratic Party’s de facto spokesman on the war against terrorism.”

Biden’s chronology is not accurate: the bombing took place in April 1995 and his bill had been introduced in February 1995. But it’s true that Biden’s proposal probably helped to lay the groundwork for the Bush administration’s Patriot Act.

In 1996, Biden voted to keep intact an ostensibly anti-illegal immigration bill that outlined what the Real ID Act would become almost a decade later. The bill would create a national worker identification registry; Biden voted to kill an Abraham-Feingold amendment that would have replaced the registry with stronger enforcement. According to an analysis by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the underlying bill would have required “states to place Social Security numbers on drivers licenses and to obtain fingerprints or some other form of biometric identification for licenses.”

Along with most of his colleagues in the Congress — including Sen. John McCain but not Rep. Ron Paul — Biden voted for the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act (which was part of a larger spending bill). Obama voted for the bill containing the Real ID Act, but wasn’t in the U.S. Senate in 2001 when the original Patriot Act vote took place.

Patriot Act
In the Senate debate over the Patriot Act in October 2001, Biden once again allied himself closely with the FBI. The Justice Department favorably quotes Biden on its Web site as saying: “The FBI could get a wiretap to investigate the mafia, but they could not get one to investigate terrorists. To put it bluntly, that was crazy! What’s good for the mob should be good for terrorists.”

The problem is that Biden’s claim was simply false — which he should have known after a decade of experience lending his name to wiretapping bills on behalf of the FBI. As CDT explains in a rebuttal to Biden: “The Justice Department had the ability to use wiretaps, including roving taps, in criminal investigations of terrorism, just as in other criminal investigations, long before the Patriot Act.”

But Biden’s views had become markedly less FBI-friendly by April 2007, six years later. By then, the debate over wiretapping had become sharply partisan, pitting Democrats seeking to embarrass President Bush against Republicans aiming to defend the administration at nearly any cost. In addition, Biden had announced his presidential candidacy three months earlier and was courting liberal activists dismayed by the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping.

That month, Biden slammed the “president’s illegal wiretapping program that allows intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on the conversations of Americans without a judge’s approval or congressional authorization or oversight.” He took aim at Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for allowing the FBI to “flagrantly misuse National Security Letters” — even though it was the Patriot Act that greatly expanded their use without also expanding internal safeguards and oversight as well.

Biden did vote against a FISA bill with retroactive immunity for any telecommunications provider that illegally opened its network to the National Security Agency; Obama didn’t. Both agreed to renew the Patriot Act in March 2006, a move that pro-privacy Democrats including Ron Wyden and Russ Feingold opposed. The ACLU said the renewal “fails to correct the most flawed provisions” of the original Patriot Act. (Biden does do well on the ACLU’s congressional scorecard.)

“Baby-food bombs”
The ACLU also had been at odds with Biden over his efforts to censor bomb-making information on the Internet. One day after a bomb in Saudi Arabia killed several U.S. servicemen and virtually flattened a military base, Biden pushed to make posting bomb-making information on the Internet a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in jail, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

“I think most Americans would be absolutely shocked if they knew what kind of bone-chilling information is making its way over the Internet,” he told the Senate. “You can access detailed, explicit instructions on how to make and detonate pipe bombs, light-bulb bombs, and even — if you can believe it — baby-food bombs.”

Biden didn’t get exactly what he wanted — at least not right away. His proposal was swapped in the final law for one requiring the attorney general to investigate “the extent to which the First Amendment protects such material and its private and commercial distribution.” The report was duly produced, concluding that the proposal “can withstand constitutional muster in most, if not all, of its possible applications, if such legislation is slightly modified.”

It was. Biden and co-sponsor Dianne Feinstein introduced their bill again the following year. Biden pitched it as an anti-terror measure, saying in a floor debate that numerous terrorists “have been found in possession of bomb-making manuals and Internet bomb-making information.” He added: “What is even worse is that some of these instructions are geared toward kids. They tell kids that all the ingredients they need are right in their parents’ kitchen or laundry cabinets.”

Biden’s proposal became law in 1997. It didn’t amount to much: four years after its enactment, there had been only one conviction. And instead of being used to snare a dangerous member of Al Qaeda, the law was used to lock up a 20-year old anarchist Webmaster who was sentenced to one year in prison for posting information about Molotov cocktails and “Drano bombs” on his Web site, Raisethefist.com.

Today there are over 10,000 hits on Google for the phrase, in quotes, “Drano bomb.” One is a video that lists the necessary ingredients and shows some self-described rednecks blowing up small plastic bottles in their yard. Then there’s the U.S. Army’s Improvised Munitions Handbook with instructions on making far more deadly compounds, including methyl nitrate dynamite, mortars, grenades, and C-4 plastic explosive — which free speech activists placed online as an in-your-face response to the Biden-Feinstein bill.

Peer-to-peer networks
Since then, Biden has switched from complaining about Internet baby-food bombs to taking aim at peer-to-peer networks. He held one Foreign Relations committee hearing in February 2002 titled “Theft of American Intellectual Property” and invited executives from the Justice Department, RIAA, MPAA, and Microsoft to speak. Not one Internet company, P2P network, or consumer group was invited to testify.

Afterwards, Sharman Networks (which distributes Kazaa) wrote a letter to Biden complaining about “one-sided and unsubstantiated attacks” on P2P networks. It said: “We are deeply offended by the gratuitous accusations made against Kazaa by witnesses before the committee, including ludicrous attempts to associate an extremely beneficial, next-generation software program with organized criminal gangs and even terrorist organizations.”

Biden returned to the business of targeting P2P networks this year. In April, he proposed spending $1 billion in U.S. tax dollars so police can monitor peer-to-peer networks for illegal activity. He made that suggestion after a Wyoming cop demonstrated a proof-of-concept program called “Operation Fairplay” at a hearing before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

A month later, the Senate Judiciary committee approved a Biden-sponsored bill that would spend over $1 billion on policing illegal Internet activity, mostly child pornography. It has the dubious virtue of being at least partially redundant: One section would “prohibit the broadcast of live images of child abuse,” even though the Justice Department has experienced no problems in securing guilty pleas for underage Webcamming. (The bill has not been voted on by the full Senate.)

Online sales of Robitussin
Around the same time, Biden introduced his self-described Biden Crime Bill of 2007. One section expands electronic surveillance law to permit police wiretaps in “crimes dangerous to the life, limb, and well-being of minor children.” Another takes aim at Internet-based telemedicine and online pharmacies, saying that physicians must have conducted “at least one in-person medical evaluation of the patient” to prescribe medicine.

Another prohibits selling a product containing dextromethorphan — including Robitussin, Sucrets, Dayquil, and Vicks — “to an individual under the age of 18 years, including any such sale using the Internet.” It gives the Justice Department six months to come up with regulations, which include when retailers should be fined for shipping cough suppressants to children. (Biden is a longtime drug warrior; he authored the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act that the Bush administration used to shut down benefit concerts.)

Net neutrality
On Net neutrality, Biden has sounded skeptical. In 2006, he indicated that no preemptive laws were necessary because if violations do happen, such a public outcry will develop that “the chairman will be required to hold this meeting in this largest room in the Capitol, and there will be lines wandering all the way down to the White House.” Obama, on the other hand, has been a strong supporter of handing pre-emptive regulatory authority to the Federal Communications Commission.

 

Tommy Chong: Biden ’authored the bill that put me in jail’

KXMB
August 24, 2008

It turns out that Obama’s new running mate is one of the leading crusaders in the war on drugs. Which isn’t something that’s likely to sit well with Obama’s base of young, college-aged supporters

Earlier this week, in an interview with the Washington Post, Tommy Chong was asked what the average citizen can do to further the cause of decriminalization. “Check out the people you’re voting for,” Chong replied. “For instance, Joseph Biden comes off as a liberal Democrat, but he’s the one who authored the bill that put me in jail. He wrote the law against shipping drug paraphernalia through the mail – which could be anything from a pipe to a clip or cigarette papers.”

Barack Obama’s V.P. selection Sen. Joe Biden also spnsored the Rave Act, which targets music events where drug use is allegedly prevalent.

Read Full Article Here

Experts: Many Americans Lost Homes Due to a Bill Championed by Biden
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5670703&page=1

Barack Obama: The Next PRESIDENT Is Joe Biden
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RElChQ6g2Io

VP Choice Biden Unpopular in Iraq: He’s creator of the idea of dividing Iraq
http://africa.reuters.com/world/news/usnLN96984.html

Biden’s Bill: The Patriot Act
http://www.tnr.com/columnist..582-b6ec-444834c9df73&k=93697

Biden called for unilateral Iraq invasion – in 1998
http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5492

 



Obama Votes YES on FISA Spy-Bill, McCain Skips

Obama Votes YES on FISA Spy-Bill, McCain Skips

The Nation
July 9, 2008

Hillary Clinton just voted “no” on cloture and final passage of the FISA bill expanding the government’s domestic spying powers and guaranteeing retroactive legal immunity for the telecom companies that assisted the spying program.

Barack Obama voted “yes.”

The New York Times calls the passage of the bill “one of Mr. Bush’s most hard-won legislative victories in a Democratic-led Congress where he has had little success of late. And it represented a stinging defeat for opponents on the left who had urged Democratic leaders to stand firm against the White House after a months-long impasse.”

Here’s the roll call.

 

Activist: Obama defense of FISA support a ’stiff arm’ to constitution

Raw Story
July 3, 2008

After more than a week of growing criticism of his support for a flawed surveillance bill, Barack Obama quietly responded late Thursday evening. He’s not likely to quell his growing cadre of critics.

In a blog response posted just before 5 p.m. headed into a three-day holiday weekend, Obama reiterated his support for an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act the Senate is expected to vote on Tuesday. (No mention of the blog post seems to have been distributed to Obama’s normal press list, either.)

Obama says he is against a provision in the bill to give legal immunity to telecommunications companies that facilitated the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of Americans as authorized by President Bush. He vowed to support amendments that would strip immunity but would vote for the final bill regardless.

“It’s a stiff arm to the people that care about the Constitution,” said Mike Stark, a blogger and liberal activist who started a group on Obama’s social networking page to urge him to fix the FISA bill.

“It’s left a question in a lot of people’s mind about how committed he really is to change,” Stark told RAW STORY.

Responding to the 17,000 supporters who made the group the largest on my.barackobama.com, the Democratic candidate said he was glad to hear their concerns but reminded them that they really didn’t have any other choice in this election.

“I think it is worth pointing out that our agreement on the vast majority of issues that matter outweighs the differences we may have,” Obama wrote. “After all, the choice in this election could not be clearer.”

Justifying his support for the FISA bill, Obama cited a provision in the latest version that provides FISA is the “exclusive means” through which a president can authorize surveillance. Of course, the original FISA bill, passed in 1978, had the same qualification, and three federal judges have ruled that President Bush did not have inherent authority to conduct warrantless surveillance like he claimed to have had.

He also noted the fact that surveillance authorizations under the Protect America Act, a stopgap FISA update Obama opposed when it passed last year, would expire in August. Glenn Greenwald debunks this justification here.

If opponents of Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program can take any encouragement from Obama’s statement, it is that he does repeat earlier pledges to instruct his Attorney General to fully investigate just what Bush authorized, if he’s elected.

“Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I’ve chosen to support the current compromise,” he writes. “I do so with the firm intention — once I’m sworn in as President — to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.”

Stark allowed that electing Obama remained the larger goal for him, but said the disappointment many feel about his decision to support FISA could linger even if he were elected.

“Of course I’m going to vote for him in November,” he said. But “we’re keeping score, and there’s going to be a time when he needs us. … We have long memories.”

Today’s coverup of surveillance crimes and Barack Obama
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/07/09/fisa/index.htmlOnline Movement Aims to Punish Democrats Who Support Bush Wiretap Bill
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/07/online-activist.html

Obama Losing Voters Over FISA Support
http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/07/10/1341207.shtml

Obama unequivocally says some constitutional rights must be suspended
http://www.huffingtonpost.co..sa-and-the-netroo_b_111116.html

Group urging FISA ’no’ vote is largest on Obama’s social site
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/..g_FISA_no_vote_largest_0703.html

Obama planning ’civilian national security force’ as powerful and well-funded as the US military
http://bulletin.aarp.org/states/il/a..plan_for_national_service.html

Obama: Blackwater Is Here To Stay
http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/07/obama-blackwate.html