Tag Archives: Justin Amash

Californians and the Amash NSA Vote: 31-20-2

Vote fell along a much different axis than typical party line

by Brian Leubitz

The Amash amendment to the Defense Appropriations went down to defeat last week 205-217-12. The measure would have greatly reigned in the NSA, requiring the data to be only collected from people who are actually being investigated rather than pretty much everybody as it stands.  

Among the California delegation however, the vote total was 30-21-2 (if I counted correctly). You can find a table of the California delegation over the flip. At the time, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-SF/San Mateo) had this to say of the vote on Facebook:

Yesterday, I voted for Rep Justin Amash’s amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act to limit the NSA’s surveillance of Americans. The NSA’s collection of Verizon phone records and other such invasive actions cannot be taken lightly. We need to balance the needs of national security with the right to privacy.

Indeed, the bulk sweeps of metadata shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, as the Snowden leaks seem to keep spreading, we learn that the NSA isn’t confining themselves to the metadata. Check out this article about the NSA’s XKeyScore (H/t the Verge):

A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet.(The Guardian)

While the data is apparently not stored permanently, mostly because storing that amount of data would likely even sink the NSA. However, the NSA keeps anything they think would be remotely interesting and stores all of the metadata. That is a lot of information, enough to pretty much ensure that the internet is pretty much a world without privacy. Oh, sure you can use a VPN or something like that, but your data is pretty much out there at this point.

The question then remains as to what level we give up our privacy in the fight for security. It is an ages old question, but apparently the answer these days is tilting ever more towards security.

1 Aye Doug LaMalfa Republican
2 Aye Jared Huffman Democrat
3 Aye John Garamendi Democrat
4 Aye Tom McClintock Republican
5 No Mike Thompson Democrat
6 Aye Doris Matsui Democrat
7 No Ami Bera Democrat
8 No Paul Cook Republican
9 No Jerry McNerney Democrat
10 No Jeff Denham Republican
11 Aye George Miller Democrat
12 No Nancy Pelosi Democrat
13 Aye Barbara Lee Democrat
14 Aye Jackie Speier Democrat
15 Aye Eric Swalwell Democrat
16 No Jim Costa Democrat
17 Aye Michael “Mikeâ€ Honda Democrat
18 Aye Anna Eshoo Democrat
19 Aye Zoe Lofgren Democrat
20 Aye Sam Farr Democrat
21 No David Valadao Republican
22 No Devin Nunes Republican
23 No Kevin McCarthy Republican
24 Aye Lois Capps Democrat
25 No Howard “Buckâ€ McKeon Republican
26 No Julia Brownley Democrat
27 Aye Judy Chu Democrat
28 Aye Adam Schiff Democrat
29 Aye Tony Cárdenas Democrat
30 Aye Brad Sherman Democrat
31 Aye Gary Miller Republican
32 Aye Grace Napolitano Democrat
33 Aye Henry Waxman Democrat
34 Aye Xavier Becerra Democrat
35 Not Voting Gloria Negrete McLeod Democrat
36 No Raul Ruiz Democrat
37 Aye Karen Bass Democrat
38 Aye Linda Sánchez Democrat
39 No Edward “Edâ€ Royce Republican
40 Aye Lucille Roybal-Allard Democrat
41 Aye Mark Takano Democrat
42 No Ken Calvert Republican
43 Aye Maxine Waters Democrat
44 Aye Janice Hahn Democrat
45 Not Voting John Campbell III Republican
46 Aye Loretta Sanchez Democrat
47 Aye Alan Lowenthal Democrat
48 Aye Dana Rohrabacher Republican
49 No Darrell Issa Republican
50 No Duncan Hunter Republican
51 No Juan Vargas Democrat
52 No Scott Peters Democrat
53 No Susan Davis Democrat