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FBI Lied To Support Need For PATRIOT Act Expansion

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the control-freaks-in-the-ascendent dept.

Privacy 396

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "It probably won't surprise you, but in 2005, the FBI manufactured evidence to get the power to issue National Security Letters under the PATRIOT Act. Unlike normal subpoenas, NSLs do not require probable cause and you're never allowed to talk about having received one, leading to a lack of accountability that caused them to be widely abused. The EFF has discovered via FOIA requests that an FBI field agent was forced by superiors to return papers he got via a lawful subpoena, then demand them again via an NSL (which was rejected for being unlawful at the time), and re-file the original subpoena to get them back. This delay in a supposedly critical anti-terror investigation then became a talking point used by FBI Director Robert Mueller when the FBI wanted to justify their need for the power to issue National Security Letters."

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A real danger (5, Insightful)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088278)

This is an excellent of example of why we need to be more vigilent and less complacent when it comes to government legislation. The fact that with no actual precedent for requiring stronger powers, the FBI would lie to get them, is a testament to the fact that everyone is susceptible to feeling, and succombing to, a hunger for power, even at the expense of the people they are meant to be serving.

There is a laziness in the way people react to such legislative measures - a laziness that ignores the very real danger that our comfortable Western democracies could fall in to dictatorship much more easily than people think.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
--Edmund Burke

Re:A real danger (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088356)

I'm sure the US public are DYING to write letters to their congressman regarding this issue, but i'm afraid there's a new series of American Idol starting.

"The Proles will never revolt." -- George Orwell

Re:A real danger (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23088680)

OMG! Get with it, the season is already like 8 weeks in LOL!

Re:A real danger (3, Insightful)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088884)

Has writing letters to congressmen ever resulted in significant change in the government?

Re:A real danger (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088940)

Only when the letter is accompanied by a big check.

Re:A real danger (3, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089496)

Nope, by a promise of a big check. If they get the money right away, what would be their incentive?

Re:A real danger (5, Insightful)

TheAngryIntern (785323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088952)

That's one of the major problems with this country.....everyone always adopts the attitude of "I could do this, but I'm just one person and it won't make a difference anyway, so I won't bother" I admit, I'm as guilty of it as the next person.

Re:A real danger (5, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089824)

everyone always adopts the attitude of "I could do this, but I'm just one person and it won't make a difference anyway, so I won't bother

That's not being complacent or apathetic, it's being realistic. Face it, when Sony can write a check for ten million to the Democrat candidate and a ten million dollar check to the Republican candidate and ten million for media advertising, the media doesn't cover the Greens or Libertarians except to tell you that a vote for them is a wasted vote, and no matter which candidate loses, Sony wins, the American people lose, and there isn't a damned thing you or I can do about it except "waste our vote" on a "third party" candidate.

Slashdot Republicans all accuse me of being a liberal and slashdot Democrats all accuse me of being a neocon, and I accuse both camps of being fools and stooges for the corporations that run both major parties. And in the end it doesn't matter at all because your vote is pretty much meaningless.

But fool that I am, I still go to the polls and vote against the Demoicrats and Republicans.

Re:A real danger (4, Insightful)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089088)

Yes, but the trick is the it's letterS not a letter. When everyone starts talking they start caring. MY real question is why is this not on the news?! I see more advertisements on CNN for extending the PATRIOT Act then I see news about ANYTHING relevant to it. It's infuriating. This country was built on the idea of free speech. It's the unspoken fourth branch and somehow it's been killed.

Re:A real danger (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089450)

No, Letters just make them think, "Hey maybe this issue will help me get re-elected."

Re:A real danger (5, Insightful)

TheAngryIntern (785323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088914)

It's funny how they can get 50+ million people to vote for American Idol and probably less than half of those will vote in the presidential elections (of the ones who are old enough to vote, that is)

Re:A real danger (1)

architimmy (727047) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089186)

That's probably a pretty important distinction (age). I would guess about half of the people who vote for Idol are 13 year old girls anyway.

Re:A real danger (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089190)

So? I'd rather no one who votes on American Idol voted in the presidential election (of there own choice of course).

Re:A real danger (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089884)

It's funny how they can get 50+ million people to vote for American Idol and probably less than half of those will vote in the presidential elections

So tell me again, is it McCain, Obama, or Clinton who want to legalise pot, outlaw contribution bribery to more than one candidate in any given race, and outlaw contributions to a candidate one isn't eligible to vote for? That's the candidate who will get my vote. Oh none of the above you say?

It's a sad fact that an American Idol vote is more meaningful than a vote for tweddle dumb, tweedle dumber, or tweedle dumbest. None of them give two shits about me or my interests, all three pander to the corporations and as far as they're concerned, I can go to hell.

I vote "third party" but those smarter than me just stay home.

Re:A real danger (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089568)

I'm sure the US public are DYING to write letters to their congressman regarding this issue, but i'm afraid there's a new series of American Idol starting.

I admit that I would love to voice my opinion to my elected officials expect for a few things...

  • I don't know how to contact my elected officals.
  • I don't even know who my elected officials are, expect their recent mail when they're running for office.
  • Local Government websites scare me. No Seriously. They're so hideously bad, I spend hours trying to figure out if my city even has garbage pickup or if it's privatized. Then even longer trying to find the right phone number to call to ask someone at city hall (who didn't even know when I called them)
  • The *fear* that even if I sat down, wrote a letter and mailed it, that it would be opened by the secretary, read, and tossed in the garbage.

I could find what I'm looking for, but I admit that I do have this over arching feeling that "it doesn't matter, my voice isn't heard". This day and age I often ask myself "what would it take to get me involved?"

The answer that I come up with is a politician who has a blog and/or forum they actively participate in.

Think of it in terms of World of Warcraft forums. There you have a community of people. Fairly often, you'll have "blue" post some news or information up as well as respond to people in the community.

It's that kind of response that I need to see. It doesn't mean that *I* have to be responded to, but I need to see that they *are* responding to *the normal person* and that there's a record of it.

The only catch is, to participate on these forums, one would have to register with their real name/information to try and break the (Internet + Anonymous = F*ck hat) formula. *Hopefully* that would keep discussion civil. Of course, that's also opening the door to "Internet Rage" where retribution attacks are carried out in real life based on some internet messaging.

What to do, what to do.

Re:A real danger (1, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088426)

It's funny, sad, and ironic how rigorous the FBI's screening standards are, and yet they get away with dishonest behavior all the damn time. They're like zealous, vengeful little power trippers who were an only child, or they were picked on too much in school, or both -- the kind who'd use their angelic rep to lie to their parents or their teacher to get somebody in trouble.

Re:A real danger (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23088866)

It's funny, sad, and ironic how some people seem to think turning our food into ethanol (a very bad fuel btw) is somehow a good idea, as well.

Re:A real danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089556)

Actually, I was an only child and picked on a lot in school, and I think its made me a pretty decent person. I don't think most of the "power trippers" are that type. I think those kinds of people are narcissistic or psycho asshats who were arrogant and dominant their whole lives. People who don't think the rules should apply to them. What kind are you?

Re:A real danger (5, Interesting)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088490)

Thirteen years ago, when I was in Military Intelligence, we were hounded and battered over even the appearance of domestic surveillance. A couple of years later, all that went out the window with the "Patriot" Act. Does anyone really believe that spying on your own people is Patriotic?

I knew what was going on back then. For years, various services had been crying for more power and to break down the walls between agencies so that more domestic monitoring could occur. 9/11 just gave them the excuse they needed. They already had what they wanted drawn up.

I'm not supporting a conspiracy theory here because, having been in MI, I don't believe the U.S. government to be that proficient. I'm calling this crass opportunism at the expense of citizens these agencies are supposed to be protecting.

Meh!

Re:A real danger (-1, Troll)

TheAngryIntern (785323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088986)

This is how I look at the situation: The people whining and complaining about being "spied" on by the US government are the ones with something to hide, so maybe we should be looking at them. As far as I'm concerned, the government can spy on me all they want, because I'm not doing anything wrong and I've got nothing to hide.

Re:A real danger (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089112)

the government can spy on me all they want

Ah thanks, I was tired of paying my taxes. You want the government to waste taxpayer money? You can pay my share too.

Re:A real danger (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089598)

because I'm not doing anything wrong and I've got nothing to hide.
That's not what I hear. In fact, according to some people who know you very well, you have quite a bit to hide.

See how easy that was?

Re:A real danger (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089534)

Tell you what, Daengbo, my last best hope is that there are a lot of decent, patriotic and reasonable people in military intelligence (and in the military generally), because the political branches of law enforcement and the justice department have been tainted for a generation by the last seven years. Bush, Cheney and Rove went into this with the plan of seeding government with others like them and it's going to take more than a few really good leaders to flush them all out.

My hope is that our military and intelligence community career employees will be a firewall against a greater slide into tyranny. You guys are the "militia" that's mentioned in our Bill of Rights.

After the last seven years, it's funny that the very notion of a "Bill of Rights" seems quaint and antiquated. Like something the Bush Administration has "modernized" out of existence.

Re:A real danger (1, Informative)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089916)

Does anyone really believe that spying on your own people is Patriotic?

Hitler, Stalin, Bush, Obama, Clinton, McCain, a hundred Senators and over 400 congresscritters do or did.

Re:A real danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23088710)


"The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either."

-Benjamin Franklin

Re:A real danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089042)

shocking, absolutely shocking
Please ignore this post. Its only a test of a Deos (designate enemy of the state).

Re:A real danger (1, Insightful)

HetMes (1074585) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089096)

'our Western democracies'... Do not even for a second think you can compare the situation in the US of A to other Western democracies. You are NOT the (Western) world. Every week several such disturbing news reports find their way to our media, here in Europe, all of them making us bless ourselves for not living in the 'Land of the Free'. Good luck though...

Re:A real danger (4, Informative)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089248)

I'm English. I live in the UK.

The situation in Europe [statewatch.org] is but a few steps behind that in the US.

Further references: here [theregister.co.uk] , here [bbc.co.uk] and here [wikipedia.org] .

Re:A real danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089340)

Just shows that a federal agency will use whatever power it can get and in any way it can, when they find themselves frustrated by their own incompetence. Al Capone didn't go to jail for his real crimes, he went for income tax evasion....because the FBI couldn't do it's job. The really depressing thing is that they are actually proud of that collar. Sad commentary on the respect for the rights of citizens and the role of law enforcement. Not to say that there aren't some really great individuals doing fantastic work in the field, just that the leadership is filled with typical beltway crowd who's first love is power and are more than willing to side-step the laws they are supposed to uphold.

Re:A real danger (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089392)

The interesting thing about this statement is that too often the very same people that say "OMG STOP THE GOVERNMENT IT IS EVIL" will cheerfully sign over their souls to corporations, trusting them in the very same way they say to NOT trust governments.

You know (5, Insightful)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088302)

that the state of affairs is bad when a news like this doesn't surprise you!

Tag: "Duh" (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089814)

Yup. I tagged the story "duh" for exactly that reason. When I heard about Mueller's testimonial, my first thought was "Is this going to be like the WMDs?" Apparently, it is.

National Security Letters in full: (5, Funny)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088304)

Apparently the National Security Letters are 'F', 'U', 'C', 'K' and 'U'.

Re:National Security Letters in full: (2, Funny)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088812)

Why do you hate America?
BTW: STFU would be better letters because it doesn't duplicate the U. Though charging twice for the same letter sounds like a typical government thing too ;-)

NSLs (3, Informative)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088310)

National Security Letters are awful because they are so secretive, and the fact that they don't need probable cause makes them constitutionally suspect.

Re:NSLs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089362)

National Security Letters are awful because they are so secretive, and the fact that they don't need probable cause makes them constitutionally suspect.
Almost reminds you of Lettres de cachet [slashdot.org] . I think we agreed these were a bad idea too.

Re:NSLs (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089666)

Sorry, meant to link to lettres de cachet [wikipedia.org]

Re:NSLs (4, Insightful)

eam (192101) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089846)

You don't understand. They can't be constitutionally suspect because you can't talk about them. That's the whole point to them being secret. If they weren't secret, the first person to receive one would have gone straight to court, and the whole thing wouldn't have gotten this far... ...oh, I see. You just haven't had your re-education training yet. Don't worry. Someone will be along shortly to help you readjust.

Blogtastic. (-1, Troll)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088314)

So, I read the blog.. and I'm not seeing any sources. So, either this guy copied it from a news site, or he's making it up. Either way, I'm not impressed.

Re:Blogtastic. (5, Informative)

zz5555 (998945) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088514)

You could have gone to eff.org and found the source on the front page, if you weren't too lazy to care about the United States. (Apologies if you aren't American.) But because you are so lazy, here's a link (hopefully, this works): http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/04/eff-issues-report-abuse-national-security-letter [eff.org]

Horribly abusive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089216)

You know what, there are "dozens" of abuses. That's actually comforting, given the size of the FBI. That means that abuses of NSL's are actually very rare.

Re:Blogtastic. (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089790)

"Apologies if you aren't American."

Well isn't that condescending? :)

more kdawson crap (-1, Flamebait)

moseman (190361) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088334)

More of the same DNC->kdawson->/. crap. Move along.

fuck you, you fucking fascist (5, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088410)

Fuck you for turning a story about the Director of the FBI deliberately lying to congress in order to get expanded, unsupervised super-subpoena powers into a left-right story.

9/11 might have scared you to the point where you'll allow the government to do whatever they like with your private life. Many of us, however, aren't nearly so cowardly.

Asshole.

Re:fuck you, you fucking fascist (3, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089006)

'Many of us'? What is 'many'? Because it's obviously still only a small percentage of the whole population... if 'many' stood for any sizable portion of the population, you wouldn't be in the mess you're in now.

Let's face it, most people are cowards and that's never going to change.

Re:fuck you, you fucking fascist (2, Insightful)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089030)

"Fuck you, you fucking fascist" doesn't bolster your argument. It removes credibility from your valid point by making it look like you're trying to shut someone up because they have a different opinion.

Re:fuck you, you fucking fascist (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089876)

In this particular instance, I find that language appropriate. If I can't say "fuck you" when someone is deliberately subverting the Constitution and turning the US into a shithole, when should I say it? If I would want to shut someone up, I'd beat him to an inch of his life (or beyond it), not say "Fuck You".

Yes, it doesn't further debate. Then again, I'd like to argue that the initial post was so idiotic that there was no chance of ever having a civilized debate to begin with. A quick curse gets the point across succinctly and satisfactorily.

Re:fuck you, you fucking fascist (2, Interesting)

Leonarodsan (1273848) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089136)

Look up Presidential Directives, or Presidential Orders. look up Number 51- the president can declare a national emergency (also what is one) and centralize all decision making to the executive. Bush took these rights, nobody was scared into giving anything up.

Re:more kdawson crap (1, Troll)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088582)

I notice your signature says that:

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to think "profiling is worse than the slaughter of innocent people..."

Allow me provide you with a new sig.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to think "the September 11th terrorist attacks allow government to trample the civil rights of those of an obviously different ethnic background than yourself".

I would appreciate it if you could correct it as soon as possible. Thanx.

Re:more kdawson crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089464)

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to think "profiling is worse than the slaughter of innocent people..."


No point in replying to a troll. Hell he obviously doesn't have enough neurons to rub together in order to remember far enough into the past about the unabomber, the Oklahoma City bombing, and all the other bombing attacks caused and/or attempted by non-muslims, so he thinks "profiling" will make him "safe".

Don't like it, you're free to leave it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089280)

More of the same DNC->kdawson->/. crap. Move along.
Right now you right-wing psychos are trying to undermine the fundamental laws of this country: The Constitution. There are plenty of other countries out there who support your ideology, so here's a line from your own play book: "America love it or leave it".

So why don't you relocate to some place more amenable to a right-winger like yourself. I'm sure China and Saudi Arabia would welcome to have you.

Re:Don't like it, you're free to leave it (0, Troll)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089498)

I would, if the new crackdown on our borders didn't make it incredibly difficult to get a visa to move out of the country.

Perfect example (4, Insightful)

s31523 (926314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088336)

This is a perfect example of why we should not have blindly given our rights up. To all those people that say, "Hey, I am not doing anything wrong so why should I care if the government taps my phone", I say THIS is the reason. The "government" may have "good" intentions, but the people in government will use the power they are given for other reasons. Next thing you know it wire taps are looking for tax evasion tips, or drug deals. Heaven forbid a mistake is made and your phone is recorded because you said "bomb", as in "last night's concert was the bomb. hey did you score that sack?". Next thing you know your door is kicked in because the police got a "tip" you were buying drugs.

Re:Perfect example (4, Interesting)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088462)

I recently heard that in England, the new powers given to the police (including local ones) by their anti-terrorism laws were mostly used for cases of minor frauds (meaning they could indefinitely detain people who, when presented to a judge, would only risk a fine).

Well the now chip their police (2, Informative)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088572)

I wonder how long before we do that here to our police or air travelers?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=558597&in_page_id=1770&in_page_id=1770&expand=true [dailymail.co.uk]

I guess we can change the motto to

The FBI lied, Rights died.

Re:Perfect example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23088656)

I dont think that that's true.

As far as I'm aware, noone can EVER be held indefinately without charge. Theres a struggle going on between MPs and police who want the limit increased to something like 50 days, and those that oppose it.

We did recently discover that a local council were using laws intended for serious crime/terrorism to spy on a couple to determine whether they really lived at their address (one of two) in order to determine whether their kids were really entitled access to the local catchment area's schools.

Re:Perfect example (3, Informative)

mlush (620447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088790)

I recently heard that in England, the new powers given to the police (including local ones) by their anti-terrorism laws were mostly used for cases of minor frauds (meaning they could indefinitely detain people who, when presented to a judge, would only risk a fine).
That and checking your in the right school catchment area [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Perfect example (2, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088908)

their anti-terrorism laws were mostly used for cases of minor frauds

Especially so in the case of parents falsely claiming the location of their home address in order to get their children to a good school:

Parents stalked for three weeks by city council spies [dailymail.co.uk]

Re:Perfect example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089312)

I recently heard that in England, the new powers given to the police (including local ones) by their anti-terrorism laws were mostly used for cases of minor frauds...
Yes, the RIPA powers (if that's what you mean) have been used to *investigate* such things. This is very bad since the powers were 'sold' as being for use against terrorists and 'serious' criminals.

...(meaning they could indefinitely detain people who, when presented to a judge, would only risk a fine).

No. There is no power of indefinite detention (the government tried this on with certain terrorist 'suspects' who they had insufficient evidence to charge but it was shot down by the courts even when appealed to the highest level, and abandoned).

You *can* be held (subject to several appearances before a judge) for up to 28 days without charge, but the police have never even requested this for minor fraud and it's inconceivable the courts would allow it (I suppose the police could lie and claim they were investigating a terrorist offence, but you're still limited to 28 days). If charged with a minor fraud (not attracting a possible jail sentence) you would be automatically bailed while awaiting trial.

Re:Perfect example (1)

zifn4b (1040588) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088834)

The "government" may have "good" intentions, but the people in government will use the power they are given for other reasons.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Re:Perfect example (3, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089328)

That's because Hell has good marketing and efficient fiscal expenditure.

Re:Perfect example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089704)

Personally, I'm going for the girls.

Re:Perfect example (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088852)

The government never has good intentions. Its only intentions are individuals all trying to gain more power for themselves. There's nothing more to it than that.

The only way to fix it is to get rid of all these agencies completely. Nor more FBI, nor more CIA, no more NSA, no more SEC, FTC, FCC. All gone. As an added bonus, we all get to keep a lot more of our money each paycheck.

Re:Perfect example (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089274)

Next thing you know your door is kicked in because the police got a "tip" you were buying drugs.

Waddya mean "next" [civiliansdown.com] ?

Re:Perfect example (1)

Foolicious (895952) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089692)

Heaven forbid a mistake is made and your phone is recorded because you said "bomb", as in "last night's concert was the bomb."
I didn't even know people still used that phrase!

Innocent People Have Nothing to Hide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089724)

... but WE determine whether you're innocent.

share the pain (3, Funny)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088340)

Golly. Talk about your basic police state.

I'm jolly glad that I live in the United Kingd.......

oh.

Re:share the pain (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23088948)

"The Proles will never revolt." -- George Orwell
Wierd feeling isn't it.... for the first time in some 200 years the UK and USA are actually bigger police states than Germany.

Re:share the pain (4, Interesting)

darkfire5252 (760516) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089566)

I know you were making a joke, but that's something I see as a very legitimate problem. If you look at all the countries of the world, it seems like all the superpowers are making distinct progress in the direction of fascism and authoritarianism. When you combine that with the growing trend of international cooperation to capture terrorists and criminals, to what country should we flee when ours becomes a police state?

It can't be true! (3, Insightful)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088350)

The university, which had readily turned over the records in response to a subpoena, rejected the illegal NSL. Two weeks later, Mueller, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, portrayed the university as intransigent and said the incident showed the FBI needed the power to force the turnover of all sorts of records without having to involve the court system.
I'm just glad that they nailed Martha Stewart for lying to a federal official and this got the free pass that it deserved.

The [Secutitis and Exchange] Commission further alleges that Stewart and Bacanovic subsequently created an alibi for Stewart's ImClone sales and concealed important facts during SEC and criminal investigations into her trades.

I don't understand (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088372)

So that guy legally obtained documents by normal legal ways and was asked to cancel that perfectly legitimate procedure and restart from scratch using NSL, that was rejected by a judge? Or am I totally lost?

Re:I don't understand (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23088478)

Or am I totally lost?
Don't feel too bad about this. Just look above the summary, notice that it was posted by kdawson, and realize that a confusing, misleading, and mostly unreadable summary is to be expected. Everything is as it should be.

Something in the woodshed (5, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088404)

There is something seriously wrong when an organisation charged with upholding the law and maintaining the moral society in which we all want to live feels it's acceptable to lie and cheat simply in order to grab more powers for its self.

I can perfectly understand the agents desire for greater powers; "I know this guys a crook so why do I have to jump through all these damn hoops just to lock him away" but there should be leadership from the top which balances these needs with the needs of society and it's here the problem seems to lie with an administration unconcerned with the needs of the society and over focussed on 'improving' it's own machinery.

I seriously hope the next US President is able to take charge of his apparatus properly and put it use for everyones good rather than fulfilling some dubious goals of your own because as I think we can clearly see now the wrong people in the Whitehouse can produce all sorts of nasty and counter productive behaviour even in areas they aren't directly interested in.

Re:Something in the woodshed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089484)

I seriously hope the next US President is able to take charge of his apparatus properly and put it use for everyones good rather than fulfilling some dubious goals of your own because as I think we can clearly see now the wrong people in the Whitehouse can produce all sorts of nasty and counter productive behaviour even in areas they aren't directly interested in.
Ha, how many presidents in the history of the US have been able to do this? Maybe 2 or 3?

Kids (3, Funny)

EveLibertine (847955) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088590)

But mom, I need NSL's. I need them or I'll DIE.
Who put these kids in charge?

Twofo Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23088624)

Eat my goatse'd penis! [twofo.co.uk] [goatse.ch]

You nerds love it.

Lame. Can't even be bothered to first post.

FOIA (1)

buravirgil (137856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088660)

So, let us see...suppose an individual had some
indication that they were being harassed by
sharply dressed men in neighborhoods where they
might not usually be...and suppose an individual
had made a FOIA request, but the request had gone
ignored because a US citizen without the consult
of a barraster or esquire or lawyer dude isn't
really a recognized citizen by anyone
Hey, everyone knows you had better lay out some
bucks if you want sweet Justice to wear a blind.

Now, I wonder if the FOIA documents bequeathed by
so audited and transparent an entity that might
exist under the unitary executive's thumb of late

I wonder if the names of those targeted by what is
called "exquisite intelligence" is redacted.

I wonder if, in the beginning, but a few
troublesome individuals were bullied and
threatened by implication and a "the gloves have
come off" mentality felt the need to bureaucratize
its systemic abuse and broaden its number of
transgressions to make an acute elision of the
Constitution's spirit merely a matter of numbers.

To lessen the legal ramifications...turn a
shoot-out into a civil lawsuit, knowing full well
(Senior Justice: "Well, well, well") citizens
can't very well sue its govenment as redresses
of grievance are CLEARLY covered in the Constitu-
tion.

I wonder...is my name among redacted? And what
FOIA's price is to be paid to find out?

Re:FOIA (0, Offtopic)

doomy (7461) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088972)

You *must* invest in a wider monitor.

Lied to congress...? (3, Insightful)

MECC (8478) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088688)

The documents shed new light on how senior FBI officials' determination to gain independence from judicial oversight slowed its own investigation, and led the bureau's director to offer inaccurate testimony to Congress.
Isn't lying to congress these days about as serious an offense as jaywalking?

Re:Lied to congress...? (2, Insightful)

VanillaBabies (829417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088950)

I think you can still technically get a ticket for jaywalking...

Re:Lied to congress...? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089176)

Lying to Congress is only a big deal if it's about something serious, like Steroid abuse, not something minor like abuse of executive power.

I'd like to answer your question, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to claim executive privilege.

Re:Lied to congress...? (2, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089422)

Lying to Congress is only a big deal if it's about something serious, like Steroid abuse, not something minor like abuse of executive power.
That made me shiver. If only it weren't true. Remember how much crap was given to Clinton when he lied about monica? Republicans were trying to roast him. So dems- what the hell are you doing?

Bush has been lying since 2001, why not FBI? (1)

Petkov (1011081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088698)

America, LOL! Enjoying your "democracy and freedom"?

John (1, Troll)

jab9990 (1260764) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088720)

We need to go after these traitors, prosecute them as traitors, convict them as traitors, and then hang them as traitors.

sure you do bud, sure you do (1)

Petkov (1011081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088754)

just make sure you don't end up in Guantanamo as a terr'rist

Re:John (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089032)

Yeah, we should probably stop short of hanging them, this shouldn't be a capital offense. It sets a dangerous precedent -- it reminds me of the sort of things Stalin did in the USSR.

Which traitors would that be? (3, Insightful)

spidey3 (570347) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089342)

Which traitors would that be?

People using their telephone to call their relatives in the middle east?

Or the ones in the White House who have violated their sworn oath to "...preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." ?

Spidey!!!

FBI (-1)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088808)

Do people actually believe what the FBI says? Honestly, I'm shocked if they do.

Re:FBI (1)

Timberwolf0122 (872207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23088860)

but... but... the Government would not lie to us. (is there away to be mod'ed as misguided)?

Next Time, Don't Believe 'Em (3, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089036)

Remember this the next time the so-called "good guys" explain how the sweeping new powers they need to defeat terrorists and save all the children and puppy dogs would never be abused.

These people have a sense of entitlement coupled with an iron-clad conviction that they're right and everybody else is wrong that makes them at least as dangerous to the long-term survival of democracy as any pack of terrorists.

What a boon for foreign spies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089126)

Let's say you are some rival nation, and you want to do some industrial espionage in the U.S. NSL are perfect for you to abuse: no probably cause, and gag-ordered so they can't be talked about. So you pick your target, dress a couple of your agents in suits, print up a couple FBI badges and some phony NSLs, and go to work.

are you pondering the same thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089246)

The more and more I read, the more I think the decendants of Taft and Harding and Hoover are writing thank you letters to GB SR saying Because of your son over took our ancestor in the poll for the worest presidents....

J. Edgar would be proud (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089278)

Somewhere in heaven, he's wearing a dress and looking down with pride that his tradition of civil rights abuses, intimidation, and totalitarian thuggery was not forgotten after all.

Violating the Constitution is Impeachable (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089320)

Unlike normal subpoenas, NSLs do not require probable cause and you're never allowed to talk about having received one, leading to a lack of accountability that caused them to be widely abused.

The Fourth Amendment [wikipedia.org]
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


No search or seizure is reasonable unless determined by a court to derive from probable cause for the search or seizure.

NSLs are inherent violations of the Constitution. Every time, even when they're "properly" used. When they're not even used according to the FBI's rules, there is not even a flimsy excuse for violating the Constitution.

Thousands of times, as a matter of course, or on a whim. Mueller and every other official with their hands dirty from these crooked anti-American NSLs should be impeached immediately. And then charged with criminal penalties, then slammed in prison with the people they were charged with busting. Because they're all criminals. Some, like Mueller, far more dangerous than others.

In a slightly less civilized country (but one with perhaps more dignity), Mueller would have been hanged from a tree or ripped to shreds by an angry mob. He should be grateful that we have the decency to just throw him in jail.

FOIA (5, Interesting)

jfessler (53843) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089334)

So, how long before FOIA is repealed? Anyone? Anyone?

What always surprises me is that people working for these bodies, like the FBI, are more than willing to commit these deeds, and yet seem to have no thought toward destroying the evidence, let alone complying with a FOIA request.

Or are we only seeing the violations committed by the stupid ones?

Re:FOIA (2, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089548)

That's what I was thinking. On the other hand, if this is the kind of evidence that's left lying around, just imagine the contents of the documents that they've destroyed or don't acknowledge the existence of!

Bush's "Shock Doctrine" Case in Point (3, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089428)

With this NSL stunt, we see the entire Bush/Cheney Doctrine at its most blatant. The Doctrine is exploit any crisis first to expand Executive power far past Constitutional limits, without any accountability, then attend the crisis only so much as necessary to preserve those powers, then abuse them elsewhere without restraint. It's "Shock and Awe" for every occasion, especially domestically. Shocking and awful, though we're pretty numb to it by now, as the details finally start to leak out after years of digging by unsung heroes like the people at EFF.

You can look at any crisis, unexpected or manufactured, through the long 7 1/4 years of Bush/Cheney's presidency, and see that Doctrine hard at work (the only hard work done by the regime).

Or you can read Naomi Klein's book _The Shock Doctrine_ [naomiklein.org] for the (literally) gory details.

mod Down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23089744)

seesion and join in else to be an to have regular Fate. Let's not be

And, akuna mutata (?) (0, Troll)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089794)

life will continue on as it has - much uncared about by generation Y or Z. It seems that they put something in the drinking water that made the super suboridant and unwilling to confront anything, and to view the government as too large to take on. Look in the mirror - there is your government.

And for you gen Y'ers (i doubt many gen Z's read this page)you must have been bottle fed if you care.

Another Poor summary (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23089872)

Wow is the summary wrong, please see http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/04/eff-issues-report-abuse-national-security-letter [eff.org] for info.
Anyways the truth of the occurance.
1) It was used as a reason why the FBI needs administrative subpoena power instead of NSLs. (summary totaly wrong).
2) What happened. The FBI wanted information on a person who had meet with people involved with the bombers in London; that person had a attended chemical classes from NC State. They went to the professors who gave the FBI some information using a subpeona. Some news articles say this happened others say the subpeona was not honored by the university. Anyways he had some papers but was told by FBI HQ Counter-Terrorism Division to stop and the agent returned the papers.
The FBI agent was told a grant jury subpeona was not legal to use and an NSL was the legal method to use, however NSLs do not allow use for educational records so were also illegal. He takes the NSLS to the university they make some calls and do not honor it because it was an NSL asking for educational records. More details at above link along with the offices saying to use a NSL.
FBI comes back to the offices and asks what to do, after some dicussions he is told subpeona was the correct method so back he goes with another one. Univeristy ultimatly complied and handed over the paperwork.
So the problems with this are: Mueller to Congress said that it delayed by 2 days the processing, agents say it delayed by somewhere around 1 day, original request was on July 13 all was done on July 15; the main problem was the NC office did not report the problems and misuse of the NSL in the time frame they should of and during that time the FBI released a press release saying something that because of this incident was false.
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