I looked at the text of H.R.4681 - Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 because I saw SOPA 2.0 was passed under the radar under H.R. 4681, Section 309.
In the summary of the bill, I also noticed:
(Sec. 315) Expands a grant program for historically black colleges and universities to include predominantly black institutions.
Why is that in this bill?
I am going to guess it is to ensure that if a representative votes against this bill, her opponents can then claim, truthfully, that the she voted against expanding grant programs to predominantly black institutions.
Oh, no, it could not possibly be that someone voted against this bill because it contains:
SEC. 309. PROCEDURES FOR THE RETENTION OF INCIDENTALLY ACQUIRED COMMUNICATIONS.
(a) Definitions.--In this section:
(1) Covered communication.--The term ``covered communication'' means any nonpublic telephone or electronic communication acquired without the consent of a person who is a party to the communication, including communications in electronic storage.
(A) Application.--The procedures … shall apply to any intelligence collection activity not otherwise authorized by court order … that is reasonably anticipated to result in the acquisition of a covered communication to or from a United States person and shall permit the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of covered communications subject to the limitation in subparagraph (B). (emphasis mine)
You may have guessed by now, but, just for the record, the limitations of subparagraph (B) are simply vacuous.
In 1984, I told my high school English teacher, Mrs. Ann, that I thought 1984 was far fetched. That freedom was on the march in the world, that we, humanity, would defeat the communist and fascist power-grabbing instincts by adopting institutions that affirmed the primacy of individual rights, ignoring whatever rhetorical tools could be used to place a fictional society's interests ahead of ours.
I was raised to believe in the virtue of Live Free or Die!
America was setting a shining example of the path to freedom.
I was wrong.
"It's true that you're under arrest, but that shouldn't stop you from carrying out your job. And there shouldn't be anything to stop you carrying on with your usual life."
… Who was that? A friend? A good person? Somebody who was taking part? Somebody who wanted to help? Was he alone? Was it everyone? Would anyone help? Were there objections that had been forgotten? There must have been some. The logic cannot be refuted, but someone who wants to live will not resist it. Where was the judge he'd never seen? Where was the high court he had never reached? He raised both hands and spread out all his fingers. …