Feeds

Surveillance immunity bill for telecoms tries livin’ la vida loca

Mental health amendment spins Republicans into irony-free zone

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Only the paranoid survive. But which ones - the kind who choose to live in solitude, à la Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, patiently loading and unloading their weaponry to protect themselves from the dystopian techno-state? Or the kind living in Washington, who yearn for proto-totalitarian surveillance authority, all the better to protect us from ill-defined archetypal foreign threats and solitary lunatics living in the middle of nowhere?

Those rival camps - pass the medication, please - briefly crossed existential paths on the floor of the House of Representatives last week, when the Republicans took another stab at retroactive immunity for the as yet unrevealed - and almost assuredly illegal - warrantless surveillance activities of the American telecoms companies.

Crazy as it sounds, the latest maneuver by House Republicans to outflank Democrats, civil rights activists, and Constitutional scholars sought to attach retroactive immunity for the telecoms giants onto a completely unrelated mental health bill.

“This bill is intended to ensure the mental health of Americans; yet, no American’s health can be fully secured if they are under attack by a terrorist or facing the potential threat of terrorist attack,” Representative Peter Hoekstra , R-Mich., said last week on the floor of the House of Representatives, in support of his attempt to amend the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act.

The act - which sought to end discriminatory treatment by insurance providers against individuals with mental health or substance-related disorders - was over ten years in the making, and had the support of the nation’s mental health experts, including the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, and the American Psychological Association. Maybe a test run in Congress is in order.

It’s difficult to see how increased secret surveillance will reduce the paranoia of those most in need - those such as Dylan Stephen Jayne, who live their lives peeking out from behind the curtains in anticipation of black helicopters spiriting them away.

Fortunately, sanity - as practiced in the august halls of Congress, at least - appears for now to have prevailed. Pass the meds, Congressman. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.