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EFF: US Gov't Bid To Alter Court Record in Jewel v. NSA

timothy posted about a month and a half ago | from the they'll-get-you-next-time dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 78

The EFF is only today able to release details of an attempt by the government to alter the historical record in the case brought by the EFF against the NSA in Jewel v. NSA. "On June 6, the court held a long hearing in Jewel in a crowded, open courtroom, widely covered by the press. We were even on the local TV news on two stations. At the end, the Judge ordered both sides to request a transcript since he ordered us to do additional briefing. But when it was over, the government secretly, and surprisingly sought permission to "remove" classified information from the transcript, and even indicated that it wanted to do so secretly, so the public could never even know that they had done so." As you'd expect of the EFF, they fought back with vigorous objections, and in the end the government did not get its way, instead deciding that it hadn't given away any classified information after all. "The transcript of a court proceeding is the historical record of that event, what will exist and inform the public long after the persons involved are gone. The government's attempt to change this history was unprecedented. We could find no example of where a court had granted such a remedy or even where such a request had been made. This was another example of the government's attempt to shroud in secrecy both its own actions, as well as the challenges to those actions. We are pleased that the record of this attempt is now public. But should the situation recur, we will fight it as hard as we did this time."

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So What's New? (1, Offtopic)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about a month and a half ago | (#47609793)

The Criminals in Congress (TM) have had the ability to retroactively "correct" the Congressional record forever...

Re:So What's New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47609927)

i think you misspelled Champions Of Corruption

Champions of Corruption (-1, Offtopic)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610259)

The Champions of Corruption has a new champion, and it is non other than Obama

You might want to say that I am trolling, but think first ...

Before Obama administration the United States government is not clean, definitely not clean, but at the very least, it didn't dare to alter records or tell lies in congressional hearings so publicly

After Obama takes over the White House whatever that was rotten in the government of United States of America get even more rotten

Nixon was the last rotten POTUS, and the way Obama is operating, he may have already surpassed whatever Nixon had done

Re: So What's New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610753)

No, you misspelled Champtions of Corporations. Same thing really...

Re:So What's New? (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610963)

All this time I was thinking it's "The Just Us League"...

Re:So What's New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47619931)

Champions Of Corruption Keepers or "C.O.C.K." for short.

Re:So What's New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47609969)

So what was the allegedly classified information?
If this is all able to made public now, what specific thing did the government want deleted from the record of what the attorney had said?

Re:So What's New? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610191)

Re"If this is all able to made public now"
The terms used for people and your use of communications??
" ...NSA cycles off through its data deletion policy ...."
"But in the process for technical reasons it was collecting more communications of nontargets."
I would guess at terms surrounding been targeted, that you have to collect all to find a target and then what a gov/mil gets to keep and for how long. If your are a nontarget, your data might get collected but it will not be kept for very long, sort of, maybe if the computer cycle works good?

Re:So What's New? (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610351)

So what was the allegedly classified information?
If this is all able to made public now, what specific thing did the government want deleted from the record of what the attorney had said?

That's classified. :-P

Re:So What's New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610353)

So what was the allegedly classified information? If this is all able to made public now, what specific thing did the government want deleted from the record of what the attorney had said?

Suppose there's an elephant in the room. If I tell you nothing about it either way, you have no way of knowing whether the secret is merely hiding behind the elephant in the room, or if the secret is the elephant in the room. If I yell loudly DON'T LOOK BEHIND THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, I've probably given you a pretty good idea of where I don't want you to look.

Given that NSA didn't get the judge to immediately roll over and corrupt the court record, NSA close, wisely, to keep us guessing on what it may or may not have wanted to redact.

These foolish games (1)

florin (2243) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610451)

are tearing me apart. And breaking my heart.

Duh! (5, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about a month and a half ago | (#47609805)

We could find no example of where a court had granted such a remedy or even where such a request had been made.

Well, duh! Normally our rewriting of history is effective enough that you will not find such records.

Re:Duh! (4, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | about a month and a half ago | (#47609825)

A good judge would take action against the prosecutors for any number of varying reasons, and the one that I would pick would be: vexation.

Re:Duh! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47611625)

How about contempt of court? I mean, it's pretty contemptuous of the Executive Branch to be demanding a subversion of the Justice Branch.

Re:Duh! (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about a month and a half ago | (#47609859)

+1 was their quote intended to be tonge-in-chic?

Re:Duh! (0)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610145)

intended to be tonge-in-chic?

Tongue in cheek.

Again, try to avoid writing things you've never seen written. It frequently makes you look like you're illiterate.

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610459)

I don't know. I'm a big fan of tongue-in-chick, but maybe that's just me.

Re:Duh! (0)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a month and a half ago | (#47611075)

There's a rule of thumb to operate by.

Though some blokes find cunnilingus distasteful,

if you decline to acquiesce, you leave your flank open to another not so beholden.

tongue (0)

frovingslosh (582462) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610513)

I like putting my tongue in chicks.

Re:tongue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610589)

So, how does cloaca taste?

Re:tongue (0)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a month and a half ago | (#47611091)

Like fish.

Re:tongue (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about a month and a half ago | (#47612511)

Tastes like "chicken" McNuggets?

Re:Duh! (2)

dunkindave (1801608) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610095)

While I disagree with what the government tried to do here, if they did get such a change performed, I would expect that its existence is also not publicized, so the EFF not knowing that it has happened is far from proof that it hasn't.

Also, I take exception with the EFF's line "The government's attempt to change this history was unprecedented." The government attempted to censor part of the record, i.e. remove it from the transcript. The way the EFF phrased it makes it sound like they were trying to substitute what was said with things that were not said, which isn't the case (as far as I know, I am a Slashdot reader so haven't read the actual story).

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47612585)

How is a deletion not a change?

Re:Duh! (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610219)

He did not look very far. It has happened at Gitmo.

Re:Duh! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610283)

He did not look very far. It has happened at Gitmo.

I thought the point of Gitmo was to not even go to court, so there are no court transcripts / records to change.

Re:Duh! (2)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610759)

Considering the request to rewrite the record also required the falsification to be secret, how would we know how many times this has been done in the past. We only know that this is the first time such a request has been rejected. I personally suspect it might only have been rejected because of the large number of witnesses of the original hearing.

POTUS Obama's hand is in the cookie jar...Again (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47609837)

Obama's Regime does this grab and release with information on a regular basis.
How many other times does this Administration get away with suddenly classifying information and then lose in court. And, just as suddenly, the information actually contains no classified information.

Re:POTUS Obama's hand is in the cookie jar...Again (4, Interesting)

Smallpond (221300) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610617)

My favorite example of government overreach was:

"The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect 'domestic security.' Given the difficulty of defining the domestic security interest, the danger of abuse in acting to protect that interest becomes apparent."
    -- Redacted from a US Supreme Court document by the Ashcroft
          Justice Department in the name of national security.

POTUS Obama's hand is in the cookie jar...Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47612339)

Change you can believe in, lol.

POTUS Obama's hand is in the cookie jar...Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47614025)

Fuck off you partisan hack! This is a simple case of classified information being disclosed by accident, and the attempt to limit the disclosure is now being overblown by the EFF to further their own grandstanding.

Looking to score some liver pills (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47609871)

anyone? Prefer Doan's but will accept little Carter's.

1984 (5, Insightful)

Bodhammer (559311) | about a month and a half ago | (#47609875)

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. "Reality control," they called it: in Newspeak, "doublethink."

1984 - George Orwell

Re:1984 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610039)

That would of course hint that before you get to 1984 that Fahrenheit 451 will be required. After all, digital documents served on demand are much more believeable if those pesky paper documents, with potentially contrary evidence aren't stored somewhere.

We are at war with ($1) we have always been at war with ($1).

Now you know more about why the government is so eager to help copyright move to just allowing the public a short term lease when they make a purchase. Watch it become a requirement where your computer has to make sure that every document you open is currently licensed for your use before opening though it may need updating before you can open it.

Political Correctness
Scientific Correctness
ETC?

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47611391)

Political Correctness
Scientific Correctness
ETC?

Electro-Tactile Correctness?
Engineering / Technical Correctness?

i give. what is it?

i was once told that etc was pronounced "end tso on." just that someone left out a bit of the o. leaving out a bit of a letter was how they wrote in old timey.

Re:1984 (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610041)

The cautionary tale has turned into a tragedy.

Re:1984 (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610609)

The cautionary tale has turned into a tragedy.

Don't worry.

Comedy is tragedy plus time. - Various [quoteinvestigator.com]

Re:1984 (1)

Enigma2175 (179646) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610757)

The cautionary tale has turned into a tragedy.

Don't worry.

Comedy is tragedy plus time. - Various [quoteinvestigator.com]

Somehow it doesn't console me that future generations will be laughing at us,

Re:1984 (1)

jamiesan (715069) | about a month and a half ago | (#47613321)

But they are all blood. Blood is compulsory.

Re:1984 (1)

houghi (78078) | about a month and a half ago | (#47615403)

Darn. If I had modpoints, I would have modded you troll, so nobody would read it and history would have changed.

BTW: We have always been at war against drugs.

Give this government MORE POWER AND MONEY!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47609951)

I wonder how many people who find this behavior appalling want to give the government that behaves this way even more money and power?

HOW THE HELL DO YOU THINK THEY GOT THE POWER AND RESOURCES TO BEHAVE LIKE THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!?

Re:Give this government MORE POWER AND MONEY!!! (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a month and a half ago | (#47611511)

I wonder how many people who find this behavior appalling want to give the government that behaves this way even more money and power?

HOW THE HELL DO YOU THINK THEY GOT THE POWER AND RESOURCES TO BEHAVE LIKE THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!?

Selling drugs and weapons has been one popular way for government to raise money to behave this way. To think that cutting out the money to government would stop them shows a lack of knowledge of how these things work, the 3 letter agencies will be the last to get defunded and they're the best at self-funding

Put your money where your mouth is (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47609991)

Contribute to EFF - they get results!

https://supporters.eff.org/donate

No precedent? (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610003)

Sure there is! [umn.edu]

Doublethink (2)

infolation (840436) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610005)

As with the other Ministries in the novel, the Ministry of Truth is a misnomer and in reality serves the opposite of its purported namesake: it is responsible for any necessary falsification of historical events. In another sense, and in keeping with the concept of doublethink, the ministry is aptly named, in that it creates/manufactures "truth" in the Newspeak sense of the word. The book describes a willful fooling of posterity using doctored historical archives to show a government-approved version of events.

Am I living in the real world, or a book?

Re:Doublethink (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610063)

Am I living in the real world, or a book?

They are one and same. The fact you seem to think there is a difference means that the ministry of love will want to see you in Room 101 soon to get your head straight. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Re:Doublethink (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610423)

2+2=5. If you don't agree, please report to Room 101.

Re:Doublethink (1)

anmre (2956771) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610343)

You need look no further than the Congress/POTUS stealth repealing of the 2012 STOCK Act [npr.org] to know exactly who and what we are dealing with here. We live in a land where "good" laws are fabricated during election years and silently shit-canned once the voters have been duped.

Gone down the tubes. (2)

dccase (56453) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610065)

Back when America was a great country no witnesses would have survived to testify.

Soviet Russia and North Korea combined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610069)

It is disgusting what regime does to this country.

One way mirror (4, Insightful)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610097)

The end game of NSA is a perfect one-way mirror: They have all information about your activities, and you have zero information about their activities.

Note that this is the opposite of what the American public needs to make an informed decision during elections.

Re:One way mirror (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610183)

But you see, they're doing it to protect us. It's for our own good, because there are terrorists and spies and evil people all around us and we need a powerful governmental agency to make sure we are kept safe. We need to trust their judgment precisely because they know everything and we know nothing. We don't know if some sleeper cell member in the US is going to shove a butt plug made of C4 up his ass, walk into the nearest Walmart, and self-detonate. The NSA does, though! If you have nothing to hide, why would you be so upset if the NSA watches what you do? Surely it is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the NSA will have discovered the electronic trail of evidence where some guy with a Middle Eastern-sounding name bought some lube and a copy of "Anal Pleasure and Health" four months after the explosion kills four unwashed morbidly obese women wearing some variation on neon spandex tights, and an undocumented immigrant worker.

Re:One way mirror (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610385)

Ignorance is Strength.
War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.

The Ministry of Truth watches everything you do. Please report to room 101 at the Ministry of Love for your reconditioning.

Re:One way mirror (2)

dryeo (100693) | about a month and a half ago | (#47611527)

No government wants an informed public, especially during elections.

Re:One way mirror (3, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about a month and a half ago | (#47612127)

If you believe that elections actually matter at all, I am sorry to inform you that you are seriously deluded. Corporations write the laws, Corporations have their lobbyists give the law to their pet Congressman, Congressman gets kickbacks and hot insider trading tips. You, the "pleeb taxpayer" get fucked in the ass. It doesn't matter who you vote for, blue or red, it's all just a shell game for the people with the real power.

TFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610105)

TFA describes the government hack as an exploit of the particular version of Firefox contained in the TOR Browser Bundle and targeted at Windows.

Am I correct in that Linux-based TOR browsing should be secure from this as well as TOR browsing using TAILS?

WELLLLLlllll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610239)

Just goes to show what happens when you let a god damn bunch of white niggers run your intelligence organizations.

Fuck niggers.

I don't get it... (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610251)

I read...
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/... [eff.org] ...and it reads to me like.

USG apparently says something in open court they shouldn't have said.
USG makes an overly broad request to remove all record of the event.
Judge shares that info.
Defense argues that, at best, it should be redacted.
Judge seems to agree, asks for details.
USG says, "Meh, I guess it's OK."
Everyone goes home happy.

Meh.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47615129)

I read...
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/... [eff.org] ...and it reads to me like.

USG apparently says something in open court they shouldn't have said.
USG makes an overly broad request to remove all record of the event.
Judge shares that info.
Defense argues that, at best, it should be redacted.
Judge seems to agree, asks for details.
USG says, "Meh, I guess it's OK."
Everyone goes home happy.

Meh.

So if the judge agreed with the USG's request, wouldn't this be a great cover story?

Positive news (2)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610299)

The NSA is not above the local law. Now ask yourself, who's running the country really, nut cases
like the Clap and the Xander and their cheerleaders, or you, the one carrying the vote and the pitchfork.

Re:Positive news (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610629)

The NSA is not above the local law.

That's like saying sex doesn't make babies because there was that one time in college where you did it without a condom and she didn't get pregnant.

Re:Positive news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47611555)

More like the NSA is claiming that she didn't say no so it was totally consensual.
Roofies make a yes.

Re:Positive news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610689)

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country
    -- Kurt Vonnegut

Re:Positive news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47612577)

Wait, the NSA is above local law. Local law is trumped by State Law which is itself trumped by Federal Law. Since the NSA is a entity of the Federal Government, it therefore has no need to pay attention to petty local or state laws.

Re:Positive news (1)

buck-yar (164658) | about a month and a half ago | (#47612621)

While that is true, the federal govt doesn't have police powers beyond regulating commerce among the states. General police powers are left to the state. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org]

But NSA doesn't seem to abide by any law, according to this reddit article, they ran a child porn server for quite some time, to catch pedophiles. http://www.reddit.com/r/TOR/co... [reddit.com]

attempt to change this history was unprecedented? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47610447)

And if it had been done before how would you know? YOU DON'T!!!!

Thank the judge for following the law and the Constitution rather than political party lines!

$$$ is the most sincere form of appreciation (1)

endoboy (560088) | about a month and a half ago | (#47610907)

EFF is doing great work, send them some money!

Explains the leakers (1)

surfdaddy (930829) | about a month and a half ago | (#47611453)

First Snowden and now another leaker in the government. It's shit like THIS STORY which is why Americans are trying to rally and SAVE THIS COUNTRY. WHAT THE FUCK HAS HAPPENED TO THE USA AND THE CONSTITUTION?

Enemy Within (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47611597)

Terrorists? TERRORISTS are our enemy?! You guys could have fooled me, it sure as shit doesn't look like it to me.

Government is too small. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47611619)

I think it should be bigger.

Who is "the government" ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47611731)

Which party or parties are being referred to by this article when it says "The Court allowed the government a first look at the transcript..." and "...the government wrote a letter..." et cetera. Was it "The Government" or the director of the NSA? Was it "The Government" or The President of the United States of America? Was it "The Government" or someone from the DoD. Was it Congress? The Senate? We the people?

Re:Who is "the government" ? (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about a month and a half ago | (#47615407)

The Government refers to one of the sides of the case Jewell v. NSA ( http://www.uscourts.gov/Multim... [uscourts.gov] ). The plaintiffs (Jewell et al. as representatives for all US citizens unlawfully spied on) allege that the US Government as a whole by means of their Terrorist Surveillance Program, operated by the NSA and other agencies, violated the Constitution. As a practical matter, "The Government" here are the lawyers representing the US Government, likely from the Justice Department, and whoever else in the Executive branch assigned to work on and review the case.

Gallon of Kerosene and Igniter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47611811)

In a packed Court room a gallon of kerosene and igniter works wonders.

The Judge and all would have been consumed in the fire.

The FBI could then go around and remove teeth from the dead.

In the end, just a charred room with 100 or so corpses and no identification and no records.

This is the Obama way and it is coming to You !

Most transparent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47612827)

But BHO's administration was going to be the most transparent in history. You guys should be cheering him on as he's the 'cool' President/dictator.

Different Agenda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47613035)

Perhaps they [US Gov't] had a different agenda than having the information redacted, perhaps the request was submitted with the understanding that it would be rejected, by rejecting a request which was meant to be rejected it gives the perception to onlookers that the opposition had power and the Judicial System does uphold the law.

Jewel vs NSA? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a month and a half ago | (#47614149)

And I thought she was just a has been singer? Who knew?

Re:Jewel vs NSA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47626999)

Living in Chicago, I read it very differently...I was confused for more than a few seconds.

Jewel [wikipedia.org]

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