Friday, October 18, 2019

The Deep State’s Christmas Present to America: Surveillance That Never Ends

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by John W. Whitehead, The Burning Platform:

Just in time for Christmas, the Deep State wants to give America the gift that keeps on giving: never-ending mass surveillance.

I’m not referring to the kind of surveillance carried out by that all-knowing and all-seeing Jolly Old St. Nick and his informant the Elf on the Shelf (although, to be fair, they have helped to acclimate us to a world in which we’re always being watched and judged by higher authorities).

No, this particular bit of Yuletide gift-giving comes courtesy of the Deep State (a.k.a. the Surveillance State, Police State, Shadow Government and black-ops spy agencies).

If this power-hungry cabal gets its way, the government’s power to spy on its citizens will soon be all-encompassing and permanent.

As it now stands, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—the legal basis for two of the National Security Agency’s largest mass surveillance programs, “PRISM” and “Upstream”—is set to expire at the end of 2017.

 

“PRISM” lets the NSA access emails, video chats, instant messages, and other content sent via Facebook, Google, Apple and others. “Upstream” lets the NSA worm its way into the internet backbone—the cables and switches owned by private corporations like AT&T that make the internet into a global network—and scan traffic for the communications of tens of thousands of individuals labeled “targets.”

Section 702 has been used as an end-run around the Constitution to allow the government to collect the actual content of Americans’ emails, phone calls, text messages and other electronic communication without a warrant.

Under Section 702, the government collects and analyzes over 250 million internet communications every year. There are estimates that at least half of these contain information about U.S. residents, many of whom have done nothing wrong. This information is then shared with law enforcement and “routinely used for purposes unrelated to national security.”

Mind you, Section 702 gives the government access to the very content of your conversations (phone calls, text messages, video chats), your photographs, your emails.

So beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it will all be recorded, stored and used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government’s choosing. Privacy, as we have known it, is dead.

For all intents and purposes, we now have a fourth branch of government.

This fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other government agency save the military. It is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. It operates beyond the reach of the president, Congress and the courts, and it marches in lockstep with the corporate elite who really call the shots in Washington, DC.

The government’s “technotyranny” surveillance apparatus has become so entrenched and entangled with its police state apparatus that it’s hard to know anymore where law enforcement ends and surveillance begins.

The short answer: they have become one and the same entity.

The police state has passed the baton to the surveillance state.

This hasn’t fazed President Trump who, much like his predecessors, has thus far marched in lockstep with the dictates of the police state.

For months, the Trump Administration has been actively lobbying Congress to reauthorize Section 702 in its entirety. Now, according to The Intercept,Trump is actively considering a proposal to establish his own global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies and answer directly to the White House.

If approved, this would be yet another secret government agency carrying out secret surveillance and counterintelligence, funded by a secret black ops budget that by its very nature does away with transparency, bypasses accountability and completely eludes any form of constitutionality.

As if we weren’t being spied on enough already.

On any given day, the average American is now monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

Every second of every day, the American people are being spied on by the U.S. government’s vast network of digital Peeping Toms, electronic eavesdroppers and robotic snoops.

Talk about a system rife for abuse.

Ask the government why it’s carrying out this warrantless surveillance on American citizens, and you’ll get the same Orwellian answer the government has been trotting out since 9/11 to justify its assaults on our civil liberties: to keep America safe.

Yet warrantless mass surveillance by the government and its corporate cohorts hasn’t made America any safer. And it certainly isn’t helping to preserve our freedoms. Frankly, America will never be safe as long as the U.S. government is allowed to shred the Constitution.

Now the government wants us to believe that we have nothing to fear from its mass spying program because they’re only looking to get the “bad” guys who are overseas.

Don’t believe it.

Read More @ TheBurningPlatform.com

Keeping Victory In Our Sights as the British/Deep State Dossier Plot Against Trump Unravels

by Harley Schlanger, Rogue Money:

After House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was cleared of ridiculous charges regarding classified information, Nunes and his Senate ally Charles Grassley (R-IA) have issued subpoenas to then director James Comey’s number two Andrew McCabe regarding his conflicts of interest pertaining to his role in Clinton and Trump investigations, while his wife received hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions from the Clintons’ fundraiser Terry McAuliffe. The demotion of former FBI counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok (more on him below from Harley Schlanger) from Mueller’s team, reportedly for sending derogatory messages about Trump to his mistress, Andrew McCabe’s secretary, is just the tip of an iceberg. What’s emerging is a long hidden iceberg of politicized agencies and an intelligence community corrupted under President Obama to the ‘get Trump’ agenda.

We know from The New York Times, Fox News (and former AP spied upon by the Obama White House) reporter(s) James Rosen, Sinclair’s Sara A. Carter, and the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York that the ‘counterintelligence/Russian expert’ Strzok and his allies were at the center of promoting the Steele Dossier as a legitimate piece of raw intelligence. ‘Ex’ CIA officers like John Sipher and fired FBI director Jim Comey’s pals at the Democrat deep state cheerleader site Lawfarecontinue to insist no FISA warrants were obtained to spy on Trump or his campaign associates like Carter Page using the sexed up partisan document as a pretext. But from the other side of the Atlantic, Steele’s former British intelligence colleague Sir Andrew Wood, in a recent interview with Fox News, has sought to distance himself from the dossier which has now resulted in libel suits in U.S./UK courts against Buzzfeed which published it, and against the ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele who wrote it. In his interview Wood noticeably deflects responsibility for promoting the Steele Dossier to neocon Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and his contacts at the FBI.

In a sign of how nervous he and his boss former CIA director John Brennan must be about their support for terrorists in Syria getting exposed, ex-deputy director Mike Morrell admitted that his support for Hillary Clinton upon leaving the Agency may have given Trump the impression that many spooks were out to get him. Gee, ya think Mike?

Read More @ RogueMoney.net

Ex-Spy Chief Admits Role In ‘Deep State’ Intelligence War On Trump

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from ZeroHedge:

An ex-spy chief who spoke out publicly against Trump while inspiring other career intelligence figures to follow suit has admitted his leading role in the intelligence community waging political war against the presidentdescribing his actions as something he didn’t “fully think through”. In a surprisingly frank interview, the CIA’s Michael Morell – who was longtime Deputy Director and former Acting Director of the nation’s most powerful intelligence agency – said that it wasn’t a great idea to leak against and bash a new president.

Morell had the dubious distinction of being George W. Bush’s personal daily briefer for the agency before and after 9/11, and also served under Obama until his retirement. In the summer of 2016 he took the unusual step (for a former intelligence chief) of openly endorsing Hillary Clinton in a New York Times op-ed entitled, I Ran the C.I.A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton, after which he continued to be both an outspoken critic of Trump and an early CIA voice promoting the Russian collusion and election meddling narrative.

  Acting director of the CIA Michael Morell with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in 2013. Image source: Wiki Commons, DoD
Acting director of the CIA Michael Morell with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in 2013. Image source: Wiki Commons, DoD

As Politico’s Susan Glasser put in a newly published interview, Morell “has emerged out of the shadows of the deep state” to become one of Trump’s foremost critics speaking within the intel community. However, Politico summarizes the interview as follows:

But in a revealingly self-critical and at times surprising interview for this week’s Global POLITICO, Morell acknowledges that he and other spy-world critics of the president failed to fully “think through” the negative backlash generated by their going political. “There was a significant downside,” Morell said in the interview.

Not only had Morell during his previous NYT op-ed stated that he was committed to doing “everything I can to ensure that she is elected as our 45th president” but he went so far as to call then candidate Trump “a threat to our national security” – while making the extraordinary claim that “in the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

Curiously, Morell in his latest Politico interview indicates when asked about his “public profile” and activism so soon after leaving the agency (something that was relatively unusual prior to Trump taking office) that his post-retirement media appearances have been approved and/or received some level of oversight by the CIA. In the interview Morell states, “I did a 60 Minutes interview about my life inside CIA, and it’s something the agency thought that was a good thing to do, and I taped most of it before I left the agency.” 

While such CIA review of former employees’ publications and media interaction is nothing new, in Morell’s case was an unprecedented example of a very high profile intelligence figure explicitly campaigning for a presidential candidate and against another while specifically invoking his role at the CIA (he began his NYT column with, “During a 33-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency, I served presidents of both parties — three Republicans and three Democrats…” followed by a litany of key national security events he was central to).

The other important confirmation to come out of the discussion is the clear guiding assumption of the interview – that the intelligence “deep state” did in fact go to war with Trump – which has now been confirmed by Morell himself, which is essentially to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.

The key exchange in the Politico interview begins as follows:

Glasser: Okay, so, flash-forward a year. Was that a mistake?

Morell: So, I don’t think it was a mistake. I think there were downsides to it that I didn’t think about at the time. I was concerned about what is the impact it would have on the agency, right? Very concerned about that, thought that through. But I don’t think I fully thought through the implications.

And one of the ways I’ve thought about that, Susan, is—okay, how did Donald Trump see this? Right? And from—it’s very important—one of the things we do as intelligence analysts is make sure that our guy—the president—understands the other guy. Right?

So, let’s put ourselves here in Donald Trump’s shoes. So, what does he see? Right? He sees a former director of CIA and a former director of NSA, Mike Hayden, who I have the greatest respect for, criticizing him and his policies. Right? And he could rightfully have said, “Huh, what’s going on with these intelligence guys?” Right?

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

BREAKING: SOROS BANKROLLS TRUMP SEXUAL HARASSMENT ALLEGATIONS

from Infowars:

#MeToo movement gives establishment another opportunity to attack Trump

Left-wing activist group Brave New Films, which hosted a press conference Monday for women accusing Donald Trump of sexual harassment, is funded by billionaire globalist George Soros, according to the group’s website.

The purpose of the conference was for the women to call for a congressional investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by POTUS.

CBS News tweeted out a statement announcing the event.

Women who have publicly accused President Trump of sexual harassment and assault will unite for the first time to speak out about their experiences on Monday, December 11, at 10:30 AM. At the press conference, hosted by Brave New Films, the women will call for accountability and an investigation by Congress of sexual misconduct by the president.

The women will share their firsthand accounts of President Trump groping, fondling, forcibly kissing, humiliating and harassing women. They are among the at least sixteen women who have come forward to accuse the president of sexual misconduct. Their disturbing allegations came to light before the post-Weinstein era of accountability for sexual misconduct and the rise of the #MeToo movement.

In November, Brave New Films released “16 women and Donald Trump,” which tells the stories of the sixteen women who have publicly reported sexual harassment and assault by President Trump. These brave women have all spoken out individually. The video, which has been viewed over six million times, compiled their stories in one place for the first time. Now they are gathering in person to speak out and call for accountability.

Brave New Films is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization that is supposed to be non-partisan, but they are funded by multiple far-left groups like Soros’ Open Society Foundations and Media Matters For America.

In October, Infowars covered Soros’ $18 billion transfer to his Open Society Foundations, which was seen as a major move in the globalist’s war against Trump.

Read More @ Infowars.com

Satan’s Five Servants On the Planet Earth

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by Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show:

The planet is being taken over by some very evil and nefarious forces. The takeover of the planet is the not the final end game by these forces. The end game is to reduce the population to a more manageable level and to destroy the soul of every human being on the planet.

The conflict humanity finds itself embroiled in is cleverly disguised. The forces of evil that are taking over this planet are by using our greed and avariciousness against us.

NSA Training Protocols Frame the Presnt War On Humanity

My friend for over two decades, a former NSA operative, Vance Davis, has told my listening audience that as part of his NSA training, he learned the following:

  1. There has been a war going on in the cosmos between good and evil for a very long time.
  2. The goal of the war is the control of every person’s soul for all of eternity.
  3. The dark side, as we can call them, I call them the Satan’s followers, cannot crack the code of the soul. Therefore, they have turned their attention to destroying the bassic concept of a human being. So if Satan’s forces cannot control the soul, they will morph the vessel carrying the soul. This entails the embodiment of every perversion of a human being to our gender identify to our combining humans with artificial intelligence, transgenderism, etc. Vance told me these facts in 1993. When transhumanism came on the scene, I quickly recognized these perversions of creation for what they were, the work of the Devil.

Anything Christian must be outlawed. The DHS manifestation of this philosophy can be found in the creation of The Clergy Response Team in which pastors have been trained, according to trainees such Pastor Walter Mansfield, to calm the masses as millions are sent to FEMA camps for final disposition.

It is generally agreed upon that the Mark of the Beast (666) will be the final tool of enslavement where one cannot buy, sell or conduct business of any type with the mark.

“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16-17

For the first time in human history, the technology exists that will enable John’s warning to come to fruition.

The Match Game

Let’s play the match game.  The following will test your basic knowledge of the monopolies that are quickly engulfing the planet. These are monopolies that have no competition, and as a result, you will soon have no choices related to the procurement of your basic resources, more on that later. In the following paragraph of quotes, read the self-described claims for each enumerated item and then identify which mega-corporation that quote belongs to your answer bank for these monolithic corporate choices are as follows: (A) Twitter; (B) Facebook; (C) Google; (D) Amazon; and,  (E) Apple

  1. To comment on this story you have seen on The Common Sense Show, please head over to our _____ page
  2. Send us a quick message on ____.  From breaking news and entertainment to sports and politics, get the full story from ____ with all the live commentary.
  3. Online shopping from _____ brings the earth’s biggest selection of books, magazines, music, DVDs, videos, electronics, computers, software, apparel & accessories, shoes, jewelry, tools & hardware, housewares, furniture, sporting goods, beauty & personal care, broadband & dsl, gourmet food & just about anything else ncluding food and original TV shows.
  4. Search the world’s information, including webpages, images, videos and more. _____ has many special features to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t Be (ironically) EVIL!
  5. Discover the innovative world of ___ we have any kind of communication device you could need or want ranging from phonese to TV’s and everything in between. 

Here are the answers

  1. B. Facebook
  2. A. Twitter
  3. D. Amazon
  4.  C.  Google
  5.  E. Apple

Ho did you do? Do you know the faces of your oppressors? Any business or politician that opposes these monolithic corporations is absorbed or crushed.

What These Corporations Have In Common

If one goes to a mining town, even in the 21st century, one can find evidence of the company mining town, The town controls all commerce from the housing market to the grocery store. They are the primary employer. They know just how much they can pay in salaries and allow the people to just get by but never get ahead. This is the era that humanity entering into. Instead of a comany store, we are headed towards a company planet. However, the name controlling families will not have names like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Gates, Zuckerberg, etc. Oh, they may be the faces of these organizations, but please mark my words, these entities all serve Satan at the end of the day.

Read More @ TheCommonSenseShow.com

Confirmed: New York City’s Public WiFi Stations Are Spying On You

by Kevin Samson, Activist Post:

If there is ever a perfect example of dual-use technology, it is WiFi connectivity. I’ve already covered the mounting evidence that our ubiquitous gadgets and wireless connections are doing irreparable physical harm, especially to the young and to pregnant women, but the concern about surveillance is running a parallel track.

So, when New York City announced its LinkNYC program in early 2016 to convert 7,500 public payphones into WiFi stations, I sounded the alarm about the threat it potentially posed to civil liberties.

Part of what concerned me the most is that corporations such as Qualcomm would be involved to offset the $200 million dollar cost of implementation. The city of New York would receive half of all profits, thus forming a dangerous merger of corporations with government. Additionally, data would be harvested so that information could be used to direct advertising. Officials claimed that all details collected would be anonymized, but we’ve seen that to be an empty assurance too many times.

Now that the LinkNYC program is approaching the two-year mark, it seems that those early concerns were not mere paranoia. A surprising report from mainstream Huffpost couldn’t ignore new issues that are cropping up across the city.

Apparently, a group of activists has identified the devices to have front-facing cameras, and have taken it upon themselves to cover the cameras with Post-It notes to cover them up.  However, a LinkNYC team subsequently began sweeps to remove them … and so a front-lines privacy battle has ensued:

Starting on a number of blocks on the Upper West Side, an unknown number of digital protesters has begun to adhere yellow post-it-notes onto the Kiosks, effectively blocking the camera’s view.

Then, late a night, a van marked LinkNYC drives up Broadway were a worker with a long stick with a scraper clears the Post-its. But within days, the Post-Its return.

 

Huffpost reached out to civil liberties organizations EFF and the NYCLU, but both denied knowledge of any sort of activist campaign against the program. However, both reiterated their fundamental concerns about a program which has had little to no input from the public prior to full implementation.

EFF previously has defined the scope of data collection that includes “IP addresses, anonymized MAC addresses, device type, device identifiers, and more…”

Perhaps even more troubling are the parameters of data retention, where the issue of the front-facing cameras becomes truly paramount. According to EFF, data is retained “for up to 60 days. Additionally, the LinkNYC kiosks have cameras that store footage for up to 7 days.”

Moreover, in an era of fusion centers and the overall surveillance matrix that feeds everything into databases designed (supposedly) for anti-terror functions, the NYCLU states their additional concerns:

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

Are We Witnessing The Biggest Sting Operation In History? ‘Sewer Rats’ Are Panicked – A Look At The Bigger Picture Shows Just How Fast The Dominoes Are Falling

by Susan Duclos, All News Pipeline:

In a new report from The Hill about how Congress is reeling from the sexual harassment deluge, which details how Congressional leaders are conflicted and dealing with each new allegation about multiple members on a case-by-case basis, attempting to decide which newly exposed member should be asked to resign, balancing that with the need to offer due process and how to move forward, and how everyone in Congress is panicked and wondering who is next to be exposed, but it is towards the middle of the article we see how deep the rot is and how many “sewer rats” there truly are walking the halls of Congress.
 

The three bombshell resignations in a single week — Conyers, Franken and Franks — have created a panicked atmosphere on Capitol Hill. Rumors are running rampant. The latest ricocheting around the Capitol is that a major national news outlet will publish a list of 20 to 30 lawmakers accused of harassment in the coming days. One GOP source said the listcould refer to secret Congressional Office of Compliance records of lawmakers who’ve privately settled sexual harassment claims in recent decades.

This past week we saw the announced resignations of three members of Congress over sexual harassment charges, allegations of inappropriate behavior, and paid settlements to hide sexual harassment. Democratic Senator Al Franken resigned after members of his party demanded it over groping women, Democratic Representative John Conyers after reports exposed him for paying out hefty settlements over sexual harassment claims, and Republican Representative Trent Franks who was about to be investigated by the House Ethics Committee for conversations with two female staffers in regards to becoming surrogates for he and his wife due to fertility issues.

In order to understand how massive a problem harassment claims in Congress truly are, the chart below, compiled by the Congressional Office of Compliance, released on November 16, 2017, showing the amount of money issued in settlements from 1997 to the date of the report in 2017, offers insight into how much taxpayer money goes towards secretly pay off the accusers.

The problem with that report and the chart is it does not inform the public of how many of those settlements were for sexual harassment claims, or who the accused is, or the accuser, and in fact it is not only the public that is unaware as we see a report from December 7, 2017, in USA Today, that even members of Congress cannot obtain that information from the Office of Compliance, because that information is “strictly confidential.”
 

The once-sleepy Office of Compliance, which handles congressional labor and employment disputes, has no power to investigate sexual harassment complaints or enforce settlements. And it operates under a cloak of confidentiality that shields both accusers and the accused alike.

“So we’re not getting anything?” Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., asked at a House Administration Committee hearing on sexual harassment in Congress Thursday.

Brooks’ question came after she asked the compliance office to provide her with detailed information about sexual harassment claims made against House members or their staffs.

The compliance office provided this answer by letter on Thursday: “All counseling and mediation conducted by the Office of Compliance is ‘strictly confidential’ and all administrative proceedings and deliberations are ‘confidential’.”

Susan Tsui Grundmann, executive director of the compliance office, said she could only release information if a case had gone to a hearing officer and if the complainant had been consulted. Many cases are settled before they reach the hearing stage.

“The law doesn’t allow us to release anything to your committee,” Grundmann told Brooks on Thursday. Brooks participated in Thursday’s hearing because she is the chairwoman of the House Ethics Committee, which could investigate sexual harassment allegations if it had the names of accused lawmakers’ offices.

Let me get this straight. Congress has managed to build laws into their own system which prevents their own ethics committee from investigating settlements that have been paid out for members accused of sexual harassment. A special law to cover up the cover ups themselves?

Another issue regarding the chart above is doesn’t separate how many of those settlements stemmed directly from the House of Representatives or the Senate itself because a portion of cases before the OOC come from employing offices in the legislative branch other than the House of Representatives or the Senate, according to their November 13, 2017 “Correcting the record” newsletter.

Read More @ AllNewsPipeline.com

Fed Gov’t Just Admitted It Will Continue Warrantless Spying—Even If Congress Votes to Stop It

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by Rachel Blevins, Activist Post:

As the United States Congress runs out of time to vote on a bill that would reauthorize one of the government’s most egregious warrantless spying programs, officials are claiming that those programs won’t end anytime soon—even if they are not reauthorized by the end of the year.

The USA Liberty Act will reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2017. While the bill’s proponents have claimed it will help ensure “security” in the United States, privacy advocates have warned that will provide additional loopholes for the government to continue conducting warrantless surveillance of innocent Americans.

The assumption may be that if the USA Liberty Act is not signed into law, then the provisions from Section 702 will no longer be legal and the U.S. government will stop collecting data from innocent Americans without warrants—but intelligence officials do not see it that way.

A spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Brian Hale, told the New York Times that “the government believes it can keep the program going for months,” even if it is not reauthorized.

Hale’s reasoning stems from the fact that every year, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizes the program to operate for the next 12 months. Section 702 was last authorized by the court on April 26, 2017, leaving some lawmakers hopeful that even if the Liberty Act does not pass before the end of the year, Congress will find a way reauthorize Section 702 before it actually expires on April 26, 2018.

Hale cited the “Transition Procedures” for the provision, which accompany the law in federal statute books. He told the Times that the procedures make it “very clear” that “any existing order will continue in effect for a short time even if Congress doesn’t act to reauthorize the law in a timely fashion.”

According to the definitions of Transition Procedures for the Protect America Act of 2007’s provisions for “Challenge of Directives, Protection from Liability; Use of Information” concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Section 702 “shall continue to apply with respect to any directive issued pursuant to section 702 of such Act.”

While this loophole may give hope to some government officials who are in favor of violating Americans’ constitutional rights while selling them a false sense of security, NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden referred to it by writing on Twitter, “Bypass the Fourth Amendment with one weird trick.”

The Times also cited anonymous intelligence officials who reportedly said that the government is making no plans to immediately turn off the program on New Year’s Day, no matter what happens in Congress.”

Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, told the Times that he is prepared to have “a full and open debate” over the legality of the USA Liberty Act, even if Congress delays that debate until next year.

We’ve seen this movie before: wait until the last minute, and then say, ‘crowded congressional calendar, dangerous world, we’ve just got to go along with it,’” Wyden said. “Anything now that creates an opportunity for several months of real debate, I’ll listen to.”

Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan, has also been critical of the USA Liberty Act. When it passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 27-8 last month, Amash noted that all privacy advocates should be concerned about the overwhelming support the bill is receiving from Congress.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

‘United States of Europe by 2025’: German SPD leader names his price for joining Merkel coalition

by Justin Huggler, The Telegraph:

The man who could be Germany’s vice-chancellor within weeks on Thursday called for the European Union to transform itself into a “United States of Europe”.

Martin Schulz, the leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), called for a new federal constitution for the EU by 2025.

Hours before his party voted to open talks on forming a new coalition with the beleaguered Angela Merkel, Mr Schulz made clear he would demand radical EU reform and far deeper integration than previously envisaged as his price for ending weeks of political crisis in Germany.

“I want a new constitutional treaty to establish the United States of Europe. A Europe that is no threat to its member states, but a beneficial addition,” he said in a speech to his party conference.

Under Mr Schulz’s proposals, Brussels would be given power over individual member states’ foreign and domestic policy, as well as taxes.

Countries who refuse to sign up to a new federal Europe should automatically lose their EU membership, he said.

A deal with Mr Schulz’s party is Mrs Merkel’s last chance to prevent new elections after coalition negotiations with smaller parties broke down last month.

Urging delegates to vote in favour of talks with Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), Mr Schulz said he would make a “complete turnaround in Germany’s European policy” a central condition of any deal.

But Mrs Merkel lost no time in rejecting Mr Schulz’s proposals for a federal Europe, ruling them out before delegates had even finished voting.

“I believe the ability to act now is the priority, not setting long-term goals,” she said. 

More cooperation between EU members was more important than drawing up new constitutions and taking powers from member states, she argued.

“We have to be economically strong, we need to work better together in the field of defence. We must pursue a common foreign policy, a common development policy, to be taken seriously as a continent or as a European Union.

“That’s why my goal for 2025 is better cooperation on defence and these other issues.”

The threat of new German elections receded after the SPD on Thursday voted in favour of “open-ended talks” with Mrs Merkel’s party.

Read More @ TheTelegraph.co.uk