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Obama Wants Computer Privacy Ruling Overturned

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the let-me-see-what-you-got-there dept.

United States 670

schwit1 writes "The Obama administration is seeking to reverse a federal appeals court decision that dramatically narrows the government’s search-and-seizure powers in the digital age. Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Justice Department officials are asking the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its August ruling that federal prosecutors went too far when seizing 104 professional baseball players’ drug results when they had a warrant for just 10. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

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I am shocked! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232042)

That it's taking people this long to realize nothing ever changes.

Re:I am shocked! (3, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232142)

So, just because there is one are on which two administrations agree and you don't, does it mean that there are no meaningful differences between G.W.Bush and Obama at all?

Re:I am shocked! (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232168)

There are certainly meaningful differences, but at the end of the day the top prosecutors in the United States still want those X-Ray glasses so they can watch the citizens for criminal conduct.

Re:I am shocked! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232196)

i am pretty sure we are all potential criminals, no such thing as a citizen anymore

Re:I am shocked! (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232580)

...and be able to define what criminal conduct is.

Re:I am shocked! (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232188)

The two rules of government (and for that matter, pretty much everything else!)

  • Rule 1. Everything changes
  • Rule 2. Everything stays the same

Re:I am shocked! (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232486)

Don't forget rule 34

Re:I am shocked! (1)

haruharaharu (443975) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232586)

we got any obama/bush porn yet?

Re:I am shocked! (1)

hrimhari (1241292) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232326)

Well, don't sit there in your anonymity. Go ask Obama what's with all the promised changes.

Re:I am shocked! (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232484)

I hate to say it but I was hopeful too. Maybe not enough to vote for him, but I knew my candidate wasn't going to win anyway... still voted for him though.

Obama is a historical icon, however. He was the first non-white president of the United States of America. And while some might say he is starting out "well enough" I can't say that he is. He has definitely reversed himself on many of his promises and intentions without so much as any sort of explanation on the matter. What he is doing will likely result in a big change in government in the next major election cycle and he may not even be the next Democratic presidential candidate if the Democrats hope to remain significant. I doubt people will be so quick to forget the reasons they moved away from the Republicans the last go around and so I think third parties will really make an emergence in the NEXT election cycle.

The obsession with more government power (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232418)

What the current government want so far:

  • Increased government regulation of health care.
  • Increased government regulation of internet traffic.
  • Increased government regulation of aired political opinion through the Fairness Doctrine.
  • Wiretaps without warrants, a Bush policy.
  • Increased search-and-seizure powers.

The current government is so power-crazy that it's become suicidal in its attempts to speed through legislation over half the country opposes, regardless of how it's going to affect the 2010 elections. You'd think they'd take their foot off the pedal and slow down a bit to address the #1 issue voters have right now, unemployment.

Re:The obsession with more government power (0)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232488)

[blockquote]Increased government regulation of aired political opinion through the Fairness Doctrine.[/quote]
When has the Obama administration sought, or even claimed to seek, the reinstatement of the fairness doctrine? (honest question--I haven't heard it seriously proposed by anyone with the power to actually get the ball rolling.)

Re:The obsession with more government power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232552)

First, lrn2html

Second, the Republicans started flogging the specter of the Fairness Doctrine horse when people started talking about net neutrality. Because obviously preventing ISPs from restricting traffic (by bandwidth or by fee) from certain sources like Vonage, iTMS, or YouTube is exactly equal to forcing radio and/or TV stations to spend equal amounts of time airing the opinions of liberal pundits as they do conservative ones in order to push a liberal agenda.

Re:The obsession with more government power (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232540)

You'd think they'd take their foot off the pedal and slow down a bit to address the #1 issue voters have right now, unemployment.

Yeah, that's exactly what you need - increased government employment!

Revolutions change things... (4, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232558)

... but only for a while until the money-changers sneak back into the temple. That's why you have to have them periodically, like defragging and virus-scanning your hard drive. We seem to have fallen behind on the schedule... we haven't had a decent game-changing revolution in a while, have we? Now we have a bunch of people muttering "let them eat cake" again. Does anyone still know how to make guillotines? We'll need quite a few this time.

So he's a politician (3, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232054)

and as such is just like pretty much all of the others. The question isn't whether he's everything the advertising billed him as, it's whether he was a better choice than the alternative.

Re:So he's a politician (3, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232092)

We don't vote FOR politicians in this country; we vote AGAINST "the other guy", and are left to deal with the results.

Could anyone here have honestly voted for McCain with Palin on the ticket as well?

Re:So he's a politician (1)

moz25 (262020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232136)

In response to your sig: yes, I noticed! We are not the only ones! :-)

Re:So he's a politician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232152)

Since you asked...

I voted for Palin, with the understanding that McCain would be the President.

Re:So he's a politician (2, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232160)

Says the anonymous coward.

Fitting I suppose.

Re:So he's a politician (1)

magnusrex1280 (1075361) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232248)

This makes my skin crawl.

Re:So he's a politician (1)

Osinoche (769786) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232250)

Yes of course. That's a rather closed minded question isn't it ?

Re:So he's a politician (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232260)

Ever notice how people remember posters by their sigs and not their names?

What? You have names?

Re:So he's a politician (2, Insightful)

hiscross (1226636) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232308)

We don't vote FOR politicians in this country; we vote AGAINST "the other guy", and are left to deal with the results.

Could anyone here have honestly voted for McCain with Palin on the ticket as well?

Yea, I voted for the RINO because I saw what Barry was all about in 2007. If I had to do it all over again I would voted for the John Galt / Howard Roark ticket.

Re:So he's a politician (1, Funny)

Sanat (702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232404)

Who is John Galt?

Re:So he's a politician (2, Informative)

hiscross (1226636) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232520)

He is the engine that powers the world. When he leaves he'll be taking his engine with him. That is John Galt.

Re:So he's a politician (3, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232372)

I voted McCain. Palin's a bit of a goofball and McCain's ... even more so, but at least he's been in the legislature. But Obama is a thug. Sure, he's done a few decent things, and a few partisan things which you'll either love or hate, but I can't respect an administration that thinks that they're "speaking truth to power" when they diss their political opponents in the media (Fox). Sorry, you are the power, and you're speaking power, even if Fox is a bunch of doofuses. Honestly, what is this, the Ministry of Truth? Then there's the GM bondholders who got screwed in favor of the auto unions because of the administration's strongarming -- you know, a lot of other people had retirement funds with GM bonds too.

I don't care about the policies half so much as about the Chicago-style politics. Don't tell me this was the "change" America was looking for.

Re:So he's a politician (1)

richieb (3277) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232508)

But Obama is a thug

Huh? What is your definition of a thug?

Re:So he's a politician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232396)

I was going to write in Dave Barry, but once McCain picked Palin I wanted him to lose by as much as possible, so I switched to Obama. I used to have some respect for John McCain, although I suppose he had to pick a wingnut as running mate to have even a fighting chance for the crazy vote.

My father was going to vote for McCain until he (McCain) chose Palin. He (my father) switched to Obama.

McCain's choice cost him one vote, and gained Obama two. At the very least.

I thought Palin was disgusting enough to make me vote against her, rather than for the candidate I preferred; but that's also an artifact of our two-party system, which means my vote for Dave Barry would have been nothing but protest. If we had a system of proportional representation I'd take my vote more seriously. Probably.

Re:So he's a politician (3, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232524)

Yeah, I voted for McCain because of Palin.

What about it?

Re:So he's a politician (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232118)

A vote for the lesser evil is still a vote for evil.

Re:So he's a politician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232190)

A vote for the lesser evil is still a vote for evil.

Too bad the lesser evil lost the election.

Re:So he's a politician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232286)

No, they're both about the same, actually. Just evil in different ways. Might I suggest not settling for the least of evils next time? .....
Cthulhu in 2012!

Re:So he's a politician (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232120)

Not a particularly useful question. Does it make a difference if we ended up with a Stalin instead of a Hitler? Work with me, this is an analogy.

Re:So he's a politician (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232264)

Does it make a difference if we ended up with a Stalin instead of a Hitler?

Depends. Are you jewish? If not, then take Hitler over Stalin. Hitler killed Jews, Stalin killed his own people.

Re:So he's a politician (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232278)

Not a particularly useful question. Does it make a difference if we ended up with a Stalin instead of a Hitler? Work with me, this is an analogy.

Funny, it usually takes much longer for Godwin's law to come into effect.

Re:So he's a politician (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232384)

Yes it does because, Stalin killed more people.
Hate to make it a numbers game, but that is the state of current affairs.

Re:So he's a politician (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232254)

The question isn't whether he's everything the advertising billed him as, it's whether he was a better choice than the alternative.

Not really. The question HERE is whether the article writer has a shred of journalistic integrity at all.

Seriously, first read the article and then post. I doubt Obama is even slightly involved beyond appointing key person who is involved to a broad role of which 'computer privacy law' is a drop in the bucket. This headline is as absurd as printing 'Obama wants to banish ketchup based on an incident where the secretary of defense complained there was too much ketchup on their McDonalds cheeseburger.

Second, the dispute here is pretty benign. Federal investigators had a WARRANT to search a PC for evidence of steriod use for a handful of players, and uncovered evidence of some hundred other players using steroids in the same folder and files as the information for the players in question. The dispute is whether they should be allowed to use the additional evidence of the additional crime.

The court ruled no, citing that the investigators 'actively scrolled the excel spreadsheet past the names of the players in question'. Come on. Even I, a privacy advocate, don't see anything wrong with what the agents did. I don't even think its wrong to admit this as evidence. I'd argue against being able to search inside every document, hack encrypted files, ... but they found evidence of additional instances of the same crime in the same files and folders that their warrant covered.

Clearly this ruling probably should be overturned. I don't think agents should be given carte blanche to search your entire PC and charge you with unrelated crimes. But there is probably some middle ground where if they are investing the PC for evidence you ripped off the Smiths with ScamX, and they find evidence in the same file you that also ripped off the Jones... that SHOULD be allowed.

But bottom line, declaring that Obama "wants" anything at all with respect to this case is absurd.

Re:So he's a politician (3, Insightful)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232380)

The question isn't whether he's everything the advertising billed him as, it's whether he was a better choice than the alternative.

Not really. The question HERE is whether the article writer has a shred of journalistic integrity at all.

Seriously, first read the article and then post. I doubt Obama is even slightly involved beyond appointing key person who is involved to a broad role of which 'computer privacy law' is a drop in the bucket. This headline is as absurd as printing 'Obama wants to banish ketchup based on an incident where the secretary of defense complained there was too much ketchup on their McDonalds cheeseburger.

Second, the dispute here is pretty benign. Federal investigators had a WARRANT to search a PC for evidence of steriod use for a handful of players, and uncovered evidence of some hundred other players using steroids in the same folder and files as the information for the players in question. The dispute is whether they should be allowed to use the additional evidence of the additional crime.

The court ruled no, citing that the investigators 'actively scrolled the excel spreadsheet past the names of the players in question'. Come on. Even I, a privacy advocate, don't see anything wrong with what the agents did. I don't even think its wrong to admit this as evidence. I'd argue against being able to search inside every document, hack encrypted files, ... but they found evidence of additional instances of the same crime in the same files and folders that their warrant covered.

Clearly this ruling probably should be overturned. I don't think agents should be given carte blanche to search your entire PC and charge you with unrelated crimes. But there is probably some middle ground where if they are investing the PC for evidence you ripped off the Smiths with ScamX, and they find evidence in the same file you that also ripped off the Jones... that SHOULD be allowed.

But bottom line, declaring that Obama "wants" anything at all with respect to this case is absurd.

Hmmm, using that logic we could also clear Bush of many of the accusations layed on him.Thus, it must be false logic.

Re:So he's a politician (1)

GasparGMSwordsman (753396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232528)

My understanding is that they had a warrant to get information regarding those specific people. Instead of gathering that information they removed information unrelated to that warrant (aka coping multiple files containing unrelated information).

This would be functionally equivalent to going into a human resources office and instead of seizing the personal folders of an employee, seizing the cabinet that contains all personal folders.

Arguably the agents should have received copies of new files that were copied from the original. If this had been information contained in a database for example, (which the court considers equivalent in function to the Excel document) someone would have created a report or data dump containing only information tied to those names listed on the warrant.

The agents would NOT have been given copies of the database files or the hard drives unless the warrant specifically listed those. Again, in this last case, we have no problem because the warrant specifically stated what was acceptable to be seized. This case seems very cut and dry when you look at the broader issues involved.

Re:So he's a politician (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232284)

The question isn't whether he's everything the advertising billed him as, it's whether he was a better choice than the alternative.

But we expected it from the alternative. We expected better from the Obama administration. But if they just stopped these cases, then the question would linger for the next Republican administration to interpret the rules at their whim. If the strategy is to get a ruling from the courts and then change the laws so the next cowboy in the White House doesn't have the latitude to be the decider, then I'm okay with it.

But I'm not at all certain that's the strategy. I'm also not certain how much of this stems from the Oral Roberts University left-behinds. Eight years is a long time to load a federal agency when you're ignoring the hiring rules. How much latitude do you give the Justice Department for that? I don't think Holder can just fire them all, like when Reagan cleared out the air traffic controllers.

Re:So he's a politician (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232370)

The good thing about having McCain in there is that we'd still have enough balance that fringe elements wouldn't be able to sneak crap through that only benefits small numbers of Americans while the rest pay the price.

Would McCain have done the same? Seems likely but he wouldn't have had a blank check to do it with. He would have faced a fight simply because neither side of this two party system is willing to give in to the other because it makes sense. Even if they agree they need to offset what the other wants or they look weak in the eyes of their hardcore subscribers. Sad but true; a lot of people will reject their own ideals if their enemy agrees with them.

How can we expect to make progress as a group if the starboard side of the lifeboat is fighting with the port side about wanting to row to the same island?

FP!? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232056)

In before "Bush III"...oh, crap, beaten by the summary.

Pay closer attention. (5, Funny)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232058)

Pay attention closer next time. Obama wasn't saying "change", he was saying "chains."

Re:Pay closer attention. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232154)

Pay attention closer next time. Obama wasn't saying "change", he was saying "chains."

Interesting.

Hope and Change becomes...

Rope and Chains.

It's a shame that the tree of liberty is wilting, and that there's no-one out there willing and able to water it.

Re:Pay closer attention. (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232274)

It's a shame that the tree of liberty is wilting, and that there's no-one out there willing and able to water it.

What do you mean? People urinate on it on a daily basis.

Re:Pay closer attention. (1)

jefu (53450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232422)

And thats why it is wilting. Would you want to be peed on daily? Urr, on second thought, don't answer that.

Re:Pay closer attention. (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232322)

More to the point, his slogan was "Change you can believe in," not "Change you're going to like."

More accurate than you think (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232328)

Anyone who wants to give power to the state - like Obama, just about every Democrat, and way too many Republicans - has to TAKE it from WE THE PEOPLE.

Want to lower health care costs and expand benefits? Take away the PEOPLE'S FREEDOM TO MAKE THEIR OWN HEALTH CARE CHOICES.

Want to pay for giant social programs and/or wars? Take away the PEOPLE'S WEALTH.

Re:More accurate than you think (1, Insightful)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232430)

Anyone who wants to give power to the state - like Obama, just about every Democrat, and way too many Republicans - has to TAKE it from WE THE PEOPLE. Want to lower health care costs and expand benefits? Take away the PEOPLE'S FREEDOM TO MAKE THEIR OWN HEALTH CARE CHOICES. Want to pay for giant social programs and/or wars? Take away the PEOPLE'S WEALTH.

Need to be modded up for truth.

Always looking down at what I see (1)

Osinoche (769786) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232064)

Painting faces on the places I can't reach. You know I could use somebody. You know I could use somebody. Somebody like you, Obama, Someone like you know and all you know and all you speak. _+_+ OSI

Fr0st Pist (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232068)

Seriously... When will Americans realize that both parties have exactly the same goal: To control and manipulate everything that every citizen possesses or can produce - even thoughts/minds/beliefs - for their own gain alone.

Screw investing in gold - invest in lead and brass....

Re:Fr0st Pist (2, Insightful)

youngone (975102) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232262)

I don't think that's quite right. I think that the US political parties' goal is actually to help American corporate interests. After all thats where most of their campaign money comes from isn't it? I don't think the citizens are really thought about much by those in charge.

You sound like you're surprised (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232082)

Same as the old boss, indeed. What amazes me is that we're still a two party system and that people continue to think that their vote matters.

Re:You sound like you're surprised (2, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232098)

Can't believe you got modded Troll instead of insightful.

Re:You sound like you're surprised (1, Informative)

Scutter (18425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232140)

Can't believe you got modded Troll instead of insightful.

It's because I had something bad to say about The Anointed One.

Re:You sound like you're surprised (-1, Offtopic)

Scutter (18425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232204)

Can't believe you got modded Troll instead of insightful.

It's because I had something bad to say about The Anointed One.

See? Got modded down again.

Re:You sound like you're surprised (5, Insightful)

Omestes (471991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232344)

Can't believe you got modded Troll instead of insightful.

It's because I had something bad to say about The Anointed One.

See? Got modded down again.

Perhaps because talking about John Ashcroft is a wee bit off topic?

Also, the last post was a troll, pure and simple. No one, that I know of at least, thinks Obama is "anointed" or any such crap, and most everyone I know is pretty far left. Actually, the further left you are, the more disappointed with Obama you probably are. Most people probably only voted for Obama because they were sick of the right, and deathly afraid of McCain/Palin, and not because he is some special super-politician who can save us from all our ills.

In regards to your first post, it perhaps shouldn't be modded as a troll, but perhaps as "woohoo cliche hip cynicism!" Your vote as an individual counts as much as anyone else's, no, it will never actually count beyond your actual worth though. Now if you organized like minded people, and worked to convince others that your opinion was worthy, then that WOULD count more. But just whinging that your vote doesn't count because a majority of voters don't share your opinion and voted otherwise, thats just silly. The problem with America is that everyone's vote counts, and a vast majority of American's are uninformed idiots, or rabidly idealistic and naive. And worse, everyone "knows better" than everyone else, and would like to impose their views on the rest of us "for their own good".

Re:You sound like you're surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232490)

And worse, everyone "knows better" than everyone else, and would like to impose their views on the rest of us "for their own good".

Sounds like Europe.

Re:You sound like you're surprised (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232478)

No, it's because you are wrong.

In a world where the president is elect by a few percentage, then youtr vote DOES matter. A lot of money is spent getting your vote.

Re:You sound like you're surprised (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232212)

Can't believe you got modded Troll instead of insightful.

Don't blame him, he voted for Kodos!

Re:You sound like you're surprised (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232296)

Don't blame him, he voted for Kodos!

What do big lumbering World of Warcraft Kodo mounts [wowwiki.com] have to do with this?

Re:You sound like you're surprised (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232114)

We're not much of a two party system when lobbyists buy up both sides of the aisle. More of a one-party system that swings between the radical and not so radical wings.

Re:You sound like you're surprised (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232560)

There really are only two wings of the progressive party. The Democrat wing that takes tons of money from the academia, entertainment and union lobbyists and the Republican wing that takes tons of money from big oil, banking and religious lobbies.

Re:You sound like you're surprised (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232116)

Yeah but... the war is over! uh, i mean... the recession is.... nope... the deficit is going away? no, more debt. but uh, palin is going around making herself look even more pathetic and showing off her legs, that's pretty amusing, right?

2 Party (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232230)

Some would argue that since we get the same basic results from either party, we really have a one party system and its all smoke and mirrors between the 2.

Re:You sound like you're surprised (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232258)

Same as the old boss, indeed. What amazes me is that we're still a two party system and that people continue to think that their vote matters.

What amazes me is that people still think it's really a two party system.

Okay, that's enough. (4, Interesting)

adpe (805723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232146)

I liked him when he ran for president. Then he failed closing gitmo, didn't manage to push healthcare through, and I kinda attribted that to "circumstances", like FOX "News". But now he doesn't sign this landmine treaty thingie, he doesn't promise any kind of CO2 reduction goals, he extends the PATRIOT Act and now this. I'm utterly disappointed.

Re:Okay, that's enough. (0, Troll)

Osinoche (769786) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232198)

1st Health Care, good. We don't need socialism in that form. 2nd Gitmo is necessary, get over it hippy. 3rd. C02 is produced by all of us, again get over it climate paranoia hippy. 4th Patriot Act, well that's a bad thing. 5th Go back to Canada, hippy.

Re:Okay, that's enough. (1)

adpe (805723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232238)

Yeah right, as if I'm going to discuss these things in detail with you. The point is that Obama promised these things (well, not sure about the CO2 thing) and failed.

Re:Okay, that's enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232446)

He promised and delivered "Change" all right...pocket change.

Re:Okay, that's enough. (2, Interesting)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232510)

When Obama was running for president, I looked at (but did not agree with most of) what he was saying he was going to do, and I thought, "Yeah, right. That's what he says now, and I believe he probably wants to do most of what he says he will do, and some of it is largely BS to satisfy the wingnuts at moveon.org, but after he's elected, a lot of his suporters - especially the ones in the wingnut gallery - are going to find themselves rather disappointed."

Setting aside the BS factor of stuff he probably never intended to do, or reasonably believed he would be unable to do, there's a lot that he did intend to do that hasn't happened. Mostly, that's a good thing. He'll probably get his way on healthcare reform, but unfortunately, the health care reform we're going to get is going to be at least as screwed up as what we have now. Probably worse, and certainly more expensive. Start with the fact that the biggest problem in health care is the need for tort reform. It doesn't do that. It does contain (if it doesn't get squished in committee) the idea that people will be compelled to buy health insurance whether they want it or not, and could be jailed if they don't.

And then there are things like the topic of TFA. Jailing people for not buying health insurance and trying to keep over-broad search powers goes against one area where - because I'm a conservative - I did agree with Obama: more open and transparent government. I didn't believe he'd follow through on that. To some extent he has, to his credit, but not nearly enough. Government needs to be transparent, open, strictly limited in its powers, and _small_.

There's a reason why the 10th Amendment states "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The authors knew perfectly well that not only is government not the answer, but that it tends to be the problem and that the problem will always try to make itself grow larger and to accumulate more power.

I think we'll find, after four years, that Obama has done what most other predidents - especially recent ones - have done: failed to do much of the good he intended to do, failed to do much of the good that he didn't plan but could have done opportunistically, and failed to avoid doing much of the harm that he should have avoided doing. The measure of success of a president today is largely whether he harmed the country less than his predecessor harmed it.

We're screwed.

P.S. Why shouldn't you discuss those things in detail? Do you think he's somehow beneath you because you disagree with each other? That's one of the reasons the country is so screwed up today - people on all sides refusing to even talk with people on other sides because they believe that no one else could possibly be right, or even have valid opinions, or even be entitled to a voice in the debate. So many people - whether left, right, or whatever, want absolutely no dissent from their ideas to be tolerated.

I'll say something that may be unusual for a conservative: I didn't vote for Obama, wouldn't if he were running today, and oppose his positions on a lot of issues. However, now that he's president, for the good of the nation, I want him to be the best president he can be, and do a good job. Compare that to the left-threaded wingnuts who so wanted Bush to fail at everything he attempted that they didn't care if it harmed the entire nation, just so long as it harmed Bush, or the right-threaded wingnuts who are exactly the same about Obama. Sadly, my perception is that most people on both sides tend to be of the (left|right)-threaded wingnut variety rather than of the loyal-opposition-who-can-reasonably-respectfully-disagree variety.

Re:Okay, that's enough. (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232252)

Mr. Hippie to you, you fascist!

Re:Okay, that's enough. (1)

Osinoche (769786) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232464)

I'm not a fascist. I'm a nationalist. Get over it hippy. Go back to hippy land, where all you hippies belong. That's in CANADA!

Re:Okay, that's enough. (1, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232324)

I want an honest answer to this from the Obama supporters: Why do you think it's really that big of a deal if he closes Gitmo but just transfers the same people elsewhere? I don't understand the gains of this.

Aside from that, and not to feed the troll who responded to you but, the government health plan really isn't a gain (as in freedom). We've had enough dickering with the rights of the private sectors and the more the government gets their fingers into the mix the worse it gets. And with the economy in the tank it's not a good time to start a new unproven social program. Not that I agree with them under a good economy but it's a serious case of high risk to bring this out when we're already riding the edge hard.

And how can you blame Fox? Those who pay attention to Fox news, according to the common stereotype that goes on around here, are powerless according to what I heard last November. What's changed?

And did you HONESTLY think the Federal government was going to give up on a power grab like the PATRIOT act? Please don't tell me that you fell for this myth that the Democrats are somehow freedom lovers and the Republicans are Nazis just waiting for the right time to put on their brown shirts and hip boots. It's a disgusting bit of rhetoric that only keeps one side in power just like the myth from the other side that states the same but with the Republicans being the great defenders of freedom and the Dems being a bunch of Nazis. Why is it when one "side" says it half of you how like banshees that it's God's truth but when the other "side" says it you dismiss it as utter nonsense?

When are you people going to take the blinders off?

Re:Okay, that's enough. (1)

adpe (805723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232494)

I want the people in Gitmo to have a fair trial, that's all. I don't really care *where* they are. They could be sitting in a hut in India for all I care, as long as they're treated as a human beings and get a fair trial. Right now, America is not holding up its very own ideals of being a free country with equality for all, even terrorists.

Next, health care. I don't understand what you mean by "unproven". The basic idea is that everyone pais some money, so that everyone can go to a doctor withouth being broke after that. You're right, universial health care is another tax, and this certaily doesn't increase personal freedom. Still, I think it's worth it. There are a lot of poor people out there, who simply can't afford the current system. I think it's very reasonable to expect the rich people benefiting from the system to pay a little more, so that the poor people can visit a doctor. We're talking about the health and lifes of human beings here, the most basic thing a man can ask for. I think it's okay to break the rules of a free market fot that.

FOX News is just a scapegoat here. I do think they spread lies and misinformation, but that was just an example of the excuses for Obama. In his defense, FOX and the conservaties went *nuts* battling health care, but it's not that they actually have any legislative power.

And for the PATRIOT Act, yes I did think that Obama would reverse some of the horrible things the Bush administration introduced. I might have been naive and stupid, but I believed he had some set of ideals and honor. This has nothing to do with him being a democrat by the way, I just thought he was basically a good person.

Re:Okay, that's enough. (1, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232466)

Wow, just...wow.

gitmo is the the process of closing; sadly there ahs been republican push back as well as republican pundent FUD about containing them. Like we can't keep them locked up an American soil. sheesh

Healthcare is moving along; again there is large republican pushback, and a very large insurance lobby fight it, again. So far he ahs gotten farther along then anyone else had. Did you expect him to just take office, close gitmo and institute healthcare day 1? One of the best qualities president Obama has, IMO, is his recodnition that these things need a smart plan.

"But now he doesn't sign this landmine treaty thingie, he doesn't promise any kind of CO2 reduction goals, "

Did you bother to read why? seriously, it would hamstring the US to agree to those goals. The joke here is that China still manages third world status because of all the benefits even though they are clearly no longer a third world.

"he extends the PATRIOT Act and now this"
That was disappointing.

DO you do anything besides complain and show off your ignorance?

translation loud and clear (3, Insightful)

epine (68316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232184)

I would regard it as a credible difference if, when you asked Obama the reason, he gave an intelligible answer, regardless of whether the answer was one you liked or not.

What I'd like to see from Obama is saying to his insiders, "OK, I see why you want this and I'll back you on it, but you're going to have to explain yourself to the public a lot better than you used to".

That's what I hated most about Bush, how entitled he felt about operating in the shadows. From a leadership perspective, bad policy is often better than no policy. I accept mistakes. The problem was that the little cretin never stood up for his reasons. That old excuse "national security" sounds exactly the same whether you pronounce it in English, Chinese, or North Korean.

It's the surrounding discussion that makes the difference.

Re:translation loud and clear (0, Troll)

gf1605 (1613059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232358)

So it's that they don't stroke your hair while they skull fuck you?

Set Aside? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232192)

"The government is asking the court to review the case with all of its 27 judges, which it has never done. If the court agrees to a rehearing, a new decision is not expected for years, and the August decision would be set aside pending a new ruling. Either way, the U.S. Supreme Court has the final say. "

So if they agree to re-evaluate the ruling, the current ruling is "set aside", meaning as if it never happened? Ain't that about a bitch.

Well of course he does (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232216)

He is with the federal government.

Asinine example (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232240)

The government said the decision was already chilling at least one rape case in Washington State.

"Federal agents received information from their counterparts in San Diego that two individuals had filmed themselves raping a 4-year-old girl and traded the images via the internet," the government wrote. "The agents did not obtain a warrant to search the suspects' computers, however, because of concerns that any evidence discovered about other potential victims could not be disclosed by the filter team. The agents therefore referred the case to state authorities."

So, because a warrant won't let them go on a fishing expedition for other crimes, they don't pursue the crimes that they do know about? That's like a kid saying: "If you don't play by my rules, I'll take my ball away".

Legislating from the bench (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232282)

This story is misleading in what it leaves out: this wasn't just a narrow decision saying that this particular seizure violated the "plain view" test. The 9th Circuit Court apparently decided to go far beyond deciding the case based on those precedents and instead set out specific detailed new rules to be followed in computer searches.

Even if the Supreme Court were to do something like this, it would probably be considered by many to be overstepping its bounds a bit; the usual process is for the courts to declare that the search was unconstitutional, after which another branch of government will introduce policies or legislation to ensure that future searches aren't likely to be thrown out for the same reason. Here the court took it upon itself to create those policies.

Eh (4, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232316)

The problem with trying to apply old precedents to this matter is that digital databases can be so much vaster than any real place being searched. If the cops have a warrant to search the safe in someone's house for something illegal, they aren't allowed to go search the cupboards. Only if the evidence is in plain sight as they go about their business are they allowed to use it.

This is very relevant. What if the cops bust in to your house looking for marijuana in your safe, based on an anonymous tip, and don't find anything? Maybe they find you've stored chemicals in your kitchen cabinets in violation of federal law for storage, or maybe you've got some prescription med bottles for a person who is no longer living in the house. If the cops are allowed to rifle through everything a private citizen owns, and they get creative, they can almost certainly find SOMETHING to charge you with. Their perspective is "since you were accused, you must be guilty of SOMETHING...let's find what it is because I don't want to go back to the station empty handed"

Well, now, if suppose you were a credit bureau like Equifax. If the cops had the authority to search your database to get someone's credit record in order to prove illegal activity, they could search the records of every citizen in the united states because those records are in "plain sight" within the database! Bet they could find SOMETHING if they are allowed to basically open an investigation against every citizen of the country.

And for those arguing "if we're soft on crime, we're letting teh criminals win". The U.S. has already declared and imprisoned more of its citizens for being 'criminals' than any other nation on earth as a % of population. Now, I'm not saying that a large percentage of those people are innocent, just that this extreme level of imprisonment is not an appropriate way for society to deal with those who misbehave. (I think the percentage of innocent people is probably between 3 and 10 percent)

Re:Eh (1)

AxemRed (755470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232452)

With regards to the raping-the-4-year-old example, I initially came here to say, "Wouldn't searching the computer and finding evidence of another victim be similar to searching a dresser drawer for pictures of the said crime and finding pictures of other victims as well, and wouldn't that be perfectly legal?"

However, you raise a very good point here and changed my mind a bit. On one hand, I can see where, in my opinion, searching the "My Pictures" folder in Windows (with a warrant) for evidence of child pornography and finding other victims as well would be the equivalent to my dresser drawer example above. But now that you mention it, I'm not so sure that they should be allowed to even look in a spreadsheet in My Documents, for example, or even be given access to it in the first place.

Only pedantic comments here (1)

mathimus1863 (1120437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232338)

All this talk about him being the same guy as the last one...? Just because his actions related to 4th amendment are like Bush's, doesn't mean it's a one-party system all of a sudden. Take a look at healthcare and foreign policy. I think this boils down to the fact that ANY PRESIDENT will take as much 4th amendement liberties as the can if it helps him protect the country. Is it right? No, and it's our obligation to fight it. But I'd say it's not surprising in the least. If he can avoid having a major disaster/attack during his first term, that completely makes up for any loss of support he gets for being a dick about the 4th amendment. Does it guarantee no terrorist attacks could happen? No, but I'd say the conditional probabilities work out in his favor, politically.

Again, I'm not supporting it. We need him to know that these policies are unpopular. But to say that our extremely liberal president is suddenly just like Bush because of his stance on a single issue like this, is ludicrous.

Re:Only pedantic comments here (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232518)

Exactly so. In his position, he'll be responsible if something does happen, so he'll try to take whatever steps he can to stop it. That's politics. Does it suck? Yeah. Would he be a better man if he could stop just shy of that line every time? Certainly. Is it our jobs (as citizens, but also especially Congress) to stop him? You bet.

What I want to see, however, is that he's making these attempts to assume powers IN OPEN COURT. What got most of us about the Bush Administration wasn't that they had a rather... permissive... view on the Fourth Amendment. It was that they had it in secret and apparently knew full well that they were wrong. (When Qwest asked for warrants for the phone taps, the Justice Department just quietly left, apparently. That tells me that they knew that they didn't have a legal leg to stand on.)

His only term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232352)

I think he has both sides of the line pissed enough now that he will never be elected again.

In defense of... (1)

DaMP12000 (710387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232368)

the attempt to appeal the decision, TFA states that the court said they illegally obtained the names because the authorities 'actively scrolled to the right side of the spreadsheet'... Isn't that defense like "Sir, you had a warrant for my computer and found marijuana on the table... you actively looked at the table when your warrant was just for my computer". I think this is an example of the American Justice not working. If a file that incriminates people subject to the warrant also incriminates other people, I don't see how this is an abuse. The judge's decision was absurd. And don't get me wrong, I usually don't like big brother stuff, but on the other hand, tying the hand of the authorities when they're trying to do a decent job is not going to help the situation either.

from TFA (3, Interesting)

dnwq (910646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232374)

The circuit’s ruling came in a case that dates to 2004, when federal prosecutors probing a Northern California steroid ring obtained warrants to seize the results of urine samples of 10 pro baseball players at a Long Beach, California drug-testing facility. The players had been tested as part of a voluntary drug-deterrence program implemented by Major League Baseball.

Federal agents serving the search warrant on the Comprehensive Drug Testing lab wound up making a copy of a directory containing a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with results of every player that was tested in the program. Then, back in the office, they scrolled freely through the spreadsheet, ultimately noting the names of all 104 players who tested positive.

The government argued that the information was lawfully found in “plain sight,” just like marijuana being discovered on a dining room table during a court-authorized weapons search of a home. But the court noted that the agents actively scrolled to the right side of the spreadsheet to peek at all the players test results, when they could easily have selected, copied and pasted only the rows listing the players named in the search warrant.

This... doesn't actually sound that objectionable. Scrolling to the right breaks the Fourth Amendment?

Re:from TFA (1)

lostcoast (1135445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232574)

The issue here is that that warrants must state exactly what and where they are looking, and this warrant covered records for 10 specific people. They then "saw" information about other people not included in the warrant. Most warrants are no doubt much less specific, and they would have gotten away with this.

Yeah (-1, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232390)

Another inflammatory headline that anti government jackholes will rally around without bothering to read or think about.

This sin't about just siezing computers without warrent, this isn't about grabbingh people off the street, and this isn't about lies to cover an agenda.

This is about the definition of 'found in plain sight' during a computer investigation. In the case they want to get reviewed the law enforcement officials open a spread sheet they had a warrant to look at, and happened to scroll over in the spread sheet. The court said that's not the same as in plain sight; which is ridiculous.

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232534)

Thanks for the insightful post. So tired of "OBAAAAAMMA DONE DID IT AGAIN!" headlines here on Slashdot. you get a slew of people spouting off their opinions on things they really know absolutely nothing about yet they get emotionally involved because some fucking journalist tells them how to think. It is worse when a journalist forces an opinion down your throat then it is the government actually being corrupt.

PANIC! PANIC! PANIC! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232398)

I am amused at all the of outrage over ... well .. whatever Obama did, it must be horrible! None of these outraged early comments address the topic, they're all slogans like "he's a politician", "he's the government", and sure as hell none of the commenters read the article's attached PDFs. I'm still reading it, so I'll hold off on declaring Obama's satanic provenance. Let's see some comments that show some basic understanding of what a waiver of the plain-view doctrine is and how and whether this doctrine should apply to computer searches.

Nooo !? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232424)

Must be some mistake. Let's give the guy another Nobel price, I'm sure he'll deserve it later...

Funny... (4, Insightful)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232428)

...if Bush had done this people would be reacting differently. Hope and Change is a joke.

Hope and Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232444)

Doesn't Zero's wife look like a man? Maybe it is a man.

transparency as advertised (3, Funny)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232462)

Hasn't he been saying that he's into transparency this whole time? What? Did you guys think it was a one way street? We're lucky there aren't webcams in all our bathrooms.

Hope/Change? (5, Insightful)

jwiegley (520444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232470)

Happy now? This is what you all wanted... For the past decade I've read post after post after post about Bush spending too much or having too tight an iron fist on privacy issues.

Well, you all voted for change...

Now you have the highest spending EVER. Now you can see the beginning of security corruption as well. At least Bush had a war to justify his need to breach privacy. Obama has no legitimate reason and yet he's going to do it.

When are you all going to learn that government is inherently bad; that it is inherently corrupt. And while there are a couple of functions it should provide to maintain civilization, the smaller we keep it the better... for all of us.

We need more discipline in public office (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232572)

They all know their jobs and the limits of their office and mission. For various reasons, both good and bad, they seek more power and expansion of current power. I hold that there was great wisdom in the limiting of those powers from the very beginning. That wisdom was established by previous abuses of such overreaching powers of the previous government the founding fathers were living under. They knew where all the government power abuses lead to because they had lived with those abuses until they could tolerate it no longer. This is how the U.S. Revolution began!

The people in various offices seek to repeat those same abuses by seeking to go beyond the limits that were artfully and successfully crafted by the authors of the U.S. Constitution. They may have good intentions, but the evils that can result from it outweighs the benefit of prosecuting one or two more child rapists. And yes, I said it. Protecting the constitution is FAR more important than protecting children from rapists.

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