Alan Grayson to offer “Mind Your Own Business Act” to stop NSA spying

Alan Grayson has written an amendment that he will soon introduce in the House of Representatives that deals with the relentless and endless NSA spying on Americans. He’s calling it the “Mind Your Own Business” Act — and he’s looking for your support. Yes, this is a petition, but yes, it will also be a bill before the House.

There’s also a nice “what the NSA is doing” section in this post, an explanation in easy-to-digest form. Check it out.

Cong. Alan Grayson (photo by LDL766)

Cong. Alan Grayson (photo by LDL766)

The petition

First, the petition. In order to raise a fuss in Congress about NSA spying on Americans, we have to raise a fuss in the country. There are lots of ways to do this, but a very practical way is to agitate for an actual bill before Congress that our representatives will then have to vote on. That is, raise a fuss in the country that puts Congress on the line.

So here’s the petition to get support for a bill before the House. Click this link or the image below to go to the petition page:


Do you agree? If so, help out. It’s pretty easy to take one step, and lots of people taking one step is what we need.

The Act itself

Like a lot of Grayson’s legislation, the Act itself is pretty simple.


Seems clear and to the point, don’t you think?

What the NSA is doing

There’s a lot being written about what the NSA has apparently been caught doing. Chris Hayes has excellent segments on it; Marcy Wheeler is doing wonderful analysis; and our own Myrddin has his own good piece (do click; it’s knowledgeable and clear).

But there’s an easy and obvious bottom line. The NSA believes that in order to do its job, it has to have access to all data. Period. All data. It got stopped (ostensibly) in the 1970s from attempting to do that, but after 9/11 it got permission to restart.

Remember, the goal is all data. So the story we get from Edward Snowden is that the NSA, as part of its All Data mission, has reportedly stuck an exit pipe deep in the servers of Microsoft, Facebook, Google (yes, Google, whose motto is “Don’t be evil”), Yahoo and others you deal with daily (that’s you, friendly fake-hipster Apple) — and they’re vacuuming up, to the best they can … All Data. This is disputed, but if this attempt is more limited than the reports, they’re still trying. They want it all to the extent they can get it.

The NSA’s not looking at All Data though, just Some Data. You can’t look at All Data. But they’re storing All Data forever; that’s what that Utah Data Farm is for. That way, when someone (you? your child?) gets onto someone’s radar as a suspect — or as someone who is two degrees of separation from a suspect — they can go back through All Data looking for something that incriminates you (or your child).

Or worse, if Doctor Evil ever comes to the White House, s/he will tell the NSA to go back to All Data and look for ways to blackmail opponents (as evil Dick Nixon seems to have attempted) — or in the very-worst-case world, to kill them. (Think political assassination has never reached these shores? Think it can’t? Fine, but stay off of small planes, just in case … and yes, I’m half-joking.)

In other words, with the power to lock down opposition with access to total surveillance, plus a citizenry fully comfortable with a militarized public-private police force guarding your compliance — think city cops, private cops and Occupy — you’ve now got all your dictatorial ducks in a row. NSA collecting All Data is one of those ducks.

Disrupt the NSA; support the Mind Your Own Business Act

It’s a pain to have to keep acting up to take back power, but there it is. Our ancestors said the same about food — it’s a pain to have to keep going out to find it. But there it is.

The good news for you — this world offers a lot of ways to act against power, and this is one of the easiest. Support Grayson’s pushback bill against the NSA and let’s see if we can force Congress to choose a side — Fourth Amendment privacy, or collection of All Data — in a rather public way.

Who know? Could work. We won’t now till we try, right?


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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42 Responses to “Alan Grayson to offer “Mind Your Own Business Act” to stop NSA spying”

  1. winston says:

    if the folks NSA are truly interested in finding terrorists at home and abroad, then they should investigate and arrest those responsible for having knowingly lied us into two wars and those responsible for this unprecedented act of treason and mass murder: -which became the pretext for the whole thing and is still driving policy today.

  2. karmanot says:

    Putting a wad of gum over the nano listening device.

  3. karmanot says:

    Well, it’s a day later and still no response to “what are the outright lies.” Care to inform us?

  4. karmanot says:

    Alan Graysons snarky sense of political kabuki is a much need relief in that madhouse of Congress.

  5. Indigo says:

    You’re right, it does have that coup d’etat look and feel to it.

  6. samizdat says:

    Or Mel Carnahan in 2000, in a small plane, or all the way back to the Democratic primary in 1976, when Jerry Litton, his wife and two children were killed in a small plane crash the night he won the Democratic Senatorial primary. Mr. Litton’s death paved the way for John Danforth (you know, Clarence Thomas’s sponsor). Both of these men represented Missouri.

  7. Jessica Spink says:

    So pay in cash dude.

  8. Clecinosu says:

    Grayson’s bill seems simple and practical. It’s something we need, and as Gaius said, it’s, “clear and to the point.”

    And with the GOP in charge of the house, it doesn’t have a hope in hell.

  9. BeccaM says:

    We know. The anti-whistleblower propaganda narrative is already taking root in the national zeitgeist.

    Always the attempt to make it about the person doing the leaking and never about the actual information being provided.

    Or to put it another way: If any of what Snowden leaked wasn’t true, why are the Feds going ape-shit over it and over him?

  10. BeccaM says:

    Oh, I don’t doubt that the blogs are being watched — I mean, scraping the web is one of the easiest things to do.

  11. karmanot says:

    What? still no response?

  12. karmanot says:


  13. Indigo says:

    Curiously, that’s another variation on the data mining that the NSA does covertly. Well, not covertly any more, but you know what I’m saying. We put information out there in all sorts of ways that result in profiles of our buying patterns and political opinions and so forth. Even this blog has its trolls who, possibly, are assembling portfolios on our potentially subversive thinking.

  14. BeccaM says:

    This is why I’m taking the current “discrediting Snowden” media blitz — instigated by the PTB — with a boulder-sized grain of salt.

  15. BeccaM says:

    I guess you don’t remember what happened to Daniel Ellsberg and the news reports that began circulating about him in 1971.

    First there were the rumors that he wasn’t sane, a charge Nixon’s ‘plumbers’ tried to corroborate by breaking into his therapist’s office (they failed to find the files on Ellsberg).

    The FBI began illegal wiretaps. G. Gordon Liddy, in his autobiography said there were various plans either to assassinate Ellsberg or to drug him before a public event so as to discredit him. The drugging plan was actually approved, but they couldn’t implement it in time at the intended venue.

    Meanwhile, it was a steady drumbeat that Ellsberg was a traitor, a liar, a grandstander, and possibly mentally unstable. Sound familiar? Discrediting the whistleblower is standard operating procedure in these cases. It is what they always do.

    Personally, having witnessed what Bradley Manning has been put through, the outright psychological and physical torture, I’d say that any whistleblower has ample incentive to skedaddle now. Back in the early 1970s, Ellsberg could have expected reasonably fair treatment while incarcerated pending trial, a grant of bail, and a fair and open trial. Which he actually received, and it was due to this trial we began learning just how corrupt that crook Nixon was. Now? You have to be kidding if you think there’s anything even resembling constitutional justice and due process as soon as the words “national security” are uttered.

    Volunteering for a sham of justice and likely torture would be both pointless and foolish.

  16. BeccaM says:

    Interviews and reports on have indicated that’s the main (non-public) purpose of that website: To collect political opinion details and email addresses of those who sign the petitions, so as to create a mosaic metadata dossier on each person, information that later can be sold.

    Sign a petition on the White House’s “Organizing for America” site and you’ll be added to DNC databases for future requests for support and donations.

    I live by the credo: Nothing on the Internet that appears to be “free” actually is free. Somebody has to be making a buck somewhere.

  17. Indigo says:

    Good point. I’m somewhat concerned that the purpose of having folks sign those on-line petitions is to get their e-mail address for further mailings.

  18. Indigo says:

    FastPass, E-Pass here in Orlando, is my biggest concern. One glance at which toll booths I’ve gone through and anyone who wants to know, knows where I’ve been and where I’m going on a regular basis. I don’t like that at all.

  19. Indigo says:

    It’s wonderful how everything is Obama’s fault. I guess he really is the president now. Meanwhile, the system continues to run itself. Amazing!

  20. lynchie says:

    stabbed with a umbrella, eating a bad date, crossing the street, walking into an empty elevator shaft,

  21. lynchie says:

    I have written Tom Casey a number of times. Never got a reply other than a request for money. Same with writing Ohighness always a money request. They (congress) don’t give a shit, they aren’t there representing us and if anyone thinks they are I would ask for some of whatever they are smoking or shooting up. Congress was briefed on this program, maybe not all of it, and passed. Nicho wrote above about the Tech prowess of Congress, they don’t understand videotape, audiotape, smartphone capabilities, etc. They can’t fathom being blackmailed by their actions because they think they are immune. Did they learn nothing when Murdoch and his band of mofo’s were tapping phones and creating mayhem in Britain. I think not. Also donlt forget when someone shouted anthrax how Hillary and congress ran like little bunnies down the steps to escape the made up threat. Remember duct tape your windows. These lazy, rich bastards couldn’t find a fart after a baked bean dinner.

  22. karmanot says:


  23. karmanot says:

    I’ve written Diane Feinstein so many times over the years that her office just sends a brief note now: “Got it! Love ya, no really I mean it this time.” Kissy, kissy Di.”

  24. karmanot says:

    That first paragraph nails it Nicho—-just imagine a cretin like Bachmann on the Intelligence Committee and there you have it. On the other hand there is DiFi and old establishment fascist who never met a liberty she didn’t want to restrict.

  25. karmanot says:

    “I;m not holding my breath on that one.” Could have fooled me, the assertions, as usual from you, have no substance and seem to consist of knee jerk talking points.Please inform us oh Badgerote one what are the ‘outright lies.’

  26. Badgerote says:

    There are problems with the comparisons with the past that are being made by pundits. Daniel Ellsberg, for instance, at no time exaggerated or lied about anything, Snowden has already been caught in a number of exaggerations and outright lies. Ellsberg never said anything at any time that was not unequivocally true. To compare the Pentagon Papers with a power point slide that may or may not indicate anything more than what the intelligence analyst will have access to by way of a court order is ridiculous. Ellsberg had possession of the documents he leaked because he was at a high level of government clearance. Snowdon,not so much. Ellsberg stayed in this country and was willing to answer to the legal system and the country if need be. Snowdon fled to China ( Hong Kong, for all the glitz and glamour, is now part of China) . A country not known for its transparency or its civil liberties. And that would be putting it mildly. Chris Hayes took the audience down the memory lane of the Civil Rights Movement and detailed how J. Edgar Hoover initially went after Martin Luther King and tried to discredit him. This is true. But it was also J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI that, at the behest of President Johnson, went after, prosecuted and eventually broke the back of the KKK in the south. And it has never recovered. That being said, it is absolutely long past time that Congress stopped acting like their only job is partisan opposition to anything and everything Obaman and/or scandal mongering and actually do their God d–mned job for a change. I;m not holding my breath on that one.

  27. nicho says:

    All of those beat being found dead in a cheap motel room with a boy or girl. And did you ever notice how many people who become inconvenient to the PTB are found to have child porn on their computers or end up corresponding with an underage person on chat rooms?

  28. nicho says:

    You’re assuming that there is a difference between our government and private international companies with only money as their sole motivation. The president, Congress, and Supreme Court are only employees of those corporations.

  29. nicho says:

    One of the problems is that the whole thing is being overseen in Congress by people whose knowledge of things technical is below that of a medieval serf. They have absolutely no idea how dangerous this collection of information is — and what can be done with it.

    Something no one has mentioned is FastPass or EasyPass data. Is that being collected? Anyone with one of those devices can be tracked effortlessly if they travel on roads, bridges, or tunnels that use them. Members of Congress might be appalled to know that the government has detailed records on when they called sex lines, girl/boyfriends, or escort services, and when they visited them and for how long. J. Edgar Hoover could only dream about having blackmail material that detailed collected that easily. In the past, he had to assign agents. Now, you just write an algorithm and push a button,

  30. lynchie says:

    Sitting in a park with a briefcase.

  31. lynchie says:

    Well the private company sells what they have. How much am I bid?

  32. nicho says:

    Nothing “hasty” about it. It was very carefully crafted over a long time and just sitting on the shelf waiting for a “Pearl Harbor type event” to ram it through Congress while the nation was in the throes of a major bout of emotional diarrhea.

  33. tsuki says:

    Signed. You are correct about the 1970’s. PRISM is COINTELPRO on steroids.

  34. BeccaM says:

    Sorry, but I never, ever sign online petitions. (1) When is the last time anybody has ever heard a news story reporting, “And today, we’ve learned that half a million people have signed a petition asking Congress to act on the pending measure”? (2) A number of credible reports have noted that the primary purpose of online petitions is to compile voluntary marketing data, which is then sold to corporations and political organizations.

    What I will do is as I usually do: Call and write my Congressional Representative and Senators. The former to ask him to co-sponsor the bill and support it, and the latter to ask that a similar measure be introduced in the Senate.

  35. Naja pallida says:

    I don’t know, I find it more disturbing that a private international company, with only money as its sole motivation, has such an integral part of our national security/intelligence apparatus. What happens when we’re no longer the highest bidder?

  36. Drew2u says:

    Anyone else think it’s pretty ballsy and brazen to name a domestic-spying company “Palantir”? In case one doesn’t understand, in Lord of the Rings, there were a number of crystal-ball-like objects that are used to communicate to the Big Bad Evil Guy, Sauron, and those were called Palantirs.

    Because when you think national security and safety of information, you think of the evilest, all-seeing eye of a Satan-expy.

  37. Kim_Kaufman says:

    People can also sign this petition on the WH: It’s almost at 75,000 in 5 days and needs 100k within 30 days to get a response. We should be able to get a million, don’t you think? Wonder how close all this is to felon Admiral Poindexter’s plan under Bush that became public for a minute and then was put back in the closet when public became outraged.

  38. JayRandal says:

    Media/press coverage of NSA spying scandal being twisted into attack on Snowden as geek traitor.
    Difficult for Grayson to do anything with most of Congress on board to defend NSA shenanigans.
    Appears to me that perhaps NSA spied on Congress too gathering dirt on politicians as blackmail.
    Anyway not much hope for truth to prevail about sinister spying by NSA.

  39. Indigo says:

    The clumsiness of the Hasty Patriot Act (my re-naming) is the problem and I’d welcome an effort to take that messy spill of wordage off the law books but gutsy Grayson’s on the right track. This is a good start to putting our Lords & Masters on alert. They have transgressed against the public and must be called to account.

  40. Indigo says:

    Dry creek beds, falling out of a basement window, putting the ladder back after hanging yourself . . . So many possibilities.

  41. lynchie says:

    political assassinations. Small Planes. Paul Wellstone.

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