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Pakistani Court Rules On Internet Censorship: Unconstitutional

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the us-declares-freedom-causes-terrorism dept.

Censorship 79

Fluffeh writes "It looks like some Pakistanis are taking on 'the man.' With plans laid by the Pakistani Government that could sink up to fifty million websites that it isn't a fan of, Pakistanis took the matter to court — which ruled that such action by the government was unconstitutional. Reporters without Borders was however a little more skeptical 'The high court's ruling, if respected, would make it impossible for the government to introduce any nationwide website filtering system. While welcoming the ruling, which penalizes the lack of transparency in the PTA's past website blocking, Reporters Without Borders calls for vigilance because the PTA could try to circumvent it by devising a constitutional procedure based on the anti-blasphemy law and national security provisions. '"

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LOL (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867599)

So the camel jockeys of Pakistan care more about freedom of speech/expression than the 'home of the free'? LOL. I'm guessing they also don't submit people to grope sessions just to fly planes either.

Re:LOL (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867635)

No no no, you don't get it. It is opposite day today!

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867671)

Yep.

It's a great day for freedom in Europe too!

A court in Mannheim ruled on Wednesday that Microsoft infringed Motorola Mobility's patents and ordered Microsoft to remove its popular Xbox 360 gaming consoles and Windows 7 operating system software from the German market.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/02/us-microsoft-motorola-idUSBRE8410DC20120502?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FbusinessNews+(News+%2F+US+%2F+Business+News) [reuters.com]

Yeeha!

Let's see how the slashshills respond to THAT little piece of freedom!

Re:LOL (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867819)

A US Court has ruled that Motorola can't force Microsoft to stop trading in Germany, if you read the BBC News version: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17924190 [bbc.co.uk]

"However, Motorola cannot enforce the ruling until a Seattle-based judge lifts a restraining order.

The restriction was put in place after Microsoft claimed that Motorola was abusing its Frand-commitments - a promise to licence innovations deemed critical to widely-used technologies under "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms."

Re:LOL (1)

jaymemaurice (2024752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867845)

Clearly somebody though May first was April 1st... nothing to see here move along.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867939)

Less consumer choice is freedom?

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39868163)

Let's see how the slashshills respond to THAT little piece of freedom!

Why don't you just see for yourself?

Really, you're that eager to Troll that you couldn't even wait a half an hour....

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/05/02/1354238/german-court-grants-motorola-xbox-and-windows-7-sales-ban

Re:LOL (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39870545)

I am actually happy about this ruling because MS is a major pusher of software patents. This spreads the pain back to them. Perhaps they'll decipher a market signal in that pain.

Re:LOL (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867739)

It's *not* opposite day today, you mean. Or don't mean? I'm confused ... or not.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39869023)

No no no, you don't get it. It is opposite day today!

If today is opposite day, then that means he gets it.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39869811)

no it's not. :)

Re:LOL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867797)

So the camel jockeys of Pakistan care more about freedom of speech/expression than the 'home of the free'? LOL. I'm guessing they also don't submit people to grope sessions just to fly planes either.

It takes a bit more courage to take on the establishment in Pakistan than it does in the USA. In Pakistan the reactionaries can lock you up and torture or even 'disappear' their own citizens if they get too annoying, in the USA they are still stuck at the 'I'd like to be able to do that to people other than renditioned foreigners' stage.

Re:LOL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867997)

So the camel jockeys of Pakistan care more about freedom of speech/expression than the 'home of the free'? LOL. I'm guessing they also don't submit people to grope sessions just to fly planes either.

It takes a bit more courage to take on the establishment in Pakistan than it does in the USA. In Pakistan the reactionaries can lock you up and torture or even 'disappear' their own citizens if they get too annoying, in the USA they are still stuck at the 'I'd like to be able to do that to people other than renditioned foreigners' stage.

Well, that makes the US citizens seem rather lame, a big bunch of pussies that don't do a thing to protect that freedom themselves. Relying completely on a government to protect that freedom while that government is showing time and time again that its trying to erode that very freedom.

Re:LOL (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39868107)

in the USA they are still stuck at the 'watch him long enough and eventually he'll commit a crime' stage.

FTFY. Here in the US, we get around the "well you can only arrest people who break the law" by creating so many laws and such a complex legal system that almost everyone is guilty of something.

Re:LOL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39869085)

FTFY. Here in the US, we get around the "well you can only arrest people who break the law" by creating so many laws and such a complex legal system that almost everyone is guilty of something

That's true in most countries but it's more due to laws piling up and nobody ever working up the energy to clean out the cruft. My uncle used to be a cop in a small fishing village, one day he caught a couple of foreign sailors who had stolen a goat and slaughtered it. When he looked up the relevant passage in his law book (nobody had stolen livestock in this place for over a hundred years) and immediately called the justice ministry to ask for advice. The lawyer at the other end got pretty annoyed over being bothered with this misdemeanor until my uncle told him that according to the (12th century) law on the books he was supposed to hang these guys. Eventually the legal eagles decided to forego this particular form of punishment and the captain of the ship in question paid a fine and compensated the farmer. The law was then quickly abolished by a special session of parliament.

Re:LOL (2)

yuje (1892616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39870025)

+1 Insightful

Most people don't realize that we have such maze of laws that the average American breaks three laws a day [wsj.com] , often without even knowing it.

Profits (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39870159)

Here in the US, we get around the "well you can only arrest people who break the law" by creating so many laws and such a complex legal system that almost everyone is guilty of something.

Don't forget the prison-industrial complex buying and pushing 'law and order' politicians that then privatize incarceration (because government employees are to be eliminated) and increase their profits.

Re:LOL (5, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867833)

Actually that's pretty inaccurate. I'm going to ignore the obnoxious racism in your comment and just address the freedoms issue. No major government body in the US is trying to block fifty million websites, and if they did, the entire Supreme Court would tell them no. And the US rejected any form of blasphemy laws as unconstitional quite some time ago. Pakistan still allows the execution of people for blasphemy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_Pakistan [wikipedia.org] . Shabaz Bhatti http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahbaz_Bhatti [wikipedia.org] was assassinated just for trying to lessen the penalties on the blasphemy laws. As to the matter of grope sessions to fly planes- Pakistan has essentially close to almost no equivalent of Fourth Amendment protections. The US and Europe are not in great shape right now, and there's no question that human rights have been getting better in Pakistan in the last few years (especially post-Musharraf), but let's not lose perspective here on overall which is set of countries is doing better for human rights.

Re:LOL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867973)

Dude, you're on Slashdot, home of autistic geek filth that lives in tiny mental bubbles where the US has become the worst place ever in the history of the universe or any fictional work, and everything is measured in multiple Hitlers. For example, buying an iPhone makes you as bad as 6 Hitlers.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39868319)

Seriously, Slashdot needs to accept the proper standardized term kilonazi [urbandictionary.com] . It even fits with the unhealthy obsession over metric prefixes.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39868377)

No, I think the committee decided to lessen that offense to 4.5.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39872827)

No no no, the Slashmittee would never lower an Apple product. I heard it went up to 11 Hitlers and 1 Third Reich.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39870777)

.. and everything is measured in multiple Hitlers

So car analogies should then readjusted to something that uses 'panzers' [wikipedia.org] as standard units?

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39874375)

The Fox News forums?

Re:LOL (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39868233)

No major government body in the US is trying to block fifty million websites

I guess lobbyists from the MPAA and RIAA are not technically part of the government; they only pad the wallets of politicians and draft legislation for them.

the US rejected any form of blasphemy laws as unconstitional quite some time ago

While simultaneously making other classes of speech illegal. Just because we violate free speech rights differently than the Pakistanis would does not mean that we are not violating free speech rights.

As to the matter of grope sessions to fly planes- Pakistan has essentially close to almost no equivalent of Fourth Amendment protections

So on the one hand, Pakistan has no privacy laws, and on the other the US simply ignores its privacy laws and publicly humiliates its citizens. Here is the question you were trying to answer, but failed to: does Pakistan grope its citizens en masse, the way the United States does?

there's no question that human rights have been getting better in Pakistan

Here is what you left out: human rights have been getting worse in the United States, and are worsening at an accelerating pace. Freedom of speech? Only if you do not bother the important people with it. Privacy rights? Only if you never travel or communicate electronically. The right to live a free and happy life? Only if you are not a member of the world's largest prison population, which in case anyone has forgotten is the prison population of the United States.

To put it another way, is it the US or Pakistan that has paramilitary police forces that shoot innocent people with assault rifles and add personal assets to their budgets, with the approval and encouragement of the government?

Re:LOL (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39868549)

Actually, ISPs in the US don't block copyright infringing websites, so your first bit doesn't hold. As to your claim that other areas of free speech are restricted in the US, exactly what speech are you talking about? In the US we have some of the strongest free speech rights on the planet. You can criticize politicians, or religous leaders, or the rich, or pretty much anything else. Please give a single example of some form of speech allowed in Pakistan that isn't allowed in the US.

So on the one hand, Pakistan has no privacy laws, and on the other the US simply ignores its privacy laws and publicly humiliates its citizens. Here is the question you were trying to answer, but failed to: does Pakistan grope its citizens en masse, the way the United States does?

The point you may have been missing is that the answer is essentially "yes, and far worse". In the US one is subject to such searches if one is going on a plane and one doesn't go through the backscatter screening. In contrast, in Pakistan, security forces can stop you on the street anywhere and do about the same level of search or more.

To put it another way, is it the US or Pakistan that has paramilitary police forces that shoot innocent people with assault rifles and add personal assets to their budgets, with the approval and encouragement of the government?

Any violation of this sort in Pakistan is actually orders of magnitude worse than the US. So, the answer in this context is "to some extent in the US and far far worse in Pakistan". Overall, the only bit you are correct on is that the situation is getting worse in the US. That's obviously a problem, but that doesn't change the fact that the situation is much worse in Pakistan.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39868741)

'It's okay that the US government does bad things on a scale that many dictators would envy because the darkies do worse things! America! Fuck yeah!'

Re:LOL (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39868977)

Actually, ISPs in the US don't block copyright infringing websites

Up until the point where the US government seizes domain names.

As to your claim that other areas of free speech are restricted in the US, exactly what speech are you talking about?

How about praising terrorists:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/a-dangerous-mind.html?ref=terrorism [nytimes.com]

Or publishing articles with controversial views about terrorism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_churchill [wikipedia.org]

Or publishing books about making drugs (note that Shulgin lost his license to do research -- including research on drugs that he discovered):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pihkal [wikipedia.org]

Or recording the police:

http://cryptogon.com/?p=22744 [cryptogon.com]

Some of these things are illegal; some are legal in theory but restricted in practice. Or publishing information about breaking DRM systems:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMCA [wikipedia.org]

Or publishing cartoon descriptions of child abuse:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_Act_of_2003 [wikipedia.org]

Or speaking outside of designated free speech zones:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zone [wikipedia.org]

I guess you could say that these things are not as bad as outright bans on criticisms of the government. Yet we do have a whole lot of restrictions on free speech, both in the law and in practice.

In the US one is subject to such searches if one is going on a plane

This amounts to millions of people subjected to searches, in a systematic and humiliating way.

Any violation of this sort in Pakistan is actually orders of magnitude worse than the US

[citation needed]

Re:LOL (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39869629)

Most of your reply isn't really relevant because I've agreed with you that the US has serious problems and that some of them are getting worse. In that context, pointing to specific problems doesn't really do much. But it may be instructive to look at your examples:

Tarek Mehanna is an appalling example and not the only such case. Ward Churchill was guilty of severe plagiarism. It is true that people paid more attention to him and the plagiarism accusations because of his politically controversial statements, but that's a much weaker claim (and no one seriously disagrees with the plagiarism issue in his case). The issues related to recording the police are also a serious one and one that is really despicable. It varies a lot from state to state, and some states are actually improving (see for example, the ongoing legislation in Connecticut that will allow people to sue cops who try to interfere with recording http://stratford.patch.com/articles/bill-protects-citizens-recording-police-a8140340 [patch.com] ). In Pakistan, that wouldn't even be an issue because the police or military would just beat up the person recording and take the recording. Pihkal is a potential example of where someone was targeted for their speech, although actual violations of research and security policies were found in the lab. Your statement about the DMCA is just factually wrong- the DMCA prohibits circumvention of copy-protection mechanisms, it doesn't prohibit discussion of how to do so. The PROTECT_Act has some pretty stupid provisions, and trying to make virtual porn illegal is a violation of free speech by many notions. In Pakistan essentially all pornography is essentially illegal and they regularly block pornographic websites http://tribune.com.pk/story/293434/pta-approved-over-1000-porn-sites-blocked-in-pakistan/ [tribune.com.pk] . Free speech zones are a really wretched idea and do implicitly violate actual free speech protections, although weak forms that only restrict time, place and manner without any content aspect are probably ok (and in fact courts in the last few years have struck down many attempts to restrict anything beyond that- see for example what happened with Texas Tech in 2004).

In the US one is subject to such searches if one is going on a plane

This amounts to millions of people subjected to searches, in a systematic and humiliating way.

You cut off part of my sentence which ended with "and one doesn't go through the backscatter screening", and that's quite relevant here. About 2 million people are subject monthly to pat-downs http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2011/may/17/janet-napolitano/homeland-security-chief-stresses-very-very-very-fe/ [politifact.com] . That estimate includes people who are getting pat-downs after they've already triggered some sort of warning, not just randomized pat-downs or op-out pat-downs. Again, the Pakistan situation is very different- the police and military can stop anyone on the streets and search them with no justification. I don't know if that results in more total searches in the US, but if it does, it is only because the US is a much larger country. As a percentage matter, the result would be pretty clear.

Any violation of this sort in Pakistan is actually orders of magnitude worse than the US

[citation needed]

Sure. http://www.hrw.org/asia/pakistan [hrw.org] , http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/sca/154485.htm [state.gov] , http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/pakistan-must-account-missing-victims-enforced-disappearance-2012-04-16 [amnesty.org] are all relevant citations. In the US the police will in most of the worst cases will take your money or car. In rare cases the police will shoot someone with no provocation. Moreover, in the US, the police unions make sure that even the worst shootings by cops rarely result in a real penalties to the cops in questions. But that's different from the Pakistan situation where people are just disappeared with their families not knowing whether the people are alive or dead, only to sometimes find the body years later.

This isn't a defense of the US. This is not intended as a "but Pakistan is worse so the US is ok" argument. The situation in the US is not acceptable and is getting worse. We've now had two Presidents in a row who don't care much about the Bill of Rights, and a Supreme Court to match. The relevant point though is that claiming that the situation in Pakistan is at all comparable just doesn't hold water- Pakistan is in much worse shape.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39870149)

although weak forms that only restrict time, place and manner without any content aspect are probably ok

"If you want free speech, get out of the US!"

Now the government can do whatever it pleases. It's just a single place, after all...

Re:LOL (1)

Cragen (697038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39868713)

Your reply leads me to suspect that you probably have never stepped foot out of your own city, much less country. You have no idea how few rights people in most of the world have and how repressive the governments of countries like Pakistan, China, Iran, etc., are. I have to just laugh at your real ignorance of the rest of the world's situation. While the US has its problems, reporters aren't being shot down in "broad daylight" as in Brazil, Mexico, etc. I really do suggest you go spend a few years in just about any country not in NATO. Heck, even Europe is quite a bit more repressive than the US. Mouth-off to an EU policeman and he or SHE will beat the living crap out of you in public with no fear of reprisal. So, walk down the street when you want, yelling your hatred, and feel safe. This is the ONLY country (so far) in you can fairly safely do that. Go ahead. And have a nice day.

No, really. You should move. Besides it clearing the air considerably here, you really do need to go see that if you spout that silliness in a non-NATO country (and also IN some NATO countries) that you will not need a fair trial because the local police or military will have killed you in plain site of everyone. And all the witnesses will just walk away. It's sad, but true. So, good luck.

Re:LOL (2)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 2 years ago | (#39869041)

"Mouth-off to an EU policeman and he or SHE will beat the living crap out of you in public with no fear of reprisal".

You, dear Sir, are completely bonkers.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39869099)

The US President has made it legal for him to execute anyone anywhere in the world based on secret evidence reviewed in a secret court. The US jails people indefinitely without trial. The NSA is starting to store all traffic in the Internet (good luck with that, and boy that is going to rake in the pork), etc, etc. The US Constitution has been shredded, after all 'it is just a piece of paper'.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39868015)

They kill women who dare to refuse to be married or otherwise somehow besmirch the "honor" of their families.
They just kill anyone who decides not be be a Muslim any longer (apostasy).
Some "Freedom" they have over there.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39869151)

Some "Freedom" they have over there.

Dude, you're so wrong- guys over there have the freedom to screw almost any goat they please, as long as they marry it afterwards.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39868021)

Can't miss an opportunity to take a shot at the good ol' US of A, huh?

Re:LOL (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39868153)

Well you lard asses do deserve with all the chest thumping about how you have so much freedom and are so brave yet you are crippled with fear over FBI-syaged terrorist plots and destroy your freedoms daily.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39868135)

So the camel jockeys of Pakistan care more about freedom of speech/expression than the 'home of the free'? LOL. I'm guessing they also don't submit people to grope sessions just to fly planes either.

1. How did this absolute Troll get up to +3 Insightful? He obviously doesn't know jack fucking shit about Pakistan, try traveling there sometime you fucking idiot, then you'll see how much they "love freedom". Fucking monekyspunk.

2. "Reporters Without Borders calls for vigilance because the PTA could try to circumvent it by devising a constitutional procedure based on the anti-blasphemy law and national security provisions. '"
Well no shit, I figured that out before I finished reading the headline.

Re:LOL (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39869947)

So the camel jockeys of Pakistan care more about freedom of speech/expression than the 'home of the free'? LOL. I'm guessing they also don't submit people to grope sessions just to fly planes either.

We understand. You just go ahead and keep telling yourself whatever it takes to get you out of bed in the morning.

Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at least (4, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867609)

Our guys have been asleep at the wheel for the last 10 years. I'm pretty sure at this point that most of the U.S. Justices don't even know there *is* a 4th Amendment, much less what it says.

Re:Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at leas (1)

BootysnapChristAlive (2629837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867675)

Don't worry, citizen. Everything the government does is to keep you safe. Lying, molesting people at airports, warrantless wiretapping... it's all for you! You should feel honored that we're keeping you safe!

Here's the difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867793)

The difference between banana-republic-style, "third world" oppression and superpower, "first world" oppression is merely the shiny package it comes in.

Re:Here's the difference (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39868057)

And the price tag.

Re:Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at leas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867805)

In Islamic Pakistan, the High Court protects you!

Re:Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at leas (1)

Scarred Intellect (1648867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867865)

I can't speak for the justices, but I can speak for my elected representatives!

My congressman and both senators don't know what the 4th Amendment is: http://slashdot.org/my/journal [slashdot.org]

Re:Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at leas (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867971)

Your Journal: http://slashdot.org/~Scarred+Intellect/journal/ [slashdot.org]

Not My Journal: http://slashdot.org/my/journal [slashdot.org]

Re:Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at leas (1)

Scarred Intellect (1648867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39874075)

Good to know. Thanks. I don't always think everything through all the way. Hence scarred intellect.

Who needs a 4th amendment? (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39868055)

People are trained from kindergarden onwards to think that if someone tries to do something privately or in secret, they must be doing something that breaks the rules. We are also trained from kindergarden onwards to think that the rules are sacred and must not be broken, so people wind up thinking that anyone who wants privacy must be doing some immoral.

What, you want to have privacy? What are you trying to hide?

Re:Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at leas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39868253)

Was thinking the same thing myself.

Sad when a backwater like Pakistan gets that blocking the web is wrong (amazing that their constitution prohibits it IMO), but 'the home of the free' can't seem to figure it out.

Re:Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at leas (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39868751)

I'm pretty sure at this point that most of the U.S. Justices don't even know there *is* a 4th Amendment, much less what it says.

Uh, wouldn't this be a first amendment issue in the US?

Re:Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at leas (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39869915)

Our guys have been asleep at the wheel for the last 10 years. I'm pretty sure at this point that most of the U.S. Justices don't even know there *is* a 4th Amendment, much less what it says.

I'm pretty sure there is another possibility - that they in fact do understand it, as applied, and you don't. One of the big stumbling blocks is people keep refusing to acknowledge the difference between procedure under ordinary criminal law, and the law of war, or national security law more generally. Most people here have a better understanding of cheese, which still baffles them, than they do of how the Constitution applies to armed conflict.

Re:Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at leas (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872535)

I'm sorry, I missed the part of the Constitution that said "All provisions and amendments of this document are to be suspended during any period when the President says the country is at war."

Re:Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at leas (2)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39875749)

I missed the part of the Constitution that said "All provisions and amendments of this document are to be suspended during any period when the President says the country is at war."

Especially, when it seems your nation is always at war with someone or something.

Re:Well, that beats the U.S. Supreme Court at leas (1)

the gnat (153162) | more than 2 years ago | (#39874517)

Our guys have been asleep at the wheel for the last 10 years. I'm pretty sure at this point that most of the U.S. Justices don't even know there *is* a 4th Amendment, much less what it says.

Actually, to the surprise of quite a few observers (myself included), the Supreme Court just unanimously ruled that law enforcement agencies can't simply slap a GPS tracker on your car [washingtonpost.com] without a warrant. The majority's ruling was actually relatively limited, but was based on 4th Amendment grounds. Alito and several of the liberals actually pushed for an even broader decision. God knows the SC tends to favor the government in too many cases, but this was about as clear a victory for protection against unreasonable search and seizure as we've seen in a long time.

The PTA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867637)

From the summary:
"because the PTA could try to circumvent it by devising a constitutional procedure based on the anti-blasphemy law and national security provisions."

Pakistan must have a very powerful Parent-Teacher Association. Or, whoever wrote the summary might have defined "PTA".

Re:The PTA? (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867665)

It's the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.

Re:The PTA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867711)

From the summary: "because the PTA could try to circumvent it by devising a constitutional procedure based on the anti-blasphemy law and national security provisions."

Pakistan must have a very powerful Parent-Teacher Association. Or, whoever wrote the summary might have defined "PTA".

Pakistanis Torturer Association [pta.gov.pk] . Google mother fucker - Do you use it?

Re:The PTA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39868215)

From the summary:
"because the PTA could try to circumvent it by devising a constitutional procedure based on the anti-blasphemy law and national security provisions."

Pakistan must have a very powerful Parent-Teacher Association. Or, whoever wrote the summary might have defined "PTA".

I'll give you a hint. It's the very first hit when you google "pakistan pta".
Or you could go to their website, it's a tough one to figure out: pta.gov.pk

The land of the free and the home of the brave (1)

Walterk (124748) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867653)

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:

Pakistan? :\

Hooray! My Website Stays Available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867753)

Great news, I was worried no one would be able to visit https://dronefinder.pk.

You have to understand Pakistan's politics (5, Insightful)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39867905)

The government can't be seen offending their own people. They're more progressive than they let on. Because of the threat of violence from the religious fundies, the progressives often disguise their actions or appear to be "arguing for" something they are actually against.

All of the institutions in Pakistan have to walk lines between the progress the lawyers and intellectuals and professors want to see happen and what the religious fundies will tolerate. It's not that different in the US. as the etch-a-sketch positioning in the Republican primaries reveal. You can't alienate that much of your (stupid) electorate and expect to get or stay in power.

The government and most of the military in Pakistan hates the Taliban as much as anyone and was as glad as we were when we did bin Laden Of course they had to act outraged.

Pakistan is chock -o-block full with highly intelligent forward looking progressives who aren't drinking the Kool-aid. That's why the drone program is a great thing. The religious head cases in Waziristan are hated by many Pakis as much as they're hated by us, and both the Pakistan government and its military smile every time a fundie gets dished out to him what he earnestly sought to dish out to civil society.

Just like with any other country, you can't understand the international headlines unless you have at least a basic grasp of the domestic politics.

Re:You have to understand Pakistan's politics (1)

whatanews4u (1411871) | more than 2 years ago | (#39868653)

Pakistan's liberal voice is going to be diminish, which is a dangerous precedent. The way in which killer of Punjab province governor was welcomed with so much rose explain how ultra conservative muslim is going influence a major portion of public thought. Recently after US issued a bounty on Hafiz Saeed when 'anti america' emotion with nationalist mood is at it's peak level simply fuel spread of 'mullah ' thought (orthodox & anti america anti india) on internet via social networking site. Therefore Zardari govt's little effort to check it is a good step.

Re:You have to understand Pakistan's politics (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39870651)

Pakistan's fundies , just like our fundies in the US, may use terror to intimidate the voice of Pakistan's progressives, but rest assured if they got into power, banning websites with which they disagreer would be the first order of the day, just as Rick Santorum was planning to make p0rn sites illegal.

But there are tens of thousands of expat Pakis who can and do put up websites to combat extremeist thoughts and if they're not blocked in Pakistan, there's little the fundies in Pak cn do to stop people in Pak from accessing them.

Think of the whole thing as a sort of distributed Voice of America. What are they going to do?

The more people are exposed to liberal ideas, the more liberal the next generation becomes. Look at what's happening to the conservatard hatred of homosexuality in the US. They themselves admit they've lost "this battle" against gay acceptance. That's the power of ideas.

Conservatism relies on fear of things your personally ignorant of to whip its followers up into a frenzy. What will happen if the slaves are freed? What will happen if women get the vote? What will happen if we desegregate? What will happen if we intermarry? What will happen if we legalize homosexuality? What will happen if the government takes over heathcare?

Once people are exposed to these things, it turns out they're actually good in ways the conservatives just couldn't imagine.

People don't change, but people grow old and die and their children make new laws based on their own understanding of reality. That understanding can either be informed and acquainted with the things it's legislating about or it can read some holy book day and night and pray away the gay.

It's on. It's on between the forces of darkness- the religious fundies in every nation- and civilization. My bet is on civilization. Let's roll.

Re:You have to understand Pakistan's politics (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39875997)

Look at what's happening to the conservatard hatred of homosexuality in the US. They themselves admit they've lost "this battle" against gay acceptance. That's the power of ideas.

Rick Santorum made it to the level of Presidential Candidate, not to mention Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and GWB. That's also the power of ideas.

It's on. It's on between the forces of darkness- the religious fundies in every nation- and civilization. My bet is on civilization. Let's roll.

I applaud your optimism but think you're way too optimistic. Renouncing Islam in Pakistan is still a capital offence. Being raped in Pakistan can land a woman in jail. Just walking to school can buy a girl a face full of sulphuric acid. Allah akbar. A religion of peace.

Plenty of countries throughout history have let themselves be held hostage by a minority composed of concerted fanatics. Coup de gras: Pakistan has nukes. Not good.

Re:You have to understand Pakistan's politics (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871229)

That's welcome news that Pakistan is not as evil as their talking points make them out to be, but I'm skeptical. Osama was just down the street for years. They were so hamstrung by fear of the far right that they couldn't send an anonymous note to us saying "Hey, uh, we didn't tell you this, but 123 main street, Abbottabad. Check it out. Thanks in advance, and know that the whole outrage thing we're going to pull is just an act."?

Re:You have to understand Pakistan's politics (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39871961)

There is zero credible evidence that they knew.

If that strikes you as unlikely, consider this. bin Laden had every reason to be paranoid- the full power of the US intelligence community was looking for him. One leaking person and it's game over. What's he going to do?

Not let anyone not in his family or his inner circle know where he is. Even if the majority of the upper echelon of Pakistani armed forces was FOR him- and they're not- but even if that was true, he'd still have to worry about someone telling someone etc until someone who will take the reward money finds out.

No one is going to risk that.

In one sense it's like The Biggest Secret In The World. Those kinds of things people can't help but blab.. it's just the way it is and he knew it.

The reaction from the upper echelon was basically "great1" when he got popped. Remember he was sworn to overthrow the secular government of Pak. If the majority was in favor of that, it would have already happened. Tali sympathizers are shot throughout the military like buckshot, so the US doesn't trust them (because of the same dynamic which didn't permit bin Laden to trust anyone) to run the drones, but that's not the same situation at all as the military being in cohoots with tali.

It's not black and white at all.

I am a card carrying liberal, but the liberals who are against the drone strikes really live in some universe I have never been to. The drone strikes are a great way to undermine the taliban's power. The people they kill are the ones who make a difference in how things go in that country. If it goes, if the civilian government is overthrown by tali, we have tali-with-the-bomb. What do you think happens next?

In warfare there surface leaders who lead the followers. It's not just a numbers game, it's an identity game also,. Some people are instigators and cheerleaders and they are very effective. Not just anyone can step in and take their place and get the same effect. Killing specific individuals is great in two ways- one, it minimizes civilian death. The other is it lets you pick out the most important players.

If there was some magical way we could kill the enemy after they were fond guilty in a fair US trial that somehow didn't jeopardize nat. sec., where the person was whisked here ... we'd do it. War sucks, but in Waz we are only at war because the alternative is far far worse.

Re:You have to understand Pakistan's politics (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39876229)

Pakistani military, no.

Pakistani intelligence service (ISI?), yes.

Re:You have to understand Pakistan's politics (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39873739)

Is that why Pakistan intelligence services keep supporting Islamic extremists in neighboring countries, as they did during Soviet-Afghan war?

Re:You have to understand Pakistan's politics (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39874005)

Yes it is; the ISI is shot through with people who are tali sympathizers. Some of those are in a position of power in the ISI and they're in a position to tell their underlings what to do the same way your boss is, except with the implicit threat of personal harm added in if you don't do it. It's just like any other organization in which there are power struggles. There's in fighting and conniving and looking the other way and wanting to hang on to your job.

Look at how Chicago was when Al Capone was there. look at the corruption. Were ALL those people in the city and police and courts and papers corrupt in their hearts? Of course not. We're all familiar with this dynamic.

And remember, that wasn't even that long ago for the US

That's why we don't want the drone program run by Pakistan.

Re:You have to understand Pakistan's politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39874909)

What you dont realize is, even though the leadership of Govt, the Military and the Intelligence Agencies seem to be sane, each have plenty of irrational actors in them. The military and the ISI especially is a bit more self-serving then some of us like them to be. I wouldnt assume Bin Laden did not have support from the ISI/military (after all, all that is required is one rogue team).

Re:You have to understand Pakistan's politics (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39875091)

We've both made our thoughts clear already. I just find myself having to reply anyway. The easy construct "one rouge team" is problematic -in the extreme - in reality.

There's the secrecy issue. Then there's the problem of finding people who both have the access they would need to alert bin Laden and also the indubitable sincerity and uncompromising world view that would permit them to keep that secret to only themselves for what appears to be years.

But even given such a fortunate (not!) assembly of well placed, die-hards you still have the fact that just because they're "one rogue team" it exactly means they are NOT the ISI en toto or even a structurally enduring and functional part of the ISI. Yet that is what is being asserted by those who think the ISI was complicit. A rogue team could exist, but the fact that they're rogue means they're not majority.

We need a Constitutional Amendment (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39867949)

I'm sure everyone here loves spending every waking hour fighting CISPA/PIPA/SOPA/ACTA or every other incarnation that will be silently pushed into law. We must demand a Constitutional amendment that clearly defines personal privacy and Internet usage as an inalienable right. The days of hoping your representative Democracy will work for you are sadly over.

Re:We need a Constitutional Amendment (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39868047)

We must demand a Constitutional amendment that clearly defines personal privacy and Internet usage as an inalienable right. The days of hoping your representative Democracy will work for you are sadly over.

You're right. I'll contact my representative to demand he get the amendment process moving and- oh, wait...

Re:We need a Constitutional Amendment (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39870189)

We must demand a Constitutional amendment that clearly defines personal privacy ... as an inalienable right.

Hmm, how about this as a starting draft:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated"

That seems pretty clear to me about enforcing personal property. But I'm not sure we could get that one passed these days.

Re:We need a Constitutional Amendment (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39870423)

Why would that help? They don't respect the amendments we already have.

In Soviet Russia (1)

davydagger (2566757) | more than 2 years ago | (#39869787)

Oh, wait, I think these jokes are done now

Downside (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39870175)

Yes, Pakistani judges frequently rule for the rule of law... and just as frequently get ignored (or far, far worse) by both the military junta of the day and the murderously pious.

In other news... (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872875)

...all of the members of Pakistan's high court were replaced today, as the previous members all died of, according to the official government report, accidental bullet wounds to the chest and head.

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