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U.S. Senate

  1. Department of Defense, Congressional Staff Forbidden From Reading Publicly Available PRISM Documents

    This seems like a ridiculous thing to do, but okay, sure, these documents don't exist.

    Thanks to Edward Snowden's leaked documents, everyone in the world can learn a lot about what the NSA was up to with the PRISM data mining program. Except the people who should have been overseeing it in the first place, as it turns out. Both Congressional staffers and Department of Defense employees have been instructed to not look at the documents and basically pretend they were never leaked in the first place.

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  2. No Warrant, No Problem: U.S. Senate Drops Amendment Requiring a Warrant to Search Private Emails

    Just when you thought it was safe to send your friends funny chimpanzee videos. Recently, the U.S. Senate presented President Obama with an amendment to the Video Privacy Protection Act that would allow Netflix to override the act's prohibition of disclosing one's video rentals without expressed consent and automatically posting them to the individual's Facebook timeline -- essentially letting the world know you rented Battlefield Earth on more than one occasion. In addition to this was a second amendment to a different act that, if signed, required the federal government to obtain a warrant before searching email and other content stored in the cloud. Approved not too long ago by the Senate Judiciary Committee, this amendment was cut from the legislative package, granting the feds carte blanche to continue to rummage through your private messages should it prove conducive to an investigation.

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  3. Election Recap: U.S. Senate Will Reconvene With Record Setting Percentage of Women

    And Now For Something Completely Different

    Right, right, victories for women and minorities in the polls last night, but we all know that the victories of the internet come first. Ladies and gentlemen, you are looking at the majority content of the world's newest most tweeted and most Facebook-Liked post in history. This picture, with the text "Four more years." was tweeted by and posted on the Facebook wall of President Barack Obama last night. Within the first hour of the tweet's existence it generated almost 370k retweets, sitting at 661,267 retweets as of this post, while the Facebook post has a whopping 3,270,011 likes. You did it, America. You made internet history. All joking aside, let's talk about how there are going to be more female senators than ever before in history starting next term.

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  4. Legislation Banning Employer Requests For Facebook Passwords Reaches the House of Representatives

    Meddling Kids

    At the end of March, we learned that members of the United States Congress -- meaning the House of Representatives and the Senate -- were officially looking into drafting a bill that would disallow employers from asking potential hires for private login information for their Facebook accounts. States had been instituting laws on their own, but after more and more stories came out about people feeling pressured to hand over their private information by someone in the position of giving them a job, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said that enough was enough -- this is something that needs to be dealt with on a national level. And now, the Social Networking Online Protection Act has made it to the House of Representatives while the Senate continues to work on their own version. Important question: Do we get to call it SNOPA? I'm going to call it SNOPA.

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  5. The Facebook Privacy Issue Is Heading to Capitol Hill

    Meanwhile...

    The cherry blossoms are a-blooming, and that means it's time for a Washington, D.C.-related post, following the inner workings of the sausage factory we call the government. And in this case, it finally doesn't involve transvaginal probing! No, this is an update to a story we brought you yesterday, concerning the issue of employers asking potential hires for their Facebook usernames and passwords. We briefly mentioned that one U.S. senator was introducing federal legislation to stop that, and now another has joined him. Which leads us to ask: "So, what do you think Chuck Schumer is really trying to hide on his Facebook profile, you guys?"

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