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Supreme Court Disallows FISA Challenges

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the right-of-the-FBI-to-keep-and-bear-wiretaps-shall-not-be-infringed dept.

The Courts 306

New submitter ThatsNotPudding writes "The U.S. Supreme court has rejected pleas to allow any challenges to the FISA wiretapping law unless someone can prove they've been harmed by it. 'The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, was originally designed to allow spying on the communications of foreign powers. But after the September 11 attacks, FISA courts were authorized to target a wide array of international communications, including communications between Americans and foreigners. ... In this case, the plaintiffs' groups said their communications were likely being scooped up by the government's expanded spying powers in violation of their constitutional rights. Today's decision, a 5-4 vote along ideological lines by the nation's highest court, definitively ends their case. In an opinion (PDF) by Justice Samuel Alito, the court ruled that these groups don't have the right to sue at all, because they can't prove they were being spied on.'" Further coverage at SCOTUSblog.

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306 comments

FOIA, anyone? (5, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year ago | (#43020173)

Attack from a different direction. They'll probably shoot that down too, but play the game. Attack, attack, attack until something works.

Re:FOIA, anyone? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#43020377)

Attack from a different direction. They'll probably shoot that down too, but play the game. Attack, attack, attack until something works.

Back in the 1960's and 1970's, that strategy worked.
 
Now?
 
With almost all the seats inside the system being occupied by people who are leaning towards the BIG BROTHER I am afraid the regular old-style "attacks" will become less and less effective

Re:FOIA, anyone? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43020601)

Possibly, but they're still the most effective tactics I can think of short of, I dunno, voters voting to preserve their rights.

Re:FOIA, anyone? (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43021087)

Voting is two wolves and a sheep deciding what is for dinner in case you ain't figured that out yet. the ONLY ones you will be allowed to vote for, be it in a primary or general election, are the pre-bought. hell you might as well have only one checkbox that says "support the system" because that is ALL voting does. Even though I'm in no way a libertarian (I feel their beliefs would end up with a return to feudalism) watch this video [youtube.com] for a better explanation of why voting is just a waste of time.

Oh and you might want to look up "Jon Stweart Ron Paul" to see how badly the primaries are rigged, he got footage that doesn't even try to hide how badly its rigged. It even shows that at places where Paul might have had a snowball's chance in hell the MSM treated him as "he who shall not be named" with talking heads practically tap dancing around their sentences so they would NOT ever speak his name, with it going so far as one naming the first, second, and FOURTH place finishers without even saying the words third place much less the fact that Paul took it. Its so bad that at the end of the video one of the reporters actually calls the anchor out on it, saying "Here we are talking about Palin and Christie, who aren't even running, and not speaking anything about Paul who is looking good in the polls here" and the anchor looks right at the camera, gets a douchebag smirk and says "If you get footage of Palin or Christie send it in, you can keep the Paul stuff". Hell he might as well have said "fuck the peasants, thinking they get a choice" while he was at it, because that douchebag smirk said it all.

So all you can do is grab as much as you possibly can and be ready for the collapse which is inevitable now. Over 430% of our GDP is now in the stock market, including the retirement funds of a good portion of your fellow citizens, when the 29 bubble burst it was less than 125% GDP and that took nearly 40 years to climb out of, what do you think will happen when a bubble 3 times as large blows? there is nothing you can do to change it, nothing you can do to stop it, you can wave your little banner in the free speech zone all you want, the die is cast and the collapse simply can't be stopped. We shall see the system get more and more fascist as the collapse nears as they try to "maintain order" but it won't do any good, when the money is worthless and it takes a wheelbarrow full of cash to buy an egg nobody is gonna listen to big bro anymore, the whole thing will come tumbling down. But things will get a LOT worse before that happens, so be ready for it but don't think that walking into a booth with a piece of paper is gonna do shit, that paper isn't worth wiping your behind with anymore.

Re:FOIA, anyone? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year ago | (#43020613)

With almost all the seats inside the system being occupied by people who are leaning towards the BIG BROTHER I am afraid the regular old-style "attacks" will become less and less effective

It mostly works for 'them'. Repeated variations of CISPA, etc. Until something sticks.
All we can do is but try.

It's not big brother (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43020793)

it's corporate oligarchy and the interests of the 1%. The Koch brothers have been implicated in tons of shady dealings, but you don't see anyone tapping their lines, do you?

Re:It's not big brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020821)

I keep hoping for the same for George Soros

Re:It's not big brother (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021239)

Absurd.

The insignificant fleas that ride on the back of the state are just that: tiny. To understand reality, one must understand its rules, the relevant one to this discussion being the axiom of identity. Blaming those with no armies, no courts, no bombs, no police, no jails, and no permission from the ruled is a sort of blindness that can only be the result of a lifetime of propaganda and cultural pressure. This is big brother in its full glory. Not in plain view and direct, but so infused with society that there are actually people who would condemn benefactors of this violent intrusion rather than the violent actor.

To even mention things like the 'Koch brothers' in the face of such an enormous monstrosity like the state is an admission of psychological defense. It would be like blaming the shop keeper who pays off the local mafia to keep himself safe, or blaming the more sinister man who bribes them to kill a competitor. These actions are an effect of the violence that infests such a community, not the cause. To understand the world, one must call things by their proper name; the actor responsible for waving guns around, terrorizing innocent people is the one responsible for the evil. The state, like the mafia, is the institution that contains this group of actors.

Re:FOIA, anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021175)

There's one and only one way to overrule SCOTUS without resorting to violence.

Say it with me: Jury Nullification.

There. That wasn't so hard.

If enough juries take cases involving illegal wiretaps and nullify the holy living shit out of FISA, it'll be such a spotty legal landscape (nullification is restricted to the jurisdiction the jury ruled in) that the TLA's won't be able to use it without heavy liability. That will render it effectively useless to them.

Remember, "we the people" isn't just prose. It's a legal framework, and it's constitutionally backed. Inflict this blowback upon the government. They've been just begging for it for a long time. Grow a pair and nullify some shit every time you get a chance. It's either that or bitch about getting jury duty. Might as well stick it to the fuckers that disrupt your life, right? Civic duty meets civil disobedience. Call it "civic disobedience".

It's not what you know, it's what you can prove (2, Interesting)

helobugz (2849599) | about a year ago | (#43020199)

Or, it's what everybody know's and nobody can prove.

Re:It's not what you know, it's what you can prove (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#43021063)

The context of that quote and the character [wikiquote.org] that spoke it says quite a bit about the ethics of our courts.

The case was badly constructed (5, Informative)

Karmashock (2415832) | about a year ago | (#43020215)

Rather then trying to sue the government they should have raised a constitutional objection to the law itself citing that it violated our right to due process as regards searches and seizure.

Had they done that, the courts likely would have sided with them.

It's important to remember that the courts are VERY concerned with protocol. Everything has to be worded and argued in a specific way or it will be dismissed like a syntax error into a compiler. Wrong wording or angle and they'll just say "wrong next case".

Make it a forth amendment challenge however and you've got a different story.

Re:The case was badly constructed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020257)

Dude, you can make excuses for the Supreme Court all you want, but it won't change the fact that they punted so they wouldn't have to man up and be responsible.

They have about as much integrity as the Taney Court.

Re:The case was badly constructed (2)

PortHaven (242123) | about a year ago | (#43020715)

They pretty much always do that. Most cases are declined from the Supreme Court unless actual harm is shown.

It's a pain, we've faced even in Pennsylvania where towns have passed illegal laws, but not enforced them. So we are unable to get the courts to strike them down. They just dismiss cases due to lack of harm.

Re:The case was badly constructed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020985)

No harm? People's rights are being violated and there is no harm? A law that allows the government to spy on citizens without a warrant brings harm just by existing!

Re:The case was badly constructed (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | about a year ago | (#43021039)

Standing is based on a specific and concrete harm alleged by the plaintiff. Read the actual ruling.

Re:The case was badly constructed (4, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | about a year ago | (#43020265)

You can't just sue over the constitutionality of a law, you still need to have standing which based on the result of this case the majority believes they lack.

Re:The case was badly constructed (4, Interesting)

jamstar7 (694492) | about a year ago | (#43020585)

Problem is, the FISA courts are supposed to be all about national security. No way they'd come out and tell you that you're under investigation until you get blackbagged off to sunny Camp X-Ray. That'd defeat the purpose of the investigation, and whoever leaked that info would be violating several federal laws.

Big Brother has a long memory. And if you come to its attention, they might not find anything on you now, but that doesn't mean they won't find something to qualify you for a never ending vacation at Gitmo sometime in the future. Recently, the government came out with the revelation that the largest threat to national security is (wait for it!!!)...

Veterans.

Think about it a moment. Who else has the training and experience in toppling a government by force of arms? Who else, especially the older veterans, would tend to view the current government situation with alarm?

Re:The case was badly constructed (3, Interesting)

flaming error (1041742) | about a year ago | (#43021181)

Toppling a nominally civilized government by force of arms is stupid. Who should we shoot? Our local congressman? Our neighborhood cop?

A smarter way is for us to unite in disobedience to clearly unconsitutional laws, and drum up media sympathy.

The last time we threw out a government (our independence from Britain), was a bloody drawn-out affair in which our people were fighting Britain and each other, neither the loyalists nor insurrectionists had an objectively clear moral high ground, and were it not for some fortuitous flukes of happenstance, England's victory was assured.

India's independence was a bloody drawn-out affair in which one side was the clear aggressor, the people didn't kill each other, and England's ouster was inevitable - just a matter of time.

Gandhi's way is foolproof against any government that wants to be seen as civilized. The way of the gun is a crapshoot, where we kill our brothers while the government runs the casino.

Re:The case was badly constructed (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#43021245)

The way you do it is you elect a Congress that is willing to enforce the law, and you get them to impeach the judges who won't enforce the law.

Re:The case was badly constructed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020297)

Rather then trying to sue the government they should have raised a constitutional objection to the law itself citing that it violated our right to due process as regards searches and seizure.

Had they done that,

They did do that. They sued the government seeking a permanent injunction on 4th amendment grounds. That is how you challenge a law like this without having previously been a target of it, but the SCOTUS stated that you have to be GITMO'd first and then raise the objection to being spied upon. The fact that you can't get your case heard after getting GITMO'd, however... brb, someone at the door.

Re:The case was badly constructed (4, Funny)

amorsen (7485) | about a year ago | (#43020325)

Oh, if only they had read your comment before sending their lawyers to the Supreme Court. It is unfortunate that they picked lawyers who didn't know anything about proper protocol. Victory would have been assured if they had picked a couple of Slashdotters at random instead.

Re:The case was badly constructed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020395)

Don't live with the delusion that the Supreme Court is a WYSIWYG entity. They are just a shill for the Repubmocrat Tyranny, redefining Constitutional black as Constitutional white for the last century or so. Read the Constitution, then read the SCOTUS interpretation of it. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CDOC-108sdoc17/pdf/CDOC-108sdoc17.pdf [gpo.gov]
You can see it is entirely for the convenience of the government and bears little likeness to the plain english document written "for the people"
Not asking for a tin foil hat here, just asking you to adjust your horribly misplaced faith.

Re:The case was badly constructed (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year ago | (#43020873)

Repubmocrat Tyranny

"Today's decision, a 5-4 vote along ideological lines by the nation's highest court, definitively ends their case."

"In an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito ... The majority opinion was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts ... [Breyer] is joined in a dissent by Justices Ruth Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan."

False equivalence is false.

Re:The case was badly constructed (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#43021041)

Thanks again Bush-the-Lesser Administration!

Re:The case was badly constructed (2)

guspasho (941623) | about a year ago | (#43020431)

Courts won't take on such "advisory" cases. You need to prove that your rights have been violated in order to have standing to bring such a case. You can't just bring a case to a court and get a law struck down without such injury. I think it's a pretty terrible principle, especially since courts almost always defer to the government when it comes to the secrecy of evidence, and therefore its inadmissibility, making it impossible to prove any sort of injury in a court.

Re:The case was badly constructed (3, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | about a year ago | (#43020595)

But to prove your rights were violated by a FISA investigation is impossible under the grounds of national security. Catch 22 writ large enough for anyone to see.

Re:The case was badly constructed (1)

JasoninKS (1783390) | about a year ago | (#43021053)

Sounds about right. You can't sue without evidence. But we can't tell you whether or not there is any evidence because it would violate security even if we told you there wasn't any. But here, have this sheet of paper that's 100% covered in black swatches.

Re:The case was badly constructed (2)

nickmalthus (972450) | about a year ago | (#43021273)

The Constitution is pretty clear that "unreasonable searches" cannot be performed "without probable cause". We can deduce the government is intercepting every electronic communication through various leaks [wikipedia.org] and investigations [businessinsider.com] . I think any average American would agree that these searches are unreasonable and lack probable cause. Certainly there would have been no American independence if King George had this technology.

As for personal harm, the mere knowledge that the government is monitoring everyone's communications creates a chilling effect on the free flow of knowledge and ideas. Does anyone really want to associate themselves with political movements like Occupy Wall Street, even if they identify with their values, when they know the government is actively infiltrating and monitoring [rollingstone.com] them? Has know one suffered mental anguish over expresing an opinion that may put them on a political watch list? [wikipedia.org]

These so-called conservative judges, who are protecting the use of these tools of tyranny that Stalin and Hitler would have salivated over, will be remembered in history for their inaction to combat totalitarianism is America.

Re:The case was badly constructed (1)

Chuckstar (799005) | about a year ago | (#43020627)

The court ruled that they have no standing. No standing means it doesn't matter what your argument is, the court will not listen.

Re:The case was badly constructed (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year ago | (#43020837)

Had they done that, the courts likely would have sided with them.

Keep telling yourself that if it makes it easier for you to sleep at night.

Re:The case was badly constructed (2)

WorBlux (1751716) | about a year ago | (#43021049)

Dude, the case or controversy clause is black letter law, there is really nothing more fundamental to the legal process. It's not a matter of semantics, it's not a matter a failing to bring up an argument. It's a matter of failing to present sufficient factual basis to establish some loss, harm, or injury suffered by the plantiff. And keep in mind that a judge is required to accept all pleaded facts as true when considering a motion to dismiss for lack of standing. (The standard or proof here is beyond all doubt) And if you don't have standing no amount of assuaging the details and theory of the complaint will do you any good if it's found you don't have standing.

Re:The case was badly constructed (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#43021227)

Rather then trying to sue the government they should have raised a constitutional objection to the law itself citing that it violated our right to due process as regards searches and seizure.

Had they done that, the courts likely would have sided with them.

It's important to remember that the courts are VERY concerned with protocol. Everything has to be worded and argued in a specific way or it will be dismissed like a syntax error into a compiler. Wrong wording or angle and they'll just say "wrong next case".

Make it a forth amendment challenge however and you've got a different story.

No, they would have rejected it on the exact same basis: "Prove to us that your rights, in particular, were violated."

Re:The case was badly constructed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021261)

The court ruled that the plaintiffs didn't have standing to sue, what was going on constitutionally is moot if the court won't recognize that you have standing to file suit. This was a way of them sticking up for the conservatives that appointed the majority over the interests of the people.

constitution != suicide pact (1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020237)

until obummer replaces one of the five adults with a flaming lib

— AC mod point sink

Re:constitution != suicide pact (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020271)

DIE, SCUM!

Re:constitution != suicide pact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020367)

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=libtard

Re:constitution != suicide pact (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020353)

until obummer replaces one of the five adults with a flaming lib

— AC mod point sink

Do us all a favor and kill yourself so we don't need to waste time on you.

Re:constitution != suicide pact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021167)

Are you saying that no warrantless surveillance on its own citizens equals suicide for the US?

If so, then maybe it should just go right ahead with that, so that we can rebuild the Land of the Free anew.

Recap (5, Funny)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year ago | (#43020239)

Gov: We spy on Americans in secret.
Me: Stop spying on me
Gov: You can't prove that we did
Me: *middle finger*

Does that about cover it?

Re:Recap (5, Insightful)

amorsen (7485) | about a year ago | (#43020339)

I am afraid you got the last line wrong.

Gov: We spy on Americans in secret.
Me: Stop spying on me
Gov: You can't prove that we did
Gov: *middle finger*

Re:Recap (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | about a year ago | (#43020371)

Almost.
Gov: #$@%$#
Whistle Blower: Gov's spying on you
Press: Stop spying on us!
Gov: $#%@*
SCOTUS: Fuck you, prove a negative
Gov to Whistle Blower: Off to be loved in Guantanamo
SCOTUS: Fuck you

Can prove it? Too bad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020259)

I guess if you found yourself in Gitmo you could prove you were harmed.

If you could ever get in front of a judge.

Oh well.

Sets up the first test case nicely (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43020281)

If you must be harmed by it to complain, then the only test cases would come from terrorists, thus the "people" would either have to root for draconian government or terrorists. That will let the judges officially allow it against those with standing to sue, not enough will be annoyed to end the tyranny of the government. Note, it allows for people to sue, they just must have proof they were harmed, and only someone arrested after government spying will have a case. Any other attempts (FOIA and such) will be met with "national security" defense, which is still iron clad.

Re:Sets up the first test case nicely (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020359)

If you must be harmed by it to complain, then the only test cases would come from terrorists

You lost me.

Re:Sets up the first test case nicely (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43020611)

The only cases where the government would admit the secret tapping worked is if they found a terrorist with it. Otherwise, there will never be "proven harm". So the only people who can prove harm will be terrorists.

Re:Sets up the first test case nicely (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about a year ago | (#43020777)

And terrorists, as we all know, are not people and have no rights.

Re:Sets up the first test case nicely (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43021023)

Ever wonder why every speech case is from pornographers and such? The government picks edge cases to get a general ruling against a right. Like pornographers, terrorists make convenient targets. When they came for the pornographers, I didn't speak up, for I didn't want my wife to know. When they came for the terrorists, I didn't speak up for I wasn't a murdering nutcase. When they came for me, there was nobody left to speak up.

The names are changing, but the plan hasn't. and it isn't party related. The Dems are Reps both follow the plan together. Nothing can stop it now, the people seem happy with the plan and the results.

Re:Sets up the first test case nicely (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021169)

Oh, please, take off the tin-foil hat. The problem with government isn't that there is some coordinated plan to take away our rights. The problem is that the accumulated incompetence, greediness, and general disregard for ethics among politicians creates a situation where rights are stripped away. The problem is systemic, not the doing of some conscious entity known as 'government.'

Re:Sets up the first test case nicely (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43021281)

It's more of an un-coordinated play to take away our rights.

And it's working very well. Pretty sure both sides of the aisle would agree with that.

encryption FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020337)

NPR just ran a big story about this, with complaints by reporters and other people working overseas that due to this spying, they now have to travel overseas more to avoid interception.

Maybe it's finally time to move to encryption for everything. Email, IM, you name it. Hopefully this will finally be the thing to get people off their ass and install gpg.

Sure, you can argue the government *might* be able to break AES256, but even if they can, it certainly requires considerable resources, and unless you're Osama bin Laden, you just aren't that important. And it's more likely that they can't break it, but can only tapdance around it (keyloggers and other indirect attacks).

Seriously... time to stop complaining. Time to take action.

Re:encryption FTW (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#43020455)

there is also twofish and serpent, both two AES finalists not chosen.

both great canidates on their own. both open source. (Do you trust closed source encryption?)

any libertarians left on the GOP ship? (0, Troll)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43020381)

Every conservative on the court supports unreviewable police power and opposes civil liberties: is anyone surprised?

Re:any libertarians left on the GOP ship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020433)

Meanwhile everywhere else on the planet this is what "conservative" actually means.

Re:any libertarians left on the GOP ship? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020553)

Just ignore that this is one case, with a ruling far more specific than, "opposes civil liberties." Also ignore that those "conservatives" ruled in favor of a Democrat and his administration.

Or maybe you're just fine with confirmation bias, and will accept any version of events that's consistent with your world perspective.

Re:any libertarians left on the GOP ship? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43020605)

Well if you go through the wiretapping, Guantanamo, and surveillance-without-warrant cases of the past 10 years, I think you will find a pattern that spans more than one case.

Re:any libertarians left on the GOP ship? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43021285)

And more than just one administration, or even side of the aisle.

Re:any libertarians left on the GOP ship? (3, Insightful)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#43020871)

Are you of the opinion that the Democratic party is not conservative? Obama is far to the right of even Richard Nixon, there aren't more than a handful of congresscritters who would qualify as 'liberal'.

Re:any libertarians left on the GOP ship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020693)

Every conservative on the court supports unreviewable police power and opposes civil liberties: is anyone surprised?

"unreviewable police power"?

"opposes civil liberties"?

One wonders how you'd characterize Obama's use of drones to conduct summary executions of US citizens...

Re:any libertarians left on the GOP ship? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43020705)

Also bad! But as far as I can tell, the GOP judges are actually more willing to give him that carte blanche than the Democratic judges are. Therefore, when it comes to judges, the existence of GOP appointees is to be discouraged.

I would be happy to have my mind changed by some conservative judges actually voting to enforce constraints on the executive branch's police powers.

Re:any libertarians left on the GOP ship? (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43020729)

Every conservative on the court supports unreviewable police power and opposes civil liberties: is anyone surprised?

No one is surprised, and that's the worst part. Despite 40+ years of conservatives claiming to be great lovers and defenders of the constitution, their track record has been exactly the opposite.

Ever since Bush v. Gore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020383)

Is anyone genuinely surprised by the 5-4 split given that the "highest court in the land" is full of partisan hacks? Test it statistically. Rights are magically inviolable when you want to, say, corrupt the entire political system (bribery is speech because money talks?), but have to be carefully balanced against the needs of society when, oh, surprise, you want to spy on people or confiscate what little property they have or detain them indefinitely. Etc.

Should have sued under EU-US Data Treaty (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020425)

International Treaties have a force of law higher than FISA, and are subject to US Senate confirmation as a result.

Use that, all you need are EU citizens who reside in the US who have had their data slurped up, contrary to EU law, which is forbidden by the EU-US Data Treaty.

Re:Should have sued under EU-US Data Treaty (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year ago | (#43020725)

> International Treaties have a force of law higher than FISA

No they don't. They have *zero* legal weight without enabling legislation (passed by the House & Senate, then signed by the President or veto-overridden).

Fortunately... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#43020447)

Fortunately we weren't expecting much from those clowns, anyway...

Re:Fortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021251)

Fortunately we weren't expecting much from those clowns, anyway...

What's fortunate about that?

What a dilemma (1)

mentil (1748130) | about a year ago | (#43020489)

On one hand, everyone being spied on means everyone has standing (but since it's a secret program noone can prove it).
On the other hand, allowing discovery to prove standing allows for fishing expeditions of the type that IP holders would love to use to catch every act of copyright infringement (which judges are now getting wise to).

Re:What a dilemma (1)

Chuckstar (799005) | about a year ago | (#43020649)

It's worse than that. If everyone were being spied on, then everyone would have standing. Only lots of people are being spied on. But no one can prove which people are actually being spied on. So lots of people being spied on, but no one has legal standing to try to stop it.

Re:What a dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020977)

I don't agree with your interpretation.

Civil suits don't require that you have 100% proof. After all, that's what the court is for. You only need to show the judge that you have a plausible case.

At the very least we have the AT&T whistleblower and former NSA employees telling us what is going on. That should be enough for a judge to realize that the case has merit and should proceed. Not a fishing expedition at all.

IP rights-holders are held to the same standards. They have to have something plausible, such as your IP address and a log file of what you shared. That's not a fishing expedition.

Dissenters were all progressives (4, Insightful)

hugg (22953) | about a year ago | (#43020537)

Hopefully the President will still get the chance to appoint more progressives to the Supreme Court to protect us from his policies.

Re:Dissenters were all progressives (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43020661)

The two most likely to retire are generally considered liberal.

Re:Dissenters were all progressives (2)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about a year ago | (#43020885)

You forgot your sarcasm tag. Just in case you were actually serious.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/07/tapp-j10.html [wsws.org]
http://www.dailytech.com/Report+Obama+Administration+to+Spy+on+Citizens+Online+to+Fight+Terror/article19734.htm [dailytech.com]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/warrantless-electronic-surveillance-obama_n_1924508.html [huffingtonpost.com]
http://reason.com/archives/2012/10/03/warrantless-spying-skyrockets-under-obam [reason.com]

Warrant-less spying has surged under the Obama administration. From what I understand he has maintained every domestic spying program created under the Bush administration, and even expanded some of them and created new ones. Not that I think a republican would do any better mind you. Both parties have little interest in protecting any of our rights, they are far too interested in pandering to corporate lobbyists and expanding their own powers beyond all reason.

Re:Dissenters were all progressives (1)

CncRobot (2849261) | about a year ago | (#43020893)

The same president that says he has the right to kill US citizens without trial?
The same one that won't answer if he can kill US citizens within US borders without trial?

Let me know how that works out for you.

Re:Dissenters were all progressives (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#43021237)

Hopefully the President will still get the chance to appoint more progressives to the Supreme Court to protect us from his policies.

Wasn't it this President's Justice Department arguing that the plaintiffs had no standing?

Doesn't sound like he's really on your side here.

When the chips are down... (1, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about a year ago | (#43020589)

The court is part of the government. Do not expect them to uphold our rights.

-jcr

Re:When the chips are down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020823)

In america is it. And perhaps sweden now.

Not so for the REST OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD.
Note america is slipping from civilized to simply a bunch of backwaters with hi tech.

Re:When the chips are down... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020927)

In america is it. And perhaps sweden now.

Not so for the REST OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD. Note america is slipping from civilized to simply a bunch of backwaters with hi tech.

Stop. Think.

Wait a little longer.

OK. Explain in small words for me what's so special about where you live vs. the US that makes it impossible to happen there.

Is it your Constitution or other founding document or your principles of rule of law?

Is it because your people have a history of defending liberty and justice?

Is it because your country is the exception to the rule? It can't happen here?

Because we had that stuff in the US. And it happened here.

Do you want to know the secret to letting it happen to you? I'll tell you. Just go on spouting off about how special you are and how dumb someone else is and how it'll never happen to you because you wouldn't let that happen there like that other stupid country with those stupid, arrogant people did.

Because, ya. We had all that, too.

But don't worry. Maybe everything will be fine. I didn't mean to alarm you.

A Question of Standing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020603)

When the government usurps powers not granted to it, all citizens have standing.

Just my opinion.

Only one piece of Evidence Exists? (1)

Pitawg (85077) | about a year ago | (#43020619)

None may get standing unless the case with standing only has a single piece of possible evidence.

If there is more evidence, regardless of case details, other evidence will be obtained by using the purloined information from illegal spying. Something will be found through legal means, and be presented in court with no need to mention the illegally obtained information.

There will be no standing.
There will always be illegal snooping.
The genie is out......

Catch-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020651)

A court that says you can't sue if you can't prove you've been spied on and and a law you can'o find out.

Damned if you do... (2)

moonwatcher2001 (2710261) | about a year ago | (#43020695)

The Supreme Court that says you can't sue if you can't prove you've been spied on and and FISA says you can't find out.

If you didn't vote Libertarian YOU ASKED FOR THIS! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020699)

Anyone who voted Republicrat or Democan shut up and go sit on the sidelines. The two major parties have proved time and time again they are not to be trusted with protecting liberty or the Constitution. Thus anyone that has voted Republicrat or Democan has demonstrated a want for an intrusive, activist government and have no room to complain now. You ASKED FOR THIS.

______________________________________
A vote against a Libertarian candidate is
a vote to abolish the Constitution itself.

I'm cool with it (-1)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year ago | (#43020721)

Yes, they're invading people's privacy, but they do target Foreign calls. Last time I checked, every other nation does this. It's not Big Brother, it's simple information gathering. If I make a call to England, I know with good certainty that my call is being monitored. Are you going to go against spies in other countries? What about over-seas informants? There are risks and I'm fine with the US saying "Hey, we'll be watching your international calls."

Just my opinion, no need to get into a flame war over it.

Constitutional Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020749)

Perhaps, we can put a stake in the heart of this "security by obscurity" vampire in one try.
Perhaps we need a new amendment to the US Constitution that says:

"Congress shall pass no law prohibiting the unredacted, full, and complete disclosure to the general public of any information regarded as essential to national security."

If it is SO VERY important to secure our future, then we ALL get to know about it.

Re:Constitutional Amendment (1)

evanism (600676) | about a year ago | (#43021295)

Overnight everything becomes in the interest of Essential National Security.

Even what you had for breakfast - Food Security.

Can't let the terrorists know in case they try to poison the worlds supply of sugar.

Who were the five votes? (0, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43020753)

In case you are wondering, the five supreme court justices who do not believe American citizens have "standing" to bring a challenge to a law allowing the government to do warrantless spying domestically on American citizens are as follows:

1) Antonin Scalia "Moe"
2) Samuel Alito "Larry"
3) Clarence Thomas "Curly"
4) John Roberts "Nancy"
5) Some other piece of shit who should have died of natural causes years ago.

Yes, it's the "conservative", "originalist", "constitutionalist" "strict constructionist" justices who are the sons of bitches who believe that you don't have the fucking standing to bring a challenge to a law that will be used against you.

Meanwhile, the "liberals" that the Kenyan Usurper appointed are siding with the framers of the Constitution and you.

Go figure. And remember this day when you're puffing up your chest about how your little .223 peashooter is keeping you safe from tyranny, you stupid fucks.

Re:Who were the five votes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020961)

It has occurred to me that you are nearly always happy on RPS and nearly always angry on /.

Re:Who were the five votes? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43021297)

It has occurred to me that you are nearly always happy on RPS and nearly always angry on /.

"Happy" and "angry" are not antonyms.

We are capable of multiple states of mind and we look best in royal blue.

Re:Who were the five votes? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021101)

One guy with an over inflated ego & resume' armed with a couple of pea shooters had the federal and state governments of California & Nevada tied in knots and scared to come out of their front doors for about a week recently. One. Guy. that was a deranged dumbass who flunked out of every school or job that wouldn't give him a social pass because of his ethnicity.

Before Dorner two muslim convert terrorists held Washington DC, Maryland and northern Virginia in a state of terror for several weeks with an old rickety Chevy and a Bushmaster "pea shooter".

How many muslim terrorists were there on the planes on 9/11? How much has the US changed because of what they did?

There's at least 100 million of us dumb hicks with various caliber pea shooters running around this country. There's a few million of us who are military veterans with real combat experience. Don't start anything you can't finish slick.

Guess that makes you the stupid fuck now don't it.

Re:Who were the five votes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021241)

And remember this day when you're puffing up your chest about how your little .223 peashooter is keeping you safe from tyranny, you stupid fucks.

If the constitution is your thing, then neither party is for you. I fail to see what guns have to do with this.

they can't prove they were being spied on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43020817)

because the government won't hand over any data. duh.

Danger, Danger, Will Robinson! (1)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#43020863)

Dear USSC:

Anything that abridges our fundamental and constitutionally guaranteed freedoms automatically injures us all. Aside from the danger of disproving the various fictional rights we generally assume we have - It polarizes the whackjobs, it makes the sheep less complacent, it makes us hate the government instead of merely having a healthy distrust of it. Hell, you've all thoroughly proven yourself completely incompetent over the past few years, why not make yourselves outright enemies of the people?

You all should fear real injury because of this decision. Not from me (more of a sheep than a lion, sadly - I live too comfortably to care), but currently an awfully lot of people don't have much more to lose. Take away even their "hope" in a shared delusions, and you've created an entire class of very real monsters.

Apparently SCOTUS have become realists (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#43020933)

instead of idealists.
Totally nuts.

Tresspassing is legal (4, Insightful)

hottoh (540941) | about a year ago | (#43020937)

What our fine Judge Alito said is it is ok to trespass, just don't get caught. Ok, it is a bit more complicated than that.

Example. A neighbor sneaks in to Judge Alito's unlocked home. Judge cannot prosecute the neighbor's trespass, because Judge Alito cannot prove the neighbor had trespassed because it is legal to trespass secretly. Even though the neighbor has records to each and every trespassing, the records seem to be off limits as well.

That is effed up.

This leaky govt, no problem at all (2)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year ago | (#43020951)

Look on the bright side, with all the leakers and whistleblowers in the government and the lousy internet security of most govt offices, anybody who is actually being spied on probably won't have to wait too long before the evidence lands in his lap.
Three cheers for incompetent bureaucrats!

Treason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021069)

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Who 'IS' the united states? is it us the people? or is it infrastructure? What worries me is the trend of rule that I feel is treason to all of us. Then the hiding behind the 'persona' of a government to hold no one accountable. Who asked us to vote when obama decided to give away our tax money to incompetent companies and corrupt banks? Who is accountable for protecting us from the will of the federal (private) reserve if they decide it's beneficial to screw us? When you hear freedom, you don't think I can run around everywhere but expect all my activities to be monitored without just cause. I think enacted laws betray the constitution much more than people these days. I watched a video where a chief of police was telling this to his own cops because he felt it was unconstitutional to give people such extraordinary fines. I never asked myself or really thought about what any of this stuff meant until I got older, and the abuse just became belligerently obvious, but normal people just don't give a shit because they're watching tv or going on the net. It's something that troubles me greatly.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43021143)

Just when did people acquire the power not to answer questions in a suit or criminal trial? A court order to produce all records of taps on an individual should result in delivery of the information or arrests of those that do not comply. It is called equality. Any information that a private business, a government agency, or an individual holds should be obtainable by a court.

another step towards tyrany (1, Insightful)

evanism (600676) | about a year ago | (#43021269)

the USA is utterly doomed.

It is in its death spiral.

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