Rand Paul: I'll filibuster the hell outta the Patriot Act, fellow Americans

Non-Americans can sort themselves out. Sorry


US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has said he will filibuster to prevent any renewal of the controversial Patriot Act, several provisions of which expire on 1 June.

Among the most notable is the ability to create a legal basis for surveillance activities by the NSA.

"We will be filibustering [and] we will be trying to stop it," said Paul. "We are not going to let them run over us [and] we are going to demand amendments ... we are going to make sure the American people know that some of us at least are opposed to unlawful searches."

It is Section 215 of the Patriot Act that is set to expire, although many Republican and Democratic senators are set to support its renewal, some even attempting to establish further basis for increased powers to combat terrorism. It essentially allows the NSA's mass-collection of all communications metadata.

Kentucky-based Rand, a Tea Party friend and self-declared Libertarian Republican, is seemingly keen to establish that it is American citizens he is concerned about, and who are being affected by the blanket surveillance activities of the NSA.

The rest of the world he doesn't mention so much, maybe because they can't vote for him. Questions are still being asked as to whether foreign persons may benefit from any touted reining in of the surveillance powers.

Following a federal court ruling judging the NSA's mass wiretapping program to have exceeded its legal authority, Paul took to Facebook to praise the judgment and rally his support.

"The surveillance statists are coming with their crosshairs on their most powerful opponent – our movement to take our country back! I'm ready to fight tooth-and-nail to stop this assault on the Bill of Rights and prevent a blanket reauthorization of the so-called 'PATRIOT Act'."

Rand is also seeking the Republican nomination for the US Presidential elections in 2016.

A filibuster is a tactic in which a lawmaker's right to speak is exercised to such length that it obstructs the bill or proposal under discussion from coming to vote.

The longest filibuster in the reasonably rich history of such activities in the Senate occurred in 1957. South Carolina's Democratic Senator and a supporter of segregation, Strom Thurmond, spoke for more than twenty four hours to obstruct the passing of the Civil Rights Act of that year.

The Senate will go into recess on May 22, meaning that a decision could be reached a mere week before the Patriot Act expires. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Talos names eight deadly sins in widely used industrial software
    Entire swaths of gear relies on vulnerability-laden Open Automation Software (OAS)

    A researcher at Cisco's Talos threat intelligence team found eight vulnerabilities in the Open Automation Software (OAS) platform that, if exploited, could enable a bad actor to access a device and run code on a targeted system.

    The OAS platform is widely used by a range of industrial enterprises, essentially facilitating the transfer of data within an IT environment between hardware and software and playing a central role in organizations' industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) efforts. It touches a range of devices, including PLCs and OPCs and IoT devices, as well as custom applications and APIs, databases and edge systems.

    Companies like Volvo, General Dynamics, JBT Aerotech and wind-turbine maker AES are among the users of the OAS platform.

    Continue reading
  • Despite global uncertainty, $500m hit doesn't rattle Nvidia execs
    CEO acknowledges impact of war, pandemic but says fundamentals ‘are really good’

    Nvidia is expecting a $500 million hit to its global datacenter and consumer business in the second quarter due to COVID lockdowns in China and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Despite those and other macroeconomic concerns, executives are still optimistic about future prospects.

    "The full impact and duration of the war in Ukraine and COVID lockdowns in China is difficult to predict. However, the impact of our technology and our market opportunities remain unchanged," said Jensen Huang, Nvidia's CEO and co-founder, during the company's first-quarter earnings call.

    Those two statements might sound a little contradictory, including to some investors, particularly following the stock selloff yesterday after concerns over Russia and China prompted Nvidia to issue lower-than-expected guidance for second-quarter revenue.

    Continue reading
  • Another AI supercomputer from HPE: Champollion lands in France
    That's the second in a week following similar system in Munich also aimed at researchers

    HPE is lifting the lid on a new AI supercomputer – the second this week – aimed at building and training larger machine learning models to underpin research.

    Based at HPE's Center of Excellence in Grenoble, France, the new supercomputer is to be named Champollion after the French scholar who made advances in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs in the 19th century. It was built in partnership with Nvidia using AMD-based Apollo computer nodes fitted with Nvidia's A100 GPUs.

    Champollion brings together HPC and purpose-built AI technologies to train machine learning models at scale and unlock results faster, HPE said. HPE already provides HPC and AI resources from its Grenoble facilities for customers, and the broader research community to access, and said it plans to provide access to Champollion for scientists and engineers globally to accelerate testing of their AI models and research.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022