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A Plan to Stop the Feds From Reading Your Emails

Four lawmakers are trying to put a stop to warrantless spying.
By Adam Serwer | Mother Jones

The US government's warrantless surveillance powers largely remain a mystery, even to most of the members of Congress who are set to reauthorize them this week. A small group of senators, however, is planning to introduce a handful of amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act that would pull back the curtain on the program.

"When they passed [changes to the law] in 2008, they were going to get information and watch closely and do oversight," says the ACLU's Michelle Richardson. "Here we are four years later getting ready for a vote, and there's no information in the public realm about how this works."

The Republican-dominated House reauthorized the FISA Amendments Act in September with a lot of bombast from defenders who claimed that the law does not allow spying on American citizens. Not true: It states that Americans can't be targeted, but it permits the government to collect communications between Americans and overseas targets suspected of involvement with terrorism. (The NSA once ended up with former President Bill Clinton's emails). Congress retroactively legalized the Bush administration's warrantless spying program in 2008, with the support of then-Sen. Barack Obama, who promised to reform the program as president. That hasn't happened. Civil liberties organizations have tried to challenge the law as unconstitutional, only for the government to argue that they cannot sue because the program is so secret that the plaintiffs can't prove it affects them.

Continue reading at: Mother Jones

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I think I may have a better (or dumber) idea....

What if we did the same thing to our emails that they do to the internet...flood them with dis-information? Heck, we could even set something up like the guys that spam spammers to just send millions and millions of fake emails containing disinformation that would have to be sifted through.

It would bog down and water down their intercepted communications by sending fake emails back and forth. I don't believe it's against the law to pretend to be a terrorist...is it?!

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


a random

Google search generator might be interesting too.

I'll take my Liberty, it's not yours to give.

Foolishness and denial

so far behind even the reporting this is pathetic. As are our legislators who can't cop to ignorance, this is simple deceit. We know about the physical infrastructure, whole rooms in ISPs and other providers, NSA hardware now records ALL ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS. ALL OF IT.

But gee are they reading my email? Say there ought to be a law against that.

Well too late, they built the physical infrastructure, the laws don't mean dick to them, we're all under surveillance right now. The lawmakers are full of sheep dip, they are liars, they not only know this is happening, they sanctioned it.

Mother Jones was so with it in the 1970s. Back when the weed wasn't so strong.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.

Cyril's picture

Shamir Secret Sharing (custom impl.)

Now that there is NO doubt left about THE TOTAL ABSENCE of email privacy - a priori, I have agreed in private (face to face) communications with a few relatives that IF (only IF) we ever have to email each other about, say, sensitive stuff ... we'll use this :


All one has to pick up is one among a few well known excerpts - from novels, or poetry, or quotes, or etc - for the 254-characters long private key (first field).

It's likely not unbreakable, but not exactly trivial to defeat either. Feedback on flaws, issues, etc, otherwise much welcome of course.

(Runs entirely in your favorite browser. Can be easily adapted for the command line, too.)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Cyril's picture



"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

How long until

Posted mail is read also?

Ron Paul Was Right

This article doesn't mention

This article doesn't mention Rand at all. Is Rand adding any amendments to this bill?

No mention of Rand, nor any Republicans at all..

Rand hasn't got much credibility to lose with me, but if he
can't stand up and be counted on something like this I think
even some of the more die hard "Rand 2016" defenders are
going to be questioning him. (There *could* be Republicans
on board with this, anyone know?).

"Now, a handful of senators are working to amend the bill to ensure that Americans are less likely to be spied on without a warrant and that the government discloses more information about how broad its surveillance powers truly are. Among them are Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Wyden has told the Senate leadership he will lift his months-long hold on the bill in exchange for a limited debate on the outstanding issues with the surveillance bill that the amendments are meant to address. The law will expire in the next few weeks."


it IS an article on Mother Jones. Do you really think they're going to go out of their way and mention ANY Republican in anything remotely resembling a positive light? The fact that they do not mention folks like Rand or DeMint does not mean they are not "standing up and be[ing] counted on something like this". It simply means it's an article on a VERY Progressive website, that focused on 4 of the (D)'s who are trying to do something.

"Among them are..." is not even saying they are the only ones. Just AMONG the handful are these 4 (D)'s, and that's all we're going to mention cause maybe they are the only (D)'s fighting it. I don't expect any of the folks on Mother Jones to be doing anything to present any Republicans in anything remotely close to a positive light. :)

I had heard Wyden was holding this up

I never used to think much of Wyden but he has really grown a back-bone in the last couple of years. The Obama Administration can't be happy with him.

If he keeps holding it up great...if he lets it come up with debate then at least it can be debated in public and maybe make the news. People are totally oblivious to what is going on around them and to them.

I haven't heard about any Republicans involved but they should be.