Why can Chevron have access to email data but Republicans don’t want NSA have access?

            While Americans and ignorant Conservatives complain about the NSA seizing email data, something more disturbing happened. A Federal Court granted Chevron, yes the corporation, access to 9 years of email meta data. This data includes names, time stamps, detailed location data and login info, but not context.

This data will be taken from activists, lawyers and journalists who criticized the company for drilling in Ecuador, while leaving behind toxic sludge and leaky pipelines. Since 1993 Chevron has lost numerous appeals and has payed about $19 billion to cover the cost of environmental damage. Chevron alledges that it is a victim of extortion, which is why it asked Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, the owner of Hotmail, to give them email data.

Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan of New York granted the Microsoft subpoena last month. He ruled it didnt violate the 1st Amendment because Americans weren’t among the people targeted. But evidently Americans are included. This brings questions to the validity of the subpoena. The First Amendment allows Americans to speak anonymously. A different Federal Judge stopped Chevron’s attempts to seize documents from Amazon Watch, one of Chevrons most vocal critics. That judge said the subpeona was a violation of the groups First Amendment rights.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) represents 40 of the targeted users. Some are members of legal teams and at least one of the targeted Hotmail users is American. Nate Cardoza, attorney for the EFF, says that many of the Yahoo and Gmail users are American.

This seems a desperation move by Chevron. They cannot seem to win any of these legal battles, because they are of course guilty. In 2011 alone Chevron payed $9 billion in damages and was forced to make a public apology. Chevron refused, therefore the damages were doubled. They were more comfortable paying $18 billion than saying “We are sorry”. The U.S.Supreme Court has declined to hear Chevron’s appeal.

I find it odd that Republicans attack President Obama about the NSA collecting email, despite the fact they knew about it, but say nothing about a corporation collecting email data. Most Republicans have recieved a portion of the millions of dollars spent lobbying D.C. each year. The Oil Industry alone spends about $100 million a year on lobbying. Democrats again have to protect our Constitution. Republicans only protect the parts they get paid to protect, 2nd Amendment, sponsored by the NRA. So apparently Republicans are fine with corporations having your information. But not the President they hate because he is a Marxist and Socialist.

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Snowden was wrong and deserves to be punished.

           Edward Snowden revealed the Top Secret NSA Surveillance program. The NSA is collecting phone records and they are also collecting Internet records under the PRISM program. Republican Senators chastised President Obama and said they knew nothing of the program, a blatant lie. There are records showing Congress having briefings about the programs, maybe they went home instead of going to the briefings.

Snowden dropped out of high school. Got a job as a janitor at the CIA and somehow worked himself into a low-level intellegence position. He apparently is a whiz with computers. As budgets for the NSA, CIA and FBI were slashed they began outsourcing a lot of the intellegence work. Snowden left the CIA and began working in those fields. He stole information he was not even supposed to have and fled the country. He worked with the Guardian newspaper to get it out.

There is no dilema here, ge broke the law and the contract hth e signed to be privy to Top Secret information. Giving Top Secret information to anyone not cleared to look at it can be considered treason. If someone dies because of the information he made public will he still be considered a hero? Releasing classified information like this hurts our National Security. We are a free state, not a police state, but we do have to take measures to protect our country.

I am a Democrat and a Liberal but I realize that National Security is of the utmost importance. Do you think it was blind luck we were only hit with one terrorist attack since 9/11. There is a reason for that. How many people were prosecuted because of these programs? These programs had to get renewed court orders every 3 months for 7 years and Senators claim they didn’t know. Republican outrage over this is a sham, they supported George W. Bush and his illegal wiretapping.

What Snowden did was wrong? If he sold these secrets to Russia he would be labeled a traitor. Instead he gave it to a newspaper who gave it to our enemies. He is a traitor, plain and simple. The Government looking at your Internet activity is wrong, but corporations doing it is ok. Snowden deserves to be punished. There is no way around that and any country that shelters him obviously has a vested interest in him.

With a chance to interview heads of departments in charge of NSA surveillance, 53 Senators jump on planes to go home.

                    A briefing by Senior Intelligence Officials on surveillance programs failed to attract the attention of even half of the Senators. Senators, despite all their bluster, don’t seem to care that much about classified security programs. Many Senators, 53 to be exact, chose to leave early rather than attending the briefing.

The Senate held its last vote of the week around noon Thursday. They somehow could not find the time to attend the 2:30 meeting with James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, Keith Alexander, the head of the NSA and other Senior officials. Clapper, Alexander and other Senior officials told the lawmakers that showed up about the classified programs to monitor millions of phone calls and broad swaths of internet activity. As of now the names of the attendees and non-attendees has not been released.

The exodus of colleagues exasperated Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca), who spent all week answering a gauntlet of questions from colleagues and media about the programs. She said ” It’s hard to get this story out. Even now we have this big briefing- we’ve got Alexander, we’ve got the FBI, we’ve got the Justice Department, we have the FISA Court there, we have Clapper there and people are leaving.” I share her exasperation, these Senators attack President Obama and his staff, then don’t show up for the briefing. Maybe they ” don’t know about the programs” because they don’t show for briefings. This was important, yet these Senators couldn’t find time to do their job. Tsk, Tsk, shame on you Senators.

Lawmakers have been quick to call for Congressional oversight but are even quicker out the door. They cannot seem to make the scheduling sacrafices to learn more of the secret details of the programs. You would think that lawmakers would sttend briefings before making votes on the subject. Apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence in Congress. Lawmakers would be better equipped to scrutinize the claims of Senior Intellegence officials if they attended briefings more regularly. Please remember that being a Senator is not a vacation, it is an important job where you represent the people. It would make sense for you to remember that.

Lawmakers often vote to approve the Intelligence Programs with only a vague of what they are authorizing. Feinstein contends that her colleagues have known about the programs from previous debates and meetings. Many Lawmakers say they didn’t know about the programs, but the evidence suggests differently. There are records of hearings, briefings and the renewal process with the FISA Court every 3 months. Something doesn’t jive.

Republicans should hope they were not the ones leaving. If they were, this just proves they don’t care about the people or the country, only about smearing President Obama and stopping his agenda. They offer nothing but cuts to normal people, scream about the defecit, yet will not raise taxes on the wealthy. Not showing up illegitimizes the Republican party. Democrats not showing up is not quite as bad, because most support the President. Those who did not support the programs and didn’t show up deserve the same fate as Republicans. This is not a come and go as you please position, this is governing tye greatest country in the world. Maybe if these lousy politicians looked at it that way we wouldnt have any scandals.

Lets get real about the NSA collecting phone records.

              The Fourth Amendment;
        The right of the people to be secure ine their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.

             After 9/11 fear permeated American life. We were an unsure people who were perplexed by an unwarranted attack on innocent people. The rest of the world had been dealing with this for quite some time, as have we at out foreign interests. After 9/11 many were willing to sacrifice civil liberties to help ensure our safety. The Bush/Cheney regime skirted moral authority and we became a preemptive strike country. Attack and ask questions later. The Patriot Act was pushed through with tremendous support from both sides if the aisle.

In doing so we were opened to a moral dilemma. How far is to far? The FISA Court, which was created in 1978, was given a kind of moral authority. It was up to this court to determine when our government was overstepping its authority. They determined that the so called data mining was legal. By determining that they also established how far these “spying” operations could go.

If the government determined something was wrong and needed to go through the data, they would have to go to court to get clearance. It is not as if they can go right in there and take what they want. Of course people will jump to conclusions to establish President Obama as a bad guy. The truth of the matter is that none of this can happen without the approval of the FISA Court. Which covers the executive and judicial branches.

Now for the legislative branch. The Senators, Republican and Democrat alike were informed. Every 3 months they had to go before the FISA Court to get the order aporoved. They had hearings for all Republicans and Democrats to come in and ask questions. The Senators complain that they were not allowed to talk to anyone who did not have clearance. That is how s TOP SECRET clearance works. You are told TOP SECRET information and you are not allowed to tell anyone else. If it concerned them so much why didn’t they try to learn more about the subject or ask more questions. This is about Senators who knes about something and did nothing to stop it, although then knew the American people wouldn’t like it. Now they are covering their tails.

The fact of the matter is this. It is Constitutionally legal. All branches of government knew about it. Why are American people upset? If you are not doing anything criminal you have nothing to worry about. This is the tradeoff our government chose to make and we chose to live with. It has gone on for 7 years and now it gets leaked. It seems as if the Republican scandal machine is in hyperdrive trying to find anything that sticks.

Congress has know about NSA collecting phone records for 7 years.

                    I find it laughable that news outlets immediately went on the attack about the NSA collecting phone records. They immediately attacked the Obama administration for violating civil rights, before they had all the information. I find it odd that Republican lawmakers were informed about this, yet say they weren’t completely informed. Where they not reading their briefings? They also didn’t seem willing to mention it was part of the Patriot Act. Why now was this TOP SECRET document released? Isn’t it odd that it coincides with other “scandals”.

                 Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Chair women of the Senate Intellegence Committee says the top secret court order for telephone records is a 3 month renewal of a continuing program that has been in place since 2006. That’s a whole 3 years before President Obama took office. Senator Feinstein said that the surveillance is lawful and Congress has been fully briefed on the practice.

Her Republican counterpart, Saxby Chambliss agreed, ” This is nothing new. This has been going on for years and EVERY member of the U.S. Senate has been advised of this. To my knowledge there has not been any citizen who has registered a complaint. It has proved meritorious because we have collected significant information on bad guys, but only bad guys, over the years.” He said that every Senator was briefed on this, all of them, Republicans and Democrats. If this is violating civil rights and President Obama is wrong, Republicans are complicit and thereby just as wrong.

The statements of the Senators rule out that the surveillance was in response to the Boston Marathon Bombing. The order was effective April 19, shortly after the bombing, sparking speculation of a link. Despite revealing the duration of the surveillance, the Senators did not specify why the surveillance is in place. I guess that is why it is TOP SECRET, there are some things the public shouldn’t know, or it will get in the papers and possibly harm our anti-terrorist experts. The court order was authorized under a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, that allows the government to collect business records in bulk if the request is approved by the court. What are Phone companies business records, call data, numbers, call origins and data used. Fits under the law, a law that Republicans helped put in place.

Much to the chagrin of Conservative media, the Patriot Act was George W. Bush’s baby. Republucan born and bipartisanly voted on. President Obama said ge would use this as long as he got a court order, he has one. Was it a violation of civil rights when a Republican President was doing it? I heard no complaints then. The Prophet Glenn Beck is painting himself into a corner. First he says President Obama is weak on terrorism, then when he uses Bush’s tactics he is violating civil rights. Which is it Glenn? Can’t have it both ways. Why don’t you tell your listeners at least a portion of the truth, instead of painting President Obama and Democrats as evil.