Electronic Surveillance Bill set to expire – but there is more

NSA-Surveillance-ProgramThe so called “Patriot Act” provision that gave the spy agencies the post 9-11 powers to spy on all of us  (known as Section 215) that Eric Snowden exposed is set to expire in about 45 days. Both the NSA and FBI have been meeting secretly with lawmakers on how to extend this provision so they don’t lose the ability to legally collect records on American citizens. There was a new bill called the USA Freedom Act that was introduced last year in Congress that didn’t get far (because the Republicans blocked it), and it is about to be re-introduced for consideration. The Guardian has a pretty decent write up of the situation today, so I won’t repeat what is there. However, there is one surprise that even I didn’t realize, and I wonder how many Americans really know about. Former President Ronald Reagan enacted an Executive Order in 1981 know as Executive Order 12333. It has been a relatively quiet, secret order that has gone unchallenged by every President since Reagan. It is still in effect until this day, and anything else made into law, without cancelling this EO, still gives the spy agencies much needed power. They are keeping the focus on the Patriot Act, so people don’t realize that is just doesn’t matter. They still have the power they need, with the Presidential Authority behind it. So it hasn’t always been Obama that was your “security nemesis” every President since 1981 could have put a halt to this and didn’t.

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