“Christmas is not more important than this legislation.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) actually said that with regard to his effort to begin debate on the Senate’s renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

JBS CEO Art Thompson's weekly news video update for December 17 - 23, 2012.

Activists worldwide were celebrating after a United Nations conference, which was seeking to hand control over the Internet to an obscure UN agency known as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its mostly dictatorial member regimes, ended in failure when a coalition of Western governments refused to back the schemes. However, analysts are warning that serious threats to the free and open Internet by the UN and a broad alliance of its authoritarian members are far from over.

Regulations recently signed into effect by Attorney General Eric Holder allow the National Counterterroism Center (NCTC) to monitor records of citizens for any potential criminal activity, without a warrant and without suspicion.

In an article posted by Libertarian-minded Judge Andrew Napolitano on LewRockwell.com on Thursday, Napolitano asserts that government spying has gotten out of control. According to Napolitano, both the Democratic and Republican Parties have justified the process of spying on American citizens and the violation of constitutional rights in the process, always under the guise of security, and in doing so, have violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution.

NSA whistleblower William Binney says the FBI’s probe into General David Petraeus indicates that “every American is under surveillance.”

The United Nations, its International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and a motley assortment of tyrants are frantically working to calm growing worldwide fears over the planetary body’s controversial bid to regulate the Internet and potentially even smash free speech online at an ongoing treaty-writing conference in Dubai. With global opposition to the schemes exploding, however, documents show the UN is using a “public relations” strategy to disseminate taxpayer-funded propaganda attacking critics of its secretive summit aimed at seizing control of the World Wide Web.

Testifying on the harshness of his two and a half years of pretrial confinement, Army Pfc Bradley Manning, accused of leaking tens of thousands of classified documents to online news source Wikileaks, acknowledged this week that he had tied a bed sheet into a noose when contemplating suicide during his imprisonment in Kuwait.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has before it a bill that proponents hope will not only increase protection of personal privacy, but will also bring some order and consistency to a conflicting patchwork of laws and judicial decisions about the government's reach into personal data stored in electronic records.

According to European Commission documents released Tuesday by WikiLeaks, two high-ranking U.S. politicians are responsible, at least in part, for a financial blockade that the organization claims has cut off 95 percent of its revenue. Those politicians are Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), both of whom pressured MasterCard, and possibly Visa, into refusing to process payments to WikiLeaks, the documents reveal.

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