FBI Requests For Records Under Patriot Act Have Increased 1,000% In Just Four Years

FBI Requests For Records Under Patriot Act Have Increased 1,000% In Just Four Years; Update: Data-Mining Goes Deeper Than Thought? – Hot Air

It’s not just the number of requests, it’s the scope of them. They’re not demanding records related to particular investigations anymore, they’re demanding huge troves of records on random Americans for data-mining purposes, the same thing Patriot Act co-author Jim Sensenbrenner complained about a few days ago but somehow didn’t foresee in 2001.

.

Like I said, you might want to re-poll Bush’s numbers.

“That they were using this (provision) to do mass collection of data is definitely the biggest surprise,” said Robert Chesney, a top national security lawyer at the University of Texas Law School. “Most people who followed this closely were not aware they were doing this. We’ve gone from producing records for a particular investigation to the production of all records for a massive pre-collection database. It’s incredibly sweeping.”…

[I]n the years since [2003], the FBI’s use of Section 215 quietly exploded, with virtually no public notice or debate. In 2009, as part of an annual report to Congress, the Justice Department reported there had been 21 applications for business records to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) under Section 215 – all of which were granted, though nine were modified by the court. (The reports do not explain how or why the orders were modified.)

In 2010, the number of requests jumped to 205 (all again granted, with 176 modified.) In the latest report filed on April 30, the department reported there had been 212 such requests in 2012 – all approved by the court, but 200 of them modified.

These sharp increase in the use of Section 215 has drawn little attention until now because the number of national security letters (NSLs) issued by the bureau has been so much greater – 15,229 in 2012. But FBI Director Mueller, in little-noticed written responses to Congress two years ago, explained that the bureau was encountering resistance from telecommunications companies in turning over “electronic communication transaction” records in response to national security letters.

Google, Facebook, and the gang started to resist NSLs on grounds that they were dubious legally, so Mueller shifted to Section 215 and got back to squeezing them for more and more and more data. Hence Google’s new move, announced just this afternoon: To take some of the heat off itself and push it back onto the feds where it belongs, the company’s lawyer is asking the DOJ to let it publish the number – and scope – of FBI requests for records it receives each year. Right now it’s forbidden to say because Section 215 imposes a gag order on the target of the record request. If Google can’t legally resist complying, at least it can soothe its critics by revealing just how much pressure it’s under from the Most Transparent Administration Ever.

Exit question: This WaPo story is nothing more than a textbook pro-Obama leak authorized by the White House to take some heat off of him and maybe show the virtues of aggressive cyberwarfare, right?

Update: What does this mean?

A leading Republican senator on Tuesday described controversial U.S. spy programs as looking far deeper into Americans’ phone records than the Obama administration has been willing to admit, fueling new privacy concerns as Congress sought to defend the surveillance systems.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC., says the U.S. intelligence surveillance of phone records allows analysts to monitor U.S. phone records for a pattern of calls, even if those numbers have no known connection to terrorism.

Graham says the National Security Agency then matches phone numbers against known terrorists. Graham helped draft the surveillance law that governs the surveillance program.

In other words, they’re looking for patterns among the general population that match the phone patterns of people they’ve already identified as terrorists? So they’re not limiting themselves to targeting specific terrorist-linked numbers anymore, but suspicious “patterns” too?

Parting thought:

.
Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Thanks Barack… Food Stamp Participation Has Increased At 10 Times The Rate Of Job Creation Under Obama

Thune: Food Stamp Participation Has Increased At 10 Times The Rate Of Job Creation Under Obama – Daily Caller

South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune and Indiana Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman introduced legislation Thursday aimed at saving $30 billion in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over a decade.

.

Thune and Stutzman said their “Streamlining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Act” would eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse and close loopholes in a program that, under President Obama, has seen participation increase from 32 million to 47.8 million people and spending double to $80 billion in fiscal year 2012.

“Since President Obama came into office, SNAP participation has increased at 10 times the rate of job creation, the annual spending on SNAP has doubled, and one in seven Americans now participates in SNAP,” Thune said in a statement.

“This explosive growth in both the SNAP enrollment and federal cost of the program is alarming and requires lawmakers to take cost-effective legislative control measures,” he added.

The cost-saving measures laid out in the bill would not affect current benefit levels. The legislation would, however, refine categorical eligibility – or automatic qualification for SNAP if a person is enrolled in other assistance programs – to just low income people receiving cash assistance.

It would further require interviews for SNAP participants re-enrolling in the program to ensure that they remain within the income and asset limits and end the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) loophole – which allows states to provide SNAP recipients with small $1 and $5 energy assistance checks to increase their SNAP benefits.

The legislation would also limit the Able-bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) work requirement waiver to areas with unemployment higher than 10 percent and require the agriculture secretary to create a national database to make sure people are not receiving benefits in more than one state.

Additionally it would reform the nutrition and obesity program to reduce cost, eliminate state quality bonuses and focus on quality control in states via penalties for improper payments.

“Everyone in Washington talks about deficit reduction but we’ve introduced a real, responsible plan to save taxpayer dollars,” Stutzman said. “Over the past decade, SNAP spending has doubled as this program outgrows its original mission of providing temporary assistance. This is a common-sense start for Congress’ Farm Bill discussions as we look for ways to tackle Washington’s nearly $17 trillion debt.”

“Our bill would ensure that benefits are available for needy families by maintaining system integrity and reducing waste in the system,” Thune added. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move this common-sense legislation through Congress in the Farm Bill.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Obama’s First Term: Americans ‘Not In Labor Force’ Increased 8,332,000

First Term: Americans ‘Not In Labor Force’ Increased 8,332,000 – CNS

The number of Americans age 16 or older who decided not to work or even to seek a job increased by 8,332,000 to a record 88,839,000 in President Barack Obama’s first term, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At the same time, the number of retired workers collecting Social Security increased by only 4,234,480.

The increase in Americans opting out of the labor force during Obama’s first term resulted in a decrease in the labor force participation rate from 65.7 percent in January 2009, the month Obama was first inaugurated, to 63.6 percent in December 2012, the latest month reported. Before Obama took office, the labor force participation rate had not been as low as 63.6 percent since 1981, the year President Ronald Reagan took over from President Jimmy Carter.

To be in the labor force a person must either have a job or actively sought one in the previous four weeks.

When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, there were 80,507,000 American civilians age 16 or older who did not have a job or seek one. In December 2012, there were 88,839,000 – thus, the increase of 8,332,000.

Also, in January 2009, there were 32,484,808 retired workers collecting Social Security benefits, according to the Social Security Administration. By December 2012 that had risen to 36,719,288, and increase of 4,234,480.

The increase in the number of Americans not participating in the labor force during Obama’s presidency outstripped the increase in the retired workers collecting Social Security by 4,097,520 persons.

In the comparable period of George W. Bush’s second term, the number of Americans choosing not to participate in the labor force went from 76,808,000 in January 2005 to 80,380,000 in December 2008 – an increase of 3,572,000.

At the same time during Bush’s second term, the number of retired workers collecting Social Security rose from 30,086,392 to 32,273,145, and increase of 2,186,753. During this period, the increase in those not participating in the labor force outstripped the increase in retired workers collecting Social Security by only 1,385,247.

The rate of participation in the labor force was the same in January 2005 that it was in December 2008 – 65.8 percent.

In Bush’s first term, the number of Americans choosing not to participate in the labor force went from 70,088,000 in January 2001 to 76,581,000 in December 2004, an increase of 6,493,000. In January 2001, the labor force participation rate was 67.2 percent. In December 2004, it was 65.9 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been tracking the labor force participation rate since 1948. Since then, the rate peaked at 67.3 percent, a level it maintained for the first four months of 2000.

Before President Obama took office, the labor force participation rate had not been as low as 63.6 percent since 1981, which was the year President Ronald Reagan took over from President Jimmy Carter.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story