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Wiretapping Program Ruled Legal

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the can-we-rule-the-ruling-illegal dept.

Privacy 575

BuhDuh writes "The New York Times is carrying a story concerning that well known bastion of legal authority, the 'Foreign Intelligence Surveillance' court, which has ruled that the National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping program was perfectly legal. It says, 'A federal intelligence court, in a rare public opinion, is expected to issue a major ruling validating the power of the president and Congress to wiretap international phone calls and intercept e-mail messages without a court order, even when Americans' private communications may be involved, according to a person with knowledge of the opinion.'"

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Cairo (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468301)

You should ask the people in Cairo where they think we're heading. Egypt's a "democratic" country terrorizing its people under the guise of a "war on terror." Really, you just need to intercept communications of those people who oppose you in any form or fashion and simply provide even the slightest proof that they belong to The Muslim Brotherhood. The screams in the night are nothing to concern you, comrade, you haven't done anything wrong so why should you be worried?

I don't think anything really bad is being done against the American people at this moment. I do think that boundaries are being crossed whereby if the wrong person gets into power, there is no going back. Just ask yourself: What Would Nixon Do?

Re:Cairo (2, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468403)

you are aware that U.S. citizens are being held at Guantanamo?

Re:Cairo (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468427)

you are aware that U.S. citizens are being held at Guantanamo?

Citation?

Re:Cairo (-1, Troll)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468921)

you are aware that U.S. citizens are being held at Guantanamo?

Citation?

Obama's continued reiterations that he intends to repatriate the detainees at guantanimo starting immediately after his inauguration?

Re:Cairo (4, Informative)

astrodoom (1396409) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469163)

Repatriate just means to send back to their country of origin. It doesn't mean that they were citizens of the U.S. Geez people, patriot doesn't mean American.

Re:Cairo (1)

CanadaIsCold (1079483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469171)

Repatriate - To bring or send back (a person, esp. a prisoner of war, a refugee, etc.) to his or her country or land of citizenship.

Please note that it doesn't say bring back to the United states, where they are a citizen.

Re:Cairo (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469305)

you are aware that U.S. citizens are being held at Guantanamo?

Citation?

Obama's continued reiterations that he intends to repatriate the detainees at guantanimo starting immediately after his inauguration?

That does nothing to confirm the original statement.

Re:Cairo (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469393)

No, Obama has said that one of his first acts would be to order the closure of the detention camps. [go.com] That is not the same as freeing the prisoners there. More likely the current prisoners or detainees whatever you want to call them will be relocated to other facilities. Also, the order will not likely to be enforced immediately as the relocation would take some time. A side consequence may be that some of the detainees may finally get their trials or tribunals. This may free those who have played no part in acts of terrorism.

Re:Cairo (5, Informative)

sbayless (1310131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469309)

you are aware that U.S. citizens are being held at Guantanamo?

No, but there is a Canadian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khadr [wikipedia.org] , who was 15 years old at the time of the alleged crimes.

Re:Cairo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26469357)

And what, you think 15 year olds can't go to jail?

Re:Cairo (2, Insightful)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468567)

This brings to mind something Hermann Goering said during his trial at Nuremburg. He said something along the lines of identify someone different and tell the people that that guy is the enemy and he wants to hurt you. The people will then allow you to do anything as long as you keep them safe.

Didn't Santayana say something about those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it?

Re:Cairo (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468689)

"those who desire security at the expense of liberty, deserve neither." - Benjamin Franklin

The U.S. Constitution forbids the "searching" of phonecalls made by Americans. It shouldn't matter if an American is calling another American, or a Japanese citizen. The Constitutional Law is clear that wuch wiretapping is not allowed unless the police can get a warrant issued by a judge.

Re:Cairo (5, Informative)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468879)

The Constitutional Law is clear that wuch wiretapping is not allowed unless the police can get a warrant issued by a judge.

Its not so clear. In the early days of wiretapping, no warrant was required for anyone; as phone calls were not thought to be "persons, houses, papers, and effects". Don't get me wrong, I like that warrants are needed, but the issue has not always been so clear cut.

Re:Constitution (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469087)

You seem to think it matters. Bush has decided it doesn't.

Re:Cairo (4, Insightful)

Yungoe (415568) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469339)

Please be sure to use the entire quote from Franklin. This entire quote is "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." These adjectives change the meaning of the quote entirely.

Also where in the constitution is this clear?

Re:Cairo (3, Insightful)

2short (466733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469567)



"These adjectives change the meaning of the quote entirely."

On the contrary, those adjectives only emphasize why the quote is true.

Unless you believe liberty is sometimes inessential or security is ever anything but temporary.

Re:Cairo (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26469495)

Ok comodore.

Your quoting someone, to quote someone requires a bit of knowledge... Let see if you have a clue.

WHEN did mr. Franklin make that comment.

Was that his EXACT phrase. Prove it if you think it is.

WHY did he make that comment. Come on dick head, you know what I mean. What caused that comment to become public for assholes like you to use it.

HOW did it become a public comment.

If your going to quote people. Then please have the FUCKING DECENCY to understand why the quote was made. Dick head.

Re:Cairo (3, Interesting)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469153)

My biggest issue with this is domestic internet communication is semi-routinely routed through other countries and the eavesdropping program has no way to tell whether the 4th amendment is being violated.

Basically, the court just gave permission to the NSA to dragnet anything they want without a warrant so long as they can demonstrate there is a possibility that the communication was to or from a foreigner.

Re:Cairo (1)

Xelios (822510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469455)

Even if you find no evidence of wrongdoing, don't like what somebody's saying? Make something up. In a secret wiretapping program with no oversight (except for a "secret court", yeah right), who's going to know you didn't really intercept that email about an assassination plot?

Circling the drain folks... circling the drain.

Motherfucking son of bitch. (3, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468335)

This right on the heels of a god damned act of treason by
Supreme Court just yesterday: http://www.freep.com/article/20090115/NEWS07/90115015 [freep.com]

Seriously, can anyone tell me ANYTHING whatsoever that the 4th amendment does now?

And just in case anyone out there is still Hoping for Change starting next week: sorry, the New Boss supports this shit too - and he's a "constitutional scholar"!

Every last one of these sons of bitches should be in jail.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (4, Insightful)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468523)

"Seriously, can anyone tell me ANYTHING whatsoever that the 4th amendment does now?"

A communication coming in abroad is no different than a package. The government has *always* had a right to intercept foreign shipments and communications. The 4th applies to American citizens *in* America not aything about people who are not Americans or persons (be they American or not) overseas.

Information Vs Matter (0)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468707)

A communication coming in abroad is no different than a package.

I disagree. Communication to me is the transmission of ideas. If you are still attaching them to pieces of trees, then they may be searched although the contents of that idea should not be.

A package, on the other hand, is the transmission of matter. The government may keep that right to intercept those but I will not stand for the censorship and/or interception of ideas or information!

And don't whine to me about National Security ... it's the agencies' jobs to keep that from ever being sent across a border.

Re:Information Vs Matter (1)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468995)

"I disagree. Communication to me is the transmission of ideas. If you are still attaching them to pieces of trees, then they may be searched although the contents of that idea should not be."

Please we are in the information age Ideas are just as, if not more, powerful than 'pieces of trees'. But if you want to play it that way just say that the electrons are being inspected. The telephone to us is what the written letter was to the founders.

"A package, on the other hand, is the transmission of matter."

Electrons are matter..

"The government may keep that right to intercept those but I will not stand for the censorship and/or interception of ideas or information!"

Go yell fire in a crowded theater.. why should anyone be allowed to censor you..

"And don't whine to me about National Security ... it's the agencies' jobs to keep that from ever being sent across a border."

Re:Information Vs Matter (1)

miserere nobis (1332335) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469043)

I'm not going to disagree with you that information should be secure. Unfortunately, the Fourth Amendment says nothing about information or ideas; its language is entirely in the physical/material realm.

Re:Information Vs Matter (3, Insightful)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469125)

Depends on if that "communication" goes over lands/buildings/properties exclusively owned by a private individual US Citizen with 4th Amendment protections OR does that transmission cross some line of demarcation onto property that is not solely owned by that 4th Amendment protested individual?
To walk around your house naked is legal as it your right to privacy, but to go outside and walk down the street naked, your rights to privacy vanish!
My email have been ruled to be "unprotected" once it passes my line of demarcation and this is no different.
Putting it another way, two parties yelling across a public alley at one another from each of their private homes (or even if signaling each other in Morse Code with Naval Signaling Lights) are not protected by the 4th Amendment in their "Communication" as intercepting it can be done from lands and property not owned by either party. (And the same would be true if the same individual owned both homes, because the message crossed lands and property not subject to the 4th Amendment protections of the individual citizen.

IANAL, but as I understand the 4th Amendment, it was written over SEARCH and SEIZURES in/of a Private US Citizen's PROPERTY/HOME, and does not cover PUBLIC locations. For public locations, the Police need to abide by their own ROE and typically only probable cause or some other suspicion or wrongdoing is needed for the Police to search your person or vehicle (as you would NOT be located on/in YOUR 4th Amendment Protected private property but in a public location.)

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (5, Interesting)

demachina (71715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468959)

You leave out the interesting case where the person abroad is a foreign correspondent for an American news agency. Its been established by whistle blowers that journalists have been a particular target of this eavesdropping, along with aid workers. You are in fact trampling freedom of the press if you let the government read and listen to all the emails and phone calls of a journalists without a warrant. It allows the government to immediately identify all of the journalists sources unless the contact is only made face to face which is pretty constraining. It places an immediate chilling effect on an independent press and on anyone telling a journalist anything. This is a big plus for the government and military which would prefer the public not know about all their dirty laundry.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (1)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469259)

The entire reason for a judicial branch is to make sure the law is justly applied consistent with the constitution. Thus if a journalist is communicating from overseas and its nothing then nothing should be done and, yes, the listening should not be done without *some* probable cause. And that is where the legislators and courts come into play.

Now I do have a problem with the 'kill them all and let God sort them out' method of intelligence but thats not what this case was about.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469089)

The NSA wiretap program involves nothing more than a signal splitter [arstechnica.com] . This device duplicates ALL communications going over the wire. Not just the ones going overseas. What gives them the power to record domestic communications?

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469321)

The rights enumerated in the Constitution, like all human rights, apply to all people -- citizens or no. Nowhere does the Constitution grant the federal government the power to abridge those rights simply because the person in question is not an American citizen.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (4, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468555)

"The question whether the judges are invested with exclusive authority to decide on the constitutionality of a law has been heretofore a subject of consideration with me in the exercise of official duties. Certainly there is not a word in the Constitution which has given that power to them more than to the Executive or Legislative branches."

        --Thomas Jefferson to W. H. Torrance, 1815. ME 14:303

http://www.landmarkcases.org/marbury/jefferson.html [landmarkcases.org]

"This member of the Government was at first considered as the most harmless and helpless of all its organs. But it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is, ad libitum, by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution, can do what open force would not dare to attempt."

In other words, it isn't very hard for 5 lawyers to screw things up for everyone!

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468571)

Every last one of these sons of bitches should be in jail.

What, without a speedy trial by a jury of their peers? Isn't that unconstitutional?

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468583)

Well, on the bright side, the ruling you cited was 5-4 with the five conservative judges yay and the four liberal judges nay. We can hope with fingers crossed that one of the conservative scumbags retires or dies very soon.

FISA's ruling is total madness. That's almost like a small-town judge being arrested for peeping in some poor woman's bathroom window and being caught jerking off in the bushes only to find himself innocent after presiding over his own trial! Good ol' state-sponsored voyeurism.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (4, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468779)

We can hope with fingers crossed that one of the conservative scumbags retires or dies very soon.

Scumbags really depends on your point of view and the particular case in question. I can think of at least three cases off the top of my head where the so-called liberal justices were the scumbags:

Gonzales v. Raich [wikipedia.org] : The Federal Government can arrest cancer patients for using cannabis even where such use is legal under State law. The liberals (joined by Scalia and Kennedy) all voted in favor of it. O'Connor, Rehnquist and Thomas opposed it.
Kelo v. City of New London [wikipedia.org] : The State can seize your private property for the benefit of private (i.e: Wal-Mart) development. The Liberals (joined by Kennedy) didn't have any problems with this. Scalia, O'Connor, Rehnquist and Thomas all dissented.
District of Columbia v. Heller [wikipedia.org] : The Liberals all dissented in this case, which held that the 2nd amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. Apparently that's too much freedom for them.

Those are just the ones that I can think of off the top my head. Trust me when I say that the Liberal wing of the court is no better at protecting our rights.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469151)

What are you talking about? There are no liberals on the Supreme Court.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26469395)

Maybe that's why he said "so-called"?

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (1)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469249)

I think what this proves is that the terms democrat, republican, liberal, conservative, etc... are all just labels that are supposed to define one rigid way of life.

Labels are a really fucking stupid because most people cannot be defined by one word, but rather as an amalgamation of opinions, each one differing slightly as situations change and evolve.

Calling someone a liberal or a conservative simplifies things for us - to determine who we would vote for - but also simplifies that person to a single statement.

Quite frankly, I view terms like that as on par with nigger, spic, and wop - words that simplify people to a social stereotype.

Re:evals (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469343)

Should we develop the GeekFriendly Code for Politicians?

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (0, Offtopic)

LeafOnTheWind (1066228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469493)

District of Columbia v. Heller [wikipedia.org]: The Liberals all dissented in this case, which held that the 2nd amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. Apparently that's too much freedom for them.

The liberal justices were correct in this case. All available precedent, as well as the conventional interpretation of the amendment itself, has supported the theory that the 2nd amendment gives a collective right to gun ownership. It only gives an individual right if you ignore the first half of the sentence. The ACLU [aclu.org] prevents a clear explanation of the position.

I do not support overactive gun control and may even support an amendment that includes individual gun ownership, but the idea that the Constitution does as written is ridiculous.

The majority opinion even presented a compelling argument for Kelo v. City of New London, arguing that eminent domain could be used for public purpose. From Wikipedia:

Kennedy fleshed out this doctrine in his Kelo concurring opinion, in which he sets out a program of civil discovery in the context of a challenge to an assertion of government purpose in the eminent domain context. However, he does not explicitly limit these criteria to eminent domain, nor to minimum scrutiny, suggesting that they may be generalized to all health and welfare regulation in the scrutiny regime. Because Kennedy signed on to the Court's majority opinion, his concurrence is not binding on lower courts. He writes:
"A court confronted with a plausible accusation of impermissible favoritism to private parties should [conduct]â¦.a careful and extensive inquiry into âwhether, in fact, the development plan [chronology]
[1.] is of primary benefit to . . . the developerâ¦, and private businesses which may eventually locate in the plan areaâ¦,
[2.] and in that regard, only of incidental benefit to the cityâ¦[.]â(TM)"
Kennedy is also interested in facts of the chronology which show, with respect to government,
[3.] awareness ofâ¦depressed economic condition and evidence corroborating the validity of this concernâ¦,
[4.] the substantial commitment of public fundsâ¦before most of the private beneficiaries were knownâ¦,
[5.] evidence that [government] reviewed a variety of development plansâ¦[,]
[6.] [government] chose a private developer from a group of applicants rather than picking out a particular transferee beforehand andâ¦
[7.] other private beneficiaries of the project [were]â¦unknown [to government] because theâ¦space proposed to be built [had] not yet been rentedâ¦."

The Gonzales v. Raich case was not about anything you cited. The decision was based almost entirely on the Commerce Clause. Their decision was iffy, but it does fit very well with precedent, which has established the Commerce Clause as almost infallible in these situations.

Honestly, I can not say one of your examples is solid. If you really want a questionable liberal legal decision, take a gander at Roe v. Wade. (Disclaimer: I am a Democrat and support legal abortions in the United States.) That decision was a legal travesty: the foundation of the decision was the 4th Amendment, insinuating that the right to have an abortion is equivalent with the right of the people to be secure in their persons. The decision in this case was just so broad and overreaching that I see its legal foundation as almost laughable.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468953)

I'm surprised, because during the last major ruling (Can D.C. residents own guns?), it was the conservatives who voted "aye, the Constitution protects that right" and the liberals who voted "nay".

It seems the judges are not ruling based upon what the Constitution says, but purely upon partisan lines. Liberals hate guns so they vote "nay, guns are not allowed" but they like drugs so they vote "aye, throw out the warrantless search". And ditto the conservatives in the opposite directions.

It's as if the judges are randomly choosing to protect the parts of the Constitution they like, and rejecting the parts they dislike.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (1)

adiposity (684943) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469189)

Liberals hate guns so they vote "nay, guns are not allowed" but they like drugs so they vote "aye, throw out the warrantless search".

Read his post again. Liberal justices voted TO arrest legal cannabis patients.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469313)

P.S.

>>>We can hope with fingers crossed that one of the conservative scumbags retires or dies very soon.

If that does happen the illegal searches will be stricken by the 5-4 liberal court (good), but private ownership of guns in D.C. or other jurisdictions will be declared illegal (bad). So all you've done is trade one Constitutional freedom for the loss of a another.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26469465)

I never thought I would say this, but... Ron Paul for SCOTUS? It's becoming more apparent that the Libertarian stance on government would best serve us as the tiebreaker vote there...

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468617)

careful there...you know this is going into the database. Don't be surprised if you find yourself in a "reeducation facility" sometime down the road. Read the writing on the wall. It's coming and the general populace not only accept it but many demand it. So they can be "safe." I'd suggest thinking about what you say in terms of how it might be interpreted by a chinese style "domocracy." anon

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26468717)

Every last one of these sons of bitches should be in jail.

No, every last one of these sons of bitches should be taken out and shot.

Obama does *not* support it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26468819)

the New Boss supports this shit too

Obama has many faults but this isn't one of them. He has been a longstanding critic of Bush's wiretap programs. He's not likely to appoint justices like the ones that continue to weaken the 4th Amendment.

(Please don't bring up the FISA bill. We've been over that already. We all know what happened. It doesn't change the fact that Obama does not support illegal wiretapping.)

Re:Obama does *not* support it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26469307)

Please don't bring up the FISA bill. We've been over that already. We all know what happened. It doesn't change the fact that Obama does not support illegal wiretapping.

Oh, I see. GWB2 doesn't support illegal wiretapping, he merely voted for it. Pretty cool loophole. When he takes office in a few days, he'll be able to do all kinds of stuff that he doesn't support. He'll just do those things with great reluctance.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (1)

$beirdo (318326) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469011)

Our system of jurisprudence in this country, and therefore any sense of American "freedom" is, frankly, complete bullshit.

Get used to it.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469031)

Welcome to the Fascist States of Amerika. Land of the Surveiled and home of the Cowardly.

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469251)

Seriously, can anyone tell me ANYTHING whatsoever that the 4th amendment does now?

I can; It's still very handy as a doily [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Motherfucking son of bitch. (2, Informative)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469459)

The exclusionary rule is an artificial judicial construct that is not a constitutional right. Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465 (1976). The Fourth Amendment only guarantees freedom from illegal search and seizure. Introducing illegally-obtained evidence in a criminal case is neither. Excluding illegally-obtained evidence is meant to deter police misconduct but the public pays the cost in freed criminals. If the official misconduct was TRULY not intentional (setting aside your cynicism) then there is no deterrent purpose.

The exclusionary rule can have potentially horrible effects when applied. In Williams v. Nix, the suspect in the murder of a little girl was transported by a police officer who promised the defense attorney that there would be no questioning during the trip. (The suspect was seen carrying a rolled-up rug with little legs sticking out of one end, but when apprehended, there was no body or rug.) Instead, the officer started a soliloquy that about how he was just going to speak, and was not asking the suspect to say anything. The officer then pointed out that it was Christmas, and that the victim's family will now never be able to celebrate Christmas as it was now the anniversary of their child's death and not Christ's birth. He then elaborated that even if the suspect later told where the body was, the spring melt might wash the body away from the hiding place. The suspect then led the cop to the body, which was tossed into a culvert.

The trial court ruled that this constituted an interrogation even though there was no physical coercion. Thus, it was an illegal search in contravention of the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled that the body and the suspect's confession had to be excluded, and remanded to the trial court. The trial court then held that the discovery of the body would have been inevitable because search parties were assigned to the area where the body was hidden, and the officials in charge of the search swore up and down on a stack of holy books and all that was dear that he had specifically instructed the search parties to look at culverts.

On the second appeal, in Nix v. Williams, the Supreme Court held that evidence derived in derogation of Fourth Amendment rights could be used where the discovery would have been inevitable despite the interrogation. It took at face value the trial court's evidentiary finding that the discovery would have been inevitable. The conviction was affirmed.

You might uphold the exclusionary rule as a valuable protection of a constitutional right, but make no mistake that it carries a very heavy price. And it has no constitutional basis, and has no democratic support. I think we watch too much Law & Order and think the rule was set in stone, but it was actually a relatively new invention, having been enunciated in Mapp v. Ohio in the fifties.

Oh well (2, Funny)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468353)

It's not like they don't have what's best for you in mind.

Re:Oh well (1)

demachina (71715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468785)

Since they can read your email and listen to your phone calls they also know what is IN your mind.

Re:Oh well (5, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468901)

It's not like they don't have what's best for you in mind.

Actually, in all seriousness, I believe that they do. I think that all the paranoia about them trying to enslave our minds to support some massive corporate/governing elite by censoring our movements, restricting our speech, and stripping our rights away is nonsense. I think that the Intelligence agencies and probably better than half of our governing body is motivated (mainly) by wanting to do what's best for us and keep us safe.

The problem is that their idea of what's "best for us" may not line up with mine and I'll be damned if I'm going to voluntarily abandon rights because it may-or-may-not make some minimal impact on my safety that would be dwarfed by efforts on the non-terror front. I don't so much question their intentions (although I don't object too loudly when other people do - blind trust is usually a bad idea), I just object to their methods.

Okay... (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468359)

Well, in the fine tradition of our founding fathers then, let's assemble publicly, choose representatives from amongst us, and then send them out internationally to work towards encrypting the network and locking it down, taking away the ability of our government to spy on us at the network level. You don't play well with others, and soon you'll have nobody to play with. Simple. Of course... who will bell the cat?

Re:Okay... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469173)

A better plan is to have 3/4th of the 50 States Legislatures call a Constitutional convention, and amend the Constitution to clarify certain key aspects such as "strike the common welfare clause", add that "all INTRAstate commerce shall be the exclusive purview of the individual State Legislature", and "all evidence collected without warrant will be thrown out, no exceptions".

Or something along those lines. The details can be worked-out in the convention.

Re:Convention? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469387)

Sorry, but we'll never see a constitutional convention again. We might see one of those ammendments sent to the people though.

Shocker there (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468373)

The rubberstamp court rubberstamps a government request.

Riots? (4, Insightful)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468375)

So what time do the riots and looting start? I'm not off work til 5pm but I gotta pickup the kids and get them home by 6pm, oh and I have to watch an episode of House MD before I can head out. On second thought, I do have to work tomorrow and don't want to be inconvenienced, so lets put them off until its warmer outside as well, maybe next year, or the year after?

*Goes back to staring at the god box and doing as told.

cheers.

so what? (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468389)

google just announced layoffs and is shutting down 6 services you probably haven't heard of! Also, Obama just wiped his ass with biodegradable toilet paper!

Why not? (1, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468417)

If the warrants can be issued retroactively, then there is really no point in getting the order except as some sort of CYA. The damage has already been done, so it's nothing more than a rubber stamp.

If you're going to set the system up that way, why don't you cut out the whole dog and pony show and just allow intelligence agencies carte blanche. The result is the same, and it saves money.

Re:Why not? (4, Insightful)

huckamania (533052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468719)

The FISA court is simply recognizing that no one has a right to privacy when making an international call. Freedom of Speech does not make any guarantee of privacy, nor does Freedom from Search & Seizure exist at the border. The NSA program specifically targeted phone calls between the US and a foreign country.

The FISA court still needs to exist to temper abuse for domestic wire taps.

I've explained this several times on this site and I'm glad to see the court has finally figured out how to read.

Re:Why not? (2, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469211)

If the warrants can be issued retroactively, then there is really no point in getting the order except as some sort of CYA.

Getting the warrant allows the evidence to be used in court. No warrant - no evidence. At least until yesterday [guardian.co.uk] .

Sweet (2, Interesting)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468479)

So the FISA court just ruled itself irrelevant?

Re:Sweet (0)

NewmanKU (948325) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469141)

This is just for international communications coming in and out of the US. FISA is still valid for domestic communication. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but this really only means they don't need a warrant immediately, they will still have to go through FISA to get a longer term warrant. This "warrantless" program just gives them a few extra days of immediate listening instead of having to wait the few days it takes to get a warrant and miss some valid data.

Re:Sweet (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469427)

"In other news, 3/4 of the staff of the FISA has been laid off. A secretary still answers the phone to schedule tours for third graders though."

Excuse me while I... (3, Insightful)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468531)

go buy more ammo for my soon to be banned guns.
Jefferson was right

Re:Excuse me while I... (0)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469341)

I don't think crypto counts as a munition anymore. ;-)

Face it (1)

jnmontario (865369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468551)

...when you make the rules, you can change them at will.

Of course I'll get modded down (4, Insightful)

GuloGulo (959533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468557)

But I strongly suspected this already. Most people who actually analyzed the situation and the LAW thought it was a strong possibility.

Unfortunately, every time I attempted to discuss the actual LAW, I (and others) were shouted down (and modded down) by the "WHARGARBLL FUCK BUSH BLAHGHGHG!!" crowd, who'd rather not have their prejudices disproven.

Things can be legal, and still be intrusive and wrong on a moral level.

Perhaps in the future, all of you who screamed "Illegal wiretaps!!!!" at the top of your lungs will take the time to listen.

PS, I think it's shitty too, but that doesn't make it illegal.

Re:Of course I'll get modded down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26468915)

WHARGARBLL FUCK BUSH BLAHGHGHG!!

your newsletter, I'd like to subscribe to it

Re: What about DOMESTIC traffic? (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469003)

Seems to me that the optical splitters AT&T put on the network backbone, copying traffic to the NSA -- BY DEFINITION -- captured and forwareded ALL the traffic on the network, therefore also capturing and copying YOUR conversations and emails with YOUR MOM.

Re: What about DOMESTIC traffic? (1)

GuloGulo (959533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469033)

"captured and forwareded ALL the traffic on the network, therefore also capturing and copying YOUR conversations and emails with YOUR MOM."

My mom is dead you insensitive clod!!!

No, really, she died.

Indeed, what ABOUT domestic traffic? (2, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469221)

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 says:

1. A warrant is not required to collect intelligence when the target is not a US Person, regardless of where the collection occurs, including within the US.

2. A warrant is always required to collect intelligence when the target is a US Person, whether inside or outside of the US (more strict than previous law).

This requires the assistance of telecom operators in the US. In order to determine which traffic can be legally intercepted without a warrant, basic information about the traffic, such as its source and destination, must also be examined. Such examination of traffic -- a "pen register" -- also does not require a warrant.

The job of our foreign intelligence services is to collect information on the activities and plans of US adversaries. This activity has never required a warrant, because these individuals are not protected by the Constitution of the United States.

The path traffic takes shouldn't prevent us from doing this job.

Re:Indeed, what ABOUT domestic traffic? (2, Insightful)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469423)

Inalienable

You cannot take them away, citizen, non-citizen, good guy, bad guy.

Inalienable.

Liberty was an inalienable right once... long ago...

Re:Indeed, what ABOUT domestic traffic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26469515)

Jesus was an alien long ago

Wiretapping, bugs, Watergate, Obama inauguration (0, Offtopic)

firstfreethenserve (1426481) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468611)

http://slashdot.org/~firstfreethenserve/journal/221481 [slashdot.org]

Why is President Bush repeatedly warning Obama that he is 45 seconds away from his family and that the job is not easy and he will feel the weight on his shoulders?

Obama knows exactly what a dirty soup he has got into. He has been a Senator for at least one term. He has fought the Republican media propaganda. He knows what MIC stands for, he knows what a considerable threat to his life there is.

Why does George Bush behave like a gangster and warn him that his daughters are like this or his wife is like that and he wil need their help and so on? And why does Bill Clinton say that he loves that particular rug?

Has anyone given a thought to Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal? What if Bush leaves behind a bugged White House? What if flowers around the White House are already laced with biological weapons and anthrax? Why has the anthrax scientist suitably committed suicide? Do these things add up to a bigger pattern? Hush up the attack and spring it up so that 45 seconds will not be enough for Barack Obama to get help? Julius Caesar? Brutus?

Remember: Bush NEVER talks meaningful specifics. How then did he utter "45 second commute"? google bush obama tough 45 seconds family [google.com]

Why has Bush repeatedly been talking about Obama's shoulders? Is there a suit that Obama is supposed to wear? Are suits bugged at the shoulders? Is there a history of any such bugging? Why does everyone assume that the White House staff actually has no loyalties to Bush or the Republican Party?

It is human enough to fall to one side or the other in a normal conversation, so in a situation like the White House being occupied by a Black man, ending centuries of monopoly, everyone in the White House is going to be all loyal to Barack Obama? This would be a folly of the highest order.

If Barack Obama is hurt in any way on Inauguration (unlikely) or a few days later (VERY LIKELY) what will happen to America? What will happen to change? And what will happen to the future of this world? Who will be blamed this time? Iraq? Osama? Russia? Hamas? Israel? China? India? Brazil? Where are the hottest selling minerals coming from today? Which is the mineral that can change dollar hegemony that USA needs to sustain? Which is the mineral that they do not want Russia or China to get?

What other pretext to start a war can be thought of? Why do we think that riots across America can produce a Constitiutional situation where Obama cannot issue orders of his own accord?

What about Lasers and Tasers? What about wireless power? What about biological attack? what about chemical attack? What if someone tasers Obama's family from a distant tower like Kennedy was shot from a distant tower? Why do you think that rogue Republicans will not stoop to this level?

The Obama Inauguration is probably not given enough importance from some of these points of view. Surely Obamanation needs an assurance. They needed only one Monica Lewinsky to destroy the Democratic party's hopes by impeaching Clinton for a shameful, non-Christian act.

What will they do with Obama? The White House staff have been fed on pride and power. It is the WHITE House !! The "centre of white supremacy" for the racist and criminal minded - exactly "the type that assassinate Presidents".

Throughout history regimes, rulers and dynasties have been toppled overnight by palace coups? Is President Bush telling certain investors that in 45 seconds, their game will be happily back in their hands because Obama will be "neutralised" in that much time. Obama's life in the White House is a dangerous life. I hope I am wrong.

PS: Why did Clinton like the rug so much in the photograph?

Re:Wiretapping, bugs, Watergate, Obama inauguratio (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468797)

The whitehouse gets numerous open-to-the-public tours through its halls every day.

I suspect it is swept every night by the secret service and NSA for counter-intelligence purposes.

I am not concerned about this.

P.S. Nixon bugged his own office, not the FBI. His obsession with gathering and archiving information led to his own demise.

Re:Wiretapping, bugs, Watergate, Obama inauguratio (1)

stevew (4845) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468849)

You probably believe that 9/11 was an inside job too!

What the President was referring to when said that is family was a 45 second commute away was that when Obama might feel overwhelmed then his support system, i.e. his family was an EASY 45 second commute away.

Note the "EASY" emphasis was mine. Bush said neither tough or easy from what I remember him saying. Whoops - I actually watched the discussion live. What I'm saying above was the context of the comment.

Bush was also saying that at some point - the size of the responsibilities of the office of the Presidency would hit Obama emotionally.

Take a deep breath -then crawl back under your tin hat.

Re:Wiretapping, bugs, Watergate, Obama inauguratio (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468899)

I hope I am wrong
Nope, you just need to remember to take your medications and the voices in your head will become silent again.

If you tell me where you are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26468917)

I could probably find you a really good psychiatrist to get you back on your meds, you seem to be having a great deal of trouble without them.

Re:Wiretapping, bugs, Watergate, Obama inauguratio (3, Funny)

onecheapgeek (964280) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469281)

What the holy hell are you tin-foiling about?

FISA isn't Constitutional (1)

ixer (1423597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468637)

The flaw with all this isn't that the wiretapping is legal/illegal, it's that in reality, FISA itself is unConstitutional. But what do I know? I'm just a constitution loving, taxpaying, voting American.

Re:FISA isn't Constitutional (2, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468789)

The problem with this statement is that both the current administration and the upcoming administration don't seem to mind that it's not constitutional. Facts have an odd way of falling through the cracks in a bureaucracy.

Further proof that our rights are a sham (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26468725)

Just further evidence that the rights we're told that we have in grade school are frankly ridiculous.

American "freedom" is a joke. And we should all be ashamed of that.

The wiretapping law, not the original program (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468749)

This is about the program under the law passed by Congress which authorized warrantless wiretapping after the President was doing it; not the program which was carried out prior to that by the President in direct contravention to the prohibitions of the statute law existing at the time.

Of course, one might reasonably question whether the decision comports with the Constitution even there, but its an important distinction to make, since there have been issues both with the power of government as a whole and the independent power of the President, regardless of the laws passed by Congress relating to warrantless wiretapping, and the two issues sometimes get muddled.

Re:The wiretapping law, not the original program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26469565)

Completely false. The opinion deals with the inherent authority of the executive branch to wiretap without warrants.

What is with the commentary in the posted article? "well known bastion of legal authority". Let me get this straight - a poster on Slashdot calls into question the constitutional knowledge of a federal court of appeals? On what basis?

In other news (5, Funny)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468767)

In other news, the Fox Court has ruled that hen-house raids by foxes are legal. Shocking.

Let me be the first to say (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468769)

Dooooooooom!!

That's all.

bushcrimesyndicate? (4, Insightful)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468831)

The tag "bushcrimesyndicate" is inaccurate. For those of you who haven't read the Constitution, Congress is responsible for setting up all Federal courts, including the FISA court (surely nobody believes that Bush created FISA...).

"politiciancrimesyndicate" is much more accurate.

They can rule all they want. (3, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468871)

They're not the one hearing the class action cases. They're also not the supreme court.

They can say anything they want, but, while they have authority to issue warrants, they are by no means the final authority on the interpretation of law in regards to the constitution.

That would be the USSC.

Since When Was It Legal (1)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468941)

. . . for any citizen to conspire, support, or engage in activities whose sole purpose is the violent overthrow of the Constitution?

Re:Since When Was It Legal (5, Insightful)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469435)

. . . for any citizen to conspire, support, or engage in activities whose sole purpose is the violent overthrow of the Constitution?

Since December 15, 1791.

The first amendment allows freedom of expression, even if the idea being expressed is to abolish the existing government.

The second amendment was not passed to protect the rights of hunters. It was passed so that common citizens could, in the inevitable instance that their government becomes tyrannical, can be overthrown. In 1791, "well-regulated" did not mean that the militia would be "regulated" or licensed by the government (you didn't need a license for anything in 1791). "Well-regulated" meant a militia that could shoot straight.

These ideas were not outrageous to the founding fathers. They themselves had just violently overthrown their government. While not law, these ideas are expressed clearly in the opening of the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

hhmm (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26468957)

wow what a shock as Obama gets in office that they run a story saying its ok for this program to run... I have news for all those people that keep bashing Bush/republicans and Obama/dems, they are the goverment they will do what ever they want when they want go head try to stop them my bet is you suddenly go missing in the middle of the night no matter what side is in. The goverment has been doing this stuff for decades now why do people get shocked now its what they do.

Society is a vector, not a scalar (1)

ogma (755652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469041)

There are people who claim that these individual steps are necessary to protect the people, and that no one step is anything that's enough to worry about in the grand scheme of things.

However I think that society is something that moves in a partcular direction, and has momentum (for want of better metaphors). Each individually harmless step gives it a push in a particular direction, and from the news we've been seeing over the last number of years I'd say American society is now travelling at a pretty fast clip in the wrong direction (last stop 1984?). I know people are hoping that the new guy in the White House will know how to find the brakes, but momentum in the wrong direction has built up by now as well, and it'll take a lot to turn this thing around, assuming it's even possible at this stage.

Wiretapping Program Ruled Legal (0, Troll)

pleasegetreal (744605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469129)

Well Duh. Mod down if you want, but the law is pretty clearly written. Don't like it? Vote out the Democrat dominated Congress that blessed it.

is anyone really surprised? (1)

jt418-93 (450715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469265)

constitutions are vessels designed to contain the acid of government that wants to eat up freedom. eventually, they all wear away and are discarded.
only took 200something years. not a very good run really.

Re:is anyone really surprised? (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469323)

most govies only last 50-100 years before they get trashed and start something new..looks like we are over due

What is an intelligence court? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469279)

A federal intelligence court, in a rare public opinion, is expected to issue a major ruling...

What is a Federal Intelligence Court, and why is it implied that the decisions of this court are not usually made public?

Re:What is an intelligence court? (1, Troll)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26469447)

Sorry to reply to my own post, but this article gets more absurd as I go:

The appeals court is expected to uphold a secret ruling...

Uphold a what?

...issued last year by the intelligence court that it oversees, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, or FISA, court. In that initial opinion, the secret court found that Congress had acted within its authority

Wait... so a secret court, established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, ruled that secret actions of that secret court are legal? Shocking!

It found that the Protect America Act did not violate the Constitution because the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, contained an exception for the collection of foreign intelligence information, according to the person familiar with the ruling.

It does?

Amendment IV

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.

I guess they mean the Border Search Exception [wikipedia.org] ...

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