• thewaywardwind - I agree with you wholeheartedly. While it may not be adverse in our world - the whole concept of voiding civil liberty is well worth our concerns. It is particularly disconcerting that the "power" would be under the direction of the executive branch. That is scary....

    September 28, 2010 at 7:07 a.m.

  • Mike, you are absolutely right concerning this issue.

    I agree that this proposed legislation is a step in the wrong direction.

    All I meant to imply,is that they already collect the data, be it voice or actual data, and by having a built in backdoor in systems might cause more problems than they cure.

    We have already had instances of government employees either leaving their laptops in public places or being stolen, said laptops containing sensitive information.

    This seems to be a invitation for a accident to happen that would compromise lots of what we now consider secure software. The little lock on the tool bar won't mean much when items are purchased over the internet with a built in back door in the encryption method.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:26 p.m.

  • waywardwind

    I don't know its if it's because I'm an old man with a " Get off my lawn" attitude but I love my civil liberties.... As you should know, and I've been consistent.

    I bet Congress doesn't even know the contents of that "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists" bill because it really is outdated.... Those that attacked us on 9/11 minus Osama bin Laden are long gone, Iraq is winding down, and I seriously doubt that the Taliban even Knows what a Blackberry is... They probably think that those things don't grow over in Afghanistan...... Yes, we have some homegrown terrorist but if they are that big of a threat, NSA and Home Land Security should run up the red alert and be more forthcoming...IMO

    September 27, 2010 at 5:51 p.m.

  • Legion357

    I realize that this bill is still in draft form but it's the idea of continuing to push the envelope.

    What's next? I could write a blog about all the abuses that took place in the name of security. Our soldiers overseas calls were monitored and agents passed around the pillow talk conversations to their fellow agents for entertainment... How many people named Johnson are on the " no fly list" because NSA misread the interpretation of their phone calls?

    September 27, 2010 at 5:38 p.m.

  • Tophat

    I just went to the door, stuck my head out and yelled, I'm OK now.:-)

    Sort story: This weekend I saw a HBO Lawrence Wright documentary, titled " My Trip to al Qaeda" where he describes being visited by two FBI agents, for obvious reasons... They inquired about a telephone call he made to an Egyptian lawyer in London. The inquiry didn't stop there, because they knew his marital status, and the fact that his daughter was living with him...My point: They already have the tools necessary to probe and but is it the fact that terrorist are no longer using cell phones or to do they want the telecoms, programmers, Congress and civilians to be in complete compliance?..... I don't think it's a question of presidents, administration or political party because this issue was handed down and now this will be just a revision........ We don't have to let our guard down but we have to start reining in some intrusive procedures that are not necessary. I just wanna know if Congress will have an honest debate or will they just rubber stamp this, like they did for the previous administration?

    September 27, 2010 at 5:29 p.m.

  • Excellent post, Mike. I'm putting this one on the calendar as a time I agreed with you. :)

    Tophat...I doubt your communications are as boring as mine, BUT, I will fight tooth and nail to keep the government from reading them without a warrant. I would remind you that the Constitution still trumps statutory laws. Mike wrote about the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists" bill. The frightening thing about this bill is the term, "he determines," meaning the president determining against whom these powers will be used. There is no place in the Constitution giving such presidential authority that can be used against citizens or foreign nations to the president. Giving that kind of power to a president who might use it against a foreign soverign nation can get us into ill-advised wars. Oh, WAIT! It did.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:26 p.m.

  • Other than being able to more easily decode encrypted messages, nothing much new with the bill. Remember RAF Menwith Hill, the largest listing station in the world?

    But hey, if a backdoor is built into encryption software, won't that defeat the whole purpose of LE agencies switching to encrypted radio traffic?

    If there is a way in, the wrong people will eventually figure out how to exploit it.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:17 p.m.

  • I am one of those, "the government can read all my email, listen to my phone calls." persons. They would get pretty bored. Personally it is not an issue, however having said that, the point is well taken: Civil liberty will be at jeopardy. I do not have any trust in this government - without political jab, Obama ain't no Bush. Nuff said.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:55 p.m.

  • WOW...I agree with you Mike. Have a good one.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:22 p.m.

  • Thanks for the info, Mike. This is one place we mostly agree.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:09 p.m.

  • John
    The person that wanted to repeal the Patriot Act, Senator Russ Feingold, couldn't get much support and right now he's fighting to get reelected.

    I remember when candidate Obama, came back to Washington, off a campaign stop, to cast a vote to give the telecoms immunity from prosecution for violating the FISA Act.... I wrote a blog condemning Barack Obama for criticizing President Bush for circumventing the constitution(violating the FISA Act) and then coming back and voting to retroactively give immunity to some of the violators..... It was a campaign season, he didn't know how Hillary was gonna vote, but that's no excuse.... There was a principle involved..Barack Obama said it was so we can go back and correct the mistake and make FISA stronger.... I'm still waiting.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:55 p.m.

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    September 27, 2010 at 2:38 p.m.

  • KyleC

    That bill slipped right by me,thanks. .... It's a short bill but it's more of a domestic intrusion but I'm not really sure what the government will gain? Unless it's for some sort of criminal investigation that bypasses the 4Th amendment.... Unless I'm reading this all wrong; that's quite possible.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.

  • Mike, I just had to comment here. With all due respect, this is funny as hell coming from you♣ The second and last paragraphs just blew me away. This will be the one time I can agree with you on substance and content♣♣♣ Good blog!! If one could only be a fly on the wall LOL!!

    September 27, 2010 at 1:51 p.m.

  • On a different angle of attack but just as relevant to our freedoms I am disappointed with Senator Leahy who, last week, introduced the "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" bill lobbied hard for by the RIAA and designed, in principle, to stop audio/video piracy it will allow ISP's and others to block users from reaching certain websites.

    One to watch for.

    September 27, 2010 at 12:36 p.m.