By Janet Phelan
In a vote of 80-16, the US Senate yesterday approved HR 6172, which reauthorizes several surveillance authorities originally passed into law via the USA PATRIOT Act as temporary measures. HR 6172 cements the collection of business records, the “roving wiretap provision,” and the so-called “lone wolf provision,” which allows the surveillance of those with no known connection to terrorist organizations. While the FBI has testified to the Congress that the “lone wolf provision” has never been used, this is widely thought to be inaccurate and that this provision is the authority under which US citizens, activists and journalists, are being widely surveilled.
Several amendments were proposed to the Senate, only one of which passed. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, had proposed an amendment which would guarantee the participation of an Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) in cases involving requests for permission from FISA to surveil political figures, religious organizations and the press. This amendment passed by a vote of 77-19.
The Wyden-Daines amendment would have restricted the collection of browser activity and internet search history. This amendment also failed.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) had proposed a widely publicized amendment which would prohibit the surveillance of American citizens, excluding Americans from the provisions involving wiretapping and data collection tools authorized by the FISA court. This amendment went down in flames, receiving 11 yea votes and 85 votes against.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Paul had this to say about HR 6172:
To those of us that prize the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, the Patriot Act is a violation of our most precious rights. The Patriot Act, in the end, is not patriotic. The Patriot Act makes an unholy and unconstitutional exchange of liberty for a false sense of security.
The failure of Paul’s amendment points to an uncomfortable reality: it is appearing more and more that our government is dedicated to the surveillance of Americans. With Osama Bin Laden dead and ISIS under siege, one would wonder what is so compelling about the phone calls, internet activity and more of a growing number of American citizens who are now watchlisted.
Surveillance and the Coronavirus
It is compelling that Paul’s failed amendment comes at a time when the Department of Defense has just contracted with ApiJect to provide delivery systems for vaccines. ApiJect’s website details its capability to provide RFID tracking to every prefilled vaccine it provides, stating:
Whether health officials are running a scheduled vaccination program or an urgent pandemic response campaign, they can make better decisions if they know when and where each injection occurs. With an optional RFID/NFC tag on each BFS prefilled syringe, ApiJect will make this possible. Before giving an injection, the healthcare worker will be able to launch a free mobile app and “tap” the prefilled syringe on their phone, capturing the NFC tag’s unique serial number, GPS location and date/time. The app then uploads the data to a government-selected cloud database. Aggregated injection data provides health administrators an evolving real-time “injection map.”
ApiJect goes on to say:
Remote, real-time tracking of injections in the field can be achieved by affixing an NFC (Near Field Communication) tag to each BFS prefilled syringe. The NFC tag will hold a unique encrypted serial number. Just prior to injection, the health worker would tap the NFC tag to the back of their smartphone (just like using Apple Pay at a checkout counter). A free mobile app would capture and automatically upload the dose’s serial number, as well as append patient anonymous data including time, date, and GPS location to the government’s designated cloud database. Data would then be aggregated and analyzed to provide real-time coverage maps for more efficient vaccination campaigns.
In other words, everyone who gets the vaccine will have that event recorded and tracked.
It is entirely possible that this level of surveillance might have run into some problems should Senator Paul’s amendment, prohibiting the surveillance of US citizens, have passed the Senate. Clearly, a database concerning who has been vaccinated, when and where constitutes a surveillance authority.
Due to the passage of the Lee amendment to HR 6172, the Bill now goes back to the House to be reconsidered before going to President Trump to be signed into law. Senator Paul has stated he will ask Trump to veto the legislation. Given that Attorney General William Barr is a proponent of the Bill, and given that Trump appears to be on the fence concerning this, it is unknown whether he will veto it or sign it into law.
There is still time to contact the White House and voice your opinion on the tagging, tracking and surveillance of US citizens. Here is the contact information for President Trump: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ You can also telephone the White House at this number and leave a comment for him: 202-456-1111
For a list of which traitors, er Senators that is, voted for the spy bill, you can check them out here:
|May 14||92 (80-16)||Passed||On Passage of the Bill||H.R. 6172|
|May 14||91 (11-85)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1586||H.R. 6172|
|May 13||90 (77-19)||Agreed to||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1584||H.R. 6172|
|May 13||89 (59-37)||Rejected||On the Amendment S.Amdt. 1583||H.R. 6172|
|May 12||88 (62-31)||Confirmed||On the Nomination||PN514|
Janet Phelan is an investigative journalist and author of the groundbreaking exposé, EXILE. Her articles previously appeared in such mainstream venues as the Los Angeles Times, Orange Coast Magazine, Long Beach Press Telegram, etc. In 2004, Janet “jumped ship” and now exclusively writes for independent media. She is also the author of two collections of poetry—The Hitler Poems and Held Captive. She resides abroad. You are invited to support her work on Buy Me A Coffee here: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/JanetPhelan