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EFF Sues To Overturn Telecom Immunity

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-that-it-will-do-much-good dept.

Government 369

Mike writes "The title says it all — The EFF is suing to have the unconstitutional telecom immunity overturned. 'In a brief filed in the US District Court [PDF] in San Francisco, the EFF argues that the flawed FISA Amendments Act (FAA) violates the federal government's separation of powers as established in the Constitution and robs innocent telecom customers of their rights without due process of law. [...] "We have overwhelming record evidence that the domestic spying program is operating far outside the bounds of the law," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "Intelligence agencies, telecoms, and the Administration want to sweep this case under the rug, but the Constitution won't permit it."'"

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SUCK MY COCK! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25415839)

Fuck you all, assholes!

Re:SUCK MY COCK! (1, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416237)

But i don't even know your real name, how will i find you? Oh well...

Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415867)

Intelligence agencies, telecoms, and the Administration want to sweep this case under the rug, but the Constitution won't permit it.

This administration does what it wants, without repercussions. They've already done several things that go against the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They don't care, won't care, and have never cared about trifles like the founding documents of the country.

What will happen? W will claim executive privilege, file papers blocking the motion, then make looking at the papers illegal again citing executive privilege.

It's Orwellian, but that - or something equally bizarre - is what will happen. Count on it.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25415885)

If it happens, it happens, but at least they're trying.

Re:Good luck with that (1, Insightful)

bendodge (998616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415887)

And so we get to a elect a new administration. One choice will trample our freedom from unauthorized search, the other will trample our freedom to own guns. Pick the lesser of two evils.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25415963)

What makes you think that either side is going to stop unauthorized search/surveillance? Governments aren't well-known for giving up power unless forced into it. The guns are a completely separate issue. The national guard does not fear my shotgun.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416337)

Of course they don't fear your shotgun. But they already banned what they would fear [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Good luck with that (3, Interesting)

steve.howard (988489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416957)

No, they didn't. When you link articles, at least read the summary. "The ban expired on September 13, 2004, as part of the law's sunset provision."

Re:Good luck with that (3, Interesting)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416351)

The national guard doesn't fear your shotgun because they have much more to fear from the guardsmen who defected when they ordered them to take your shotgun. Don't denigrate our men and women in uniform by suggesting they would willingly trample on the rights of the American people.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Interesting)

SiriusRegalis (470623) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416589)

Have you experienced the training that a person gets these days. My cousin, a "Take my guns when you pry them from my cold dead hands" bumper sticker type, joined up. A year later, he came back for a brief visit, and he has completely fallen into the "Civilians should not have more than small bolt action hunting rifles" thing. I have seen this with all three freinds/family that have joined.

There is a trained contempt for the civilian population, we are not smart enough, caring enough, or involved enough to really understand. They, and their commanders, understand.

It is the same attitude you see in police officers. Civilians are second class cattle to be herded.

If you really think that in 10-20 years those troops, or police, or whatever we have will not shoot when ordered, then you are in for a big surprise. Though, most likely, by that time, we will have "nickled and dimed" our rights away, and those still defending them will be seen as fringe crazies, so shooting will be "justified".

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416655)

The rights of the American People?
What rights?

Re:Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416419)

"The national guard does not fear my shotgun."

Sure about that? If Obama were to order the Army to go in and pacify Central PA, there would at least be desertions and possibly mutiny.

Or as a friend of mine says, when some smartypants pulls out the "what is your shotgun going to do against a tank?" question:

"They have to get out to take a piss sooner or later."

Re:Good luck with that (4, Interesting)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416735)

I prefer the answer: "So you think a rag-tag band of locals defending their homes and equipped with only small arms would be no match for the U.S. Army? How's Iraq going?"

Re:Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415973)

Gross oversimplification:

Both will restrict our rights across huge swaths of areas just in a proportionally different manner. The lesser of two evils increasingly looks like a third party vote or vote one party into the white house and the other into congress in the hopes that they spend more time bickering than doing anything..

Re:Good luck with that (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416159)

The lesser of two evils increasingly looks like Cthulhu

Fixed that for you.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416333)

Cthulhu '08. Why vote for a lesser evil?

Re:Good luck with that (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416653)

If nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve. If the stars are right...well, you know the rest.

Re:Good luck with that (3, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416203)

... or vote one party into the white house and the other into congress in the hopes that they spend more time bickering than doing anything..

Like how it is now? Yeah, that's working out really well at the moment.

Re:Good luck with that (2, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416309)

The lesser of two evils increasingly looks like a third party vote or vote one party into the white house and the other into congress in the hopes that they spend more time bickering than doing anything..

Yes, because when bad laws are already on the books and being enforced, the best option is inaction rather than electing people who will change those laws.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416559)

...vote one party into the white house and the other into congress in the hopes that they spend more time bickering than doing anything..

Get with the program; I've been doing this since 1982! (when I could vote)

Re:Good luck with that (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416723)

vote one party into the white house and the other into congress in the hopes that they spend more time bickering than doing anything..

Sounds like something that Heinlien thought of in the Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Re:Good luck with that (3, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416041)

If we're even that lucky. I'd give 1 in 10 odds that if Obama wins the election W doesn't step down.

Sound ridiculous? I hope it is. But with all the other crazy non-American stuff W has done...I can't discount it. He's proven time and again that he thinks he's immune to precedent and proper procedure. And that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are more hindrances than blessings.

I'll bet it's been discussed as an option at least. I really don't put anything past this administration. W scares the absolute living crap out of me. 1/20/09 can't come and go too quickly as far as I'm concerned.

Re:Good luck with that (3, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416177)

Doubtful that anything so catastrophic would happen. Even in the unlikely event that President Bush decides to become Emperor George the First, his republican cronies would get the heebie-jeebies so fast that they'd scatter in the cracks like cockroaches, leaving their king to rot. This isn't simple cronyism or mere abuse of power - that's outright high treason, and the hanging noose is going to scare everyone into realizing just how epicly BAD an idea that would be. Then the emperor would be left alone to realize that he's wearing no clothes.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416375)

The difference is that people are, for whatever reason, absolutely terrified of W. A Democratic congress refused to even censure him for anything he's done. And he's done a lot that's wrong - just ask Dennis Kucinich. [washingtonpost.com] You'd think after the whole Bill Clinton impeachment fiasco they'd be dying for some payback. But they didn't go for it. Why?

Dick Cheney can shoot someone in the face, and what happens? The victim goes on TV and makes a public apology. [msn.com] For being shot in the face.

This administration is absolutely terrifying. And everyone is afraid of them. That makes a coup possible. Improbable, sure. But not impossible.

Again, I'm pretty certain I'm worrying over nothing, as you suggest. However I'm not 100% certain. I just want 1/20 to come and go as quickly as possible so I don't have to worry about it anymore.

Nixon (5, Interesting)

Irvu (248207) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416525)

I'll just invoke the American Politics version of Goodwin's Law here (hereafter the Nixon-Goodwin Law) and note that this kind of thinking was what prompted Nixon to push directly or indirectly (it is never quite clear how much he knew in advance) for the Watergate break-in and it's subsequent coverup. For Nixon the idea of losing the election was too much to bear.

Now W may not be so far gone as to think he can just refuse to leave but the idea that he or overzealous supporters (of the type Nixon had) might go to great lengths to see McCain in, the man Bush said would lead his legacy in Iraq, well that is different.

Note that I am not claiming McCain would do this or that it is being done. Nor am I claiming that other Republicans might not be horrified by it, There were Republicans who were, arguably, more angry with Nixon than others. Some of them such as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had to wait a long time to get back into the Whitehouse (Cheney was then an aide and Rumsfeld a Deputy Secretary of Defense).

However When Nixon did it, angry as people were no mobs formed and noone swung from trees. Indeed some of the key players such as G. Gordon Liddy [wikipedia.org] are out today and practicing politics once more.

More likely if nasty things occur and are discovered then some heads will roll but for those at the top they will, like Nixon, merely go home to be pardoned by their successor so that the nation "can heal".

Lets be honest. Steal small and you go to a supermax. Steal big and you merely go home to live off your ill-gotten gains as Nixon did.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

phanboy_iv (1006659) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416353)

Oh come on. This George W./Spawn of Satan strawman crap is getting old. The man's not popular, I don't agree with a thing he's done. But he's not worthy of this frenzied "anti-Bush" religious movement. FDR was way more dictatorial than Bush ever could hope to be, and there will be others.

Re:Good luck with that (2, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416629)

Aside from the fact that I think you've been reading too much Kos, let's assume what you are saying is true, and there is a 10% chance of a coup d'etat? What are you doing to prepare for it? Arming yourself? Making ACTUAL preparations to leave the country? Or is the extent of your patriotism confined to whining "Help! Help! I'm being oppressed" on the internet?

Hell, I'm a republican and if I thought GWB was planning a coup I'd be preparing right now for the civil war that would inevitably follow. Except I don't know who would be on what side because there's NO WAY the armed forces would follow him.

That being said, I'm pretty sure Obama's going to be elected and take power. That scares the crap out of me to, only I'm doing a little more about it than I bet you are.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416113)

In a revolution is it better to have guns, or to have the knowledge to make guns?

Freedom of speech is everything.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

cawpin (875453) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416283)

Wrong. In the end, it comes to force. If you have no arms, they can outlaw what they want. Your freedom of speech is worthless without arms to back it up. The 2nd Amendment is America's 1st freedom.

Re:Good luck with that (3, Interesting)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416747)

Valid point.

I guess my point attempted to say that guns can't create knowledge, but knowledge can create guns.

In a revolution knowledge is easier to distribute too, and harder to take away.

Consider today's world, where knowledge has become weaponry of itself; where now is the difference between the two?

The suppression of one means the suppression of the other, does it not?

Re:Good luck with that (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416313)

"In a revolution is it better to have guns, or to have the knowledge to make guns?

Freedom of speech is everything."

You can't speak if you are dead or imprisoned.

A gun allows a person to maintain his individual and collective life and liberty against those who would try to take them. The knowledge of how to make guns, or encrypt data, or make bombs if irrelevant if those who have that knowledge can be eliminated by force.

There's a reason the audience laughs at the scene in Holy Grail where the guy groveling in the mud is yelling out "Help! Help! I'm being Oppressed!" but gets beaten and ignored anyway. And it's not the funny accents.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416705)

And your gun will do what, exactly, against tanks and choppers?

The constitution was written in a time when a well-armed group of citizens had a chance in a firefight against the official army. But since then, we've invented machine guns, kevlar, tanks, planes and helicopters. Not to mention unmanned drones, spy satellites and missiles.

If the NRA goes toe to toe with the marines, or even any random division, I know where my bets are.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416853)

If the NRA goes toe to toe with the marines, or even any random division, I know where my bets are.

With whom are your bets in Iraq?

Re:Good luck with that (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416763)

In a revolution is it better to have guns, or to have the knowledge to make guns?

Depends on tax and shipping charge.

[citation needed] (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416137)

> And so we get to a elect a new administration. One choice will trample our freedom from unauthorized search, the other will trample our freedom to own guns.

[citation needed]

Obama praised the Supreme Court ruling that found an individual right to own guns (as opposed to a right for state militias to own guns).

Re:[citation needed] (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416501)

Don't you read right-wing propaganda? All Democrats want to make owning a gun illegal for all purposes. If another Democrat gets into office, we will lose our constitutional right to bear arms will be extinguished... Just as it was from 1933 - 1953, 1961 - 1969, 1977 - 1981, and 1993 - 2001.

The Demmycrats like Brady and his evil evil bad Brady bill means when I need to kill someone I have to wait 7 days to buy a gun.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

PunditGuy (1073446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416257)

Even if your premise were correct, let me point out that being well armed is not a deterrent to a determined government. Ask Waco.

But fundamentally, I think you've set up a false dichotomy. There are plenty of conservatives who believe strongly in the fourth amendment, and plenty of liberals who back the second -- some, like myself, a little more grudgingly than others.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Interesting)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416301)

What good is the right to own guns if the gun owners let the government take away all their other rights?

close but wrong (2, Informative)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416329)

McCain voted for the FISA bill. And Barack also voted for the FISA bill.

Meanwhile, McCain supports your 2nd Amendment rights. Barack says he supports them but has voted and advocated against them several times in the past.

Re:close but wrong (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416435)

But even "That One" would never ever be able to force a Constitutional Amendment through that would outright ban guns.

It won't happen.

Re:close but wrong (1)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416641)

Did I miss something? Did bush get an amendment through to ban speech or just get laws through to make the amendment less powerful? You think if Bush is smart enough not to take on one of the items in the Bill of Rights Obama could not manage an end around?

Re:close but wrong (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416681)

They don't need a Constitutional Amendment. There already is one -- the 2nd one. They'll just come up with a reason it doesn't apply.

The President, Congress, and the Supreme Court decide what they want. The Constitution is now used mostly as a rhetorical device to support an argument or to be worked around or ignored otherwise.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

g0es (614709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416967)

And so we get to a elect a new administration. One choice will trample our freedom from unauthorized search, the other will trample our freedom to own guns. Pick the lesser of two evils.

We are screwed period,
And as for your signature, it's not that the government can't save you, it's that they won't.

Re:Good luck with that (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25415917)

Hopefully after the election W will get sent to Iraq so the Iraqi's can thank him personally for all he has done for them.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416019)

Hillary and the congressional dems who voted for the war and continuing funding can go with him...

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416537)

But not McCain & the congressional republicans?

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25415961)

Are you illin with the panicillin?
Is she chillin with the panicillin?
Are you feeling with the panicillin?
Is she reelin in the panicillin?

Panka Panka

Is she liable no suitifiable no not on trial but so suitifiable
Is she viable no suitifiable pliable style is so suitifiable
so reliable no suitifiable shes not on file but so suitifiable
im on the dial its so suitifiable its like im liable but suitifiable

Re:Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416007)

The administration has done only what it has been allowed to do. If nobody stops them there can be no other outcome. It is not the administration that has failed; it is us.

Bingo! (5, Insightful)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416133)

Without a suit being filed, unconstitutional laws get to stay on the books, and they get enforced.

Re:Bingo! (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416549)

And all you need to file a suit is to show you have standing to sue. Catch 22.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416033)

This administration does what it wants, without repercussions. They've already done several things that go against the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They don't care, won't care, and have never cared about trifles like the founding documents of the country.

Pop Quiz:
Which Presidential aspirant voted for the FISA Amendments Act:
A) John McCain
B) Barack Obama
C) A & B

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416345)

Pop Quiz:
Which Presidential aspirant voted for the FISA Amendments Act:
A) John McCain
B) Barack Obama
C) A & B

It is almost like they both broke campaign promises - Obama said he would not support it, but voted for it, McCain said he WOULD support it, but took a pass and did not vote either way.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416049)

The real tragedy is that our congresscritters are allowing it to happen.

The republicans are enthusiastic about law and order at the expense of liberty, and the democrats have yet to become vertebrates.

Separation of powers isn't just a good idea, it's essential to the proper operation of our system.

Re:Good luck with that (2, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416155)

The republicans are enthusiastic about law and order at the expense of liberty, and the democrats have yet to become vertebrates.

This describes the problem perfectly. I can't mod you up, I can only agree profusely with you.

Watching the Democrats fold on the telcom issue after they won a congressional majority is one of the single most disappointing things I've seen in my entire life. I've never felt more betrayed by politicians in my life ever.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416477)

Then don't vote for them. Democrats and Republicans are not the only parties, and it really gets me irritated that people (en masse) seem to think they are.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416341)

nice that the only thing you can say against the dems is an ad hom attack. They must be doing something right.

Re:Good luck with that (0, Troll)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416505)

"The republicans are enthusiastic about law and order at the expense of liberty, and the democrats have yet to become vertebrates."

No its more like this

"The republicans are enthusiastic about law, order, and low taxes at the expense of liberty, and the democrats are enthusiastic about social justice programs, wealth redistribution, and social engineering at the expense of liberty...

Fixed it for you..

Re:Good luck with that (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416603)

The republicans are enthusiastic about law and order at the expense of liberty, and the democrats have yet to become vertebrates.

Are you kidding? The democrats' social programs don't hold up to constitutional review either.

The Congress is almost entirely made up of strong statists. Thar's 'yer problem.

Both Paulson and Chertof have been granted powers by the congress to operate as dictators. Wanna flip a coin?

Noob questions (5, Interesting)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416115)

Right, I understand that the administration does what it wants ignoring the consitution, and I want to see them jailed for it. And I understand that telecoms were complicit in that. That's about all I know about the case right now.

It seems a bit different from someone driving the getaway car for a bank heist, if nothing else in scale of the crime. Have any laws been broken by the telecos? Is there a law saying that you must obey the constitution even when ordered not to by the government? There is a law against aiding and abetting someone who robs a bank, but I would imagine there's no law against aiding the president when he urinates on the constitution. Is it that they broke privacy laws without a proper warant?

It seems to me that if I were the owner of a telecom company, and some government agent or the president was telling me to turn over documents, I'd consult my lawyers, sure, but if they came back with "Uh... we really have no clue as to what you should do, there's not much precedent here..." then what? If this was a case of the executive branch saying "We passed this law that says you have to turn over these documents to us or you're going to jail, we don't need a warrant," what is the teleco supposed to do? Claim powers of judicial review, say the president is being unconstitutional, and no?

Not sure, but I do commend you on one thing (3, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416227)

This is Slashdot, and you did work in a car analogy.

Re:Noob questions (5, Informative)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416433)

Qwest stood up for our rights and turned down the requests.
They also paid the price in the form of losing some lucrative government contracts that had previously been a lock.

Re:Noob questions (4, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416481)

If the telcos didn't do anything illegal,...

Why do they want immunity? Why object to this case?

Re:Noob questions (3, Informative)

Philotic (957984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416487)

Not all of the telco's cooperated.

"Quest Communications... refused the NSA's request for its customers phone records based on the advice of legal counsel, the former CEO said in a statement released on Friday. "

http://www.securityfocus.com/brief/208 [securityfocus.com]

Re:Noob questions (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416791)

Is it that they broke privacy laws without a proper warant?

DING!

Re:Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

bbernard (930130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416197)

It does make me wonder...would they not have been better waiting another 3 weeks--or until late January--to bring this suit so W has less, uh, clout with which to sweep this under the rug?

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416319)

With the rate that these cases tend to progress at, they probably just wanted to make sure they could get a ruling before Obama's term limits were up.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416855)

After January, McCain or Obama will be President. Both of them voted for this bill.

So no. I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. But no.

Re:Good luck with that (2, Insightful)

godless dave (844089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416335)

And the "opposition" in Congress will back him up, tugging their forelocks and mumbling "Whatever you command, Mr. President."

Re:Good luck with that (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416613)

Sue the government of its action not the Telcos.
Yes in principal the Telcos were in the wrong. However the government is in the more wrong.
Try to remember the days when the actions were taken place. GWB had an all time high approval rating. People wanted to do anything to catch terrorists, and if the Telco actually caught a terrorist thew the ease dropping then they would be a hero's. Saying No to the government would almost like saying you are unamerican and your share holders don't want you to be unamerican. In theory they could have been sued by the shareholders if they didn't do this, as they were not trying to maximize profits for shareholders. Our Elected Government is responsible for protecting our rights not the TelCo's Read the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." In essence the Government shall pass no laws however it doesn't mean that others can try to prevent you from free speech.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

ITJC68 (1370229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416665)

This is nothing more then a red herring. For all these people who are so scared of this the question is why? If it prevents some lunatic bomber or jihad from killing innocent people then it is worth it. The problem is if they don't have this ability and some innocent people get killed everyone will want to know why... why couldn't this have been prevented. I have nothing to hide from the government as they are not going to come to my house and arrest me because I said or typed jihad, bomb or Osama Bin Laden. It is a fine line between protection and intrusion and so far protection is where they are. When they start intruding on people's rights without due cause then it is going too far. Some oversight has to be in place and appears to be with HomeLand Security.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Unlikely_Hero (900172) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416717)

Can't we just shoot the little weasel already? I can guarantee you that's what any of the founders would have done.

Contractual EFF Support Link! (5, Informative)

ntk (974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415871)

Help us continue this fight: http://secure.eff.org/wiretapping [eff.org]

We've just opened a new page for student rates: http://www.eff.org/students [eff.org]

Third-party details on how EFF compares to other non-profit groups: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=7576 [charitynavigator.org]

(Unlike many groups, the vast majority of EFF's funding comes from individual donations: it's directly due to personal contributions that we can fight these and civil liberty cases.)

Re:Contractual EFF Support Link! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416025)

I will contribute (again) as soon as I stop being unemployed. And I've never even been to the US.

It would be sad to fail, but completely unforgivable not to try fighting shit like that.

Re:Contractual EFF Support Link! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416085)

I will contribute (again) as soon as I stop being unemployed.

That's how our Civil Liberties are going to be taken away. Our Government will continue to pass laws and regulations and taxes to keep us poor and dependent on them. So, if we want to survive, we'll have to take whatever the Government wants us to take.

I want to use you like a toilet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416043)

Imaging a big long log entering your mouth, leaving brown tracks on your lips and cheeks.

The you could chew it and savor the flavor :)

xxx

Re:Contractual EFF Support Link! (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416105)

I will donate to the EFF. Besides $, what else can I do to help?

Re:Contractual EFF Support Link! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416349)

Get a law degree and pass the bar exam

Re:Contractual EFF Support Link! (1)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416601)

Get a law degree and pass the bar exam.

If one is not disappeared in the process.

FISA? (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415875)

They should have named it FIST. Because they're fisting us without the benefit of lube. I'm sure most slashdotters know how painful that is!

Re:FISA? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25415945)

I'm sure most Mac users know how painful that is!

There, fixed that for 'ya!

Re:FISA? (4, Funny)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416119)

I'm sure most slashdotters know how painful that is!

...

No. No, we do not. I don't know where you got your ideas of the typical slashdotter's sexual activities, but they scare me.

Re:FISA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416255)

Slashdotters have sexual activities?

Maybe you mean Slashdotter's imagination?

Re:FISA? (1)

byornski (1022169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416925)

woooooooooooosh!

The problem isn't George W Bush (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416063)

The problem is 49% of Americans don't understand what we fought for in the revolution, or in the World Wars. They thing that "fighting for freedom" means going to another country. They think freedom means more TV channels. They think it is okay for the government to ignore the constitution if there is a 1 in a billion chance it will stop another 9/11.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"
(Unknown - attributed to Thomas Jefferson)

Re:The problem isn't George W Bush (4, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416131)

49%? That's a great overestimate. I'd put it more around 4.9% of American understand those concepts.

Re:The problem isn't George W Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416731)

And you don't understand English, apparently. :)

Re:The problem isn't George W Bush (4, Interesting)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416135)

And a large chunk of those who can verbalize what we fought for don't care so long as (1) They get sweet tax breaks or (2) The have nanny government take care of them every step along the way. Both sides are equally dangerous to freedom!

Re:The problem isn't George W Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416169)

Freedom? You think we fought those wars for Freedom? You'd better flush out your head gear, new guy. This isn't about freedom; this is a slaughter. If I'm gonna get my balls blown off for a word, my word is "poontang".

Re:The problem isn't George W Bush (3, Funny)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416239)

If I'm gonna get my balls blown off for a word, my word is "poontang".

That's what you say now, but once they are blown off, you aren't gong to have any interest in it.

Re:The problem isn't George W Bush (3, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416305)

I disagree. Most people have nothing to hide. Most people aren't paranoid and believe that if things got too bad, then they would be able to reign them in, whether through voting or through revolution. They also believe that this administration has gone too far, with ridiculously low approval ratings.

The problem is 49% of Americans don't understand what we fought for in the revolution, or in the World Wars. They thing that "fighting for freedom" means going to another country

In the world wars fighting for freedom DID mean going to other countries.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" (Unknown - attributed to Thomas Jefferson)

That could just as well apply to vigilance against tyrants and oppressors in other countries.

My point is that your post marginalizes other people and paints them as ignorant rather than admitting that it's a difference of opinion. For liberals, the platform that they stand on is freedom of choosing your own moral standard and the freedom to live without fear of being left in an impossible situation. For conservatives, they strive for the freedom to do what they want with their own money and the freedom to govern themselves on a more granular level. If an individual state wants to institute welfare, that's fine, just don't force me and my state into it. If my state wants to ban abortion, what's it to your state? You don't believe it's murder, we do. If you believe that an unborn baby is still a human being, then allowing abortions is roughly equivalent to allowing a mother to kill her children whenever she wants.

Re:The problem isn't George W Bush (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416819)

I disagree. Most people have nothing to hide.

Based on what? Your 15 years of living experience?

Both of us are using weasel words here, but check back with your statement again in 25 years, I pretty sure everyone has something to hide.

Re:The problem isn't George W Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416411)

Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.

Ben Franklin

I don't see how... (2, Insightful)

nebaz (453974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416191)

While I have had similar thoughts in the past, I can't necessarily find anything unconstitutional about this. Congress has offered immunity in the past for people who claim the Fifth Amendment while testifying, not to mention States Evidence mob trials. While I don't like it, it seems to kind of the opposite of Ex Post Facto. I am also not a constitutional scholar, and hate the idea that these guys can get off scott free, but there is precident to limitation of liability, which has seemed to be upheld in the past. Can someone please convince me constitutionally that I am wrong? I'd love to be in this case.

Then you must not be able to count past 3.... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25416393)

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.
- from the American Bill Of Rights

I live in Canada. Why do I know your constitution better than you?

It's not the immunity... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416719)

It's not so much the immunity that's the problem, it's that the immunity blocks access to records needed to find out just how extensive (and thus how unconstitutional) the operation was.

Who cares? (1)

allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416343)

Seriously. Who cares? Obviously not the ones that allowed the power mongering, the complete corruption. Definitely not the ones that ignored the warnings that this would happen. And certainly not me. Why? Because as a anarchist, I believe that government, no matter what form, is fundamentally corrupt. Now I don't advocate that we be government free. That would be impossible. Evolution has precluded that possibility by making us social creatures. I just acknowledge that all government eventually leads to totalitarianism. I'll be marked as off topic but I think this is extremely relevant. The power grabbing surprises me in only that it happened so quickly. I for one would love to see more of this happen. Because then the government will merely rot itself from within. And we will begin again.

Blaming the telecoms... (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416527)

...for what the Gov't told them to do is like blameing the gun manufacturer for any misuse by the Police.

I don't see anyone... (1)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416915)

Going after your criminal Government, do you?

That said, Obama/Biden might. [google.ca] In fact, it's your only chance.

LOL (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416587)

I don't get...why do people on scream about this administration???? They have been doing this ever since the DAMN PHONE WAS INVENTED!!! Do you really think the people in power would let mass amount of people to talk about anything with out having an eye or ear on things??? Those who cry the loudest about unfair or illegal acts are just as guility cause they would do it too.

To taggers wishing "goodluck" (1)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25416859)

You better hope they have good luck. They're fighting for YOUR right to privacy and more importantly, that the law should be upheld. Even my conservative friends claim they believe firstly that the law is inviolate, so this is hardly even a partisan issue.

EVERY American should be indignant that their rights have been, and continue to be, illegally violated, [salon.com] with impunity. I'm even starting to feel sorry for y'all.

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