Bush Gets 6 Months Big Brother Dictator Powers
6 month window gives government carte blanche to impose any surveillance policy and for it to remain legal in perpetuity
by Paul Watson
Monday, August 6, 2007
Not content with now being lawfully allowed to force ISP's and cell phone companies to turn over data about customers without a warrant, the Bush administration is pushing for even more authority to spy on American citizens, and has already been handed a 6 month window within which to impose any surveillance policy it likes, and for that program to remain legal in perpetuity.
Legislation signed Sunday gives the government the green light to install permanent backdoors in communications systems that allow warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, a blatant violation of the 4th amendment.
The administration has a 6 month window in which to impose any surveillance program it chooses and that program will go unchallenged and remain legally binding in perpetuity - it cannot be revoked. Under the definitions of the legislation, Bush has been granted absolute dictator status for a minimum of 6 months, dovetailing with a recent Presidential Decision Directive that also appoints Bush as a supreme dictator during an announced emergency.If he so chooses, and so long as it's implemented within the next half year, Bush could build a database of every website visited by every American - and the policy would be immune from Congressional challenge even after the "surveillance gap" legislation reaches its sunset.
Since the Administration argues that the world's communication networks now route many foreign to foreign calls and emails through switches in the United States, it would be open season on the privacy of millions of Americans.But the administration is far from finished with its latest power grab, and is now pushing for liability for ISP's and cell phone companies in order to head off court cases brought by the ACLU and others, including retroactive protection which would neutralize all attempts to challenge the administration's wiretapping activities spanning back to 9/11.
"Prior to the law's passage, the nation's spy agencies, such as the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, didn't need any court approval to spy on foreigners so long as the wiretaps were outside the United States," writes Wired's Ryan Singel.
"Now, those agencies are free to order services like Skype, cell phone companies and arguably even search engines to comply with secret spy orders to create back doors in domestic communication networks for the nation's spooks."
One of the likely jewels of any new surveillance outpost would be the collection of Google search term history, which is already openly being stored by the company with the agreement of anyone that signs up for a free Google account.
"In short, the law gives the Administration the power to order the nation's communication service providers -- which range from Gmail, AOL IM, Twitter, Skype, traditional phone companies, ISPs, internet backbone providers, Federal Express, and social networks -- to create permanent spying outposts for the federal government," concludes Singel.
In a disturbingly ironic parallel, Zimbabwe's Communist dictator Robert Mugabe also approved a law Saturday that granted his government sweeping powers to monitor all cell phone, land line and Internet communications.