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Federal Judge Rejects State Secrets Claims: EFF Case To Proceed

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the nowhere-to-hide dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 146

The EFF has been attempting to sue the government over illegal surveillance since the Bush administration, and, despite repeated attempts to have the case dismissed because of State Secrets, a federal judge has now ruled that the case must go forward in public court, throwing out the government's State Secrets argument. From the order: Having thoroughly considered the parties' papers, Defendants' public and classified declarations, the relevant legal authority and the parties' arguments, the Court GRANTS the Jewel Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary adjudication by rejecting the state secrets defense as having been displaced by the statutory procedure prescribed in 50 U.S.C. 1806(f) of FISA. In both related cases, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motions to dismiss Plaintiffs' statutory claims on the basis of sovereign immunity. The Court further finds that the parties have not addressed the viability of the only potentially remaining claims, the Jewel Plaintiffs' constitutional claims under the Fourth and First Amendments and the claim for violation of separation of powers and the Shubert Plaintiffs' fourth cause of action for violation of the Fourth Amendment. Accordingly, the Court RESERVES ruling on Defendants' motion for summary judgment on the remaining, non-statutory claims." Although some statutory claims were dismissed, the core Constitutional questions will be litigated.

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Disgrace (3, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#44223989)

There sits disgrace
Like fuzz on your face
Of falsehood be shorn
In liberty reborn
Burma Shave

meh (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44226505)

I would have waited on this case until the supremes turned over a bit. right now you have 3 jurists who claim to be constitutional originalists but are really just right-wing nutjobs (scalia, thomas, the third guy I forget), one who doesn't seem to have a coherent judicial policy but is right leaning (roberts) and one who is unpredictable but often goes to libertarian extremes (kennedy). on the other side, you have four people who seem to always vote with the left, rather than on judiical principles. so I would wait on this. no point in going to the supremes only to have your concerns officially rejected and big brother becomes law of the land.

Judicial control is what was missing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224063)

Military will always expand their power. The Judiciaries job is not to *trust* the military to do the right thing, its to *check* they are doing the right thing. Each and every time, warrant by warrant.

When the FISA court granted *blanket* warrants, for all data of a class, on the *trust* that the NSA would filter and only use the portion of the data for the intended purpose it failed its duty. When NSA decided to start storing data on everyone in 4 huge data centers, it clearly intended to keep everything on everyone. Not limiting the data to just terrorists.

Where was the judicial oversight? Kept in the dark by abuse of secrecy.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224089)

The NSA and CIA have nothing to do with the military.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44224165)

The NSA and CIA have nothing to do with the military.

yeah sure.. who controls them? the head of the military. of what institution was nsa transformed from? the military. with whom do both organizations work? with the military..

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224401)

They cooperate but operate independently.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (3, Informative)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year ago | (#44224477)

from Wikipedia article "Central Intelligence Agency":
In September 1947, the National Security Act of 1947 established both the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency.

It is a separate agency. Period. That CIA and DOD cooperate on some matters (transportation, signals, paramilitary training and action, for some examples) is no wise equivalent to control. Each body is quite protective of its own space and prerogatives. Most DCI have been civilian, often with little or even no military experience.

See also the short http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Act_of_1947 [wikipedia.org]
See also https://www.cia.gov/kids-page/6-12th-grade/operation-history/history-of-the-cia.html [cia.gov]
While it has "kids" in the title it nonetheless gives a concise accounting of formation and scope of CIA.

In sum: CIA ain't run by the military.

From the Wikipedia article on "National Security Agency":
The National Security Agency (NSA) is the central producer and manager of signals intelligence for the United States, operating under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense.

So, one no, one yes.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44224871)

In sum: CIA ain't run by the military.

Ok then. Tell me, what part of CIA drone strike in Pakistan kills suspected militants [guardian.co.uk] and Support to Military Operations [cia.gov] is not military? The CIA may have started out detached from the military, but what they do now certainly sounds to me like it's run by the same General Hotshit egomaniac brass you see on CNN.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

Cigarra (652458) | about a year ago | (#44225191)

Well all that shows is that CIA is now a para-military organization. That doesn't mean they're controlled by the Military.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year ago | (#44225777)

I think the ATF and FBI should hold a siege on their compound until they surrender their weapons and come out peacefully. Or just burn the fuckers to the ground like every other para-military organization in the country.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44226129)

Or just burn the fuckers to the ground like every other para-military organization in the country.

Are you suggesting that every other para-military organization should be burned to the ground or that they already have?

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44226241)

Well all that shows is that CIA is now a para-military organization. That doesn't mean they're controlled by the Military.

I never said that. I just said that both of them are controlled by the same person(s).

Who I suppose is technically a military person, being the head honcho of the military.. who for conveniencys sake happens to keep a separate branch. It's only international customs why CIA exists as a separate institution and isn't officially branded as a section of the military like the navy... well, that and budget reasons, can funnel money from one to the other now if congress doesn't approve funding the other.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#44225429)

The CIA may have started out detached from the military

The CIA did NOT start out detached from the military. The first two DCI were an Admiral and a General. Most of its agents in the beginning were military men.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year ago | (#44225751)

The CIA has had their own drones that were completely independent of the military. That said, they are now turning over their drones to the military and will no longer have their own fleet. The will need to coordinate with the military for future drone strikes.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44226449)

The CIA has had their own drones that were completely independent of the military. That said, they are now turning over their drones to the military and will no longer have their own fleet. The will need to coordinate with the military for future drone strikes.

Actually, I think the idea is that the military won't need to coordinate with the CIA for future drone strikes. The CIA WILL need to coordinate with the military to use the drones for intel gathering purposes however.

Makes much more sense than the way things were before.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year ago | (#44226585)

No, the military had been running its own drone strikes all along. The CIA lost its drone strike power because they developed a bad rep with the locals.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44226287)

You're referring to something that is so small it isn't even a classical military operation. There is a small sliver somewhat at the outside edges of both the military (a subset of what special forces) and the CIA (a subset of their paramilitary operations) that make for good TV, and apparently good fodder for /., but you'd be shocked to discover that the military and the CIA don't even always get along.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44226017)

Who is top dog for the CIA? - President Obama.

Who is the Commander in Chief of the military? - President Obama.

Gee, looks to me like they have the same boss... That boss happens to be the head of the military. Thus, all are under military control.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44226109)

look man, we all know why "cia isn't military" on paper. it's the same reason why u2 spyflights were done by "civilian" pilots. you know it's bullshit, the money comes from the same budgets and the same guy can order both to do whatever he wants.

you could quite easily argue that CIA is the first step on the line of semantics bullshit that leads straight to gitmo. it's just about bending the rules. "we're not military! we just happen to do everything a military does, but since military isn't allowed to do this we do it. sweeeet?"

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#44224531)

How does one make a Tyrant, or Coward uncontrollably spin like a Top? Grin.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44224419)

The NSA and CIA have nothing to do with the military.

I'm not sure about the CIA, but the NSA is most certainly a sub-branch of the Department of Defense, just like the Army, Navy, ...

Anyways I dont see how his claim that the military will always expand its power holds water. The military is at the mercy of the executive branch with regards to policy and the legislative branch with regards to funding.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (3, Insightful)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about a year ago | (#44225365)

Anyways I dont see how his claim that the military will always expand its power holds water. The military is at the mercy of the executive branch with regards to policy and the legislative branch with regards to funding.

Yeah, I'd say those with power always (or at least often) try to expand their power. It's not a military thing, it's a power thing.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44225527)

All organizations will expand their scope and power if there are no checks. Executive policy is to fight everyone, everywhere, all the time, and legislative policy is to give unlimited funding to any war or R&D project, regardless of efficacy. The military is not a reasonably sized organization being restrained by thoughtful governance. The military is a sprawling Titan, consuming so many resources, so much data, so much manpower, and doing so much in so many places that its growth is limited only by the fact that if it got noticeably bigger, it's host government would be incapable of supporting it.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year ago | (#44225785)

The NSA is organizationally under the DoD but it is an independent organization that's almost entirely civilian. To say they are a military organization is really stretching the truth.

Re: Judicial control is what was missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224469)

They derive their charters from Executive Branch MILITARY powers, not POLICE powers like the FBI. That's why up till the Patriot Act there was always a legal wall between the agencies. Because their MILITARY ops were always illegal against US citizens... They were just SECRET.

General Keith Alexander disagrees (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224975)

The head of the NSA is General Keith Alexander.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/12/cyber-threat-alexander/1982115/
"WASHINGTON — The head of the military's cybercommand says network threats are growing dramatically,... Army Gen. Keith Alexander told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday. "Cybereffects are growing."

You can thank the militarization of the CIA on General Hayden who drove it under Bush to military aims:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_V._Hayden
See all the medals and badges? He's not a boy scout.

Judicial branch isn't just to control the military however, and it would be nice if it de-militarized the agencies as a first step.

Re:General Keith Alexander disagrees (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44226301)

[... blame it on ...] on General Hayden who drove it under Bush to military aims [...]

Absolutely. Unlike that guy that Clinton appointed to head the NSA. What was his name? Oh right, General Hayden.

Other military leaders to occupy the office included:

Adm. Stansfield M. Turner (appointed by Carter)

Starting with Lt. George H. W. Bush (appointed by Ford), it's harder to find non-military directors of the CIA because so many men were WWII and Korea vets. The real difference in the modern era, as far as I'm aware, is that starting with Hayden, these guys are maintaining their military career while heading the agency. The CIA truly is a wing of our military effort at this point, make no mistake. The NSA was less so until 2002, when they got reorged into Homeland Security. Now the line between Homeland Security and the Military is very fuzzy indeed (much as Homeland Security does try to fight back against that, mostly on jurisdictional issues).

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

kav2k (1545689) | about a year ago | (#44225321)

In Russian we have a good umbrella term for what was described: silovik [wikipedia.org] , "people of force".

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year ago | (#44224105)

The Judiciaries job is not to *trust* the military to do the right thing, its to *check* they are doing the right thing

The justice system is supposed to be blind and not "trust" anyone. I don't think the FISA court was set up to deal with the Constitutionality of the law itself, but to grant or deny warrants.

Where was the judicial oversight? Kept in the dark by abuse of secrecy.

We need a separate court that is secret like FISA whose purpose is to deal with cases brought up where the evidence brought up in the case should not be made public. They could handle the cases of terrorists, for example or any challenges to instances where the government is doing something that needs to be kept secret, but may or may not meet Constitutional muster.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (5, Insightful)

MarlowBardling (2860885) | about a year ago | (#44224265)

A secret court, unexposed to public scrutiny, will be abused. The idea that oversight equals accountability outside of the view of the public is fairly trusting, and misses the fact that you're trying to fix a problem by making it bigger.

If the judicial branch of the government is going to work outside the framework of law that it is built upon, the what's the point? Without checks that can actually be checked by an outside agency, there is no way to limit infractions, corruption, and abuse.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (4, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year ago | (#44224381)

The court system is supposed to be above public opinion and pubic opinion is not supposed to have any effect on the court's decisions.

If the judicial branch of the government is going to work outside the framework of law that it is built upon, the what's the point? Without checks that can actually be checked by an outside agency, there is no way to limit infractions, corruption, and abuse.

No, this court, like any other, would work within the law. The problem is that without the appropriate clearance, judges are not legally allowed to hear the evidence in the case so judicial oversight is not possible right now. All this would be is a court where the judges have the clearance to hear the cases and the evidence. The evidence in the cases as well as most of the information about the cases could be kept secret so these cases could go to court without damaging national security or the government using that as an excuse to keep the cases from ever being heard.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#44224571)

The problem is that without the appropriate clearance,

So, which Judge are you calling a Traitor?

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224985)

The courts are not supposed to be above public opinion. This was and is supposed to be a nation for the people, by the people, of the people. That is why the system was designed in such a way that the government had no ability to punish any person in any way for anything without them having a chance to be judged by a representative body of their peers. The jury, as originally designed, is the most powerful entity in the judicial check and balance while itself being checked by having absolute authority to judge the law, evidence, and circumstances of only one case at a time.

As for clearance. That is a way for the executive to decide who they want to tell things to. The judicial is not and should not be subject to the executive branches judgement of their trustworthiness. When the judicial requires information of the executive there should be no question, there is no decision because the executive has no option but to provide the information required.

Judges don't hesistate to make it clear to other parties they will tolerate no bullshit or shenanigans when it comes to cooperating and not screwing around with the court. We need judges to do the same with executive agencies.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year ago | (#44225423)

The courts are not supposed to be above public opinion. This was and is supposed to be a nation for the people, by the people, of the people.

Laws are passed based on public opinion. Courts judge them based on the Constitution. Lady Liberty has a blindfold for a reason. If enough people feel strongly enough about an issue that is deemed unconstitutional, then the Constitution may be amended. For example, California held an election to in which the public opinion banned gay marriage. A court deemed that unconstitutional. Arizona has passed laws on immigration that were supported by public opinion that the court deemed unconstitutional.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44225577)

If enough people feel strongly enough about an issue that is deemed unconstitutional, then the Constitution may be amended.

Unless the rulings are all made in secret so that the electorate can't form opinions or even know what their government is doing.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44225557)

The courts are supposed to be public. The people are the final check on the courts. That's why trials are public and transcripts are a matter of public record.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about a year ago | (#44225943)

No, this court, like any other, would work within the law.

If it's secret, how do you know? The reason public scrutiny is important is that it enables just anyone to check and see that things are above board. There have been enough examples of people involved in secret dealings lying and withholding information that we know we need independent oversight.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224727)

"A secret court, unexposed to public scrutiny, will be abused."

Well, so will a public/open court. It might discourage abuse if it is a public court, but abuse can/will still happen. However, if it's out in the open then the public will know about it and voice their concerns to their legislators, who theoretically can act accordingly by revising law as necessary. Making a court secret eliminates the way that feedback is supposed to work in a democratic system to ensure that the law reflects what society wants, up to and including such things as constitutional amendments if that's what it takes. That's how the FISA laws were established in the first place: because people were outraged by the abuses and wanted change.

The thing that's so bad about the current situation is that the government has done everything it can for the last ~10 years to prevent *consideration* of constitutional challenges at higher levels in the courts by using some combination of lack of standing (because people can't *prove* they have been subject to improper surveillance) and state secrets. Thankfully the first one may change.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44225195)

A secret court, unexposed to public scrutiny, will be abused. The idea that oversight equals accountability outside of the view of the public is fairly trusting, and misses the fact that you're trying to fix a problem by making it bigger.

If the judicial branch of the government is going to work outside the framework of law that it is built upon, the what's the point? Without checks that can actually be checked by an outside agency, there is no way to limit infractions, corruption, and abuse.

But informing the voters might let them make choices that are detrimental to their security, making the country vulnerable to terrorists who may be plotting to overthrow the government and replace it with democracy. Voters are unreliable and can make imprudent choices when recklessly being given information that they are not equipped to deal with.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (5, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#44224389)

The Judiciaries job is not to *trust* the military to do the right thing, its to *check* they are doing the right thing

The justice system is supposed to be blind and not "trust" anyone. I don't think the FISA court was set up to deal with the Constitutionality of the law itself, but to grant or deny warrants.

The fundamental basis for the FISA court's decisionmaking on the warrants is constitutionality, plus, of course, USC 50 and the established precedents. The problem isn't that that the FISA court (FISC) can't evaluate the constitutionality of the law, it can, but that FISA hearings are ex parte, so there's no one to argue the view that the law is unconstitutional.

Another serious, though subtle, problem with the FISC structure is that there is effectively no appellate review... the court has no oversight. There is an appellate court over FISC, but there is no one to force it to be used. If the government gets the answer they want from the court, fine, they go ahead. If they don't, it's purely at the government's discretion whether they want to appeal, and risk having a precedent set that goes against them if the higher court upholds the original ruling or whether they'd rather just tweak their request a bit and try again.

This creates a situation where the government can push the boundaries of what FISC will allow with no concern that they might get slapped down in any definitive way. As it turns out, based on the numbers published, the court doesn't say "no" very often anyway, and of course there is no appeals process for approved warrants.

The bottom line is that our courts are adversarial for a reason, and since the FISA procedures omit that very important element they're strongly biased in favor of whatever view the government chooses to argue -- because that's the only view that is argued.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (4, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#44224833)

We need a separate court that is secret like FISA

No Thank You. We do not. And we should not tolerate one. No secret courts. No star chambers. No secret surveillance. No government operations of any kind that are secret except legitimate military secrets in time of legitimate war.

No Shadow Government Damn It.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year ago | (#44225189)

No government operations of any kind that are secret except legitimate military secrets in time of legitimate war

The problem is that there is always going to be someone that calls any war or anything military illegitimate. Also, surveillance is important even in times of peace. It is worthless if everyone knows what we are looking at and what we find.

Since secrets are important to a government, regardless of your opinion, and since courts are public and have no current ability to hear cases where the matter is deemed secret by those charged, there is no oversight at all. Your resistance to court oversight that can keep things that need to be secret secret,is supporting the status quo where government has virtually unlimited power because any abuses can simply be called "national security" and court oversight is completely avoided.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year ago | (#44226213)

The problem is that there is always going to be someone that calls any war or anything military illegitimate.

I completely agree with the first part of your statement. No matter what action the military or government take, there will be detractors. I don't necessarily see this as a problem though. This would help the issue be seen from multiple angles. It is the core of scientific consensus. Dissenting opinions should be evaluated on the merit of the argument in the open and not behind closed doors where motives are suspect. The appearance of unregulated and unmitigated impropriety is an issue.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44225477)

What about the right to a public trial?

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224307)

my friend's sister makes $77 hourly on the computer. She has been fired for seven months but last month her payment was $17959 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site ======WEP6.COM======

I see what you did there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224489)

stegonagraphic messages hidden in the changing dollar amounts from one spam to the next

personally, I would use a forum where the comments aren't archived for eternity, but that's just me

Re:I see what you did there (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about a year ago | (#44225979)

It's funny you mention that. I have seen a number of posts over the years here that made me wonder if they were coded messages disguised as spam.

Re:I see what you did there (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44226617)

Someone actually made a slashdotfs module for FUSE a while back that used a transparent steganographic layer to store your local data at anon -1 :) Won't work for big data, but nifty for small sets :)

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44224661)

The problem is that it's not a adversarial processes. The only side making an argument is the feds. So they get to present the government with whatever information they feel like and there's no-one there to point out they're lieing through their fucking teeth. All these judges should be run out on their ears for even hearing these cases.

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44225323)

But they are heroes!

All soldiers are heroes! Don't you ever forget that!
The more terrorists they murdered, the more they are heroes!
And no, it doesn't matter if, as some say, those declarations are completely arbitrary, have nothing to do with freedom or protecting us, and actually solely based on industrial interests.
They are our heroes. They protect us. And that justifies everything. Period.

This is the rule we live by. Don't you dare to go against that. Because this is AMERICA, and if you don't like it you can go and take your humaneness with you!

Re:Judicial control is what was missing (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44225935)

blanket warrants are specifically proscribed by the fourth amendment. There is no constitutional way to issue a blanket warrant.

Not exactly a secret anymore (4, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year ago | (#44224077)

I think the fact that this has been made public and that the government itself is no longer denying this negates any attempt to call this "state secrets".

However, there will be cases that deal with actual state secrets. For those, we need a court set up to deal with that sort of thing, not just a court to approve warrants, but a court to handle cases brought up by whistle blowers that evaluate the Constitutionality of cases like this.

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (5, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about a year ago | (#44224113)

We have Snowden to thank for this change in attitude. Public sentiment is everything. And yet, the second part of his interview [guardian.co.uk] which addresses pretty much every criticism laid on him (before it was made) never made /. news for nerds, (it got modded down to oblivion on the firehose AFAIK), despite Snowdens story being highly relevant news for nerds...

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224133)

(it got modded down to oblivion on the firehose AFAIK)

No surprise there, anyone who watches Snowden in that two part video interview is pretty much immunized against the vast majority of propaganda being slung about to try and discredit him. Slashdot has plenty of shill accounts standing by to target anything that interferes with the propaganda machines message. Paging Cold Fjord in 3, 2,...

Re: Not exactly a secret anymore (0)

Mabhatter (126906) | about a year ago | (#44224695)

Manning was just the mail boy who happened upon memos between politicans that were offensive for their contempt of Americans. Manning got involved after incidentally seeing offensive documents. He was only cleared to "pass out the mail". Like a butler who's seen their boss be an ass too many times and speaks out. Still a breech of trust, but not of job performance.

Snowden was PART of the system to PERFORM the spying, and to actually plan and figure out how to violate individuals' rights... He obviously did it for some time. Snowden doesn't get "whistleblower" credit just for turning over things HE TOOK MONEY TO DO FOR YEARS. He is Part of that spying system, "in for a penny, in for a pound" what they do to him is his own fault. He shouldn't be getting any sympathy because he "feels bad about spying on Americans" now.

Re: Not exactly a secret anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224859)

Try 3 months.

Re: Not exactly a secret anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44225375)

You sir, are a troll.

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224277)

He showed the world that turning over state secrets not just gives great publicity, but great cash too. Maybe in times past, that would be called "treason" or "espionage", but the PC police have even gotten to that. Guess the term for handing over names and contact info of people and their families who worked for a spy organization (something that WILL get them killed) is a "leaker" now.

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224423)

Which people did he hand names and contact info of people and their families for? Can you name one? Or provide a link? All I heard is that he revealed massive spying on us and our allies.

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224429)

dont feed the troll. It is a bot, anyway...

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224407)

That video was only released yesterday, Monday 8 July 2013 - how fast do you think Slashdot is at finding news for nerds?

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (2, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#44224163)

However, there will be cases that deal with actual state secrets. For those, we need a court set up to deal with that sort of thing

No. We need a lack of state secrets. We need an open, transparent government that actually acts in the interests of its people rather than its CEOs. We need a court set up to try every breach of public trust as a capital offense.

We need an asteroid.

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (3, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | about a year ago | (#44224267)

Purges are an excellent idea, comrade.

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (2)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#44224427)

Purges are an excellent idea, comrade.

"In Soviet Russia" jokes aside, I hate to tell you this, but the KGB would have given Vlad Kryuchkov's left nut to have anywhere near the "Total Information Awareness" at the NSA's disposal today.

The US intelligence agencies have a better reputation than their Soviet or Nazi Germany era counterparts for one and one reason only - They prefer to go high-tech rather than break kneecaps. And make no mistake, while I drastically prefer keeping my kneecaps intact, their goals count as no more or less noble than the legendary atrocities of their predecessors.

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44225243)

We need a court set up to try every breach of public trust as a capital offense.

Be careful what you wish for. The DOJ would be bringing people like Manning and Snowden before that court.

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44225443)

And by the way: The best way to get rid of "teh terroristz" is to
1. actually be honest and nice to other countries, and
2. not meddle with countries in such a way that they are created in the first place (See: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chile, even Mexico a bit... and that's only the ones I know of.)

I remember a time, when we here in Germany, France, Belgium, etc looked up to the USA. They were the cool guy in the group. They were fun. And fuck, we even trusted them.
At least the average Americans.
Yes, even Afghanis, Iranis, North-Koreans, Russians, etc

How about that? Can you become like that again? For us?
We promise we'll be there for you and embrace you.

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year ago | (#44224521)

I don't think a separate court is necessary, even for FISA warrants and oversight. It's been common enough over the years for _in camera_ sessions as part of otherwise ordinary court proceedings.

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (2)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#44224607)

For those, we need a court set up to deal with that sort of thing

Really? And you know best for all of us?

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44225691)

However, there will be cases that deal with actual state secrets.

I'm honestly having a hard time picturing what those cases would be. I could see the need for secret courts if one assumes that the very existence of a spy program to listen to foreign terrorists' cell phone calls is a secret. But that's idiotic. The terrorists know we're trying to spy on them. We know that they know. Even before Snowden or Binney. Al Quaeda has been acting covertely since before we actually WERE listening. They weren't holding public meetings in Sudan to discuss the best ways to attack the US.

Regular courts deal with things that need to be kept secret: the names and addresses of witnesses against criminals isn't published in a "People with a price on their heads weekly" magazine. Regular non-secret courts can handle secrets. They won't be outing informants.

Lastly, the pointless secrecy is massively counterproductive. Leaks are going to happen if you make it a moral obligation for someone to report it as you do with secret courts and clearly perverting justice. It seems clear to me that the leaks are going to be more dangerous than you'd have with non-secret courts. The Manning leak had, if I recall, actual sensitive information that regular courts would have likely kept secret, such as informant identities.

Re:Not exactly a secret anymore (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about a year ago | (#44226237)

However, there will be cases that deal with actual state secrets. For those, we need a court set up to deal with that sort of thing, not just a court to approve warrants, but a court to handle cases brought up by whistle blowers that evaluate the Constitutionality of cases like this.

Can't we just clear the judge and have him review evidence in private? Why do we need a whole new court system?

Seven Expectations (4, Interesting)

some old guy (674482) | about a year ago | (#44224081)

1. Trial will be drawn out for six months to two years by motions, security considerations, etc.
2. Regardless of rulings, appeals will take a further two to five years.
3. Meanwhile, the government will continue to do as it damned well pleases.
4. Through it all, 99% of the public will pay more attention to American Idol or Nascar.
5. Poor ~pj at Groklaw will be driven to distraction by the huge briefs and exhibits expected to be filed.
6. Major media will spin everything pro-government.
7. At the end of it all, regardless of legal gymnastics, there will be no practical difference.

Re:Seven Expectations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224131)

0. This ruling will be appealed.

BTW, your sig is taken from a variation of a narcotics anonymous [wikiquote.org] quote.

Re:Seven Expectations (2)

some old guy (674482) | about a year ago | (#44224195)

See [2.]
I know nothing of Narcotics Anonymous. Apparently you do.

Re:Seven Expectations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224229)

They're like regular Anonymous, except with Narcotics.

Re:Seven Expectations (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year ago | (#44224543)

Often with better doughnuts, also.

Re:Seven Expectations (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#44224683)

Best response to an AC post I've ever read; thanks.

Re:Seven Expectations (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about a year ago | (#44226293)

0. This ruling will be appealed.

BTW, your sig is taken from a variation of a narcotics anonymous [wikiquote.org] quote.

Kind of a funny quote for them. When I do drugs I expect the same result as before, not a different one.

Re: Seven Expectations (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44224137)

Don't forget baseball and basketball
The mets have a decent chance for a playoff spot in the 2014 season. And the Brooklyn Nets are good as well

Re:Seven Expectations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224139)

8. Anyone who objects to the illegal surveillance (or indeed calls it illegal in the first place) will be called "Socialist."

Re:Seven Expectations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224493)

Never heard that. You're prolly a socialist asshat. You meant to say "terrorist".

Re:Seven Expectations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224185)

You got 7 almost correct
7) At the end of it all, regardless of legal gymnastics, there will be no practical difference except that American's will have to examine if they have exhausted all but the cartridge(ammo) box or if they will continue to try soap, ballot, jury and moving boxes instead.

Re:Seven Expectations (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44224193)

Don't worry - they'll start the next illegal program now so that when this one gets struck down, its replacement will be humming along nicely.

'Soverign immunity' is what makes this form of government unjust in the first place. To hear the government lawyers use it as a defense claim is to hear them say, "but your honor, we're entitled to injustice." It's enough to make one's inner Bastiat's skin crawl.

Re:Seven Expectations (3, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#44224223)

You didn't go far enough with #7. Not just no practical difference, we'll have no difference at all, because the executive branch will simply ignore the ruling, the same way Holder regularly does, and Reno and Ashcroft did before him (DOJ != Judiciary) ; The same way the FDA does when it doesn't "like" court orders to make certain drugs available without discrimination. The same way the entire intelligence community has done for years (*cough* guns to contras funded by running the international drug trade and all pardoned by former CIA directer Bush-the-Elder *cough*).

And we worry about some phone call tracking? We have an outright rogue government, not even pretending to give a shit about its citizens anymore, and we really care about the latest distraction over whether Snowden counts as a hero or a traitor?

Re:Seven Expectations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224349)

That's very cynical indeed. I am not saying you are not correct, but I rather wait and see. I am busy with work and school so instead of marching through the streets I give some money to EFF, and in my opinion they do excellent work.

UH CAN YOU DUMB IT DOWN !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224091)

This is /. not a fucking Starbucks !!

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224103)

Sudden outbreak of common sense.

Tap a federal judge again, will you? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224109)

I wonder how much the mention of "...tapping federal judges' phones at will..." had anything to do with it.

my .02

Re:Tap a federal judge again, will you? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44224459)

Or how many ways you can 'tap' a judge.

No. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44224121)

BUSH WAS GOOD. This did not happen under Bush.

This started under Obama.

And all you liberals know it.

Re:No. (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44224153)

Yes, Bush' reign constituted a brief interlude where there were no spies, no government abuse, no secret agendas, no profit driven wars - only lilies and cake for everyone. The presidents before him and after him were demons, and people just doesn't seem to grasp that the benevolent rule of the one true Bush was cut short prematurely. A God among men should not have to suffer the laws of men, Bush for a third period! Huzzah!

Re:No. (2)

Dins (2538550) | about a year ago | (#44224199)

Please do not feed the trolls...

Re:No. (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44224261)

But, but, I... they... we...

Yes sir *bows head*

Re:No. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44224213)

Bush for a third period! Huzzah!

Please accept the current "Cheyney's fourth term" as a consolation prize.

The core claims will now be litigated....away (1)

landofcleve (1959610) | about a year ago | (#44224247)

The court is obviously ready to bear the brunt of watering down/abusing The Constitution further at this point, so will allow the matter to be heard.

State secret != Domestic (4, Interesting)

mrjatsun (543322) | about a year ago | (#44224487)

There used to be a good separation between domestic (FBI) and international (CIA, NSA, ...) data gathering (for a good reason). In theory, any collection of data, active spying, etc. on US citizens cannot be done under a national security, restricted access setting. Nor could any of the assets used to to collect data (say for an investigation) on one or more US citizen be classified. There are exceptions for US citizens co-operating with a foreign government of course. And data can be withheld during an active investigation, etc, etc. For a long time classified assets were not allowed to be used for domestic investigations.

This separation is now gone of course. There also seems to be an attitude that if the data is collected, and not looked at, its ok as long as there check and balances to ensure that the data is not being looked at. Obviously, in a democracy, a government cannot police itself with no external visibility. It's a fundamental breakdown of the principles of a democracy. Hopefully this will be brought up when this case makes its way to the supreme court.

What is being done is so obviously wrong. It will be an interesting case to determine if the Supreme Court is representing the country or representing the government.

soverign immunity? (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year ago | (#44225101)

the Court GRANTS Defendants' motions to dismiss Plaintiffs' statutory claims on the basis of sovereign immunity.

So the government thinks it is a sovereign entity that can do whatever it likes? And the court takes that view? I thought the country was the sovereign entity and the government was just a part of it established by the people. When did the government or any part of it get this new status?

Official Secrets Act (4, Informative)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year ago | (#44225209)

Sir Humphrey: The Official Secrets Act isn't to protect secrets - it's to protect officials.

-----

James Hacker: I occasionally have confidential press briefings, but I have never leaked.

Bernard Woolley: Oh, that's another of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential press briefings; you leak; he's been charged under Section 2a of the Official Secrets Act.

-----

This program should not exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44225249)

Because we already said so years ago... and now it appears they do whatever they please:

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/405707/the-total-information-awareness-project-lives-on/

In February 2006, the controversy intensified. Reports emerged that component technologies of the supposedly defunct Total Information Awareness (TIA) project – established in 2002 by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop advanced information technology to counter terrorists, then terminated by Congress in 2003 because of widespread criticism that it would create “Orwellian” mass surveillance – had been acquired by the NSA.

Washington’s lawmakers ostensibly killed the TIA project in Section 8131 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal 2004. But legislators wrote a classified annex to that document which preserved funding for TIA’s component technologies, if they were transferred to other government agencies, say sources who have seen the document, according to reports first published in The National Journal. Congress did stipulate that those technologies should only be used for military or foreign intelligence purposes against non-U.S. citizens. Still, while those component projects’ names were changed, their funding remained intact, sometimes under the same contracts.

Re:This program should not exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44225591)

Cancelled but still alive:
http://infolab.stanford.edu/~ullman/fcdb/aut07/2006/ethics_readings/USA-Today-TIA-cancelled.htm

The controversial Terrorism Information Awareness program was conceived by retired Adm. John Poindexter and was run by the Information Awareness Office that he headed inside the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

It was developing software that could examine the computerized travel, credit card, medical and other records of Americans and others around the world to search for telltale activities that might reveal preparations for a terrorist attack.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who has battled the program for months, hailed the result Wednesday. "Americans on American soil are not going to be targets of TIA surveillance that would have violated their privacy and civil liberties," Wyden said in an interview.

"The original Poindexter program would have been the biggest surveillance program in the history of the United States," he added. "Now the lights have gone out on the program conceived by John Poindexter." He said the agreement would allow foreign intelligence gathering on terrorism "without cannibalizing the civil liberties of Americans."

Origin of all this State Secrets Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44225915)

A very easy to listen to and understand where all this business with State Secrets stuff really went wrong. In 1953. And has been a downward spiral ever since... http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/383/origin-story?act=2#play
-Daiv

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