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Federal Prosecutors, In a Policy Shift, Cite Warrantless Wiretaps As Evidence

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the surprising-no-one dept.

Privacy 321

schwit1 sends this quote from the NY Times "The Justice Department for the first time has notified a criminal defendant that evidence being used against him came from a warrantless wiretap, a move that is expected to set up a Supreme Court test of whether such eavesdropping is constitutional. The government's notice allows the defendant's lawyer to ask a court to suppress the evidence by arguing that it derived from unconstitutional surveillance, setting in motion judicial review of the eavesdropping. ... The practice contradicted what [Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.] had told the Supreme Court last year in a case challenging the law, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. Legalizing a form of the Bush administration’s program of warrantless surveillance, the law authorized the government to wiretap Americans’ e-mails and phone calls without an individual court order and on domestic soil so long as the surveillance is “targeted” at a foreigner abroad. A group of plaintiffs led by Amnesty International had challenged the law as unconstitutional. But Mr. Verrilli last year urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the case because those plaintiffs could not prove that they had been wiretapped. In making that argument, he said a defendant who faced evidence derived from the law would have proper legal standing and would be notified, so dismissing the lawsuit by Amnesty International would not close the door to judicial review of the 2008 law. The court accepted that logic, voting 5-to-4 to dismiss the case."

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There have been a lot of firsts (5, Insightful)

amightywind (691887) | about a year ago | (#45248219)

There have been a lot of firsts for Eric Holder's corrupt and diseased justice department.

...not to mention my post (1)

amightywind (691887) | about a year ago | (#45248373)

Frist post!

In fairness to Eric (4, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#45248497)

He's a representative sample of what the U.S. government has become, and that's by no means limited to either component party of the Ruling Class.

POLICE STATE OF THE FREE! (1, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#45248513)

And the home, of the alleged.

Re:POLICE STATE OF THE FREE! (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#45248551)

Because #Progress

Re:POLICE STATE OF THE FREE! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248751)

Eric Holder can do no wrong because he is a black man. Furthermore, now that we have black man Jah Rasta Johnson [wikipedia.org] as the DHS leader, nobody can complain about performance or creeping fascism because both are black men and to criticize black men is racist. And racism is a hate crime. Blacks are, after all, predisposed to crime, and will naturally resort to the appropriate criminal behavior even after an Ivy league law education. It's what we free-thinking tea-party individuals like to call "Chicago Politics."

Do you disagree, you racist motherfucker? Huh? Do you?

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:POLICE STATE OF THE FREE! (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#45248845)

Eric Holder can do no wrong because he is a black man. Furthermore, now that we have black man Jah Rasta Johnson [wikipedia.org] as the DHS leader, nobody can complain about performance or creeping fascism because both are black men and to criticize black men is racist. And racism is a hate crime. Blacks are, after all, predisposed to crime, and will naturally resort to the appropriate criminal behavior even after an Ivy league law education. It's what we free-thinking tea-party individuals like to call "Chicago Politics."

Do you disagree, you racist motherfucker? Huh? Do you?

-- Ethanol-fueled

Chicago has a long history of corrupt politics, as do several other major cities. To focus on the group identity is to distract attention away from the power plays that are being made. That is simply a strategic error. That corruption is becoming more inclusive and diverse along with better and more worthy enterprises is hardly relevant to the state of the republic today. It really does not matter who is at the helm, under what holy name they crusade, with which justification they advance towards fascism. These matters are academic and within the realm of mere trivia.

What really matters is how and why the average person does not wake up and realize that the America they were taught to believe in does not exist, and how their own philosophical, intellectual, moral, and character flaws prevented them from seeing this at the very beginning. There is indeed something wrong with a person who argues passionately about minutia like sports and television shows while their nation is decaying. None of that could be an accident.

Count yourself lucky !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248849)

Eric Holder can do no wrong because he is a black man. Furthermore, now that we have black man Jah Rasta Johnson as the DHS leader, nobody can complain about performance or creeping fascism because both are black men and to criticize black men is racist. And racism is a hate crime.

Count yourself lucky because both individuals are MEN, and none of them has yet officially filed for any disability claim.

Worse scenario abounds ...

If they, the democrooks , put retarded black women who can't walk/talk/hear, who are infected with AIDS, as heads of governmental departments ... under that scenario, nobody could even mention the matter without being charged with multiple counts of hate crimes

UNDER THE POLICE STATE ... (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#45248743)

... there is NOTHING FREE !!!

I am speaking on experience.

I am an American, a naturalized American citizen.

I came from China.

I, and many others, risking our lives and swam to Hong Kong back in the 1970's. They were shooting at us, back then.

We risked our lives not because we were poor (and we were) but because there was NO FREEDOM for the people.

Everything that we did - who your friends were, where you been to, what you did, why you did what you did, everything - was under the watchful eyes of the BIG BROTHER.

I went to the United States precisely because, back then, the United States of America was the only country that could guarantee my freedom, because, back then, the government of the United States of America still had respect for The Constitution.

I became an American citizen precisely because I found the freedom that I had longed for.

That was back then.

Not now.

Nowadays, the so-called "freedom" has all but evaporated.

When the prosecutors (or rather, persecutors ) can charge people with warrantless wiretaps , what is the difference between the United States of America and the former East Germany under Stasi or China under CCP ?

Back when I became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America, my new government was still operating under the Constitution of the United States.

No more.

Under the Obama administration, I am sorry to say, the Constitution of the United States has become as valuable as soiled disposable diaper.

As an American, I am sad.

As one who was from an oppressed state, risking live in order to gain freedom, I am HORRIFIED.

I am watching THE COUNTRY THAT I ADOPTED turning into just like the one I ran away from.

Re:UNDER THE POLICE STATE ... (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | about a year ago | (#45248773)

"Under the Obama administration, I am sorry to say, the Constitution of the United States has become as valuable as soiled disposable diaper."

...I thought you said you were here since the 1970's

Re:UNDER THE POLICE STATE ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248877)

Haven't you heard? Before January of 2009, civil liberties were respected and cherished. There was no federal deficit or debt either.

Re:UNDER THE POLICE STATE ... (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#45248881)

You are one of the minority who can remember what Jim Marrs calls "The old republic". That was before the banker takeover of the nation was approaching its final stages, before the technology for total surveillance was widespread and readily available, before there were so many American citizens who would cooperate with and work for the police-state apparatus in the name of security because they are governed by fear or greed or lust for power instead of reason and what was once called decency.

The real problem is, we now have an entire generation that has never known the difference. We have too many people who are products of their environment, knowing only what they were taught, who lack the initiative to really look into the history and understand the changes that have occurred. To them, all of this is necessary and normal. It's a problem of inertia.

Re:UNDER THE POLICE STATE ... (2)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about a year ago | (#45248893)

I am pretty sure our leaders have been ignoring the constitution for over 100 years. Just because you did not notice that it was corrupted and ignored when you came here in the 1970s does not change that.

Warrant-less wiretaps is certainly a very old thing.

I don't think that Obama has been any better or worse than previous presidents at following the constitution.

Re:In fairness to Eric (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about a year ago | (#45248813)

He's a representative sample of what the U.S. government has become, and that's by no means limited to either component party of the Ruling Class.

He's not a product of an entirely faceless process. He's an individual who has chosen his allegiances, as do all individuals. That must not be disregarded when measuring what sort of man he is.

The Left Wing and the Right Wing are two body parts of the same Beast. It's a monument to human stupidity that so few seem to truly comprehend that. The purpose of a two-party system is to play "good cop, bad cop" and to periodically switch roles for maximum mindfuck effect. The Founding Fathers foresaw what a two-party system would become because they understood and chose not to delude themselves about a few basic principles of reality. The understanding component is easy and painless compared to the decision to accept no delusion, however comfortable and reassuring it may be.

Re:There have been a lot of firsts (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45248571)

There have been a lot of firsts for Eric Holder's corrupt and diseased justice department.

This is the first Hail Mary Pass I've the DOJ throw. We can only hope the Judges remember their oath of office.

Re:There have been a lot of firsts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248637)

"The court accepted that logic, voting 5-to-4 to dismiss the case."

Don't count on it. The court has 4 traitors on it already.

Re:There have been a lot of firsts (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45248747)

Well I'm not counting on it, but I believe even the court has seen the huge uproar this issue has caused.
They realize that if they allow this, all bets are off, no holds are barred, and the surveillance society had full reign.
Once loosed, they realize they can never put that genie back in the bottle.

Depending which way this blows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248235)

we will know if it's pitchfork and torch time.

Re:Depending which way this blows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248817)

It will never be pitchfork and torch time as long as idiots can get free TV and food stamps.

I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248259)

This crap is never going to stop as long as the evil Rethuglicans are in power.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (2)

Bartles (1198017) | about a year ago | (#45248309)

What are you talking about? This law passed the House and the Senate, and was signed by the president. It's the law, get over it.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248361)

I think the OP was being sarcastic.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about a year ago | (#45248407)

So was I.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (2)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#45248523)

If only there was some document; some. . .set of principles, that could somehow restrain this overreach.
It would have to be clear and simple, though: something as straightforward as the U.S. Constitution.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#45248557)

So because it's the law we're no longer allowed to have a problem with it? Why are there idiots like you always cheering on the state?

Democrats vs republicans is irrelevant. Both are the problem.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about a year ago | (#45248733)

Believe me, I'm not cheering on the state. I'm just giving the canned response that ACA supporters give when anyone tried to argue that it's a bad law that needs to be defunded or repealed.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (4, Insightful)

Fwipp (1473271) | about a year ago | (#45248745)

Nobody threatened to default on our debt unless we repealed the PATRIOT Act, though.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (0, Troll)

Bartles (1198017) | about a year ago | (#45248787)

The only person that was threatening default was the president. The constitution doesn't allow it, and tax revenue would have easily prevented it.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (0)

Anarchduke (1551707) | about a year ago | (#45248903)

Really? That is complete bullshit. The President has neither the power nor the responsibility of coming up with the budget nor does the executive branch have the responsibility of holding the purse. That lies solely with the House of Representatives. The Republican controlled House of Representatives. Who refused to continue funding the country's government and threatened to send it into default.
The President of the United States has nothing to do with the government shutdown or the threat of defaulting on our nation's debt. That is all on the Republicans in Congress. In fact, the only person in the Republican controlled House of Representatives that could re-open the government is Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader. Because the Republicans altered the House Rules so that only He or his designee could bring a vote on reopening the government.
Don't try your bullshit in here.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (4, Insightful)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year ago | (#45248409)

It may have been a Republican President who signed it into law but the current Democratic President expanded it 100-fold. We as citizens need to stand up and oppose this if we deem it too invasive rather than call each other names.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (-1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45248469)

"expanded it 100-fold."

How can you possibly know that? The Bush administration was arguably the most secretive administration ever. The fact that the Obama administration has let slip 100 times more than the Bush admin did, does not indicate that Obama is more prying than Bush. It MAY only mean that Obama/Biden is more inept than Bush/Cheney. That, plus there are more whistle blowers.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248595)

"expanded it 100-fold."

How can you possibly know that? The Bush administration was arguably the most secretive administration ever. The fact that the Obama administration has let slip 100 times more than the Bush admin did, does not indicate that Obama is more prying than Bush. It MAY only mean that Obama/Biden is more inept than Bush/Cheney. That, plus there are more whistle blowers.

Maybe that was arguable a few years ago.

It isn't any more.

Obama's administration has made a mockery of FOIA requests, turned the IRS into a politcal attack dog going after political enemies, has had it's Attorney General held in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents, and hounds whistleblowes to the ends of the Earth.

Contrast all that to how the Bush administration treated Michael Scheuer and Joe Wilson when they leaked classified data critical of Bush during elections.

And I'd venture to say the way Obama fumbled events in Syria is pretty good evidence that's Obama is WAAAAY more inept than Bush.

Re:I can't wait until we vote Bush/Cheney out (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#45248645)

How can you possibly know that? The Bush administration was arguably the most secretive administration ever.

Certain things are easily visible even if they do not "officially" exist

For example, no matter how secretive and non-existent in US, drone bombings get noticed by affected countries. Obama expanded drone operations quite a bit (perhaps not 100-fold, but significantly).

Can someone remind me? (3, Interesting)

justthinkit (954982) | about a year ago | (#45248263)

How are we, the U.S., different from East Germany?

Re:Can someone remind me? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248271)

Having lived in East Germany, I can tell you. East Germans didn't pretend they were free.

Re:Can someone remind me? (4, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | about a year ago | (#45248451)

Having lived in East Germany, I can tell you. East Germans didn't pretend they were free.

So you're saying that America is better at propaganda than East Germany was?

Re:Can someone remind me? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45248473)

Team America! Fuck Yeah!

Re:Can someone remind me? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248653)

So you're saying that America is better

fuck yeah america is better

USA USA USA

Re:Can someone remind me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248803)

It is, what else do you think Hollywood is?

Re:Can someone remind me? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248285)

How are we, the U.S., different from East Germany?

The US has an independent press that's always critical of the government, no matter which politcal party is in power, like the New York Times.

Re:Can someone remind me? (4, Insightful)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about a year ago | (#45248297)

The US has an independent press that's always critical of the government, no matter which politcal party is in power, like the New York Times.

Was...was that a joke?

Re:Can someone remind me? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45248487)

The US has an independent press that's always critical of the government, no matter which politcal party is in power, like the New York Times.

Was...was that a joke?

Apparently; Chomsky's punchline that impartial news is a joke has been widely known for decades. [youtube.com]

Re:Can someone remind me? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248287)

In East Germany if you liked your health insurance you got to keep it.

Re:Can someone remind me? (5, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#45248341)

How are we, the U.S., different from East Germany?

Easy. The US is using its national intelligence agencies to obtain intelligence on terrorists trying to kill people. The intelligence agencies themselves don't have police powers. The suspect in this case is accused of assisting a terrorist group. East Germany's secret police had both an intelligence function and police powers. Their primary purpose was to keep the East German Communist party in power. The secret police were referred to as "The Sword and Shield of the Party." You could be arrested and imprisoned for such things as making jokes about the nation's leadership, wanting to form a new political party, being a member of an unapproved church, trying to leave the country without permission (could get you shot on the spot), and many other possible infractions. It isn't a small gap between them.

Re:Can someone remind me? (4, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#45248417)

How are we, the U.S., different from East Germany?

Easy. The US is using its national intelligence agencies to obtain intelligence on terrorists trying to kill people.

Except when they entrap people who are too stupid to find their way to the bathroom and lead them by the hand into a Hollywood terrorist plot that they never would have come up with on their own. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/16/nyregion/16terror.html [nytimes.com] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/dec/12/how-terrorist-entrapment-ensares-us-all [theguardian.com]

Re:Can someone remind me? (2)

penandpaper (2463226) | about a year ago | (#45248459)

While it is true that the original scope of the intelligence community were not to enforce the law, that role is increasingly becoming part of their previously secret budget. Or that budget just increases with the collaboration between the different alphabet soup agencies. A microscopic gap indeed. That gap is non-existent to foreigners especially if you are in certain regions of Pakistan and Yemen under a CIA drone.

Re:Can someone remind me? (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45248495)

You HAVE read 1984, right? We are actually in a Forever War. The War on Drugs has become the War on Terrorism, and every year our "police forces" become more and more militarized.

Re:Can someone remind me? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248599)

You HAVE read 1984, right? We are actually in a Forever War. The War on Drugs has become the War on Terrorism, and every year our "police forces" become more and more militarized.

1984 (by George Orwell) is a different book from The Forever War (by Joe Haldeman). Just so you know (and knowing is half the battle). Both are good reads, but only one of those is a high school reading assignment.

Re:Can someone remind me? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45248801)

I'm only partly guilty of mixing metaphors. 1984 also had it's "forever war", but didn't use that precise term. "We've always been at war with Eastasia"

Re:Can someone remind me? (0, Redundant)

vakuona (788200) | about a year ago | (#45248677)

Your police forces are militarised because they have to assume any criminal they might be up against is armed. They are not going to turn up waving truncheons at criminals over there. In other parts of the world, the police generally don't carry guns because they generally don't need to.

As long as guns are a right in the USA, you should expect a police force that is militarised.

Re:Can someone remind me? (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#45248765)

Your police forces are militarised because they have to assume any criminal they might be up against is armed.

This has been true since the country was formed. Why is it only in the last 30 years that S.W.A.T. has been used at the drop of a hat and average police regularly go out with military-level gear?

As long as guns are a right in the USA, you should expect a police force that is militarised.

No, we shouldn't. Armed yes, militarized no. The militarization is due largely to the drug war and departments dumping money into shit they don't need to and assuming a stance of force over communication with the citizens of whatever city they feel like pointing guns at.

Re:Can someone remind me? (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45248823)

Bingo. Even at the height of prohibition, when Al Capone and his ilk were carrying Thompsons, the police forces throughout most of our nation were still carrying six-shooters. City police forces didn't respond to Tommy guns by purchasing tanks and bazookas. Alright, so maybe New York, Los Angeles and Chicago don't have tanks today, but they do have APC's that they refer to as "rescue vehicles". Mounting a machine gun or a small cannon on one of these is simple enough. A similar model with a main gun isn't much of a reach at all.

Re:Can someone remind me? (5, Interesting)

MRe_nl (306212) | about a year ago | (#45248623)

"The US is using its national intelligence agencies to obtain intelligence on terrorists trying to kill people".
Mostly BULLSHIT.
"The intelligence agencies themselves don't have police powers".
Fully BULLSHIT.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has both an intelligence function and police powers. Their primary purpose is to "secure the nation from the many threats it faces". You can be arrested and imprisoned for such things as whistle-blowing, opposing the status quo, being an unapproved immigrant, trying to enter or leave the country without permission (could get you shot on the spot), and many other possible infractions. No gap between them but the propaganda gap.

Re:Can someone remind me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248625)

The US is using its national intelligence agencies to obtain intelligence on terrorists trying to kill people. ... You could be arrested and imprisoned for such things as making jokes about the nation's leadership, wanting to form a new political party, being a member of an unapproved church, trying to leave the country without permission

Considering that "terrorism" is a very poorly defined and potentially broad term, I do not think this is going to take long to expand the current list of offenses.

You could probably be arrested and imprisoned for going to the wrong country already. I seem to remember a trial which was mostly based on "terrorist camp sign up sheet"

Re:Can someone remind me? (-1)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year ago | (#45248429)

We're able to change our government through peaceful voting. We've done so many, many times, and will continue to do so.

Of course, it's hard, and takes time, so whiny assholes will insist that it's impossible and give up without even trying.

This shit was legalized by a 5-4 vote in the Supreme Court. If a few more Floridians had voted sensibly in 2000, this would never have happened. If the next president is a Democrat and replaces Scalia with a more moderate justice, we'll be fine. And since I'm sure you'll insist that the thousands of people in both parties are all in some grand conspiracy, and a Democratic-appointee would be no different from a Republican one, I'll refer you to Berghuis v. Thompkins, the recent case where the Republicans decided that you don't really have the right to remain silent, and the Democratic justices, including Sotomayor, dissented.

The American people chose this. By voting for Bush, or by staying at home, they made this happen. They have the power to fix it, if they care enough.

Re:Can someone remind me? (4, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45248445)

They have the power to fix it, if they care enough.

By... not voting for Bush?

I wonder how that'll turn out.

Re:Can someone remind me? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248455)

We're able to change our government through peaceful voting. We've done so many, many times, and will continue to do so.

Of course, it's hard, and takes time, so whiny assholes will insist that it's impossible and give up without even trying.

This shit was legalized by a 5-4 vote in the Supreme Court. If a few more Floridians had voted sensibly in 2000, this would never have happened. ...

BWAA HAA HAAA!!!!

Right.

Because Supreme Court justices appointed by Democratic Presidents are sooo averse to increasing government reach and power....

Re:Can someone remind me? (3, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45248525)

The American people have the power to change this - UNTIL the second amendment is defeated. Have you noticed how the Democrats support gun control? Just like some National Socialist in the 1930's, at every opportunity our Democratic Socialist party today wants to undermine a free man's right to keep and bear arms.

The right to keep and bear arms is the defining difference between a free man and a slave.

Re:Can someone remind me? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248643)

I can see it now, gun nuts getting blown to bits by missiles and bombs they never even saw coming before firing a single shot.

Get over yourselves, you aren't protecting us from anything.

Re:Can someone remind me? (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about a year ago | (#45248917)

Hmm humans with guns vs drones .....

Somehow I don't see the 2nd amendment as being very useful. Sorry but its time has passed. It can't protect you against the government or each other.

Re:Can someone remind me? (3, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#45248501)

How are we, the U.S., different from East Germany?

East Germany had a bigger, richer, and democratic neighbour. That was in the end enough motivation to overthrow the government. The USA has Canada and Mexico. Good luck.

Re:Can someone remind me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248843)

How are we, the U.S., different from East Germany?

East Germany had a bigger, richer, and democratic neighbour. That was in the end enough motivation to overthrow the government. The USA has Canada and Mexico. Good luck.

Wrong, the government wasn't overthrown because of the pacifists in the street. Or even of a military intervantion by the freedom loving US (which would have never happened in any case). The USSR decided to not intervene militarily on this occasion, contrary to what it had done during the 1956 riots in hungary and in tchekoslovakia in 1968. See how well it went for those 2 countries in the aftermath. East Germans have to worship Gorbachev for having ordered soviet troups to stay in their barracks and basically dump the East German Comunist Party.

Re:Can someone remind me? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#45248907)

In East Germany this would never be subject to judicial review or public comment. The concept of 'warrantless wiretap' would be preposterous because warrants were never required under any circumstances.

There would also be no notification to the defendant that anything unusual was happening, nor publication of that information in a newspaper. There would be no prior court case on the topic, or appeals related to that non-existent action.

There would be no publication of how the evidence was obtained, or public notice of the case and the person charged would just disappear.

There would be no enabling law like the Patriot Act under discussion.

Besides that they are exactly the same.

OK?

Scalia thinks the devil is a real person. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248269)

I'm not kidding. He thinks the devil is a real living person who exists on earth to tempt people into sin.

If that is the mentality of the top judges in the United States, the whole country is fucked.

Re:Scalia thinks the devil is a real person. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248327)

I'm not kidding. He thinks the devil is a real living person who exists on earth to tempt people into sin.

If that is the mentality of the top judges in the United States, the whole country is fucked.

Yep. And Scalia thinks Obama is that "real living person", and he's doing the tempting with "free money from the government".

Here's a useful hint: tin foil hats should only cover the TOP of your head. When you wrap them around your entire noggin the not only cut off your vision they impair your breathing, reducing the O2 flow to your brain.

Re:Scalia thinks the devil is a real person. (1)

cduffy (652) | about a year ago | (#45248489)

There's an on-the-record public interview with Scalia from which the parent took their claim. You could, y'know, fact-check what people say before mocking them.

Re:Scalia thinks the devil is a real person. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248351)

If you think the only devil is in the details, so are you.

Let's be clear. (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about a year ago | (#45248277)

This is NOT a test of whether a warrantless wiretap is constitutional. It is a test of whether the Supreme Court is willing to blatantly disregard the fourth amendment AGAIN.

-jcr

Re:Let's be clear. (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about a year ago | (#45248281)

We'll, I'm sure it's the "we have a better chance of having it upheld now than we do down the road" though this isn't a traditional conservative vs. liberal wing of the Court issue.

Re:Let's be clear. (1, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#45248393)

Actually it is an opportunity for the Supreme Court to rule on this question, which a number of appeals courts have. So far they have found that the power for the President to authorize this falls under Article II powers for national security purposes.

Although it is possible that due to the Supreme Court's ruling the interpretation of the law may change, it is entirely possible that it won't. One good thing that could come out of it is that it could help provide the broader public an opportunity to develop a better understanding of the law in this area. Many people have mistaken ideas about how the 4th Amendment actually works and blame the police, courts, and government in general for not complying with their mistaken ideas. Not every search requires a warrant, for example. That is long settled law. We'll see what happens.

Hopefully this won't be another case of the Obama administration in effect "taking a dive" to move the law in a direction desired by its more radical members.

Re:Let's be clear. (1)

cduffy (652) | about a year ago | (#45248503)

Hopefully this won't be another case of the Obama administration in effect "taking a dive" to move the law in a direction desired by its more radical members.

I could see a lot of people, on different ends of the spectrum, tending to agree that warrantless wiretaps should be unconstitutional. It's hardly a position exclusive to (large portions, but not the entirety of) the left.

Re:Let's be clear. (3, Interesting)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about a year ago | (#45248577)

Not every search requires a warrant, for example. That is long settled law.

No doubt. The problem is the long settled law invariably deals with (a) border searches or (b) searching of individuals outside the US. One could argue that wiretapping of a foreigner abroad is somewhere between (a) and (b). The problem is obviously that invariably to wiretap a person abroad nearly mandates that the other party *in* the United States be searched too. Otherwise, the foreigner abroad answering in "yes" and "no" would provide no useful information. Well, that obviously degenerates back to the point of having reason to specifically target the person in the US--and as much as we like to pretend otherwise, guilt by association is not enough for a lot of even very lenient courts to grant effectively roaming warrants to whoever said foreigner speaks to.

Well, except that FISA apparently somewhat, sort of allowed such a warrant--which is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment--but then reversed their position (with no effect as they have no teeth) when it was clear it was being abused. Of course before that point, the Fed didn't bother trying to get a warrant. And even after the whole warrantless wiretapping scandal that invoked the Fed to try to get said general warrant--which strikes me as a clear bill of attainder as enacted under the FISA Amendment Act of 2008--and the revocation of said warrant, there's little sign they'll stop. The only thing the Supreme Court ruling against them would do is mean the Executive Branch will just continue to hold indefinitely some people without trial to avoid the invariably dismissal of a court case for lack of admissible evidence.

Hopefully this won't be another case of the Obama administration in effect "taking a dive" to move the law in a direction desired by its more radical members.

When it's considered radical to have a conscience and actually abide by the required rules of disclosure on what all and where all evidence was obtained or that to do so is little more than 'in effect "taking a dive"', I really weep for your actual considerations of what sort of judicial system we should have. But, then, perhaps you'd prefer it if the Obama administration just cut out the middle-man and started summary execution of Tea Party members, Islamic Fundamentalists, and whoever else they don't particularly like? Because it seems clear you have a disdain for the very few people who actually want to follow the law and not hide the wrongdoings of this and previous Administrations who seem to believe their job as Executive Branch is quickly marching to be quite literally the executive branch.

PS - What's with your signature? What are "ordinary opposing views" and how do you begin to define "punish ... in debate"? The former seems loaded to justify your willingness to contradict the latter because you see the opposing view as unordinary, and the latter seems loaded to qualify any strongly worded disagreement as punishment to what you see as your own ordinary opposing views. It would seem clear that your statement is purely subjective, then, which leave it as unproveable.

Re:Let's be clear. (1)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about a year ago | (#45248719)

So if I understand you right, you're saying, regardless of the outcome of a supreme court case involving warrentless wiretaps, they will still be conducted and used to incarcerate people? The Government will simply decline to actually prosecute any of these people, and just hold them without charge indefinitely? Wow.

Is there any winning outcome?

Re:Let's be clear. (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#45248527)

Interestingly the GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 actively and successfully lobbied against admitting their information into courts of law. Not because they thought it improper but rather because they weren't too keen on a parliamentary(and thus public) discussion of how they got their data.

So this might actually be a bit of a blessing since this could stir exactly that kind of public discussion within...
BWAHAHAHAHA!
Sorry, it's awefully hard to finish this sentence with a straight face.

Re:Let's be clear. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248593)

Considering it was a 5-4 decision last time, and the argument used then turns out to be a lie, I suspect/hope that the SCOTUS justices are going to be more than a little bit angry and come down very hard on this nonsense. In fact I am going to predict a unanimous decision this time since the 5 who voted last time have been made to look like morons a year later for not realizing what a slippery slope they were on.

The supreme court is the Constitution (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year ago | (#45248835)

Please, stop regarding the Constitution (of any country) as some sacred document. In every country, including obviously despotic states where the judicial system is staffed by the reigning dictator's stooges, the Constitution is simply what the supreme court of the land says it is. So effectively the Supreme Court IS the constitution. Sure there are violent and non-violent ways to fix the problem, throwing out the government or the simpler political expedient of impeaching and throwing out the recalcitrant justices.

Speaking of sacred texts, even the Bible, Koran, etc are subject to interpretation by whoever preacher/guru/imam you want to listen to. So even those documents are by no means clear as to what they mean.

King (1)

TempleOS (3394245) | about a year ago | (#45248299)

I become king when they learn it's God. Bring it on. I'm impatient.

Patriot Act (5, Insightful)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about a year ago | (#45248311)

Like it or not, the Patriot Act effectively suspended the Constitution. Under the Patriot Act the government basically does as it pleases and they don't even have to tell anybody what they do. It is only because of Edward snowden that we even know about any of this. Will the supremes uphold the constitution? I doubt it. The Global War On Terror isn't over until politicians declare it over. Get some new politicians, and we'll see then.

Re:Patriot Act (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248485)

I assure you that it is legally and logically impossible to suspend the Constitution. Neither government, its laws, or anyone in it has any kind of divine mandate. All authority in this country comes solely from the Constitution.

Re:Patriot Act (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248613)

I assure you that it is legally and logically impossible to suspend the Constitution. Neither government, its laws, or anyone in it has any kind of divine mandate. All authority in this country comes solely from the Constitution.

Keep believing this my friend.

Re:Patriot Act (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45248547)

Remember - we "knew" a lot of what Snowden reported. We just didn't have public awareness. I could search to see when the first post on Slashdot told us about things like Echelon and Carnivore. Those programs have simply evolved and grown over the past two decades, Snowden didn't actually report anything "new". We gave our tacit consent years ago, and the NSA has taken the ball and run with it. Let's be grateful that Snowden managed to wake up some of the masses, but let's not exaggerate what he has done.

Bullshit standings (5, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#45248319)

The US can kill an American [wikipedia.org] and his teenage son, yet no one can challenge the action because they were not directly affected. If all the relatives are taken out in one action, then the US is free and clear.

We can't just protest to have unconstitutional laws removed, we have to prove they were used on us. Simply keep quiet about parallel construction [wikipedia.org] and you're good to go. If the defendant says "yes they did" and the US says "no we didn't", then the constitutionality of the law makes no difference, the US is free and clear.

This thing about not challenging a law because it doesn't affect you is bullshit.

If a law is unconstitutional, then it should be possible to challenge the law on its face.

Re:Bullshit standings (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45248465)

yet no one can challenge the action because they were not directly affected.

Al-Awlaki's father [still alive] and civil rights groups challenged the order in court.

Here We Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248325)

Given that under several Secret Executive Orders Obama Claims Rights to Detain, Torture and Kill any USA Citizen, be it (a human) Congressman, Federal Employee, or Supreme Court Judge, at his lofty discretion, I would say that the Obama Regime is playing with FIRE.

Does Obama WANT to instigate a citizens REVOLT, from ALL of the STATES, and LAY SEIGE on Washington D.C.?

Does Obama THINK that his beloved and succulent Secret Service Personnel armed with 22 caliber pop pistols will quell the revolt?

Obama will not answer.

Why?

Obama sees himself as GOD of the USA and ALL OF EARTH.

Someone, just kill the fuck out of this fucker and leave US alone.

QED

Is it payback time? (1)

WeeBit (961530) | about a year ago | (#45248331)

Must be tough looking at innovation everywhere and not seeing anything exciting come to the court room since the tape recorder. :/

DID YOU CELEBRATE THE END OF THE WAR ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248343)

Just wondering why not !!

The next one is SCHEDULED to be over soon !!

CELEBRATE this time !!

More Snowden ??

The Bush Administrations argument... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248345)

Was that

A> warrantless wiretapping was only being done when it involved one foreign contact on the other end.
B> such wiretapping couldn't be used as evidence in any trial anyway.

Essentially a splitting of hairs but the US citizen be brought up on charges.

This is now turned on its ear - the Obama Administration is saying they can gather evidence on you WITHOUT permission (IE Illegally!) and they can charge you with a crime so long as they inform the accused they gathered such information... Illegally...

WTF has this country come too?!

Re:The Bush Administrations argument... (4, Insightful)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about a year ago | (#45248389)

"WTF has this country come too?!" A coup, basically. By suspending the constitution (Patriot Act) we no longer have rights. Between the Patriot Act and Citizens United we no longer are a constitutional democracy.

Re:The Bush Administrations argument... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248439)

We never were a constitutional democracy. We are (or were) a constitutional republic.

Re:The Bush Administrations argument... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45248575)

AC already stated the obvious - we never were a democracy, constitutional or otherwise. We are a constitutional REPUBLIC. There are some subtle differences between the two. Government seems to like to promote the idea that it is a democratic government, which encourages fools to act in a stupid manner. In a democracy, at least theoretically, the majority rules. In a republic, the majority's voice is easily ignored. With a tyrannical government, no one even listens to the people's voice. We haven't become a tyranny yet, but we are moving in that direction.

Re:The Bush Administrations argument... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248839)

Oh, forfuckssake, do shut up. This tired bit of pedantry born out of Newt Gingrich's ass to deliberately "message" the Republican party as somehow more legitimate doesn't make it past remedial Political Philosophy 095.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_republic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_republican

Re:The Bush Administrations argument... (1)

Zak3056 (69287) | about a year ago | (#45248909)

Between the Patriot Act and Citizens United we no longer are a constitutional democracy.

I am vehemently opposed to the PATRIOT act, but I personally cannot understand the notion that people, when acting together, lose their constitutional rights, and that's exactly what an opposite ruling in Citizens United would have implied.

.

Makes sense... (1)

bwcbwc (601780) | about a year ago | (#45248475)

A lot of times you don't use information you have because it would reveal your methods and sources. But now that a lot of NSA methods and sources are known, they can use the information out in the open like this. Assuming the court accepts it as admissible under rules of evidence.

Federal Prosecutors shall hang (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#45248499)

... hang high during a policy shift.

It's sad, really (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#45248535)

It's sad to see the US turning into a police state. Or perhaps it's too late, that's been done, and they're just dotting the I's and crossing the T's.

If this evidence is deemed acceptable, you can expect the scope of the surveillance to expand dramatically as there is suddenly a reason for tapping the people in-country: prosecution. You can expect widespread surveillance to capture gang bangers, drug dealers, and probably even the guy next door who works "under the table" to avoid paying the IRS.

Modern technology gives the government powers far over and above anything that has ever been available before when it comes to monitoring the population. And not merely monitoring, but controlling. Unlike with television, the "message" you get on the internet can be customized and tailored based on where and how you're surfing from. Newspaper sites have already been doing this for years, tailogring the news based on which nation someone is surfing from.

I must admit I would never have predicted the abuses that I'm seeing happen. There was so much hope for the benefits of the internet when it was starting that no one ever really discussed the potential for abuse. Worse, you can't even try to stop the abuse because if you implement the end-to-end encryption that can prevent it, the government comes down on the companies involved to force them to stop. You're not allowed to maintain your privacy through a service like LavaBit in this new surveillance society.

There was a Sylvester Stallone movie years ago that porttrayed an idyllic society above ground where it was illegal to even swear, and where in-room monitors spat out tickets for such offenses automatically.

Is that where our world is headed? Towards a stale and staid managed society where any crime is a major shock because the people have stopped even thinking about performing criminal acts because they expect to be caught immediately if they try? It sounds like a lifestyle of fear and repression far beyond anything even the Nazis or East Germany ever dreamed of.

I'd say that it all starts with this case, but we all know that's not true. It started years ago, when the surveillance began. This case is merely a continuation of the world government's mission to enslave humanity.

Re:It's sad, really (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | about a year ago | (#45248797)

I've been shouting slippery slope for decades... usually to a chorus of "traitor" and "terrorist sympathizer"

Short Road (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248631)

"The court accepted that logic, voting 5-to-4 to dismiss the case."

The court has 4 idiots on it, and the result almost ended in disaster for citizens who believe in the constitution.

this is actually good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248673)

The supreme court can't rule on the legality of these wiretaps unless they are used in a court case.

Of course, they might be ruled constitutional...

Why even bother having courts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45248779)

Justices do nothing. Judges do nothing. Defense Attorneys do nothing.

Let's just cut the fake crap and put the Honorable Prosecutor on the Bench itself. The Accused shall appear before the Prosecutor to receive Punishment. That's how Justice happens in reality, right?

The only reason the court system still exists is to trick idiots into believing that TV court shows are real.

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