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Guide Trapped by Control: How to Find Freedom (The Truth & Freedom Series)

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Levels of freedom, as measured by Freedom House, were steadily rising as well. In most years between and , many more countries gained freedom than lost it.

The Trap: What Happened to our Dream of Freedom - review

But around , the forward momentum of democracy came to a halt. In every year since , many more countries have seen their freedom decrease than have seen it increase, reversing the post—Cold War trend. The rule of law has taken a severe and sustained beating, particularly in Africa and the postcommunist states; civil liberties and electoral rights have also been declining.


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Adding to the problem, democracies have been expiring in big and strategically important countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin, for example, has long been using the power granted to him through elections to destroy democracy in Russia. Elected executives have been the principal agents of democratic destruction in some countries; in others, the military has.

The generals seized control of the government in Egypt in and in Thailand in , and they continue to wield de facto power in Myanmar and Pakistan. Section revises reporting requirements regarding electronic surveillance, physical searches, and tangible things to include the House Judiciary Committee as a recipient of such reports. Requires the Attorney General to identify in an existing semiannual report each agency on behalf of which the government has applied for orders authorizing or approving the installation and use of pen registers or trap and trace devices under FISA.

Section establishes procedures for a lawfully authorized targeting of a non-U. Requires an element of the intelligence community, as a condition to exercising such authority, to: 1 determine that a lapse in the targeting poses a threat of death or serious bodily harm; 2 notify the Attorney General; and 3 request, as soon as practicable, the employment of emergency electronic surveillance or emergency physical search under appropriate FISA standards.


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Section expands the definition of "agent of a foreign power" to include a non-U. Section Increases from 15 to 20 years the maximum penalty of imprisonment for providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization in cases where the support does not result in the death of any person.

Section amends the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of to extend until December 15, , FISA authorities concerning: 1 the production of business records , including call detail records and other tangible things; 2 roving electronic surveillance orders ; and 3 a revised definition of "agent of a foreign power" that includes any non-U. Section amends the federal criminal code to provide that existing prohibitions against conduct that endangers the safe navigation of a ship: 1 shall apply to conduct that is committed against or on board a U.

Sets forth procedures regarding the delivery of a person who is suspected of committing a maritime navigation or fixed platform offense to the authorities of a country that is a party to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation.

Subjects property used or intended to be used to commit or to facilitate the commission of a maritime navigation offense to civil forfeiture. Section prohibits: 1 using in or on a ship or a maritime fixed platform any explosive or radioactive material, biological, chemical, or nuclear weapon, or other nuclear explosive device in a manner likely to cause death or serious injury or damage when the purpose is to intimidate a population or to compel a government or international organization to act or abstain from acting; 2 transporting on board a ship such material or device or certain related material or technology that is intended for such use, with specified exceptions; 3 transporting on board a ship a person known to have committed a maritime navigation offense intending to assist such person to evade prosecution; 4 injuring or killing any person in connection with such an offense; or 5 conspiring, attempting, or threatening to commit such an offense.

Sets forth: 1 the circumstances in which the United States can exercise jurisdiction over such offenses, and 2 exceptions applicable to activities of the armed forces. Provides for civil forfeiture of property used to commit or to facilitate a violation. Section includes offenses involving violence against maritime navigation and maritime transport involving weapons of mass destruction within the definition of "federal crime of terrorism.

Section prohibits anyone, knowingly, unlawfully, and with intent to cause death, serious bodily injury, or substantial damage to property or the environment, from: 1 possessing radioactive material or making or possessing a nuclear explosive device or a radioactive material dispersal or radiation-emitting device; 2 using radioactive material or a device, using, damaging, or interfering with the operation of a nuclear facility in a manner that causes or increases the risk of the release of radioactive material, or causing radioactive contamination or exposure to radiation; or 3 threatening, attempting, or conspiring to commit such an offense.

Section amends provisions prohibiting transactions involving nuclear materials to: 1 prohibit, intentionally and without lawful authority, carrying, sending, or moving nuclear material into or out of a country; and 2 establish an exception for activities of the armed forces. In May , the U. House Judiciary Committee posted a "Manager's Amendment" on its website. The National Journal wrote "one tech lobbyist noted concern that a provision that would have allowed companies to disclose to customers more information about government data requests has been dropped.

In addition, an external special advocate that would oversee the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would no longer be selected by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

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Instead, the court's judges would designate five ' amicus curiae ' who possess appropriate security clearances. Despite the criticism from civil liberties groups, Mike Rogers , a defender of the NSA 's surveillance practices and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee , praised the amendments. Rogers, who had his own bill which would codify the NSA's surveillance practices in to law, called the proposed amendments a "huge improvement.

Michigan Republican Justin Amash led such a revolt last year when he offered an NSA amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would have stripped funding for the NSA's collection program. I'll find out," Representative Amash said. After the marked up bill passed the House Judiciary Committee USA Freedom Act co-author and Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy commented that he "remain concerned that the legislation approved today does not include some of the important reforms related to national security letters , a strong special advocate at the FISA Court , and greater transparency.

Zoe Lofgren who voted against the bill. However, no "probable-cause" Fourth Amendment standard is required to access the database [44] While an allowable search under the original USA Freedom Act was defined as "a term used to uniquely describe a person, entity, or account", but under the House version a database search inquiry is now allowed if it is "a discrete term, such as a term specifically identifying a person, entity, account, address, or device.

The passed House version [48] was criticised by U.

USA Freedom Act - Wikipedia

The Reform Government Surveillance released a statement on June 5, stating: "The latest draft opens up an unacceptable loophole that could enable the bulk collection of Internet users' data While it makes important progress, we cannot support this bill as currently drafted and urge Congress to close this loophole to ensure meaningful reform. The Senate should pass much stronger reforms ensuring greater transparency, robust judicial review, equal rights for non-U. President Obama need not wait. He can and should implement such safeguards today. The Administration applauds and appreciates the strong bipartisan effort that led to the formulation of this bill, which heeds the President's call on this important issue," the White House said in a statement.

Civil rights groups and scholars said the new language allowing the NSA to search meta data handed over from telephone companies was vague and perhaps would allow the NSA to ensnare the metadata of broad swaths of innocent people in violation of their constitutional rights.

This could allow for an overly broad and creative interpretation, which is something we've certainly seen from the executive branch and the FISA Court before," said Elizabeth Goitein, a co-director of the Brennan Center's Liberty and National Security Program. The new version not only adds the undefined words "address" and "device," but makes the list of potential selection terms open-ended by using the term "such as. Negotiations among intelligence agencies, the White House, lawmakers and their aides, and privacy advocates in the summer of led to a modified bill S.

This bill version addressed most privacy concerns regarding the NSA program that collects records of Americans' phone calls in bulk. Under the bill the NSA would no longer collect those phone records. Instead, most of the records would have stayed in the hands of the phone companies, which would not have been required to hold them any longer than they already do for normal business purposes, which in some cases is 18 months. The bill would require the NSA to request specific data from phone companies under specified limits i. The proposed legislation would still have allowed analysts to perform so-called contact chaining in which they trace a suspect's network of acquaintances, but they would have been required to use a new kind of court order to swiftly obtain only those records that were linked, up to two layers away, to a suspect — even when held by different phone companies.

It would also require the federal surveillance court to appoint a panel of public advocates to advance legal positions in support of privacy and civil liberties, and would expand company reporting to the public on the scope of government requests for customers' data. This USA Freedom Act version thus gained the support of the Obama Administration, including the director of national intelligence and attorney general, as well as many tech companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo as well as a diverse range of groups, including the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Following the Congressional elections , the Senate voted on November 18, , to block further debate of the measure during the th United States Congress. Fifty-four Democrats and four Republicans who supported consideration failed to muster the 60 votes required. The USA Freedom Act [56] version is described by its sponsors as "a balanced approach that would ensure the NSA maintains an ability to obtain the data it needs to detect terrorist plots without infringing on Americans' right to privacy.

The bill passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on April 30, The term may not be a phone or Internet company. House of Representatives on May 13, While civil liberties groups were divided over the support of the bill, lawmakers opposed to the Bill stated it will handicap the NSA and allow terrorist groups to prosper.

Senate on May 22, By a vote of 57—42, the Senate did not pass the bill that would have required 60 votes to move forward, which meant that the NSA had to start winding down its domestic mass surveillance program. The Senate also rejected, by 54—45, also short of the necessary 60 votes, a two-month extension for the key provision in the Patriot Act that has been used to justify NSA spying, which was set to expire on June 1, However, on May 31, , the Senate voted 77—17 to limit debate on the act.

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Senate rules will allow it to be passed after the mass surveillance programs have expired. The bill ultimately passed the Senate 67—32 on June 2, [67] [68] [69] and reinstated three lapsed authorities i. Obama signed on the sixth day [71] [72]. The Center for National Security supports the USA Freedom Act introduced on April 28, to end bulk collection of Americans' telephone metadata under the so-called "section " program.

The Software Alliance sponsored the legislation saying "in reforming government surveillance practices, it is critical that legislation strikes the right balance between securing our nation and its citizens and improving privacy protections for the public.

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The final USA Freedom Act is perceived as containing several concessions to pro-surveillance legislators meant to facilitate its passage. Representative Justin Amash , author of the narrowly defeated Amash—Conyers Amendment , a proposal that would have de-funded the NSA bulk-collection program, backed the legislation, but not the final version.

He explained that "it's going to depend on how the [FISA] court interprets any number of the provisions" contained within the legislation. The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court FISC to agree. This isn't the rule of law.