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Part of Patriot Act Ruled Unconstitutional

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the much-controversy dept.

The Courts 661

Adam9 writes "According to Yahoo/AP, a federal judge has declared unconstitutional a portion of the USA Patriot Act that bars giving expert advice or assistance to groups designated foreign terrorist organizations. The ruling marks the first court decision to declare a part of the post-Sept. 11 anti-terrorism statute unconstitutional, said David Cole, a Georgetown University law professor who argued the case on behalf of the Humanitarian Law Project."

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Important announcement! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093481)

THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED BY NINJAS.
l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l
ARE YOU A BAD ENOUGH DUDE TO RESCUE THE PRESIDENT?
l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l

hmmmmmmmmmm (-1, Offtopic)

squarefish (561836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093513)

someone needs to rescue the economy

Re:hmmmmmmmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093634)

That someone is YOU, at the next presidential elections!

(You can impeech anytime you want to, starting now).

First Ninnle post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093672)

Ninnle, Ninnle, Ninnle, Ninnle -
Ninnle, Ninnle, Ninnle, Ninnle -

BATMAN!

Re:First Ninnle post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093749)

Man, Nine Inch Nails R|_||_3Z0Rs!!!
But who is this BATMAN of whom you speak?

And??? (5, Interesting)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093482)

Cole declared the ruling "a victory for everyone who believes the war on terrorism ought to be fought consistent with constitutional principles."

It's great that this is the first blow towards stamping out parts of the Patriot Act, but it's not winning the whole war.

I hope that Maher Arar [sfgate.com] sues the pants off of the US Government. To quote the article:

The Syrians locked Arar in an underground cell the size of a grave: 3 feet wide, 6 feet long, 7 feet high. Then they questioned him, under torture, repeatedly, for 10 months.

I hope that this man gets compensation for what he had to endure. I'm crossing my fingers that in the process of him doing so that most of these police-state laws that have gone into effect go the way of the dinosaur.

This isn't 1943 [utah.edu] , and this isn't 1984 [online-literature.com] . The law should reflect that.

Re:And??? (5, Interesting)

neilcSD (743335) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093550)

I think it's a good thing that this has happened. After all, if we allow terrorists to change our society in a significant way (i.e., turning the United States into a police state), then they have, in a way, won. However, I am not against giving up some personal freedom to make sure that our nation as a whole survives and hunts these fuggers down - When you want to catch a wolf, do you send a sheep? No, you send another wolf. However, they need to make DAMN sure they don't persecute the innocent.

Re:And??? (5, Interesting)

Selecter (677480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093680)

Yeah, that was a shitty deal for Mr. Ahar, who has never been charged with any crime ( at least in a non-kangaroo court fashion. )

BTW, The RCMP ( the Mounties ) just searched a reporters notes, computer, sources for the Toronto Star for information about his case.

From the Star:

Prime Minister Paul Martin has blasted the RCMP for raiding an Ottawa journalist's house in search of leaked information in the case of a Syrian-born Canadian who was detained by the Americans and later deported to Syria. Martin says the RCMP's focus should be on who leaked the information, not who reported it.

They have a Canadian version of the Patriot Act, you see.

Re:And??? (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093713)

A just ending would be for the feds who decided his fate to be arrested and convicted for treason. And of course for Arar to get more more money than he could ever spend.

So what? (1)

sadomikeyism (677964) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093800)

I seem to recall that the Constitution says something about it being illegal to "give aid and comfort to the enemy". Doesn't say whether said aid and comfort actually has to be about waging violence or just planning the catering for a fundraiser. "Oh, I was just advising them on proper placement of canapes and other horses ovaries, ah don't do that violence stuff..." said the hostess who planned the fundraiser to buy the Zyklon-B for the Keep the Kitch und Kinder Kleen Kommittee.

I'll also note that the court involved is the relatively insane 9th circuit court, which has an extremely poor record at having its rulings upheld by the SCOTUS.

HOY GOYS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093484)


FP brought to you by T4C

Re:HOY GOYS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093506)

Sorry, but YOU FAIL IT!!!11!! OMG WTF LOL!!!!

The real first post was brought by yours truly, in memory of one JS. May the D'ni look kindly upon his soul.

THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED BY NINJAS.

Re:HOY GOYS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093507)

I FAILS IT
SHAME ON ME

Patriot Act is Unpatriotic (5, Funny)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093486)

News at 10.

Re:Patriot Act is Unpatriotic (2, Insightful)

pheared (446683) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093525)

Unfortunately Bush 2 would have you believe that it is Congress' duty to "act now" to keep the PATRIOT ACT in effect. Thinking otherwise would be unpatriotic. Terrorist.

Re:Patriot Act is Unpatriotic (1)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093581)

"I'm a terrorist, and proud of it." Or so they say.

What The World Has Been Waiting For (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093491)

...has declared unconstitutional a portion of the USA Patriot Act that bars giving expert advice or assistance to groups designated foreign terrorist organizations.

Finally, I'm freed to give this advise!

"Darl, what you are doing is wrong, stop it."

Maybe now he'll listen.

A Small Victory (5, Interesting)

andyrut (300890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093492)

It's awesome that the Supreme Court has finally examined and ruled this part of the Patriot Act unconstitutional. However, this particular section of PATRIOT is only the tip of the iceberg that denies constitutional rights to individuals.

What Slashdot readers and other techies should be particularly concerned with is that, under the Patriot Act, the definition of terrorism now encompasses many computer crimes which have nothing to do with terrorism. Deface a web site? You're a terrorist. It also allows wiretaps and other intrusions without the hard-nosed rules that usually come with warrants, as long as it's placed under the crime of terrorism -- which now includes even minor computer crimes. The EFF has posted its detailed analysis of the Patriot Act, and how it affects people concerned with electronic freedoms here [eff.org] .

While this is a minor victory, hopefully this is the first of many parts ruled unconstitutional.

NOT the USSC! (5, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093528)

It wasn't the USSC, it was a Federal District judge.

Re:NOT the USSC! (1)

andyrut (300890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093598)

Narf. :)

Re:A Small Victory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093536)

> It's awesome that the Supreme Court has finally examined and ruled ...

Nope. Read the article. It was a district court.

I doubt the DOJ would be insane enough to appeal, but you never know...

Re:A Small Victory (4, Informative)

acroyear (5882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093600)

As far as i know, unless there are political reasons to not do it, like their boss (i.e., Ashcroft) says don't do it, they have no choice BUT to appeal.

It is the policy of the Justice Department to support the implementation and preservation of all laws in the book. If an appeal rules one defunct, then they must appeal to preserve it until told its "not a priority".

Trust me, to Ashcroft and Ridge, Patriot IS a priority.

Re:A Small Victory (1)

valkraider (611225) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093588)

Some /lawyer will correct me if I am wrong, but this process could take a while.

It would be nice if the Supreme court could just say - "that thing bites"*, and get rid of it all. But AFAIK IANAL - they only look at the things that have been challenged and the challenges made all the way to the Supreme Court...

*paraphrasing

Re:A Small Victory (1)

spells (203251) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093651)

I'm pretty sure if you don't know if you're a lawyer, you're not a lawyer ;)

i think you'd know (1)

my sig is bigger tha (682562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093661)

if you were a lawyer or not...

Moderators: parent not insightful (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093619)

This was a low court ruling, not the US Supreme Court. The ruling can be appealed by the US government.

Re:A Small Victory (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093626)

And to name it "PATRIOT" is among the worst cases of Newspeak I've seen in quite some time. I can't believe how they even dared to give it such an ironic name.

Re:A Small Victory (5, Insightful)

0WaitState (231806) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093719)

It was the 9th Circuit Federal court, who usually do the right thing and then get overturned on appeal by Scalia and the Supremes. So, this is about as effective as singing folk songs and waving placards in the designated "protest" space at least one mile distant from wherever Bush is fundraising today.

Meanwhile, the much-worse provisions of Patriot II were tucked into the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress last week. So, if you want to make a difference, call up your congresscritter and mention how relieved you are at this temporary reversal of Patriot I and how you really don't want to see more of these unamerican laws passed. You could also donate money or time to interest groups: EFF, EPIC, ACLU, whoever's most likely to throw Bush/Ashcroft/Cheney out of office, etc.

Re:A Small Victory (1)

ChanxOT5 (542547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093736)

while(1) { new int; } Simple core dump in *nix. Brings Windows to its knees.

Actually, it brings linux to its knees too, unless you place ulimits. Memory exhaustion pure and simple. Core dump isn't the right behaviour.

EFF Patriot Act Analysis (5, Informative)

Eyah....TIMMY (642050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093497)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation made a very good speech last year at DefCon about the dangers of the Patriot Act.
They have an analysis [eff.org] on their site about the Patriot Act and what it means for us.
Here's also another article [eff.org] about why we should be concerned about it.

First Armin Meiwes Post! (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093604)

I regret nothing!

For the Dean Supporters. (1, Offtopic)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093500)

What do you think of this? He want to put readers in all computers that you have to login to with your goverment issued ID before you can get on the net.

http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1107_2-5147158.html

COMMENTARY--After Howard Dean's unexpected defeat last week in Iowa, public attention has focused on his temper, his character, and that guttural Tyrannosaurus bellow of his not-quite-a-concession speech. But Dean's views on Americans' privacy rights may be a superior test of his fitness to be president.

Dean's current stand on privacy appears to leave little wiggle room: His campaign platform pledges unwavering support for "the constitutional principles of equality, liberty and privacy."

Fifteen months before Dean said he would seek the presidency, however, the former Vermont governor spoke at a conference in Pittsburgh co-sponsored by smart-card firm Wave Systems where he called for state drivers' licenses to be transformed into a kind of standardized national ID card for Americans. Embedding smart cards into uniform IDs was necessary to thwart "cyberterrorism" and identity theft, Dean claimed. "We must move to smarter license cards that carry secure digital information that can be universally read at vital checkpoints," Dean said in March 2002, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. "Issuing such a card would have little effect on the privacy of Americans."

Dean also suggested that computer makers such as Apple Computer, Dell, Gateway and Sony should be required to include an ID card reader in PCs--and Americans would have to insert their uniform IDs into the reader before they could log on. "One state's smart-card driver's license must be identifiable by another state's card reader," Dean said. "It must also be easily commercialized by the private sector and included in all PCs over time--making the Internet safer and more secure."

The presidential hopeful offered few details about his radical proposal. "On the Internet, this card will confirm all the information required to gain access to a state (government) network--while also barring anyone who isn't legal age from entering an adult chat room, making the Internet safer for our children, or prevent adults from entering a children's chat room and preying on our kids...Many new computer systems are being created with card reader technology. Older computers can add this feature for very little money," Dean said.

There's probably a good reason why Dean spoke so vaguely: It's unclear how such a system would work in practice. Must Internet cafes include uniform ID card readers on public computers? Would existing computers have to be retrofitted? Would tourists be prohibited from bringing laptops unless they sported uniform ID readers? What about Unix shell accounts? How did a politician who is said to be Internet-savvy concoct this scheme?

Perhaps most importantly, does Dean still want to forcibly implant all of our computers with uniform ID readers?

Unfortunately, Dean's presidential campaign won't answer any of those questions. I've tried six times since Jan. 16 to get a response, and all the press office will say is they've "forwarded it on to our policy folks." And the policy shop isn't talking.

Then there are the privacy questions. To curry favor among the progressive types who form the backbone of his campaign, Dean has positioned himself as a left-of-center civil libertarian. He's guest-blogged for progressive doyen Larry Lessig, embraced the Brady Bill and affirmative action, told audiences on the campaign trail that the Bush administration has "compromised our freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism," and pledged to repeal parts of the USA Patriot Act.

It's difficult to reconcile Dean's current statements with his recent support--less than two years ago--for what amounts to a national ID card and a likely reduction in Americans' privacy. "Privacy is the new urban myth," Dean said in that March 2002 speech.

"I know of no other Democratic candidate who has this view on national ID," said Chris Hoofnagle, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "I hope that he'd reconsider his policy on national ID because it has significant affects on individuals' right to privacy and does not make the country more secure. If you think about it, the implication is that children would have to be issued cards as well. Are we talking about ID cards from birth?"

Dean's March 2002 speech to a workshop at Carnegie Mellon University--given just six months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks--was designed to throw his support behind a standard ID proposal backed by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). At the time, Dean was chairman of the National Governors Association, a key ally for the AAMVA as it lobbied to transform the humble state driver's license into a uniform national ID card.

"I'm not surprised," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the technology and liberty program at the American Civil Liberties Union and a former Vermont resident. "It's a backdoor national ID. It won't even work to protect against terrorism because we know that some of the 9-11 terrorists had phony driver's licenses that they were able to buy on the black market."

It's true that most American adults already carry around driver's licenses. But the AAMVA proposal would have mandated biometric identifiers such as digitized fingerprints or retinal scans. Depending on how the system was implemented, your license could be equipped with a smart card (which Dean suggested) that could store information about your movements whenever it was swiped in a reader. It could also be tied to a back-end database so all verifications would be logged with the time, date and location.

The idea never gained traction in Congress because of privacy concerns and opposition not only from conservative activists, but from Democratic-leaning groups including People for the American Way, National Consumers League, and National Council of La Raza.

One prominent group that did support a standardized ID at the time is the New Democrats' public policy wing, which has suggested that microchip-implanted smart cards could hold not only retinal scans or fingerprints but also "food stamps, voter registration, library cards, hunting and fishing licenses" and a wealth of corporate data like E-Z-Pass, gas station automatic billing, and banking information. In one of history's ironic flourishes, Dean lashed out at the New Democrats last month in Exeter, N.H., dubbing them "the Republican wing of the Democratic Party."

It's possible that Dean has a good explanation for his uniform ID card views, and can account for how his principles apparently changed so radically over the course of just two years. Perhaps he can't. But a refusal to answer difficult questions is not an attractive quality in a man who would be president.

biography
Declan McCullagh is CNET News.com's Washington, D.C., correspondent. He chronicles the busy intersection between technology and politics. Before that, he worked for several years as Washington bureau chief for Wired News. He has also worked as a reporter for The Netly News, Time magazine and HotWired.

Re:For the Dean Supporters. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093576)

Oh, great, so when you lose your driver's license, you will no longer exist as a person. Glad I'm voting for Edwards . . .

Re:For the Dean Supporters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093682)

ditto. I'm voting for Kerry.

Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093591)

To make an undernet then. Will be redundant, unlike the DARPAnet.

Re:For the Dean Supporters. (3, Insightful)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093746)

I try not to trust Declan's relatively yellow journalism any farther than I can throw it, but assuming his article IS accurate, it's entirely possible that Dean's views have changed in the last two years. Keep in mind that he's referring to a speech Dean made in March of 2002.

This isn't to say that Dean HAS changed his views, but when someone quotes a two-year-old speech as evidence of a person's current views, I get a little suspicious. Hasn't Dean said anything about this idea since then?

Re:For the Dean Supporters. (2, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093771)

<sarcasm>But how can this be? He's a Democrat!</sarcasm>

I say this only halfway in jest. Mention the President and you'll get a score of rants explaining in rabid detail why he's the second coming of Joe McCarthy, but worse. Listen, Slashdotters, and listen carefully: neither party has a monopoly on boneheads. If you hate one of them because you think they love everything you detest, you'd better darn well make sure your own guys aren't rooting for the same thing.

Re:For the Dean Supporters. (2, Insightful)

scmason (574559) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093777)


Though I remain an ardent supporter, Dr dean poses an ineffective solution. Families and villages have been raising children for many of thousands of years without 'enforcement by governing bodies' and it works out fine. We have progressed and evolved under this non-zero summed game. It is the natural way of things to take care of themselves.

I repeat, we have made near constant progress. Why do we suddenly feel that government must be responsible for keeping our youth off of porn? It does not make sense.

But as I implied, we are all human and we all progress together. Howard Dean is no different. I have had views as my past self that my present self does not agree with. I suspect that the same is true with Dr Dean.

This should be posted on it own headline.

Meanwhile, Howard Dean wants to ID you (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093514)

Howard Dean wants a federally mandated identification chip [com.com] (linked to your state id) and id readers in EVERY computer. You'd even need it to access the internet, with limits on your access based on your information! Talk about big brother.

Re:Meanwhile, Howard Dean wants to ID you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093538)

In related news, CmdrTaco wants a federally mandated identification chip linked to your Slashdot id.

Re:Meanwhile, Howard Dean wants to ID you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093696)


It looks like he has failed it already. Too bad somebody can't hit him with the question about that at one of his debates/town hall meetings.

Howard Dean isn't a complete liberal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093786)

He's quite a character; it's hard to pin down what he stands for and what his positions are on stuff, becuase he's all over the place. I think he's done a great job of generating support, but it'll be interesting to see if he tries to define himself as something concrete. I feel without that real definition, he will be lost.


Also, I feel that regardless of the merits of Dean's plan, restrictions on the internet will eventually be placed on the internet by our Republican congress, as it is in their best interest to do so (Imagine the money it would make corporations and private sector groups! Talk about a money pit...)


Anyway, I think Howard is trying to appeal to those who feel he isn't tough on security, and having government mandated IDs WOULD be a way of decreasing spam/viruses etc... It's just not a very good way.

This was a no-brainer (4, Insightful)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093532)

Basically they wanted to advise a group of people on how to peacefully resolve a dispute.

This was a case of a super-vague law that prohibits someone from engaging in speech that basically no ordinary person would even find to be controversial speech. I'm surprised that the DOJ even threatened them with enforcement of this in this case. It should have been obvious to them that pursuing some white hat like this would just bust their pet law.

Sweet! (5, Funny)

scosol (127202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093539)

Does this mean I can smoke weed again without supporting terrorists?!?!?!? :P

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093726)

Does this mean I can smoke weed again without supporting terrorists?!?!?!? :P

It's worse than that, every time you light up, you support California!

The part of Act that's unconstitutional (3, Insightful)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093543)

Is the part that starts right after the title and continues to the end.

There is nothing patriotic about it if you have any love of liberty or freedom.

Re:The part of Act that's unconstitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093665)

You mean the misleading title is ok?

Re:The part of Act that's unconstitutional (1)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093724)

If misleading was unconsitutional, Madison Avenue would have been up against the wall decades ago.

Re:The part of Act that's unconstitutional (2, Insightful)

CrayzyJ (222675) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093762)

I love liberty and freedom. Unfortunately, they were used as tools by terrorists.

phew.... (5, Funny)

andy55 (743992) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093544)

a federal judge has declared unconstitutional a portion of the USA Patriot Act that bars giving expert advice or assistance to groups designated foreign terrorist organizations.

phew... now I can safely continue to consult for microsoft...

More to come (1)

IchBinDasWalross (720916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093545)

If someone can rule it unconstitutional and not be labeled a terrorist, then more rulings against this are in the future.

unconstitutional maybe, but... (2, Interesting)

donutz (195717) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093549)

It just seems to me that it's bad policy on a person's or organization's part to lend support to groups that are engaged in terrorist activities. How can you truly know if you're being a good humanitarian, and helping out those who are being repressed within the terrorist group, or if you're just furthering their goals by helping out people within their group?

Re:unconstitutional maybe, but... (3, Insightful)

jfholcomb (60309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093648)

Yeah that is the argument however if you look at the "new" definition of terrorism...."any person or group that seeks to question the US government" something like that. Well dont we as citizens have the DUTY to keep our government in check? How is that going to happen with this law on the books. Worrysome and knee-jerk from our leaders in washington. they seem to have done it just so they can say look at what we did we are trying to protect you and the CHILDREN. Bah

Re:unconstitutional maybe, but... (5, Insightful)

gerardrj (207690) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093670)

Define Terrorist.

There's not really a good way to define it that doesn't lump US in that category.
For those that say "you just know", that's not good enough.

Re:unconstitutional maybe, but... (5, Insightful)

ChrisKnight (16039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093703)

> It just seems to me that it's bad policy on a
> person's or organization's part to lend support to
> groups that are engaged in terrorist activities.

Do the words "Innocent until proven guilty" mean anything to you?

-Chris

Re:unconstitutional maybe, but... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093711)

They don't have to be terrorists, just declared terrorists by the US government. And what, exactly, is a terrorist? Would the US founding fathers be considered terrorists today? Seriously... think about it. The word terrorism is used to put many people in the same group, not just suicide bombers and airplane hijackers.

The problem of fighting violence with violence (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093552)

is that you become that which you fight against. Isn't it ironic, that if these terrorists really do hate our 'Freedom,' that is precisely what we are giving up to fight them? Sounds like they win, in that case.

Re:The problem of fighting violence with violence (1)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093708)

Someone here on /. has an apropos sig:

"If we must become evil to fight evil, why fight it?"

YES!! (5, Insightful)

Irvu (248207) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093561)

Seriously, a ruling of this type not only rectifies a bad law but serves to remind people that bad laws can be changed. Lord knows I needed some good news like that.

It's unbelievable... (4, Insightful)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093566)

Cole declared the ruling "a victory for everyone who believes the war on terrorism ought to be fought consistent with constitutional principles."

It's unbelievable that we have an attorney general that this concept eludes entirely. No wonder he lost an election to a dead guy before dubya found him.

Remember, when you vote for Bush, you're voting for the "package" deal.

Re:It's unbelievable... (0, Flamebait)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093721)

Yes, far inferior to an attorney general who actively seeks out and kills American citizens, but that could never happen. Could it?

Oh wait, it did. And we know how that re-election bid went.

As soon as a candidate better than W comes forward I will consider them, but the clowns the Dems are producing this year don't leave much choice. But then, Im in California so I'll probably do what I do every election (since the state only elects Democrats or actors) and vote for the third party candidate most likely to attract 5% of the vote.

Yay! (5, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093571)

I'm glad it's that part, and not the part that says the PATRIOT Act will expire. It'd suck if that part got ruled unconstitutional.

Major Victory (5, Insightful)

zelurxunil (710061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093584)

"a victory for everyone who believes the war on terrorism ought to be fought consistent with constitutional principles."

I'd merely like to point out that this "Part" of the Patriot act is just that, a part of it. This still isn't dealing with any of the true hard issues, such as eavesdropping without a warrant/court order, forcing libraries disclosure of a persons activities, and so on. This is not trully a victory for anyone who really cares about Pravacy, or rather "Your Rights Online." Merely a victory for everyone trying to take a quick shot at this administration.

Just the start (5, Insightful)

Neppy (673459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093586)

Immediately after 9/11 opposition to just about anything labeled "anti terrorism" was practically nil. Only now are common citizens who have been in the dark starting to realize that not everything being sold under the label is really good for them. Court decisions are just the beginning; hopefully the taboo of challenging anti terrorism measures wears off for politicians and the public too. If the general public was aware of what is really in PATRIOT the pressure for politicians to repeal it would be pretty huge.

Thank you, Lord! (1, Insightful)

DrWho520 (655973) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093599)

YES, YES, YES, YES, YES! Mod me down if you must, but I cannot contain the joy I felt when reading this. It pained me to see people sacrificing freedoms for security but it thrills me to see people who are truly brave fighting to protect what is truly precious about the United States. I may be frightened at the possibility of dying, but I will die first before I relinquish my freedoms for the sake of "security." The Patriot Act was a step towards victory...their victory. All they wish is to destroy our way of life. How sinister a plan is it to frighten us into destroying it ourselves? Not today. Not while I still breathe. Not while people are willing to fight.

Phew (2, Funny)

Malicious (567158) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093606)

Librarians around the United States, heaved a sigh of relief.

MOD THIS UP #@ +5, PATRIOTic @# (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093607)

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

All americans are now terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093616)

otherwise why is it now legal for the feds to search through your post mail?

Where's the ACLU? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093618)

said David Cole, a Georgetown University law professor who argued the case on behalf of the Humanitarian Law Project.

Does anyone care to say why the ACLU (apparently) wasn't fighting this case? Things like the patriot act are why they are recieving more donations than ever (from people like myself), and now they don't even appear to be involved? Gah!

<RANT>
Glad to know my money isn't being wasted on those pesky civil rights, so it can be spent where it's really needed; making sure it's legal to secretly kill babies, and leagl for homosexuals to get married.

Re:Where's the ACLU? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093737)

Does anyone care to say why the ACLU (apparently) wasn't fighting this case?

They're too busy fighting [mergemag.org] for the rights of grown men who rape young boys

Just the beginning (2, Insightful)

SenorFluffyPants (714110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093632)

A lot of people are saying that this is only a small part, that we should not get excited about the ruling. It seems to me that this is one of the first ones to face the scrutiny of a federal appeals court and, if so, that this is a good sign that other sections of the act will be similarly stricken down.

Even with the Supreme Court we have now, one would expect most of the act to end up in the dumpster once it has to face any kind of scrutiny in a court of law.

Against the Patriot Act?? UnAmerican? (1)

rjelks (635588) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093633)

I was happy when I read the headline. I've been against the Patriot Act since it was first mentioned on EFF.org. After reading the story, it looks like only a minor section of the Patriot Act was ruled on, and it was only decided on by a district court. I'm no law expert, but it seems like cases like these get turned over in the Supreme Court all of the time. I hope that this trend will continue. Maybe the whole dang thing will die after the sunset limit. Until then, I'll keep wearing my tinfoil hat and refusing flu vaccinations.

-

In related news, Judge Audrey Collin ... (4, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093643)

was declared an enemy combatant and relocated by the Ashcroft Ministry of Truth to sunny Guantanamo Bay.

W3rd. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093748)

It ain't funny. It's far too close to the truth and it should scare the living shit out of every single America.

But then again, the majority of Americans feel that airline safety has increased dramatically since they started banning and confiscating finger nail clippers. I know I felt safer when they banned curbside check in. Didn't you?

Re:In related news, Judge Audrey Collin ... (3, Insightful)

FreshFunk510 (526493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093754)

Remember:

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

Defending PATRIOT (5, Insightful)

WombatControl (74685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093644)

I'm sure that I'm distinctely in the minority here, but I think the criticisms of the PATRIOT Act are entirely blown out of proportion. I've actually read the PATRIOT Act, and I see very little that matches the wild claims that have been levied against it.

Take for example the infamous Section 215 that civil libertarians claim allows law enforcement to search your library records. Except this power requires the consent of a federal judge, no library records have ever been searched, and such provisions have already been used in other criminal cases. Library records were searched in the hunt for Andrew Cunanan, the man who shot fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997, and to hunt down the Zodiac killer in New York in 1990. Yet no one raised a fuss about these searches. It is clear that there is a direct double standard at play, fueled by ignorance of the law.

Most of the provisions of the PATRIOT Act specifically extend already existing powers specifically to fight terrorism. Most of them were already codified in law under earlier racketeering statutes such as RICO. Yet no one seemed to question those moves then.

The fact remains that our rights were abused far more heinously during the War on Drugs and the term of Janet Reno as AG than they ever were under Ashcroft. No-knock warrants are far more suspect as far as civil rights are concerned than extending provisions of RICO to terrorism. I fail to see the logic of a system that gives greater protections to Mohammad Atta than it does to Tony Soprano.

If PATRIOT is repealed, it means that that such basic elements as tighter information sharing between federal agencies will be struck down as well. Had those protections existed in 2001, the events of September 11 would never have happened. Several 9/11 conspirators were pulled over just before the attacks - but because the police didn't have access to immigration records or terrorist watch lists they were let go with only a warning. Another event like that is simply intolerable.

The fact is 9/10ths of the arguments against PATRIOT are based in a sense of partisan politics rather than a rational examination of law. Had PATRIOT been a creation of Clinton Administration I doubt anyone would be talking about it, but in a country where partisanship overwhelms common sense on both sides rational discussion about the best way to protect this country from the clear and present danger of terrorism is difficult to find.

Re:Defending PATRIOT (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093727)

The flaw in your argument about the library records being seen is that for the two examples you gave that they were viewed by the feds AFTER the illegal acts.
The Patriot Act allows the feds to inspect the records BEFORE and at any time if they remotely suspect you of anything.

Re:Defending PATRIOT (1)

rjelks (635588) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093752)

I don't think this is a Republican/Democrat issue at all. I think citizens of the U.S. should always be concerned when rights are being taken away. I'd defer to the Fourth Amendment before I will to Ascroft. The Patriot Act is 342 pages long. Did you perchance read an abridged version read an abridged version?

-

Re:Defending PATRIOT (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093760)

Had those protections existed in 2001, the events of September 11 would never have happened. Had those protections existed in 2001, the events of September 11 would never have happened. Several 9/11 conspirators were pulled over just before the attacks - but because the police didn't have access to immigration records or terrorist watch lists they were let go with only a warning.

And what divine power do you possess that no other human on the face of the planet possesses that allows you to make such a claim as fact? Most of the 9/11 conspirators were here legally on visas issued by our own beloved State Department which already had access to such vital information but failed to research the applications adequately.

The crux of the matter is that most of the provisions of the PATRIOT act are unneccessary and law enforcement and courts have proven time and time again that they are capable of handling terrorism cases using their existing laws and powers.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093655)

SCO has announced that they have sold a UNIX licence to Al Queda. Unoffical reports also indicate that Osama Bin Laden was one of the primary developers of the UNIX operating system.

Liberation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093664)

Wonderful to see that the beta testing of Liberation that took place in Iraq was so successful that you decided to try it at home, too! Question is, when are you going to release the fullversion in the American market as well?

Oh Crap! What are we going to do now!?!?! (3, Insightful)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093666)

<angry sarcasm>According to the State of the Union address the Patriot Act is essential to the fight against terrorism! What are Americans to do?! We had all better start stocking up on plastic sheets and duct tape again. Good thing none of them stinking Democrats have been able to successfully attack the 2nd amendment under Bush's watch. I'd hate to lose those vital rights. How else could we defend ourselves?</angry sarcasm>

In all seriousness, this won't have much of an effect on personal privacy for average Joe and I imagine the powers that be will do everything in their power to keep the steamroller running, but a good swift kick in the nuts to the Patriot Act can only be a good thing for those of us that appreciate civil liberties.

Patriot Act Arguments (1)

Veramocor (262800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093693)

I was arguing to a friend how I disliked various parts of the Patriot Act. He stated that all the provisions of the act were already legal under various other laws, and that the Patriot act just solidifies them in one law. True or not true?

Re:Patriot Act Arguments (1)

LordK3nn3th (715352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093747)

Untrue, it extends parts of existings laws-- the FBI can search your house without a warrant if terrorism is suspected, among other things.

The whole act is unconstitutional & McCarthyst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093694)

It's the most outrageous violation of free citizens' rights since the Stamp Act.

I guess I dont understand... (1)

Jainith (153344) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093701)

I have read some posts saying that 'terroist' organizations may or may not have anything to do with 'terrorism' but I still dont understand why they are calling this a victory for civil liberties. I agree that the patriot act is infringing upon our civil rights, but I do not understand how attacking it in this way will accomplish anything.

It seems to me that if an organization is truely 'terrorist' then experts should not be supporting or advising them, regardless of weather or not their advise has anything to do with violence. It seems safe to assume that any sort of support or advise will in some way help the organization to continue its operations. If these organizations are dedicated to social change by means of violence, and I think most of us agree that that goal is less than exlemplary, then I see no reason why it should'nt be illegal to provide them with advise or support.

I think maybe we need to think more before we applaud this as a 'victory against the patriot act'. I think instead of strikeing down this particular item, we should instead make it more effective by maintaining an accurate and upto date list of truely terrorist organizations in the world.

IMHO if these organizations become 'handsoff' for experts, so much for the better.

Jainith

The one, the only.

uhm... the whole damned law? (0, Troll)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093704)

the whole damned thing is unconstitutional. anyone who voted for it should be considered a traitor, shot, hung, drawn, and quartered on the National Mall. Fuck the federales.

Just Remember (4, Insightful)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093710)

It was a ruling from the Ninth Circuit, the most left-leaning court in the land.

It's also the most consistently overturned court, so this ruling is definitely not the final word.

Re:Just Remember (3, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093741)

Okay, Mr. Conservative News and Views, would you vote to uphold this odious bit of legal treason? Would you if it were signed by a Democratic President (as the DMCA was, for example)?

Stand and be counted if you really think so.

Re:Just Remember (1, Flamebait)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093804)

Actually, it's neither. Check your facts.

Thank god.. it's about time. (1)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093715)

I was getting worried... it's kinda sad though that it took 2 years (!!!) for any Judge to make such a decision.

Now, to get the rest of it ruled as such...

now that's good .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093722)

..news.

I am sorry that 500+ USpeople cannot hear it........(and about 10000Iraqi's).

bout time (3, Informative)

knodi (93913) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093728)

I went around cube to cube (hey, I was on break) sharing the gist of the headline, and I got a unanimous [pardon the french] "about fucking time" from EVERY SINGLE person, except one guy who just clapped slowly. He's an odd one...

Russ-Russ! (4, Insightful)

bbuchs (551229) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093735)

Just for the record, MY senator - Russ Feingold - was the ONLY one to vote against the Patriot Act. And, from what I've heard, getting a Republican lapdog into his seat has become Karl Rove's pet project.

(At least that's what Russ keeps saying in the campaign contribution letters I keep getting...)

Cats and dogs... (0, Offtopic)

Chagatai (524580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093740)

I tell ya, first this happens, then the Pope goes and blesses some breakdancers [cnn.com] . It's that whole "Cats and dogs, end of the world" speech Bill Murray's character in Ghostbusters dished out. What will happen next?

the good part of the Patriot act was struck down (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093742)

this is stupid....if a Terror group seeks Expert help from somw one in the US, that expert is now a co-consperitor.

I thinkthe Judge did this just for political reasons, KNOWING the Supreme Court would over turn the ruleing.

it's been interesting to see (4, Insightful)

my sig is bigger tha (682562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093744)

all the hoopla go from fighting drugs, and the laws getting passed be about controlling drugs, to now being about terrorism...

the laws continue to be about controlling us, only the rationale changes.

Read the Ruling carefully? (5, Informative)

Tarwn (458323) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093764)

I read through the article and it seems like the judge is asking for it to be reworded rather than stricken, and the piece in quesiton is only the expert advice portion, not the pre-existing portion concerning materials/resources.

So while the people who are jumping up and down for joy about pieces being over-ruled may have to wait for a while, I'm personally happy that we are looking at suggested corrections. I don't by any means think the patriot act is perfect, but I much prefer people trying to improve on it rather than just throw it aay all together.

HELP!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8093768)

I have virii on my linux boxen!!1

interpreters needed (2, Funny)

planckscale (579258) | more than 10 years ago | (#8093794)

Patriot Act:

Blah balmama blahblee bloo blaa blahh = You tamil tigers need to sit down and talk with Shrilanka about your differences without violence = aiding foreign terrorists.

Blah bloumomama bemomo buani blah blah = You tamil tigers need to light a sack of crap and ring the doorbell and run = aiding foreign terrorists.

What's really best for a foreign group? No dialog and isolation leading to FUD, or positive communication? The act should be specific. I'm glad that we have checks and balances.

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