Long Island Reps Back Bill to End NSA Bulk Collection

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The U.S. House of Representatives this week voted overwhelmingly to reign in the National Security Agency’s dragnet collection of Americans’ phone data—a measure that received full support from Long Island’s Congressional delegation.All five of LI’s Representatives backed the so-called USA Freedom Act, including staunch NSA defender Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford). Joining King was lone local congressional colleague from the same party, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), as well as Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens), Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington).“It was the strongest NSA legislation that can pass the House,” King said in a statement. “Also, as a practical matter, the NSA should still be at least 90 percent as effective under the Freedom Act as it is under current law.”King has been steadfast in his support of the surveillance agency ever since the disclosures from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden sparked debate over the program nearly two years ago.The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate, where it enjoys considerably less support from a group of lawmakers unenthusiastic about stifling the NSA’s surveillance capabilities. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Kentucky) does not appear eager to coalesce around his Republican colleagues in the House in order to successfully push the bill across the goal line in the Senate.The bill has the support of several civil liberties groups and the White House. But, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group that supports a free and open Internet, withdrew its support of the bill earlier this month following a momentous US Court of Appeals ruling that determined the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone data was illegal.“It is clear that Congress must do more to reign in dragnet surveillance by the NSA,” the EFF said after the ruling. The EFF had originally expressed support for the USA Freedom Act, but even then said the bill lacked critical reforms.King’s vote may be the biggest surprise. He has been a harsh critic of the journalists—most notably Glenn Greenwald—who reported on the documents leaked by Snowden, even going as far as saying “legal action” should be taken against those who initially reported on the stolen documents.“No right is absolute and even the press has certain restrictions,” King told Fox News nearly two years ago.He also didn’t mince words when it came to Snowden, the former NSA contractor.“I think he’s either a defector or a traitor—I guess take your pick,” King told CNN during the height of the explosive NSA revelations. He added, “I think what he’s done has done incredible damage to our country.”In a statement to the Press, King said he strongly supports the NSA and “would have voted to reauthorize it without any changes.” Yet, King said he voted in favor of the bill because of its chances of getting through the House without significantly impacting the NSA’s ability to operate unhindered.Zeldin was more inclined to vote “yes” because of the balance the bill struck between national security and privacy.“This legislation will significantly scale back the NSA’s data recording program, further protecting our freedoms and civil liberties,” he said in a statement.Rice, in a statement, called the bill a “common sense” measure that maintains national security “without compromising the privacy of American citizens.”“Instead of doing nothing and just allowing these programs to expire at a time when we know terrorist organizations are actively working to communicate with people in America and inspire attacks on our soil, we passed a bill that strikes a fair balance, protecting people’s privacy rights while ensuring our intelligence community still has the tools they need to keep us safe,” she said. “That’s why it received such broad bipartisan support in the House and why it deserves the same in the Senate.”Both Meeks’ and Israel’s offices did not respond to requests for comment.In its ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that bulk collection under the NSA’s metadata program is not authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the controversial post-9/11 anti-terror law that gave intelligence agencies sweeping powers in the name of national security. Mounds of significant information can be gleaned from metadata, including the length of a phone call, phone number of its participants and in some instances, the precise origins of the phone calls. The court ruled that the program exceeded the scope of Congress’ authorization.The bill also includes reforms to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts, which civil liberties groups argue has essentially acted as a rubber stamp for intelligence agencies. The bill would create the position of a special privacy advocate that would argue privacy concerns to the court and whose office would be able to appeal disputed decisions.The Senate must act on the bill in the coming weeks because the provision of the Patriot Act, which authorized the controversial practice, Section 215, sunsets on June 1.last_img read more

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Syracuse women’s lacrosse gets 3 former players named to U.S. World Cup roster

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Three former Syracuse All-Americans were named to the U.S. Women’s Lacrosse National Team this Wednesday. Becca Block ’13, Michelle Tumolo ’13 and Kayla Treanor ’16 were among the 18 players named to the team that will compete in the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Women’s World Cup. The World Cup will take place in Guildford, England from July 12-22.The players were chosen from a 25-player U.S. World Cup Training team that competed at the Team USA Spring Premiere last weekend. The U.S. has won seven of the nine World Cups, since the event began in 1982.This is the first FIL Women’s World Cup for all three Syracuse players. Treanor tallied six points on four goals and two assists at the Spring Premiere, and Tumolo added two assists.Two alternates for the World Cup will be named next week, and the 15-player roster that will compete in Wroclaw, Poland for the World Games will also be named. The World Games will take place in July as well. Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Published on January 18, 2017 at 12:32 pm Contact Matt: [email protected]last_img read more

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Lottery Officials Offer Dollar Incentives to Team Nigeria

first_imgThis financial pledge is coming at a time that both officials and athletes are on the edge waiting for Team Nigeria’s first medal.Meanwhile, all expectations of a possible medal from weightlifting and the women’s 400m events concluded Sunday night yielded no medal.Maryan Usman’s efforts in the +75kg Snatch and Jerk could only place her 9th in the overall ranking while Patience Okon George and Margaret Bamgbose semi final placed them 8th and 7th positions respectively.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram As Team Nigeria continues its search for the first medal at the Olympics in Rio, a delegation of National Lottery Trust Fund and National Lottery Regulatory Commission, led by Habu Gumel and Mr Adophus Ikpe respectively have promised monetary incentives to further propel the country’s athletes to win medals.The delegation who has been supporting Team Nigeria equally announced $2,000 for any athlete who wins gold while a silver medallist would be rewarded with $1,500 and bronze winner with $1,000.last_img read more

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VVIP chopper deal: Cong gives breach of privilege notice

first_imgagainst govt in RSNew Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI) Congress today gave a breach of privilege notice in Rajya Sabha against the Defence Ministry for issuing a statement on AgustaWestland chopper deal when Parliament is in session.The notice was given by Congress MPs Shantaram Naik and Hussain Dalwai. The two contended that the statement on the issue should have been given in the House by the Defence Minister as Rajya Sabha is in session, party sources said.According to the Congress members, publishing of a clarification through a government website, therefore, constitutes a breach of privilege of the House and of the members, the sources said.The Defence Ministy had in a statement yesterday refuted Congress claims that AgustaWestland was blacklisted by the UPA government and said it was the NDA, on July 3, 2014, that had actually put on hold all procurement and acquisition cases in the pipeline of six companies involved in the VVIP chopper scam.On the Congress allegation that the NDA gave clearance to a joint venture involving AgustaWestland through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, the ministry had said this proposal was approved on September 2, 2011 based on an application by Indian Rotorcraft Ltd, a joint venture of Tata Sons with AgustaWestland NV, Netherlands. PTI SPG GVS SC GVSlast_img read more

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