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FBI Responds To ACLU GPS Tracking Complaint

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the for-your-eyes-only dept.

Privacy 146

Nerdolicious writes "Ars Technica reports that the ACLU has received a response from the FBI after a formal legal complaint was filed to release documents related to warrantless GPS tracking data. But, as you can see from the two memos the ACLU posted to its website, they have unsurprisingly been redacted to uselessness, consisting almost entirely of large black blocks covering full pages."

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This is wrong. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615541)

What the FBI does is wrong.
And they know it, that is why they hide it.

Inform your congressman.

Re:This is wrong. (4, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615563)

Inform your congressman.

Please. That's so naive.

Re:This is wrong. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615571)

Inform your congressman.

Become your congressman.

Re:This is wrong. (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616949)

The only way to become a congressperson is to sell out to the very interests you seek to destroy by becoming a congress person.

Mod. Parent. Up! (0)

alexo (9335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42617645)

Mod. Parent. Up!

Re:This is wrong. (3, Interesting)

mrops (927562) | about a year and a half ago | (#42617825)

and then do a about turn once you have become one.

Unfortunately by then, you have forgotten your original agenda and become complacent with bribes.. um ah.. I mean lobby donations.

Re:This is wrong. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42618391)

Yeah, we can play this game all day, but let's remember that we live in a democracy, so this is really all on us. The only reason you have to sell out and act like a dickhole to be in Congress is because that's what voters are demanding right now.

Re:This is wrong. (3, Insightful)

t4ng* (1092951) | about a year and a half ago | (#42618881)

Yeah, we can play this game all day, but let's remember that we live in a democracy, so this is really all on us. The only reason you have to sell out and act like a dickhole to be in Congress is because that's what voters are demanding right now.

I would argue that voters are demanding this right now because they have been convinced to do so by a vast array of corporate control media that selectively suppresses some news, grossly distorts other news, and gives a far-reaching public stage to people that are clearly either uninformed idiots, completely unhinged mental cases, or corporate shills.

Go back to pre-1980's rules about about media outlet ownership and equal-time, and you might stand a chance of cutting the head off the snake.

Re:This is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615591)

Inform your congressman.

Please. That's so naive.

Pleeze bitch. Inform is newspeak for buy.

More like (5, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615593)

Donate millions of dollars to your congressman. Then they'll really be working for you.

Re:More like (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616065)

Donate millions of dollars to your congressman. Then they'll really be working for you.

They're not honest crooks. They don't stay bought.

Remember the opening of the Stasi archives a few years ago? Well, it looks like the US agencies are worse, with even more files, less openness and accountability. It's time to quit joking about police states when you live in one.

Re:More like (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42617081)

Letting you joke about it is how they convince the populace that they're still free. Say what you want about us; We're thick skinned. We bought our thick skins with your freedoms and your taxes. Thanks!

Re:This is wrong. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615621)

Inform your congressman.

Please. That's so naive.

You're right. The real way to change a broken system is to participate in juvenile one-upmanship on Slashdot. That'll show 'em.

Re:This is wrong. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616079)

This got rated -1 but really should be modded plus 5 insightful. The level of discourse here does nothing to resolve these issues, and that's the point. I see little respect for competing ideas and far too much groupthink.

Re:This is wrong. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616143)

STFU.

Re:This is wrong. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615765)

Congress doesn't run the executive agencies. Go to them if you want new legislation passed, or old legislation repealed. Go to the Judicial branch if you want to do something about them violating existing law.

Re:This is wrong. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616323)

Congress doesn't run the agencies, but they do fund them. Holding their purse strings is effectively the same thing as running them.

Re:This is wrong. (5, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616351)

Congress can actually conduct a public hearing on the matter in which the results minus names of targets could become public information through means other then the FBI.

They can also do a private hearing if the subject is considered a matter of national security then release more of the information through leaks or bringing it up on the floor of congress.

So while you are right in that you go to court over an agency violating existing laws, you can still go to congress to get the answers you are looking for (provided congress is willing to take the matter up).

Re:This is wrong. (1, Troll)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42617043)

Congress can actually conduct a public hearing on the matter in which the results minus names of targets could become public information through means other then the FBI.

Unless Holder and Obama et al decide to abuse Executive Privilege as in the Fast & Furious fiasco, to prevent Congress and the Judicial from obtaining any evidence and/or documentation.

Or, just simply stonewall. Seems to work for the TSA-related stuff they've been stonewalling on.

They seem to be channeling Andrew Jackson.

"John Marshall (Congress/Courts) has made his (it's/their) decision, now let him enforce it!"

When the government ceases to even pretend to be bound by the Rule of Law or any limitations on it's powers, that kinda narrows down the range of possible responses the People can take to correct it. It's not coincidental that the 2nd Amendment is under heavy attack. Soap, ballot, and jury boxes have proven ineffective.

Completely unrelated, but did you see the new IDF remotely-controlled sniper-weapon mount system? Something like that could be controlled from a smartphone app.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post:835b7d06-e3e0-428d-930b-9ea88e088c29 [aviationweek.com]

Doesn't seem like it would be too hard for hardware hackers to duplicate that functionality with mostly OTS robotics-hobbyist parts and components.

Just sayin'

Strat

Re:This is wrong. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#42618831)

Unless Holder and Obama et al decide to abuse Executive Privilege as in the Fast & Furious fiasco, to prevent Congress and the Judicial from obtaining any evidence and/or documentation.

The fact that Holder did not do a year in jail for his contempt of Congress is prima facie proof that pretty much all of our congresspeople on both sides of the aisle are either complicit or lack testicular fortitude. Just saying.

Also, until I see proof to the country, I consider every Democrat who voted against holding Holder in contempt to be a traitor against the United States and not worthy of holding political office ever again. They chose their party over the good of the people and the public's right to hold the government accountable for its actions. There are very few truly unconscionable acts that a politician can commit under color of authority, but that's one of them.

And I'm almost offended enough by Nancy Pelosi's actions to move an hour north just so I can run against her when she comes up for reelection. But not quite.

Re:This is wrong. (4, Insightful)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616533)

Congress doesn't run the executive agencies. Go to them if you want new legislation passed, or old legislation repealed. Go to the Judicial branch if you want to do something about them violating existing law.

Seems that's what the ACLU did. And we see how far it has gotten them so far.

Re:This is wrong. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615929)

What the FBI does is wrong.
And they know it, that is why they hide it.

You have no idea just how right you are. I could tell you some insider
stories but I will spare you because you'd have nightmares.

The FBI exists to preserve power for itself and the Feds, and that is the
ONLY thing the FBI is actually concerned with.

The FBI will LIE under oath in order to secure a conviction. I know this because
they did it to me.

If you believe the FBI gives a fuck about the average citizen you are as naive as a young
child.

Re:This is wrong. (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616545)

You have no idea just how right you are. I could tell you some insider stories but I will spare you because you'd have nightmares.

I already have nightmares. What's your story?

Re:This is wrong. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616653)

What the FBI does is wrong.
And they know it, that is why they hide it.

Inform your congressman.

Oh please grow up will you? If youre going to post something atleast be able to give example, talk about it or something. Just dont make up some lazy half assed and generic kneejerk reaction comment and run off. You sound like some ignorant hippie that has nothing to say but repeat "the corporations and governments are bad man" over and over again with no intelligent argument at all.

Re:This is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42618335)

Example,

Kim Dotcom.

Lied, broke both domestic, foreign and international law. Telling the judge they have no intention of following orders to return improperly seized items and information.

Good enough?

Damn Bush and his warrantless crap (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615543)

When can we vote Bush/Cheney out of office?

Re:Damn Bush and his warrantless crap (2, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615737)

I know right? More FoIA requests were denied in the last four years than the 8 years before that. How much will the American people take before they rid themselves of BusHitler and his evil?

Re:Damn Bush and his warrantless crap (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616073)

I just want you to know that I love your sig and will likely be stealing it (for use elsewhere).

Re:Damn Bush and his warrantless crap (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616727)

Quit complaining, or they will redact the FoIA so citizens will quit bothering them.

Re:Damn Bush and his warrantless crap (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616855)

How much will the American people take before they rid themselves of BusHitler and his evil?

One shot, two shots, white shot, black shot. [hyperlogos.org]

Re:Damn Bush and his warrantless crap (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616443)

1. When a non-corrupt political party comes into existence with a chance of winning.
2. When those who commit serious crimes in official capacities are charged, prosecuted, and jailed for them.
3. When those who fund the politicians are charged, prosecuted, and jailed for their serious crimes.

I have hopes, but I have to get back to improving porcine aerodynamics first.

Re:Damn Bush and his warrantless crap (1)

alexo (9335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42617751)

1. When a non-corrupt political party comes into existence with a chance of winning.

In order to get a chance of winning, a party needs traction. In order to get traction, it needs a non-trivial amount of votes. If you refuse to vote for a party that "does not have a chance of winning", you deny them the opportunity of getting that chance.

2. When those who commit serious crimes in official capacities are charged, prosecuted, and jailed for them.
3. When those who fund the politicians are charged, prosecuted, and jailed for their serious crimes.

For #2 and #3 to become reality, you need to take care of #1 first.

I have hopes, but I have to get back to improving porcine aerodynamics first.

How about spending your time helping the non-corrupt get more influence? The next generation will appreciate it.

Re:Damn Bush and his warrantless crap (1)

Dins (2538550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42618281)

I'm with you. Just starting to realize that I need to get more involved. "Be the change you want to see..." and all that. It may not have much of an impact, but doing nothing will definitely have no impact.

Re:Damn Bush and his warrantless crap (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42618729)

If you refuse to vote for a party that "does not have a chance of winning", you deny them the opportunity of getting that chance.

I did just vote for a party last November that doesn't have a chance of winning. In a "swing state". It's the least I can do. I took a lot of flak for that from people who are worried that the wrong candidate might have won because of it.

As far as organizing to help the non-corrupt get more influence: I'm not a good political organizer. I know this from experience.

Re:Damn Bush and his warrantless crap (1)

RandomFactor (22447) | about a year and a half ago | (#42618465)

I have to get back to improving porcine aerodynamics

This is not necessary, ref RFC 1925 http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1925.html [faqs.org] (See Fundamental Truth #3)

Wrong topic (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615555)

This is filed under "Privacy". I feel if would have been more appropriately filed under "Censorship".

Re:Wrong topic (4, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615573)

It should be filed under "heinous government fuckery."

Unfortunately, in the US government, it's filed under "we'll do whatever we want, to whomever we want, and if you complain, we've got a list we'll put you on."

Re:Wrong topic (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615713)

we've got a list we'll put you on.

Sounds good! Plenty of other countries to vacation to :)

Re:Wrong topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616103)

Well unless you actually live here.

Re:Wrong topic (1, Offtopic)

Golddess (1361003) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616841)

"We're sorry Mr L4t3r4lu5, but it appears that you are on so many lists, you are not allowed to leave the country. Except via special government transport to Guantanamo Bay."

Or were you speaking as someone from another country?

Re:Wrong topic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615939)

Several lists actually. Well, I guess it's a good thing banks and other business in the financial sector have zero scrupules, because, otherwise they'd try to do the right thing, and make sure no terrorists use their services, based on those lists.

What are you 12 years old? Its called redaction. (-1, Offtopic)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615575)

Do you have any actual "journalists" at geekwire? Redactions, advertorials - you kiddies act like you just found out how reporting and journalism works in the last 12 hours. Take a news reporting class at your local community college - you'll learn a thing or two that the hippies knew all about regarding the FOIA in the 70's. Or read a stinking "Reporting for Dummies" book.

Re:What are you 12 years old? Its called redaction (3)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615623)

Wow, you seem so wise. Please, oh enlightened one, tell use what exactly the hippies knew about FOIA in the 70's.

Re:What are you 12 years old? Its called redaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615687)

Dont worry about him, he's just a goofy looking government snitch.

Re:What are you 12 years old? Its called redaction (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616633)

Do you have any actual "journalists" at geekwire? Redactions, advertorials - you kiddies act like you just found out how reporting and journalism works in the last 12 hours. Take a news reporting class at your local community college - you'll learn a thing or two that the hippies knew all about regarding the FOIA in the 70's. Or read a stinking "Reporting for Dummies" book.

I see, so a group submits a request for information that the government refuses to release by way of redaction, and that's called Journalism? Thanks for clearing that up.

Thank you for your request (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615595)

Thank you for your request. We are happy to inform you that [redacted], conforming with sections [redacted] of [redacted]

We hope this fully answers your questions. Please feel free to contact [redacted] if you have any further requests.
Glad to have helped you.
Signed [redacted]

Re:Thank you for your request (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615643)

Glad to have [redacted] you.

There [R]TFY

Re:Thank you for your request (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616955)

...completely safe for all uses as long as it does not come into contact with a dead body, in which case [DATA EXPUNGED]

Government believers (5, Interesting)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615597)

People who live and work in the system are usually believers. They will always believe that they are trying to do the right thing, that they are helping not hurting. Every time governments start doing evil things and people finally get prosecuted, they always seem to have convinced themselves that they were somehow acting in then best interests of the people.

But, in this case, I just can't seem to figure out what the person who redacted those pages was thinking. Did they actually believe that it was too dangerous to communicate the FBI's policy to the very people they are supposed to be protecting? I just can't figure out what mental twisting they could have used to justify keeping this secret. I can only conclude that they don't actually believe they are acting in the best interests of the people, but in their own interests. Do they really have so much contempt for us?

This is a very good time to point out how much organizations like the ACLU and EFF are needed. Donate if you can, it's tax deductible!

Re:Government believers (3, Interesting)

silentcoder (1241496) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615723)

I'm going to guess its something like: "If we reveal our policies, then criminals will know our policies and figure out ways around them or loopholes to avoid them".

Complete bullshit, but the kind of thinking that people in the system readily embrace.

Re:Government believers (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615877)

I'm going to guess its something like: "If we reveal our policies, then criminals will know our policies and figure out ways around them or loopholes to avoid them".

Close. "If we reveal our policies, then the citizens whose behavior we are criminalizing will be aware of our attack on their liberties before it is too late."

Re:Government believers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616745)

no, not even close. More like "if we tell them our policy, we will be sued for the next two decades by the ACLU and all the people we illegally tracked".

Re:Government believers (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616287)

It's also the kind of thinking that's been demonstrated to be true repeatedly over the past few millenia.

The phrase "loose lips sink ships" was used to remind WWII soldiers and families that enemies could infer sensitive information (like ship itineraries) from casual conversation (like Cousin Joe getting leave for Christmas). Today, America's enemies aren't nations - they're more often underground organizations of people (including American citizens) who disregard American laws.

In computer security, we find it perfectly understandable that phishers will collect certain bits of public information (addresses, names, preferences) then use that information later to execute the actual scam (such as getting Amazon to resend products for free). Why is it so hard to believe that others could do similar assembly and use the established procedures against the FBI? Perhaps exploiting a weakness in the procedure to generate fake exculpatory evidence? Even a trivial procedural note like "GPS reception was poor in <standard position>, so we moved the tracker to <somewhere else>" could be easily turned into a list of places to check (or parts to swap) before using a vehicle.

The expectation that the enemy will use all information they can get doesn't apply only to "believers" or "people in the system". It should apply to everyone with any interest in security. Yes, it'd be nice if the FBI had better oversight with an interest in preserving public freedom, but the make-everything-public ACLU isn't going to be able to provide that. All the ACLU will ever get is 90%-redacted memos. Any organization that is trusted by the FBI to provide such oversight without releasing sensitive information won't be trusted by the gub'mint-hating public.

Re:Government believers (4, Insightful)

silentcoder (1241496) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616359)

> Today, America's enemies aren't nations - they're more often underground organizations of people (including American citizens) who disregard American laws.

And these people, citizens or not, still have rights. If you can't enforce the law without violating those rights - then you need to change the law. The are not a country at war with you and cannot be treated like enemy combatants.

But if you meant "terrists" instead of "criminals" then your case is even WEAKER. You have about a 95% higher risk of dying from SUICIDE than from a terrorist attack.
You, personally, is a MUCH higher threat to your safety.
So in this case you are sacrificing essential liberty for NON-EXISTENT temporary safety, to paraphrase Ben Franklin.

tl;dr - There is no freedom more essential than the right to KNOW the laws you live under.

Or admit that people don't have those rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616673)

At least the Soviet Union didn't PRETEND to be open and honest with their citizens and give them all the freedoms they could want.

Re:Government believers (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42617095)

And these people, citizens or not, still have rights. If you can't enforce the law without violating those rights - then you need to change the law.

Please tell me which Constitutional right is being violated by this redaction. The Fourth Amendment is close, but telling details of how a "search" is performed has little bearing on whether it's reasonable or not.

The are not a country at war with you and cannot be treated like enemy combatants.

Exactly. They are not a foreign nation, so they have widespread access to American infrastructure and resources. Simply having a guest list for a dinner party isn't enough to determine trust. Security measures must be appropriate for the threats at hand - no more and no less. It is ludicrous to expect a solemn oath to be an effective form of security today, and even more ludicrous to expect everyone to be subject to a full strip and cavity search to enter every public building.

In certain cases, the appropriate investigative tool may be a GPS tracker on the suspect's vehicle. That's a matter for a judge (or a judge-revokable determination of "probable cause") to decide. Once that determination of appropriateness is made, how the tracker is applied is mostly irrelevant, so long as no other rights are violated. It doesn't affect your freedom whether the tracker was attached with glue, tape, or a magnet.

But if you meant "terrists" instead of "criminals" then your case is even WEAKER. You have about a 95% higher risk of dying from SUICIDE than from a terrorist attack.

If I had meant "terrorists", I would have said so. I'm well aware of the statistics.

tl;dr - There is no freedom more essential than the right to KNOW the laws you live under.

How the FBI tracks vehicles isn't a law. You don't have to abide by FBI procedure, so no, you don't have a right to know it.

Re:Government believers (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about a year and a half ago | (#42618781)

Okay... so in short - you didn't even read the fucking summary ?!?!?

This is NOT about "how they track vehicles". The Judge said "you cannot track vehicles without a warrant" - as a result, the FBI has been falling back on OTHER ways to track people without a warrant. This was a request to reveal what tracking methods they use WITHOUT a warrant.

Re:Government believers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42617461)

One clever tactic is to casually give information that is false to a potential enemy such that if a court case ever blooms they will blurt out that information in front of a jury or judge thus losing all credibility. For example if you graduated from the university of Missouri and tell your sweet heart that you graduated from the Univ. of Va.. and she blurts it out in a divorce trial it is fairly easy to make her look like a lying lunatic. Since you never know what information might be blurted out it is best to implant several false pieces of information. In essence you should never commit perjury but it may be easy to get an opponent to commit perjury with a bit of effort. You just might be able to get a business enemy to sue you by leaking false information. Imagine setting someone up who conspires with you. You appear to fire them all the while knowing that they have contact with the opponent or a close family member and tipping the guy that his computer code is being stolen and used in a product you create and ship all over the world. Enraged he files suit and you end up owning him over the false accusations.

Re:Government believers (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616467)

I'm going to guess its something like: "If we reveal our policies, then criminals will know our policies and figure out ways around them or loopholes to avoid them".

Some will think that. Others will think: "If we reveal our policies, the public will demand that many of us go to jail for breaking the law."

Re:Government believers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616987)

What? Security through obscurity is a bad idea?

Re:Government believers (4, Informative)

LoyalOpposition (168041) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616059)

Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purpose is beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941)
Olmstead et al. vs. United States,
277 U.S. 438, 478, 1928

Re:Government believers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616193)

I like the EFF, but the ACLU is more miss than hit when it comes down to being on the right side of things. They're just another organization. They don't posess superpowers to preserve your rights so that you don't have to think about it. And speaking of organizations. You act like the government is an entity unto itself with a secret passage of indoctrination into sinister intent. In reality it's just made up of people. Some misguided, some trying to do the right thing, and some actively malicious. I'm not a big fan of government. I think less is more in that department. But to ascribe evil to such a broad sweeping entity is to ignore much of the truth in my opinion. It's less about what the government is taking away and more about what we the people are giving up and allowing to fade from view. It's about US getting off the computer and actively working to preserve what our forefathers fought and died for. It doesn't look like that many people really care. They'd rather donate their money than time. They'd rather shut up and let someone else speak for them so they don't have to stand in the fire of conflict.

Re:Government believers (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616289)

Do they really have so much contempt for us?

Does a polar bear shit on ice?

The scary thing is that they probably don't see it as contempt, but have all kinds of justifications they have repeated so often that they truly believe in them. After all, they are the good guys, right? When they plant evidence on you, it's not out of contempt for you or the court, but because they truly believe you are guilty, and that they would do society a disservice by letting you go.
They're paving their road with good intentions.

Re:Government believers (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616815)

The scary thing is that they probably don't see it as contempt, but have all kinds of justifications they have repeated so often that they truly believe in them.

If you asked them, they would probably admit it is contempt. If I have to hear one more cop say "civilian" as if he were a member of the military I will probably brick myself. The same attitude is pervasive in each of these organizations tasked with protecting us, and double for any of them tasked with protecting us from ourselves. When you take the population as a body that's not even an oxymoron, but when people get too high and mighty about it they lose all perspective. If you're not a soldier, you're a civilian like anyone else, and if TPTB find you inconvenient you can find yourself dumped into the general population right quick like, so if it weren't horrifying it would be hilarious that these variously-empowered douchebags continue to help create a world they wouldn't want to live in without their particular privilege.

Re:Government believers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616543)

Definitely donate, but note that if you're giving money to the ACLU it's only tax deductible if you donate to the Foundation:
http://www.aclupa.org/home/abouttheaclu/acluvsaclufoundation.htm

Re:Government believers (2)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616767)

People who live and work in the system are usually believers. They will always believe that they are trying to do the right thing, that they are helping not hurting. Every time governments start doing evil things and people finally get prosecuted, they always seem to have convinced themselves that they were somehow acting in then best interests of the people.

This is very insightful, and I think you are absolutely correct. It goes a long way toward explaining how people end up taking actions that seem so misguided from the outside.

But, in this case, I just can't seem to figure out what the person who redacted those pages was thinking. Did they actually believe that it was too dangerous to communicate the FBI's policy to the very people they are supposed to be protecting? I just can't figure out what mental twisting they could have used to justify keeping this secret. I can only conclude that they don't actually believe they are acting in the best interests of the people, but in their own interests. Do they really have so much contempt for us?

This is a very good time to point out how much organizations like the ACLU and EFF are needed. Donate if you can, it's tax deductible!

If people see law enforcement as a force for Good, and the War on Terror as a righteous endeavor, they will work to protect the agency that is fighting those fights. They might not appreciate it when an organization like the ACLU comes in and wants to criticize their work. It's like Col. Jessup in A Few Good Men. He was up on that wall providing security for the country, and Lt. Kaffee had the temerity to question the manner in which he provided it. I think that's a likely dynamic at play here. And I do support the EFF and ACLU!

Re:Government believers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616775)

I'd wager their thinking is along the lines of "Oh, it's another of these pain-in-the-arse, namby-pamby-whiny-tree-hugging-politically-correct-starbucks-occupying civil liberties / human rights organisations. Well fuck them, always trying to make my job harder by imposing restraints and oversights on my righteous power, I'll send them pages of little black boxes, muahahahah!"

The amount of right-wing dickpots who equate "human rights / civil liberties" with "political correctness / lazy lefties" is ridiculous. Hey, asstunnels, here's a clue:

These concepts weren't dreamed up in the sixties by a bunch of pot-smoking hippies. They were, without exception, painstakingly devised by groups of smart, tough people who suffered under evil oppression or the imminent risk of it, then fought bloody wars for freedom, won, and finally set about establishing peaceful institutions and systems to prevent that kind of shit from ever happening again. I'm thinking War of Independence -> US constitution here, or WWII -> Geneva Convention, but there are countless other examples.

Every time you say that due process is getting in the way of police work, or that human rights skew the courts in favour of criminals, or that (suspected) terrorists / illegal immigrants / kiddydiddlers don't deserve to be treated as people, then you are siding with Hitler.

Yeah, I said Hitler. Go ahead and Godwin me motherfucker, I don't care.

Fuck you I'm gone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615613)

AC here, fuck you US legal system,
Not like there is much holding most of your best minds to the US anymore. Whay should the talented mobile class bother staying in a country where spinning the wheel of terror can land anyone on the bad guy list and end up with a Death Star class federal prosecution. Prepare for a post-Soviet brain drain followed by Aparthide era South Africa emegration restrictions where you cant take worthless dollars with you when you leave.
Me, I left two years after 9-11, I learned a new language and I actually have real civil rights and a like the rest of the world would face only limited prosecution budgets.
Fuck you USA, I could never go home, with your terror fear and resultant changes, even when a visit it is not home anymore.

Re:Fuck you I'm gone (4, Funny)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615647)

I hope you can use your new language better than you can use English.

Re:Fuck you I'm gone (1)

3dr (169908) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616209)

Did you keep your US citizenship?

Re:Fuck you I'm gone (1)

ShaunC (203807) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616513)

Nice to see you, Mr. McAfee.

But the courts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615619)

As I recall, the courts ruled that a warrant was required. Clearly the courts do not have any teeth against government agencies.

To you judges... You are a joke, and until you actually use force on law enforcement and government agencies, that is a level that will sting them as agencies and the agents involved, you will continue to be a joke and will no longer be recognized by the public.

You are just as guilty as thoseed that caused these problems.

Re:But the courts... (4, Informative)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615669)

I think it's more like a game. A law is created, then the FBI "interprets" how that law applies to them and they create policy to comply. Then it is taken to the courts and the judges publish a decision about how the law should be interpreted. Then the FBI "interprets" the implication of that decision and sets policy again.

So, we need organizations like the ACLU to keep applying pressure to force the agencies to comply with the intention of the law. Donate today!

File under: Officious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615743)

"Assertive of authority in an annoyingly domineering way, esp. with regard to petty or trivial matters."

Is this a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615829)

The worst thing about the Censorship Bureau is [ Deleted By Censorship Bureau ].

So here's a question. They work for us, the tax payers. Ok, ok, enough joking around, they work to make sure government continues to stay in power. So why would they give this information to others when some bad guys could use it to thwart their tracking policies?

The primary goal of any organization is to make sure it stays in power. It doesn't matter what it is: a club, a company, a sports team, a religious organization, a government (any government). Why are people expecting more? Because we're the "land of the free"? How free are we, really? Have you read the laws coming out the last dozen years or so? How about clear precedence in halting habeas corpus going back 150 years, how about concentration camps? We have all that so why are people surprised that this kind of stuff is happening?

Why did they do that? (4, Funny)

drainbramage (588291) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615845)

Why did the ACLU redact those pages before posting them?
What are they hiding?
Is it aliens?

My bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42615901)

Oops, that was my fault. I used the black highlighter again.

What's the point of sharing these redacted files.. (4, Interesting)

realsilly (186931) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615913)

... when one is marked as UNCLASSIFIED - sensitive, and the other is not marked with a classification at all (that I saw)? If it's not marked with a classification level the I believe that it is automatically unclassified and deemed suitable for public.

Here is an interesting paper on understanding government classification of information.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/bagley.html [fas.org]

Re:What's the point of sharing these redacted file (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616453)

What's odd is that in the law enforcement community, Unclassified has several caveats, of which sensitive is pretty high. As I understand it, For Official Use Only is the highest level. In the intelligence community, Unclassified For Official Use Only is pretty much the lowest level used. So for the originator, Unclassified Sensitive means there is information unsuitable for public release in it. The reference seems focused on Intelligence Community markings. There are many more in the law enforcement community.

Re:What's the point of sharing these redacted file (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42617683)

According to Ben Franklin good people require little governing. The degree of regulation and police actions in America seem to be regulated by the quality of the population. Decline is the word that leaps to mind.

Incomplete work (1)

aglider (2435074) | about a year and a half ago | (#42615985)

They left unblanked both the page numbers and the side notes.

"should not exist in a democratic society" (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616017)

Ah -- but could that premise be wrong?

With their awesome history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616019)

...these thugs should not be granted the veil of secrecy.

FBI = Trusted (0)

Maluminati (2633107) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616309)

The theories exposed here are ridiculous. The FBI is only trying to stop crooks. There are plenty of crooks here in this thread trying to discredit the good men and women at the FBI. Instead of complaining, why don't you guys find some real criminals, find some evidence, and then send it to the FBI? They have to investigate what you send. It may only be then that you see what they're really all about and how brave this governmental organization is.

Read between the lines! (4, Funny)

udoschuermann (158146) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616393)

If you print out all the pages and lay them vertically edge to edge, the redacted black resembles a big middle finger.

Wow, that's (redacted) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42616507)

Holy (redacted)! I can't believe that (redacted) was (redacted). Signed, (redacted)

Whew! Cliff avoided. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42617021)

GOD DAMN GEORGE W. BUSH AND HIS SPYING INFRASTRU...

wait, n/m.

We are happy with bipartisanship breaking logjams.

So they're just FUCKING with us (2)

AndyKron (937105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42617143)

So the government is basically FUCKING WITH US. How much longer are we going to take this fucking bullshit?

Re:So they're just FUCKING with us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42617647)

forever my boy.
they are going to ram their cocks up your collective bums forever.

Re:So they're just FUCKING with us (1)

alexo (9335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42617803)

How much longer are we going to take this fucking bullshit?

Forever, basically.
Because nobody wants to take a personal responsibility for doing something about it.

OPEN Government? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42617171)

According to the OPEN Government Act of 2007, they are required to specify the reason for each redaction. I would really like to see their explanation for blocking out an entire document.

What was the point?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42617559)

I realise that the first linked document had a *lot* redacted from it but the second one literally had nothing but the title. Why even bother to release it? They could have seemed less in the wrong by just not bothering

Government bad! Government covering up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42617619)

Blah blah blah yeah yeah we have all heard it before. Its like a broken record by people with too much time on their hands spouting worn out kneejerk reactionary comments about how evil the government is. Unless you pussies actually do something about it nothing will change. All your internet conspiracy theory bitching will do nothing.

What do you guys all copy/paste eachothers comments every single time someone mentions the government? Its always a parade of useless and horribly generic comments that dont actually say anything and have no shred of insight to them at all.

Trolled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42617759)

Yeah, the Feds just trolled the country.

Never let it be said that bureaucrats don't have a sense of humor. It's just a perverse one.

Have a little fun with this! (1)

Ranten_N_Raven (220310) | about a year and a half ago | (#42618185)

Reproduce the content now blacked out. So it's not what is in the FBI's copy? Oh well, let them prove otherwise. Imagine the fun--making up stuff about how the FBI is abusing other rights and planning to plant evidence. Go wild! Just make sure it fits in with what little text they do provide.

Can you rise to the challenge?

Where's Wikileaks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42618189)

Where's Wikileaks when you need them? Anonymous hack? Anyone?

If and when the original documents come to light - this could be a great example of how so much effort is made to protect so little.

Also - anyone have equipment to track GPS plants? It would be awesome to be able to wander through large parking lots and remove GPS tracking devices from random cars to reprogram them or shuffle them around.

That's what I love about FOI requests (1)

ai4px (1244212) | about a year and a half ago | (#42618511)

How many of the Freedom of Information requests come back in clear text? Most are blacked out to the point of making them incomprehensible. I can understand blotting out some private citizen's name or a social security number, but not whole paragraphs.

Dear Redacted (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42618557)

Your [REDACTED] is so [REDACTED], that when she [REDACTED], she [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED]. -- FBI

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42618851)

report redacts you!!

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