Congress Just “Legalized” Warrantless Spying Against U.S. Citizens

December 16, 2014

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    SHOW NOTES – 12/16/14

    High Treason in Washington: Congress Just “Legalized” Warrantless Spying Against U.S. Citizens

    Plus, why the Chinese stock market boom is just getting started

    Within hours of the world learning the gruesome details of the new CIA Torture Report, Congress rushes through yet another bill giving all U.S. intelligence agencies more power than you can even imagine.

    FTMDAILY.COM – On this week’s program, host Jerry Robinson exposes H.R. 4681, a devastating bill just passed by Congress that officially codifies, legitimizes, and legally permits mass surveillance against American citizens — without a court order. Special guest: Neema Singh Guliani (ACLU Legislative Counsel, Washington D.C.)

    Later, Jerry provides an update on China’s rising stock market. Five weeks ago, we told you we were buying Chinese stocks on this podcast. Today, those shares have risen nearly 30%! On today’s show, Jerry reveals two other countries that he is preparing to invest in (for subscribers only!).

    Finally, Jerry discusses the Evangelical community’s response to last week’s CIA Torture Report release, and of course, Tom Cloud will join us with an end-of-the year update on gold and silver. But first on the program, Jerry explains how Congress just signed away the little privacy you had left. Enjoy this final episode of 2014, and the podcast will return on January 6, 2015! 

    Scroll down for more show notes by segment…

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    SEGMENT ONE: Congress Just Signed Away the Little Privacy You Had Left

     

    Within hours of the world learning the gruesome details of the new CIA Torture Report, Congress rushes through yet another bill giving all U.S. intelligence agencies more power than you can even imagine.

    Watch Segment One on Youtube

    The U.S. Congress has just signed a bill into law, H.R. 4681 – The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, that for the first time provides Congressional consent to U.S. intelligence agencies as they collect and store the private phone and internet communications of everyday U.S. citizens without a court order under a little known Executive Order 12333.

    On the surface, H.R. 4681 looks like just another annual funding bill for the U.S. intelligence community. However, in Section 309, the Executive Branch is given the awesome power of collecting and storing of any and all “nonpublic” (which is the Federal’ government’s way of saying: “private”) American telephone or electronic communications, with no express Congressional oversight. (This particular surveillance is covered under Executive Order 12333 — not Section 215 of the Patriot Act, meaning it has practically no oversight.)

    This means that your home phones, your cell phones, your home and work computers, tablets, and any electronic device that connects to the world in anyway can now officially be tracked. Every move you make online can be now be tracked, traced, databased, analyzed and stored by the Executive branch of the U.S. Federal government for up to five years or more. The provision says “any nonpublic telephone or electronic communication” sent by or among Americans that’s intercepted by intelligence agencies without a court order or subpoena can be stored for five years (but the legalese will allow indefinite storage in most cases).

    Even worse, it can be shared throughout the entire intelligence and law enforcement community without your knowledge or consent…

    Every now and then, someone with top-level access to our nation’s surveillance techniques will speak out. Last July that “someone” was John Napier Tye, a former section chief for Internet freedom in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from January 2011 to April 2014.

    Before leaving the U.S. State Department, John Napier Tye filed a complaint with the department’s inspector general claiming that the collection and storage methods being conducted under Executive Order 12333 were being committed in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects every U.S. citizen against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

    According to Tye: “When I started at the State Department, I took an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States. I don’t believe that there is any valid interpretation of the Fourth Amendment that could permit the government to collect and store a large portion of U.S. citizens’ online communications, without any court or congressional oversight, and without any suspicion of wrongdoing. Such a legal regime risks abuse in the long run, regardless of whether one trusts the individuals in office at a particular moment.”

    Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in 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 persons or things to be seized.”

    He would later file similar complaints with the the House and Senate intelligence committees, as well as the NSA Inspector General.

    Tye says E.O. 12333 “authorizes collection of the content of communications, not just metadata, even for U.S. persons” and it “does not require the NSA to notify or obtain consent of a company before collecting its users’ data.”

    Additionally, it does not require that the affected U.S. persons be suspected of wrongdoing and places no limits on the volume of communications by U.S. persons that may be collected and retained.”

    Last week, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash was one of Washington’s only political leaders to spot the problem language in Section 309 calling it “one of the most egregious sections of law I’ve encountered during my time as a representative,” and adding that the bill “grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American.” (Kudos from FTMDaily to Rep. Amash for his attempts to expose this issue before it went to the floor for a vote.)

    In a letter to Congress, Rep. Amash writes:

    “Sec. 309 authorizes ‘the acquisition, retention, and dissemination’ of nonpublic communications, including those to and from U.S. persons. The section contemplates that those private communications of Americans, obtained without a court order, may be transferred to domestic law enforcement for criminal investigations.

    To be clear, Sec. 309 provides the first statutory authority for the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of U.S. persons’ private communications obtained without legal process such as a court order or a subpoena. The administration currently may conduct such surveillance under a claim of executive authority, such as E.O. 12333. However, Congress never has approved of using executive authority in that way to capture and use Americans’ private telephone records, electronic communications, or cloud data.”

    And there it is… What makes H.R. 4681 so chilling is that it is the “first statutory authority.” The precedent has been set.

    This bill endows the executive branch with “carte blanche” power to not just collect, store, and analyze data. It also allows the executive branch to interpret that data according to their own standards, which are unknown. If they deem the data on a particular individual “worthy” (however they define that), the bill permits the executive branch to pass it on to another intelligence or law enforcement agency, including your local police department.

    You read that right… Under these new provisions, the executive branch will have complete and unencumbered discretion on what personal data of yours should be shared with other government agencies.

    The Growing NSA Tyranny: Where’s the Outrage?

    The surveillance state is here and the noose is tightening around the necks of the American people.

    The power that has just been handed to the executive branch is the awesome power of “gagging all of your opponents.” This is absolutely wicked, especially considering the crimes committed in recent months and years by the executive branch. .

    No legal process will guide this data collection and storage. Congress will not oversee this data collection, and has no meaningful way to hold the executive branch accountable for anything even if it could.

    Many of our leaders in Washington are committing “high treason” by directly violating the U.S. Constitution… And they are doing it with the express permission of the people.

    How? In the name of keeping you “safe.

    This week, I am going on record once again to warn you that if these actions are allowed to stand, we are en route to absolute tyranny.

    This is a time of great testing for America. How will Americans respond when completely stripped of their expectation to privacy? The powers that be are eagerly watching to see how many dissenters will emerge.

    Of course, the executive branch now holds within its hands the “legal authority” to silence all dissenters through its Orwellian surveillance powers.

    Welcome to the new Amerika.

    While there are relatively few people speaking out on this specific topic, I caught up with one brave voice this week: Neema Singh Guliani.

    Neema Singh Guliani - ACLU Legislative Counsel
    Ms. Guliani is an expert on U.S. surveillance. After serving in various areas of U.S. government, including the Department of Homeland Security, she now serves as an ACLU legislative counsel in their Washington Legislative Office.

    According to Ms. Guliani, while the bill “appears to be an attempt by Congress to place statutory restrictions on the retention of information collected under EO 12333,” the wording contains “significant loopholes.” (source)

    On today’s broadcast, Ms. Guliani addresses the following questions:

    • How are Section 215 of the Patriot Act and Executive Order 12333 different?
    • What are the “significant loopholes” in H.R. 4681, particularly in Section 309, that concern you most?
    • Does the average American citizen have a voice in these surveillance matters? And if so, what can we do as citizens to protect ourselves?
    • Will the U.S.A. Freedom Act protect us from Executive Order 12333?


    Hear Ms. Guliani’s candid answers by listening to the broadcast above, beginning at the 15:00 mark.

    And feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

     


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    SEGMENT TWO: China Boom Showing Strength


    In the first week of December, Chinese stocks experienced their biggest jump in almost six years — up 9.5 percent. Additionally, daily trading broke through the 1 trillion yuan mark for the first time as more and more domestic Chinese investors began rushing to open trading accounts at a rate not seen in recent years.

    Despite the recent global perceptions of economic weakness in the region, the Shanghai stock index just continues to soar higher.

    Shares really caught fire when top global investment guru at Franklin Templeton Investments, Mark Mobius, chimed in stating that he believed that the bull market in Chinese stocks was just getting started.

    You may recall just five weeks ago, on our November 11 broadcast, I told you that I would be adding significant exposure to Chinese stocks in my own portfolio. The title of the broadcast was appropriately entitled: It’s Time to Buy China. At that same time, I also informed all of our paid subscribers of the ETF that I would be using to gain access to China.

    ashr-121614

    Over the past five weeks, many of our subscribers have enjoyed the 27% increase in that China ETF, and I believe that we are still in the early stages of this new Chinese bull market.

    In a recent report, Morgan Stanley sees a few possibilities for the Shanghai Composite as follows:

    • A return to the historical P/E of 21.8, giving the market 70% upside from here.
    • An increase to the historical peak P/E multiple of 71.4, giving the market 453% upside from here.
    • An increase to the same P/E multiple as the S&P 500’s 18.4, a 42% increase from here.
    • The current P/E multiple as India’s Nifty index, which is trading at 21.8, the Shanghai’s historical average. So, 70% upside.

    The boom in Chinese stocks comes after a boom/crash of Chinese real estate. They are simply fueling a new stock market bubble that will end badly, but will make a lot of people much richer along the way.

    However, if Chinese economic figures continue to deteriorate, investors will likely expect China’s central bank to lower reserve-requirements and cut interest rates.

    Trading country-based ETFs has long been one of my favorite ways to profit from the markets.

    There are two other country ETFs that I have been watching lately, in addition to China.

    I think that one of these ETFs could return upwards of 100% in less than 24 months while the other could provide 40%-60% returns during that same time period.

    If you are an FTM Insider, simply log in to see which countries I am talking about along with the specific ETFs I plan on buying to make these returns. If you are not currently an FTM Insider, learn more about subscribing here, and unlock today’s investment ideas (and gain access to tomorrow’s LIVE webinar with Jerry Robinson).

    For a limited time, get half off your first month as an FTM Insider! Use coupon code: DECEMBERDEAL. (Expires 12/17/14 at midnight CST).


     

    Tom Cloud – Precious Metals Advisor

    Speaking of investing, we are joined by our resident Precious Metals Advisor, Tom Cloud, who is going to give investors an end-of-the-year analysis on gold and silver. The main topic: watch the U.S. Dollar Index. If this index falls below recent support levels, it could indicate a coming rise in gold prices. Listen at 29:28 to get Tom Cloud’s full analysis.

     

    Free Precious Metals Investing Resources >>

    Click here for over 10 hours of free precious metals investing educational resources >>

     


    SEGMENT THREE: Evangelical Christian Leaders Rush to Defend CIA Torture


    pat-robertsonPerhaps it was no surprise that elements within the GOP rose to defend the honor of George W. Bush & Co. after this week’s release of the CIA Torture Report. After all, the horrifying atrocities outlined in the Senate’s 480-page Executive Summary — of the lengthier 6,700 page classified CIA investigative report — shed critical light on the dark CIA actions taken against war-time detainees during the Republican-led Bush administration.

    Sadly, the release of the CIA Torture Report sailed right past most Americans and landed quickly into the dustbin of the 24-hour news cycle.

    No public discussion. And hardly any public dissent.

    However, the soundbites that emerged from some political and religious leaders may tell an even more important story about the state of our broken nation. Listen to Jerry’s full commentary by playing the podcast above beginning at 35:20.


     

     

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    DISCLAIMER: The above trading ideas are from my own personal stock watchlist and are for educational and informational purposes only. They are NOT specific buy recommendations. Trading stocks is risky and you could lose all of your money. Trade at your own risk. Jerry Robinson is not an investment advisor. You should always consult a trusted financial services professional before making any financial or investment decisions. READ FULL DISCLAIMER.


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