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EFF Says Obama Warrantless Wiretap Defense Is Worse than Bush

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-i-thought-he-was-the-second-coming dept.

United States 904

SonicSpike writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation has just said that 'In the warrantless wiretapping case, Obama DOJ's new arguments are worse than Bush's.'"

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RTFS?? (5, Funny)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519551)

Without much more than a speculative sentence in the summary, what is slashdot going to talk about? We're not going to RTFA no matter how hard you try!!

*WE SHALL WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED!!*

Re:RTFS?? (5, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519707)

The Obama administration is arguing that the Feds have sovereign immunity from any Federal Laws -- in other words, the Federal Government is not required to follow statutes or the constitution. We are apparently continuing fast down the Bush road to a completely independent, unaccountable, all-powerful presidency.

Re:RTFS?? (5, Insightful)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519789)

Best said by The Who; "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

Re:RTFS?? (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520101)

LOL...I posted the same thing yesterday.

Hmm....I fear now for the EFF.

It seems that these days, if you speak ill against Obama (the chosen one), you will be smitten down and piled up upon by anyone that was a fervent disciple during the election or of a democratic leaning.

It is weird, but, while Bush was in office, people criticized him on a constant basis (IMHO, much of it deserved in the last years), but, you didn't risk the vitriol, public shunning and public crucifixion that you seem to get if you speak ill of the Obama administration today.

Re:RTFS?? (1)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520113)

4 legs good, 2 legs better.

The new boss isn't the same as the old boss, he's worse.

Re:RTFS?? (2, Interesting)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519805)

We are apparently continuing fast down the Bush road to a completely independent, unaccountable, all-powerful presidency.

Wow. Even now, people like you still think "it's Bush's fault".

Grow up.

Re:RTFS?? (0, Redundant)

Oswald (235719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519963)

Since I don't like to waste too much time flaming (I've grown up!), I've spent the last 90 seconds trying to come up with a well-reasoned reply to your post. Unfortunately, you didn't really say anything. You mis-stated your OP's position, played the "you people" card without even saying who those people are, and implied that OP should grow up and learn to agree with your unstated position.

Thanks for furthering the discussion.

Re:RTFS?? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27519989)

I know. Everybody knows that it is a combination of Jimmy Carter's and Bill Clinton's fault that the world isn't the way it should be. Stupid non-sheeple liberals. Why can't they think inside the box like the rest of us?

Re:RTFS?? (0, Flamebait)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520067)

We did grow up. Notice the results of the last Senate and Presidential elections?

Re:RTFS?? (5, Insightful)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520145)

Yeah, and it's working out so well for the folks that thought we'd have a return to civil liberties, a responsible budget, and an end to the Iraq war.

Re:RTFS?? (5, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520109)

It is my position that Bush was a horrible president because he weakened our constitution, was an ugly warmonger, and spent money like it was water.

It is my position that Obama is about the same with the only difference being who gets some of the wastefully spent money.

Both "sides" treat the populace like we're their own public goatse waiting patiently to get stretched just a bit wider by some Republican prick or a Democratic cock.

Re:RTFS?? (2, Informative)

santiagodraco (1254708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520039)

Lol. Why do people come here and make these outrageous posts? Arguing that they have soverign immunity from ANY federal laws? Not required to follow the constitution? You sir are an idiot.

Even if I hated Obama I'd not listen to hyperbole like this.

Stop being part of the problem, like the press. Talk about facts not your made up self serving fantasy world hype.

Re:RTFS?? (2, Informative)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520041)

in other words, the Federal Government is not required to follow statutes or the constitution

Anyone here old enough to remember that Newt Gingritch used similar Democrat stupidity (House Bank scandal, House & Senate exempting themselves from following worker safety laws, etc) to sweep into power back in 1994?

Re:RTFS?? (4, Informative)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520161)

Obama is going to fix that with amnesty and citizenship for the 20 million or so illegals in the country.

Don't like the current voters, get new ones who are more agreeable.

This needs to get press. (4, Insightful)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519565)

It's gratifying to see this issue getting some exposure here. God knows this is not a story that the doting MSM would ever run on its own, without significant blogosphere activity forcing them to acknowledge it.

Re:This needs to get press. (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519709)

It's gratifying to see this issue getting some exposure here. God knows this is not a story that the doting MSM would ever run on its own, without significant blogosphere activity forcing them to acknowledge it.

Still, I don't expect even the blogosphere to treat Obama like it treated Bush. Where are the posts comparing Obama to Hitler? Would Stalin be a better comparison? Not that I would agree with either comparison, but I sure read from a whole bunch of people here that would apply Godwin to Bush at the drop of a hat.

Re:This needs to get press. (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519943)

Still, I don't expect even the blogosphere to treat Obama like it treated Bush. Where are the posts comparing Obama to Hitler?

Bush had years to build up a reputation. Obama is still in the process of tearing down his original reputation. Give him two years and if he's done anything near what Bush did two years into his first term I think you will see plenty of people making such comparisons.

Re:This needs to get press. (5, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520033)

Still, I don't expect even the blogosphere to treat Obama like it treated Bush. Where are the posts comparing Obama to Hitler?

Bush had years to build up a reputation. Obama is still in the process of tearing down his original reputation. Give him two years and if he's done anything near what Bush did two years into his first term I think you will see plenty of people making such comparisons.

Bush's motorcade was pelted with snowballs on the way to his inauguration [salon.com] while Obama got a party. With the except of a couple of months after 9-11, Bush was pretty much relentlessly attacked by the media, Hollywood elites and blogosphere for all eight years.

Re:This needs to get press. (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519969)

Bush had 8 years to build up an anti-following. Obama has only had a few months. Give it some time.

Re:This needs to get press. (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520023)

You mean like this [thinkprogress.org] ?

Godwinning is humor, something you might not understand. What is most funny how the educated focus on civil rights abuses, and the uneducated just thinks he talks too good.

Re:This needs to get press. (5, Insightful)

The Rizz (1319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520035)

Where are the posts comparing Obama to Hitler? Would Stalin be a better comparison?

The posts are comparing Obama to Bush. That's practically the same thing, nowadays.

Re:This needs to get press. (0, Troll)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520057)

Wait a short while... there are some... and they will grow. Unfortunately, it doesn't help that Fox news is pushing that view... no one takes Fox seriously any more and if someone sounds like Fox, they won't be taken seriously either.

Re:This needs to get press. (2, Informative)

clinko (232501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519773)

I don't know, this _is_ anti-obama... Ahem... [foxnews.com]

Re:This needs to get press. (-1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519877)

Every time I see a link to Fox News, I get a little queasy. It's not news, it's Foxnews.com.

Change We Can Listen in On! (5, Funny)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519577)

If they don't tap the phones, how will they know that we're getting the "Change we can believe in"?

Re:Change We Can Listen in On! (0, Offtopic)

tjonnyc999 (1423763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519647)

Virtual mod +1 Funny.

Re:Change We Can Listen in On! (1)

dfm3 (830843) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519933)

Hey, they never said it would be "good" change or "bad" change, they just said that we can believe that a change would take place. Sure, I believe that change happened. That's pretty hard to deny.

Change (4, Insightful)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519585)

Was one hell of a marketing slogan, don't you think?

Re:Change (5, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519639)

Well, at least Guantanamo is being shut down, so we in the rest of the world can relax a little, while things stay the same for the actual US citizens..

Re:Change (4, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519681)

U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay is NOT being shut down. Camp Delta, one small area of the base, is going to be shut down.

Re:Change (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519743)

Meh. As long as the whole violation of human rights thing has stopped I don't care.

Re:Change (4, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519843)

It will stop on Gitmo. The detainees will be moved to another prison on another continent and continue to be tortured there.

Re:Change (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519965)

Quiet you - you're making my imaginary kittens self harm again!

Re:Change (2, Insightful)

antibryce (124264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520001)

yeah between 3 squares in Gitmo and Rendition to Pakistan for questioning I'll take Gitmo, thanks.

Re:Change (0, Troll)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519901)

Meh. As long as the whole violation of human rights thing has stopped I don't care.

Is that what you asked Santa Claus for?

Seriously, you cannot be that naive...

Re:Change (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520159)

There's no way for me to know for sure yet, but I can live in hope for a little while at least.

Re:Change (1, Flamebait)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519919)

Can you get the terrorists to stop violating human rights?

Re:Change (5, Insightful)

The Rizz (1319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520129)

Can you get the terrorists to stop violating human rights?

Wow. Way to play the "if terrorists do it, it's OK for us to do it, too" card.

Re:Change (2, Informative)

OMGcAPSLOCK (1507399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520115)

Meh. As long as the whole violation of human rights thing has stopped I don't care.

The thing is, it hasn't. Shutting down one sector of Guantanamo Bay is not the same as cessation of human rights violations. Extraordinary rendition is still a fact. Moreover, there have been recent moves to reopen a USAF base in Kazakhstan - a base that was shut down under the Bush admin because of the appalling human rights track record in that country (and how bad does something had to have been for Bush to have distanced himself from it?). A former British ambassador to Kazakhstan has recently petitioned to have his evidence heard in a British hearing claiming that he saw intel passed to MI6 via the CIA that was obtained from extraordinarily renditioned prisoners in Kazakhstan ( http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/03/trying_again_my.html [craigmurray.org.uk] ) - a number of whom were tortured to death whilst extracting information. This is political sleight of hand - closing down a section of Gitmo gives the impression that something is being done to address human rights issues - shipping kidnapped suspects off to other parts of the world to be subjected to interrogation under torture simply reveals that all this human rights talk was simply lip service being paid to garner public support during the election campaigns.

Re:Change (1)

slas6654 (996022) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519803)

"Change for Change Sake" is the motto du jure.

Re:Change (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520049)

"Change for Change's Sake" is the motto du jour.

ftfy

Re:Change (4, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519813)

Well.... he said change, and the EFF says his arguments are worse than Bush's, so I suppose that qualifies.

FTFA (3, Interesting)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519603)

The DOJ claims that the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying -- that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes...No one -- not the White House, not the Justice Department, not any member of Congress, and not the Bush Administration -- has ever interpreted the law this way.

Wow, nothing like taking things to the next level, huh? I guess Obama brought his A-game.

Re:FTFA (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519895)

It's important to note that the DOJ references the PATRIOT Act as justification for this argument. It's a little awkward for the EFF to say

No one -- not the White House, not the Justice Department, not any member of Congress, and not the Bush Administration -- has ever interpreted the law this way.

when we're talking only about a single administration.

Yes, the Obama administration's stance is intolerable. But the problem, I believe, is not the administration -- it is the law. Repeal the PATRIOT Act. Pass a law requiring stricter oversight of government surveillance.

THAT is the answer. Not some mindless, useless "Obama is teh suxxor" bullshit.

Obamunism in action (4, Insightful)

tjonnyc999 (1423763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519605)

"The DOJ claims that the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying â" that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes."

Sure, it's a bullshit argument, but the fact that they're actually trying it, reeks of the kind of tactics used to build up the NKVD's influence in post-revolutionary Russia. Putting even one fragment of the government "outside the law" is a very frightening precedent.

Careful what you ask for... (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519615)

Hey, you asked for a government that would listen to the people...

Now that you've got one, you're all mad and stuff. Man, this democracy stuff is weird. There's just no pleasing you people!

Re:Careful what you ask for... (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520097)

There's just no pleasing you people!

What do you mean, you people?

What secrets could these possibly be? (5, Insightful)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519631)

This is kind of disturbing. I know politicians turn 180 at the drop of a hat but Obama's entire popularity -- and the benefits that come from it -- relies on being anti-Bush. This is a very hot issue. One of the most important ones in fact. For him to continue supporting it is almost political suicide. Yet he's doing it anyway. Which makes you think, what could possibly be so important to keep secret?

We know it has nothing to do with national defense. The crones in Washington have never had a problem with outing CIA agents in the field for political gain.

Do they have illegal records of Dick Cheney torturing kittens or something? Wait, that wouldn't surprise anyone.

Re:What secrets could these possibly be? (4, Insightful)

evilphish_mi (1282588) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519763)

if his entire popularity is truly reliant on being anti-bush then the American people are screwed.

Re:What secrets could these possibly be? (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519795)

Yeah, this is sort of my viewpoint on the whole matter as well. I really wonder if the whole reason for stepping in is truly nefarious or if its to keep a few things secret to stop the lynching mob from going after Bush.

Unless the whole reason really is to continue the program, in which case I'd regret voting for the man if I thought things would be any better with the other guy.

Re:What secrets could these possibly be? (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520011)

I really wonder if the whole reason for stepping in is truly nefarious or if its to keep a few things secret to stop the lynching mob from going after Bush.

I sure hope not. That's the kind of thinking that pardoned Nixon and all it does is lower the bar for someone else to come along and do even worse.

This isn't a 180 (5, Informative)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519867)

Obama voted yes for the telecom immunity bill. He supported the wiretapping program in the Senate, why do you think he'd stop supporting it when he was elected President?

Re:This isn't a 180 (5, Interesting)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519967)

Obama voted yes for the telecom immunity bill. He supported the wiretapping program in the Senate, why do you think he'd stop supporting it when he was elected President?

Substance doesn't matter to "Hope And Change" zombies.

Not that it matters much to the "Saddam planned 9/11" crowd, but liberals are supposed to be Sooooo Muuuuch Smarter, Hipper And Rational than Bible-thumping Young Earth Creationist conservatives that you'd think they'd care a smidgen about reality.

Re:This isn't a 180 (3, Funny)

whoop (194) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520037)

It's quite simply one word: Hope.

A bet (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520117)

It's quite simply one word: Hope.

I'll bet you also bought New Coke when it came out too for the "improved flavor".

Shame on America for not being more resistant to marketing spin. Shame on the press for overlooking prior actions of Obama vs. what he said he was going to do...

Because I drank a lot of Obama Kool Aid (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520089)

causes partial blindness. But, mmmm, delicious.

They're both in on it (4, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520009)

So Bush tried to hide behind state secrets, and now the Dems. They must be both in on whatever it is.

After Bush madness, it seems that the Dems could go on a witch-hunt. Perhaps they don't because they're better than the Rs (think back to clinton's sex life). It seems much more plausible, however, that political MAD (mutually assured destruction) is keeping everything in check. I'm suggesting that the state-secrets would be hideously embarrassing for both Dems and Rs.

Re:What secrets could these possibly be? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520025)

Do they have illegal records of Dick Cheney torturing kittens or something? Wait, that wouldn't surprise anyone.

A better explanation would be that they have legal records of Obama huffing kittens or some such thing. Because that would be a surprise to everyone.

Re:What secrets could these possibly be? (1)

ausekilis (1513635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520045)

Do they have illegal records of Dick Cheney torturing kittens or something? Wait, that wouldn't surprise anyone.

Especially if said kittens were trained to quail hunt.

Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27519635)

Homer: Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Wow?!?! (3, Funny)

Dusty00 (1106595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519643)

Are there any countries left that has citizens? I'm tired of being a subject.

Republican Lies To Be Sure (4, Insightful)

bugeaterr (836984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519645)

Hurry, someone please shoot the messenger so we can place our craniums comfortably back into the sand.

Re:Republican Lies To Be Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27520075)

This is no surprise. He voted for telecom immunity when he was a senator, and said outright on the campaign trail that he supported it.

People who think he's a "scary liberal" are idiots. He only looks liberal in contrast to what we had before, and not very damn liberal even in that context.

The biggest disappointment (which shouldn't really be a liberal-vs-conservative issue at all), is that he doesn't find it politically expedient to prosecute war criminals.

His support among progressives is eroding very quickly.

Change (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27519659)

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

and the apologists will start defending him in 3...2...

Re:Change (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27520137)

I know where you're going with this:

If you defend him, you're an "apologist" (not that I see many people doing so)... ... But if you attack him, then it just proves you're super-extremo-leftist-marx-loving whackjob.

I think you'll find that erstwhile Obama supporters are sticking a lot more to their principles at this point in time than an equivalent look at Bush's ("humble foreign policy") supporters were at similar turning points.

Sure, you can shift all the blame to 9/11, but regardless of your excuse you ought to examine Obama's previous/current support in context with other Presidencies.

P.S.: Glenn Greenwald is one of my favorite bloggers, and I suggest you look at his critiques of Obama vs. his critiques of Bush to see the intellectual consistency among "that crowd".

Sly like a fox (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519667)

One can only hope he's making bad arguments in a secret plot to get shot down by the courts while being able to look like he's "standing up against terrorism."

One can hope.

Sigh.

Flaws in our democracy (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519695)

"State secrets" and "sovereign immunity" are two concepts that have no place in any democratic country.

Re:Flaws in our democracy (1)

tjonnyc999 (1423763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519847)

Absolutely.
Just look at the wording of the motion:

"The grounds for this motion are that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction with respect to plaintiffsâ(TM) statutory claims against the United States because Congress has not waived sovereign immunity, and summary judgment for the Government on all of plaintiffsâ(TM) remaining claims against all parties (including any claims not dismissed for lack of jurisdiction) is required because information necessary to litigate plaintiffsâ(TM) claims is properly subject to and excluded from use in this case by the state secrets privilege and related statutory privileges."

IANAL, but this sounds like "you have NO RIGHT to sue us, GTFO" - and it's obvious even to a layman. Subtlety isn't their strong suit, is it?
Full motion to dismiss: http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/jewel/jewelmtdobama.pdf [eff.org]

Re:Flaws in our democracy (1)

tjonnyc999 (1423763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519881)

*grumbles* damn Slashdot's Unicode support. Those are supposed to be apostrophes, not trademark symbols...

Re:Flaws in our democracy (4, Insightful)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520091)

Why not? Should we post all of our military strategies on Facebook, just to ensure transparency? That would just make us vulnerable, and vulnerable democracies get conquered. And we've always had sovereign immunity. We inherited it from other democracies. Without it, we ALL get to pay every time somebody sues the government for damages, and the government would be crippled as the Congress and Executive would have to fight a wave of preliminary injunctions every time they took an action that some minority group doesn't agree with. Yes, both can be abused, and we should hold our elected politicians to the fire when they do so. But the democracy you envision is crippled, weak, and ineffective. A crippled, weak, and ineffective democracy will fail, just as surely as an over-reaching, oppressive, dictatorial democracy.

Re:Flaws in our democracy (2, Insightful)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520153)

Right. Everyone deserves to know the secret nuclear passcodes.

And Krugman says his bank bail out... (1)

jchandra (15040) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519697)

... is a continuation of Bush policy.

Depressing times.

Re:And Krugman says his bank bail out... (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519779)

I didn't vote for him and predicted every dumb thing he has done. This guy is totally predictable. It is Clinton all over again. Hang on to your wallets!

Re:And Krugman says his bank bail out... (2)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519871)

It is Clinton all over again. Hang on to your wallets!

Because... the economy did so badly under Clinton?

Re:And Krugman says his bank bail out... (5, Informative)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519945)

The economy was cruising on the downslope after the internet bubble burst in mid-2000. That happened on Clinton's watch.

Re:And Krugman says his bank bail out... (2, Interesting)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520053)

He just put off the bad economy by using short term loans.
Actually, I am talking about the lib philosophy "do whatever feels good at the moment and screw any consequences later". Or, the politician's philosophy of "do whatever works to better my position and screw the rest of the country".

We need to take Shakespeare's idea one step further "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers and politicians"!

well and good to criticize warrantless wiretaps (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519721)

however, unless those who criticize warrantless wiretaps can enunciate a valid alternative, the status quo is not going to change

of course, the smart aleck reply to my comment is: GET A WARRANT! DUH!

except that we are talking about the profusion and proliferation of modes of communication and channels of communication happening much faster, with only a handful of suspects, than any agent sitting down with a judge can keep up with

perhaps those who don't like warrantless wiretaps should instead focus on transparent recordkeeping and an ability to review what was tapped and when and why, and the empowerment of the punishment of abuses. that's the real issue here right?

the ability to abuse the priveledge of warrantless wiretapping is real. this must be balanced against, absolutely. but going to the previous era when people picked up a rotary wall phone, and this was a slow and easy to track thing, is gone. therefore, those who care about the abuse of governmental power need to shift their focus along with the technological shift in focus: the feds are getting taps without warrants. accept that for the moment, and continue the deper, more important fight: how do we prevent abuse?

because i think the boat of warrants before tapping has sailed: technology has sunk the idea of getting a warrant before every snoop. the modes of communication and their fluidity in terms of protocol, originating device, user id/ number, etc. has rendered the idea of sitting down with a judge and getting a warrant a quaint idea from a bygone era

you must display some flexibility in your fight against government abuse. becaus eit hink with some of you, when you adhere to this fundamentalist notion of NO WARRANT NO TAP you are going to find the world has moved on, and your approach is simply ineffective. you can do a better job fighting government abuse if you give up this bulwark as a victim of technological change, and shift the valid righteous fight against government abuse to a new battle field: transparency, review, punishment of abusers

You're not arguing against warrants... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519855)

You're really arguing against warrants that may be too narrow and too specific. People don't act that much faster than they did when they had to spend a whole five seconds dialing a phone, they just communicate over more channels. You're really asking for a warrant against a person, not a phone number.

Re:well and good to criticize warrantless wiretaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27519879)

the ability to abuse the priveledge of warrantless wiretapping is real

It's not a privilege: it's an unconstitutional power that the government seized.

A "state of emergency" has always been the tyrant's best friend. (Probably that's why we have so many of them.)

you must display some flexibility in your fight against government abuse. becaus eit hink with some of you, when you adhere to this fundamentalist notion of NO WARRANT NO TAP you are going to find the world has moved on

You can justify *any* sort of abuse with that lame argument. Maybe the Nazis at Nuremburg should have argued that not murdering people for their ethnicity or lifestyle was just an old-fashioned way of doing things.

Re:well and good to criticize warrantless wiretaps (5, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519929)

Concepts like probable cause, innocent until proven guilty, checks and balances on government power, government for the people and by the people, restriction on governmental power --- are best described as "quaint"?

I wish the people who want to destroy America would take up arms and revolt -- that's easy enough to put down. Insidiously destructive notions such as yours that fundamental rights for individuals and limits on government power are "quaint", ensures that American principles of government will die out. America may keep the name, but that's it.

Re:well and good to criticize warrantless wiretaps (4, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519953)

Under the rules they already had, they can actually apply for a warrant up to (I think) 48 hours after they perform the wire tap. And the success rate in asking for a warrant is somewhere around 100%. Warrantless wiretapping is about being terrified of ever letting even a Federal judge know what's going on, even after the wiretap has been performed.

Re:well and good to criticize warrantless wiretaps (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520119)

I agree there's legitimate arguments to be made pro and con about what the law should be regarding warrantless wiretaps. But people are responsible to follow what the law is now until it is changed. The thing that bothers me about the government position is the assertion that there are state "secrets" that would be exposed by lawsuits, and which can't be protected using the existing mechanisms.

A significant portion of the stuff that's classified as secret in the US doesn't actually need to be classified from an operational standpoint, but would be an embarrassment for incompetent bureaucrats if there were more visibility. Everyone knows about the "bridge to nowhere", but far fewer people know about the appalling waste and stupidity in classified programs.

That's not a direction I want to go in, and wind up like in China where people who expose government corruption are subject to being prosecuted for "spying".

Re:well and good to criticize warrantless wiretaps (4, Insightful)

daVinci1980 (73174) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520125)

Sorry man, but your argument flies in the face of what this country was built around: the US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.

Violating our constitutionally guarenteed rights is unacceptable, period.

Here's a refresher for you. I've bolded the important bits: "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."

You might argue that the Constitution is outdated or wrong, but that's the beauty of it. If it's wrong, we can amend it. (Just like we did for prohibition). To ignore it because it doesn't currently fit in with our needs is a very dangerous road to be on, and not one that my fellow citizens should tolerate in any way.

Your claims that we should accept this and just move on are, frankly, unamerican. In America, we're subject first and foremost to the constitution. We believe that our government gets its power from us, as granted explicitly by the Constitution. Your proposal is utterly unacceptable.

Oh, and since you didn't rtfa, let me spell out the scariest bit of Obama's position on this issue: his adminsitration has taken the position that the federal government is immune from prosecution because of sovereign doctrine. Therefore, they're claiming that you can't sue the government. If that's not opaqueness, I'm not sure what is.

And I voted for Obama. Clearly I should've voted for Mickey Mouse.

Re:well and good to criticize warrantless wiretaps (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520157)

Here's a valid alternative: Require warrants for wire taps, and stop acting like TEH TERRORISTS are going to destroy us if we can't tap every communication in the country on the whim of law enforcement.

Oh and about "warrants before every snoop" -- Yeah that ship has sailed because decades ago they passed FISA which created a court where you could apply for a warrant up to 72 hours after actually conducting the snoop.

So either the feds actually know who these "handful of suspects" are, and can track their communications no matter what form they take so long as they can justify doing so after the fact, or your saying they have no idea who they are or how to find them and the only way to get at them is to log everything and sift through that continent-sized haystack for a handful of needles. Which is a ridiculous fool's errand. The problem with 9/11 was not a lack of information, it was not a lack of extra-constitutional police powers.

Yet you and the morons in power who thought like you used 9/11 as an excuse for exactly such an extra-constitutional power grab, and as a back-handed justification for getting us into a retarded war that was the opposite of helping with the terrorist problem. I already know how much "help" your way of thinking is to the cause, and sorry we don't need that kind of help.

Now you think the only issue is transparency? No, fool, it's the 4th Amendment assurance of a right to privacy (that's what being free from unreasonable searches and seizures means, a reasonable right to be left alone). Spying on people without reasonable suspicion -- i.e. what is required to get a warrant for a tap -- IS an abuse.

So yes we absolutely need more transparency in the process, and the ability to stop abuses. But your claim that they must be allowed to conduct warrantless and thus meritless searches, so what you're really saying is that they should be allowed to abuse our rights, but this is okay as long as we know about it?! That's pure idiocy of the worst anti-freedom kind.

If you really think the Feds shouldn't need a warrant to listen in on private communication, then start arguing for an Amendment and join the ranks of those anti-gay marriage amendment retards in trying to actively remove freedoms from this country.

Because then and only then we'll be safe from TEH BOOGEYMAN? Sorry you're a little too late for that idiotic bullshit to come even close to flying.

Thanks a lot, Obamabots. (4, Insightful)

nothing2seehere (1496253) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519731)

At this point, the people who railed at me for supporting Nader, for daring to call Obama an opportunist tool of the status quo, can now officially kiss my ass. Those who simply couldn't be bothered to check his Senate voting record but who insisted on wearing that Maoist "Hope" portrait at all times, I say to you today: I told you so.

And as for the EFF, please use well the money I just sent you, and keep up the good fight.

Re:Thanks a lot, Obamabots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27520155)

I somehow doubt Nader will be the shining diamond in this turd we call democracy. But hey, if it's something you can masturbate too and it keeps you happy, please keep believing in the lie that Nader would be any better.

"Worse" is change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27519787)

Well it is. Obama never said in which direction the change would be..

This is probably smarter (4, Interesting)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519831)

The Obama administration has roughly the same goals as the Bush administration, so it's no surprise that they're continuing to pursue them.

  The change, and it is a change, is that they are pursuing them in a smarter way.
1) By making this extreme argument, they give judges wiggle-room to reject it and then accept the state secrets argument, while still allowing the judge to make token gestures in favor of the rule of law, even write a long, pious opinion dismissing the second argument while accepting the first. I can see that it would be very easy for any judge to delude himself into believing he was making a Solomonic compromise. Very smart on their part.

2) If the second argument *does* somehow fly, they have carte blanche to do what they want. I suspect that the Bush administration would've argued for the same thing, except that they weren't smart enough to come up with a line of argument that would've passed the laugh test (IANAL, maybe this one doesn't either.)

  Begin broken record mode: The only way to get real improvement from Obama (or from Bush, for that matter,) is to mobilize the public to control the government. No elected leader is going to do this for us as a gift, we have to maintain the pressure constantly.

  Personally, I'm much more disappointed with his ongoing embrace of "public-private partnerships" in education (crooked self-dealing and cronyism do not focus group so well, so they rebranded them as "public-private partnerships" in which the government partners with a private entity to give it money with minimal oversight and much righteous rhetoric.) My saintly mother blogs about it: http://chemtchr.dailykos.com/ [dailykos.com]

  And I'm sure Obama has not delivered from progressives on a dozen other fronts. Only way he will is *if we make him*. In the case of progressive causes that are popular with the public, this should be relatively easy, and ought to benefit the election prospects of the Democratic party anyway, so let's get going.

It's called "Counterpush" (4, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519845)

Read up on it [worldnetdaily.com] if you don't understand it. Just like it took Nixon to go to China, it will take Obama to get this through. Those of you who voted for Obama and really believed that he stood for "hope and change" were every bit as big of morons as the people in the Republican Party who thought that McCain was some maverick conservative.

Troll on... (-1, Troll)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519869)

Does anyone have over/under for troll posts on this thread?

Ya know... (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519897)

I distinctly remember, way back when during the Reagan years, people were crowing about how we in the U.S. had it so much better than the Soviets. We didn't have to worry about providing papers to travel (Red October anyone?), we didn't have to worry about our neighbors spying on us and reporting "unpatriotic" deeds, we didn't have to worry about government agents bursting into our homes without a warrant and we especially didn't have to worry about the government listening in on our phone calls.

Now we have two different parts of the government trying to justify why they can, whenever, they feel like it, listen to our phone conversations all in the name of stopping "them" from causing us harm. The worst part about it, the same people who 25 years ago were crowing about how free we were compared to the Soviets are now the same people (assuming they're still alive) who are defending these blatant infringements on our freedoms, all in the name of securing our freedom.

Is that like, "It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it."?

I see two possibilities here... (5, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519931)

So it's starting to sound like one of several things is going on here:

  • Obama is ultimately cut from the same power-hungry mold as Bush, even if he often seeks a different sort of power from his predecessor. This particular case just happens to serve both of their ends, so meet the new boss, same as the old boss. OR...
  • Bush actually had good reasons to do what he did, and Obama continues these odious policies as a distasteful but very real necessity.

I'm not sure which of these possibilities would worse.

It would help, however, if Obama would be more forthcoming as to the reasons behind the continuation, though; surely some more substantial explanation than "it's all a state secret" can be given without damaging national security.

maybe there's some merit to the DOJ arguments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27519939)

Given that the DOJ under both Bush and Obama are making very similar arguments, we should be willing to consider the possibility that these arguments have some merit. While I would like to agree with Al Gore that security and freedom are not only completely compatible but necessary for each other, I am starting to wonder if there is some mutual exclusivity between them.

Three of the worst terror attacks in our country's history occurred before the Patriot Act and the warrantless wiretapping: the first World Trade Center attack back in the early 90s, the Oklahoma City bombing and the events of 9/11/2001. If someone told me in the months after 9/11 that as of the beginning of April, 2009, there would not be another major terror attack on our country, I would not have believed them.

Per the ABC News report and others, certainly the NSA people are listening in on the harmless details of many people's private lives, but they may also be finding some of what they claim they are interested in finding.

Obama still better (1, Funny)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519957)

Until Obama invades the wrong country, nothing Obama does is worse than everything Bush did.

Re:Obama still better (1)

goaliemn (19761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520071)

Bush meant to invade Iraq, so I guess he invaded the correct country... now if he would've ended up in Turkey..

let me be a real troll now (0, Troll)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520003)

haha, you stupid idiots that defended Bush's warrant less wiretaps. You a bunch of stupid idiots!

Anyone that thinks that because a particular party that is in office at any time can do whatever they want and there will be NO repercussions on the next administrations is stupid and deserves the Darwinian effect. Go to jail, do not pass go and hahaha, were all screwed.

Yeah, moderate me as a troll, but you all know I'm 100% right about this, anyone that doesn't is a complete imbecile!

Author of the Motion (5, Informative)

Elder Entropist (788485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520135)

I'm a bit cynical about the Obama Administration willingly giving up powers it has been given in the long run. But I'm not ready to say this motion represents the will of the Administration yet.

The author of the piece, ACTING Assistant Attorney General Michael F. Hertz, is a leftover from the Bush administration and is due to be replaced once his successor is confirmed.

All Hail the Unitary Executive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27520143)

And bow down before the One you serve. You're going to get what you deserve.

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