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ACLU Sues FBI Over ISP Records

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the lets-get-this-cleared-up dept.

United States 663

An anonymous reader writes "One of the provisions of the infamous USA PATRIOT Act is the ability for the government to force companies that hold personal information, specifically in this case, ISPs, to turn over their records without a court order. MSNBC is reporting about a lawsuit filed by the ACLU in secret because of another provision in PATRIOT that prevents public disclosure of these matters. The gag order was dropped when the Justice Department agreed to not take any action against the ACLU."

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BETTER FUCKED THAN COOKED (1)

(TK)Max (668795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012846)

yo

nihontroll (1)

(TK)Max (668795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013080)

OREWA NAMAE 'TROLLKORE'. [slashdot.jp]

WESTERN SLASHDOT NEED JIS. KOREA EAT CAT!

Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowgayNeal.

Cool. (-1, Troll)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012854)

Perhaps while the ACLU is in court that could pick up a copy of the Bill of Rights, not their edited 9 adm one, one that has all the adms in it.

Re:Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9012880)

Maybe they could read the First Amendment in the light of its historical context instead of what they want it to mean?

Re:Cool. (1, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012891)

troll. besides what makes you think the ACLU has a slated view of the bill of rights

Re:Cool. (1)

smokin_juan (469699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012918)

I'll be s/he's referring to the 2nd amdt that the ACLU likes to ignore.

Re:Cool. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9012929)

Yeah thats the one about the freedom to fuck your mother!!!

I fucked your Mom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9012963)

Her cooz ain't that great.

Doesn't ignore, just disagrees (5, Informative)

Aexia (517457) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012984)

You were saying [aclu.org] ?

The ACLU has often been criticized for "ignoring the Second Amendment" and refusing to fight for the individual's right to own a gun or other weapons. This issue, however, has not been ignored by the ACLU. The national board has in fact debated and discussed the civil liberties aspects of the Second Amendment many times.

We believe that the constitutional right to bear arms is primarily a collective one, intended mainly to protect the right of the states to maintain militias to assure their own freedom and security against the central government. In today's world, that idea is somewhat anachronistic and in any case would require weapons much more powerful than handguns or hunting rifles. The ACLU therefore believes that the Second Amendment does not confer an unlimited right upon individuals to own guns or other weapons nor does it prohibit reasonable regulation of gun ownership, such as licensing and registration.

Re:Doesn't ignore, just disagrees (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013014)

ahhh so people dont like the fact that the ACLU takes the proper intent into consideration, rather than the redneck i should be able to have a gun even though the 2nd amendment spells out specifically that the individual was not the intent

Re:Doesn't ignore, just disagrees (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013168)

Got it wholly wrong. When the framers used the word "militia", they meant a body of men who already owned their own guns. The concept of the National Guard as it exists today didn't even exist.

Re:Doesn't ignore, just disagrees (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013151)

But wouldn't this apply equally to speech? Can you imagine the ACLU making this its basic position on the 1st Amendment?

Unless the Constitution protects the individual's right to engage in all kinds of speech, there is no principled way to oppose reasonable restrictions on newspapers, protests, or flag burning. If indeed the First Amendment provides an absolute, constitutional protection for the right to freedom of speech, then it must allow individuals to cry fire in a crowded theater, commit libel and defamation, and threaten and harass with impunity. Yet few, if any, would argue that the First Amendment gives individiuals the unlimited right to freedom of speech. But as soon as we allow governmental regulation of any speech, we have broken the dam of Constitutional protection. Once that dam is broken, we are not talking about whether the government can constitutionally restrict speech, but rather what constitutes a reasonable restriction.

That sounds about right, but you don't see the ACLU giving up its strident defense of the 1st Amendment. I think there's obviously something else going on here.

-0-0-
I did not write the above, I got it from http://www.unlearnedhand.com/archives/000096.html

Re:Cool. (1)

abh (22332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012925)

Oh, he's probably referring to the fact the ACLU typically forgets all about that second ammendment...

They ignore this one (1, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012961)

Text of the Second Amendment and Related Contemporaneous Provisions

Second Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

English Bill of Rights: That the subjects which are protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law (1689). 1

Connecticut: Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state (1818). 2

Kentucky: [T]he right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned (1792). 3

Massachusetts: The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence (1780). 4

North Carolina: [T]he people have a right to bear arms, for the defence of the State; and, as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power (1776). 5

Pennsylvania: That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination, to, and governed by, the civil power (1776). 6

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned (1790). 7

Rhode Island: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed (1842). 8

Tennessee: [T]he freemen of this State have a right to keep and bear arms for their common defence (1796). 9

Vermont: [T]he people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State -- and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power (1777). 10

Virginia: That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. 11

Re:They ignore this one (1)

BdosError (261714) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012985)

And like so many gun owners/supporters, you seem to miss the important part: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State". Perhaps that was important before the U.S. had a standing professional army, but it hardly applies now.

Re:They ignore this one (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013045)

exactly, technically acourding to the bill of rights having a gun is illegal now, even for the police

Re:They ignore this one (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013202)

You read funny.

What part of "Shall not be infringed" is difficult for you to understand? The other clause does not modify "shall not be infringed".

Re:They ignore this one (1)

Phexro (9814) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013122)

And what do you do if the person or persons controlling that military starts abusing their power in a violent way?

Re:They ignore this one (1)

Lurkingrue (521019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013158)

There's a strong argument on how that "important part" is supposed to be parsed. I'm of the ilk that it is entirely a supportive clause, and not the main thrust of the sentence. There are drafts of the BoR, as well as other documents of the time, that suggest the "important part" is actually the part that goes "shall not be..."

What about the NRA? (1)

Aexia (517457) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013016)

Why don't you take the them to task for ignoring the other 9/10ths of the Bill of Rights? Seems like the ACLU's up about 8 ammendments on them.

Agreed (4, Insightful)

Lurkingrue (521019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013053)

I am a huge supporter of the ACLU, and I have to agree that they pay only lip-service to this part of the Bill of Rights. Clearly, the whole nonesense about the National Guard being the "militia" mentioned is just a convenient gloss-over for those who don't think a repeal of the 2nd Amendment is feasible.

But, I ask you this -- isn't it better to support an organization that does protect the majority of the Bill of Rights vigorously than to let all our rights fall into oblivion? Let's get behind protecting as much as we can -- not tearing down those who don't match up to every one of our expectations.

Sometimes, you have to choose the half-full glass to get anything at all, or choose the lesser of two evils...

Re:Cool. (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013069)

troll.

Yeah, but I've previously gone on record as believing that not all trolls are without merit and have garnered a few troll moddings myself.

besides what makes you think the ACLU has a slated view of the bill of rights

Probably statements like this, taken from their website:

If we can license and register cars, we can license and register guns.

It doesn't even really make sense, it's the sort of "logic" that allows you to justify anything.

I think he got the count wrong though. The ACLU only has 8 ammendments in their version, since they leave out the one that everyone else leaves out as well, the most important one really, since it provides the rights that most people argue we don't have.

That would be the Ninth Ammendment.

That one was put in there to appease the Hamiltonians who argued that an explict Bill of Rights would be used to limit rights by falsely interpreting the specific wording, allowing Congress to make law that the Constitution gave them no authority to.

Looks like old Alex and the boys nailed that one dead on I'm afraid.

KFG

Re:Cool. (1, Informative)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012941)

Parent is not a troll, mods just didn't get it or disagreed... either don't mod things you don't understand, or leave them alone. You're here to mod for the benefit of discussion, not your own personal agenda.

Re:Cool. (1)

Aquillion (539148) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013063)

Well, yes, it WAS a troll. The topic at hand is the first amendment issue raised by this particular application of the PATRIOT act, and the ACLU's legal case to defend it. This particular discussion is not the place to engage in more general mudslinging against the ACLU.

Trying to smear someone every time their name comes up is trolling, plain and simple.

Re:Cool. (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013166)

...every time their name comes up..

Cite more examples, please.

I would argue that since the ACLU is an integral part of the story, discussion on the ACLU is perfectly valid. Also, just because a post is curt or uses sarcasm to make the point, that does NOT automatically make it a troll.

The ACLU has refused to take a position on the 2nd amendment. They need to take a position on this one if they're going to take a position on the other nine in the bill of rights. They can't legitimately pick and choose their level of participation and claim to be a "Civil Liberties" union. I think that point is perfectly valid, and I think that the poster is perfectly within the bounds of good etiquette and taste for bringing it up for discussion, if in a sarcastic and wry manner.

I maintain that it's not offtopic because it discusses, if on a tangent, an integral player in the story. If Slashdotters want to discuss such things, why should the mods say they can't? It was only at two. The neurotic people who set the threshhold to +4 will never see it, and anyone at a measly 2 can simply ignore it. I also maintain it's not a troll just because it uses sarcasm to make a point.

Those are just my views on moderation, however. YMMV.

Re:Cool. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013194)

Judging from a quick check of your posting history, not all your posts are on topic according to your above reasoning.

Just because you don't agree with a fucking post doesn't make it a troll.

-0-0-0- But wouldn't this apply equally to speech? Can you imagine the ACLU making this its basic position on the 1st Amendment?

Unless the Constitution protects the individual's right to engage in all kinds of speech, there is no principled way to oppose reasonable restrictions on newspapers, protests, or flag burning. If indeed the First Amendment provides an absolute, constitutional protection for the right to freedom of speech, then it must allow individuals to cry fire in a crowded theater, commit libel and defamation, and threaten and harass with impunity. Yet few, if any, would argue that the First Amendment gives individiuals the unlimited right to freedom of speech. But as soon as we allow governmental regulation of any speech, we have broken the dam of Constitutional protection. Once that dam is broken, we are not talking about whether the government can constitutionally restrict speech, but rather what constitutes a reasonable restriction.

That sounds about right, but you don't see the ACLU giving up its strident defense of the 1st Amendment. I think there's obviously something else going on here.

-0-0-
I did not write the above, I got it from http://www.unlearnedhand.com/archives/000096.html

Re:Cool. (5, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013003)

Troll moderation is right. The ACLU takes care of all the ammendments that the NRA doesn't take care of. It would be a waste of time any money for the ACLU to duplicate the efforts of the NRA.

The reality is that many right wingers have a serious problem with the ACLU, because the ACLU takes on cases that they consider to be "liberal". The ACLU isn't interested in the politics of the situation - they protect Republicans and Democrats alike. They even defend some people who are quite morally despicable, such as racists.

But, those racists have rights too, and they must be protected.

So, when you hear people like this DAldredge railing against the ACLU because they don't take 2nd ammendment cases, what you should understand is that these right wing buffoons really HATE when the ACLU takes on liberal cases, but they don't have a rational reason for opposing the ACLU. This bogus charge that they don't care about the 2nd ammendment is ALL THAT THEY HAVE.

And even the ACLU is being honest about their position. When it comes right down to it, the ACLU doesn't think that the 2nd ammendment was talking about individuals, but state militias. But, this opinion does NOT cause them to litigate along those lines. The ACLU stays out of that conflict to concentrate on areas where there is nobody else fighting for the preservation of rights.

DAldredge, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You're a partisan mudslinger first, and an American second. I doubt that there's any room in there for much appreciation of the Bill of Rights, and the affirmative good that the ACLU has brought to its defense.

Re:Cool. (4, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013156)

Well said. The typical "libertarian" reply that because that the ACLU doesn't litigate over the 2nd amendment that NOTHING they do is worthwhile is illogical and like you said mainly a cover for people who just dislike them because they perceive the ACLU to be liberal.

Maybe, MAYBE you would have a reason not to support them if they actually litigated AGAINST your interests, but if they don't then what exactly is the problem? Any money you would donate would go towards things you would support, none would go against your interests, but because they don't spend money on every case you would want them to you're going to refrain from supporting them? It's stupid, it's illogical, and it's intellectual cowardice.

Life, Liberty, ACLU, Slashdot, and Hypocrisy (1, Informative)

Mad Man (166674) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013050)

was Cool [slashdot.org]


Perhaps while the ACLU is in court that could pick up a copy of the Bill of Rights, not their edited 9 adm one, one that has all the adms in it.


I don't know why this is "-1 Troll." The parent post has a valid point about the hypocrisy of the ACLU.

Wired [wired.com] reported in another story about a lawsuit against the government for it's failure to destroy certain database records (emphasis added):

Gun Groups Take Aim at Database

04:45 PM Dec. 01, 1998 PT

.....

The [National Rifle Association] claims that federal law requires the agency to destroy all records immediately after checking a prospective gun buyer's name against its list of people not permitted to purchase weapons.

If the NRA wins in court, the Justice Department will no longer keep personal records, but the FBI's computer will continue to process names before permitting gun purchases -- a system that has other gun-rights groups crying foul.

.....

The Justice Department first proposed storing information on gun purchases for 18 months for audit purposes but recently shortened that to six months following a public outcry.

"The department determined that the general retention period for records of allowed transfers in the NICS Audit Log" should be six months, the agency said in a 30 October statement. It also said that "such information may be retained for a longer period if necessary."

Keeping personal information on file is absolutely necessary, said Nancy Hwa, spokeswoman for the advocacy group Handgun Control.

"We've always favored having a system of licensing and registration in the first place. We should treat guns like cars. If people want to buy [a gun] they should be trained in its use."

Privacy advocates should wake up to the threat of databases of gun owners, said Lisa Dean, vice president of the conservative Free Congress Foundation.

"Privacy groups should take a stand. It's critical that privacy groups look beyond the gun-control issue and start looking at exactly what this is going to mean to them in the future," Dean said. "This is numbering and tracking citizens."

Liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center have not opposed the FBI's plan to record personal information about gun buyers.
EPIC director Marc Rotenberg likened the plan to driver licensing, adding that privacy safeguards should be in place.

Yet Slashdotters bitch and complain when the state of Florida wants to retain driving records for 3 months [slashdot.org] .


Nadine Strossen, president of the ACLU, has stated that [reason.com]

our view has never been that civil liberties are necessarily coextensive with constitutional rights. Conversely, I guess the fact that something is mentioned in the Constitution doesn't necessarily mean that it is a fundamental civil liberty.

Never mind. I know exactly why it was modded "-1 Troll."

Re:Life, Liberty, ACLU, Slashdot, and Hypocrisy (3, Interesting)

Aquillion (539148) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013162)

The ACLU has stood to defend gun control. Nobody can argue against that. They have always been on the frontlines to defend the longstanding constitutional protections for a collective right to bear arms. They have not, of course, stood with the political rabble who wants to distort and politicize that right to its own ends; that is their right. Accusing them of "hypocrisy" for sharing a widely-held and legally accepted interpretation of the second amendment is clearly trolling.

Their full position can be read here [aclu.org] . You may not agree with it; but it is a perfectly valid position to take, and in no way inconsistent with their and praiseworthy longstanding defense of our civil liberties.

Re:Life, Liberty, ACLU, Slashdot, and Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013171)

The ACLU isn't always right. Remember when they tried to force the Boy Scouts to keep gay members... Freedom for whom?

And now.. (5, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012862)

USA == Land of the not so free.

Re:And now.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9012899)

didn't you get the memo? its now the UCA, united corperations of america, land of the workers and home of the dollar. now get back to work!

Re:And now.. (1, Interesting)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012900)

I keep hoping it's temporary. Congress ran a bill through on fear and faux patriotism, and now we, the people, are paying for it. You have to expect that every now and then a huge, lumbering, monolothic entity like the U.S. government is going to fuck things up. That's why people challenge them.

It's not time to panic yet. When we can't challenege them anymore (and the gag was a BIG step in that direction) or court cases like this start being lost, then we panic.

Re:And now.. (2, Insightful)

name773 (696972) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012905)

maybe the FSF should relocate its headquarters

ACLU: Fighting the good fight (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9012876)

Well, so long as the people who run your ISP - or the user in question - are black, that is.

Hmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013008)

Does this mean that the Gay Nigger Association of America can expect legal support when they get sued for all their crapflooding?

Can we... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9012888)

stop talking about the Patriot act? Obviously from its name if you aren't for limiting the freedoms of Americans you are not a patriot. Plain and simple. Besides who needs freedom anyway?

Re:Can we... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013036)

yeah...we will make better tax-paying livestock than human beings anyways

Factoid (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9012894)

Did you know that the country Canada is the northmost country in North America? Brrr.. I wouldn't want to live there in the winter!

Re:Factoid (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9012951)

Factoid: Ass sex is the leading cause of anal hemoraging.

What does this mean for Slashdot? (4, Interesting)

writertype (541679) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012912)

So would Slashdot turn over identifying information to the FBI et al if it was requested? What's the site's position on this?

Re:What does this mean for Slashdot? (5, Insightful)

Raindance (680694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012975)

It wouldn't be a question of whether Slashdot would decide to turn over requested information to the FBI or not.

They would. I can't imagine they'd feel good about it, but anyone would in that position.

However, the *real* question is, what data could they turn over, if requested- i.e. what do they collect, and what pre-emptive measures do they take against this FBI action (for instance, they could only keep certain data for 24 hours before deleting it... or 6 hours. Or whatever).

RD

Surveillance vs. Records Retention (2, Interesting)

persaud (304710) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013189)

We need to consolidate surveillance and records retention into a new, single-purpose institution that is publicly accountable, culturally engineered to protect civil liberty and subjected to very strong oversight.

Surveillance is less of a risk than insecure records retention that is accepted as a secure evidentiary process. Private collection leads to the risk of diverted or subverted records. Public (government) collection would synchronize retention with collection.

Private retention is accountable to no one, yet will always be one security breach away from misuse. Public collection and retention will slowly but inexorably improve in accountability.

Surveillance of retained data (a.ka. audit controls) is the only path to accountable surveillance.

Re:What does this mean for Slashdot? (5, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012998)

Slashdot's official position, now uncensored by the government, is:

We at [REDACTED] the [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] due to [REDACTED]. [REDACTED]. Furthermore, [REDACTED].

Thank you,

[REDACTED]

Re:What does this mean for Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013129)

Please, Mr Writetype, would you be so king and provide more specific information about your identity? Yours question does not seem to be very politically-correct.

Yours CmdrTaco

What country is this? (5, Insightful)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012915)

> The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the FBI's use
> of expanded powers to compel Internet service providers to
> turn over information about their customers or subscribers.

> People who receive the letters are prohibited by law from
> disclosing to anyone that they did so. Because of this legal
> gag order, the ACLU was forced to reach an agreement with
> the Justice Department before a heavily edited version of the
> lawsuit could be unsealed.

"PATRIOT Act"? Damn you, Orwell and your Newspeak!

So the ACLU was suing to protect Americans' privacy from the government prying into ISP customer data. But no one knew about it, since there's another law that prevents the ACLU from telling the public. So they're basically fighting for our freedoms in secret?

It reminds me of that light from the classic show, "The Prisoner" [imdb.com] : "Why don't you just lock us all up and be done with it?"

I call upon the self-proclaimed conservatives who never tire of claiming they're against "big government". Stop for a minute punctuating every sentence with "terrorism," and "support the troops; we're at war!" like some sort of right-wing Speak and Spell. Remember this on election day: Bush believes the PATRIOT Act should be renewed and celebrated [msn.com] . There's your big government, pal.

Sheesh. Someone get me a valium.

Re:What country is this? (5, Insightful)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012959)

As with most real conservatives, we disagree with the sitting president.

What a horrible choice is left to us come November.

Ted

You may find the following website useful (4, Interesting)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013086)

Here [johnkerryi...anyway.com] .

--Ryv

Re:What country is this? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013028)

What country is this?

It's a country at war, at least that is the argument used for sucessfully keeping the national news at reporting certain issues these days. Good thing we have the web so this information can be found else where.

The first casuality of war is truth, you know. :D

Re:What country is this? (5, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013030)

Go go, George Bush: "President Bush has been pushing Congress to renew all of the Patriot Act before it expires next year, arguing that it is one of law enforcement's best tools in preventing another catastrophic terrorist attack."

Maybe I haven't been following too closely, but wasn't all the information already there before 9/11? Come to think of it, law enforcement's best tool to prevent crime is to lock everybody in their homes... oh, wait... where's the dele

Re:What country is this? (1)

Kelz (611260) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013068)

Bush is not a conservative, at least in matters of government policy. I do not agree with much of what is going on right now, but until Dems or a third party run a competant person with thought out plans of action other than "we need to change!" or "here is what Bush has done wrong!".

As far as ousting Bush, I have no particular loyalty to him or any president, as long as they represent at least a watered down version of my views. FYI, I am registered Independant, but tend to lean to the right on issues.

Is this.. (3, Interesting)

patrick.whitlock (708318) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012916)

going to limit the ability of the RIAA to get the names of people downloading misic. i mean if the gov't can't do it, then why should the riaa be able to?

Re:Is this.. (1)

BdosError (261714) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012954)

This stops them from getting the information without due process. Didn't this already happen to the RIAA? (I think, maybe it was in Canada) I don't think they can get the information without actually filing a lawsuit now.

Re:Is this.. (3, Informative)

bee-yotch (323219) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013183)

It was the CRIA and they were actually denied getting the information from the ISP's at all because the Judge failed to see how putting MP3's in a shared folder on your computer differs from that of having a photo copier in a library surrounded by copyrighted material.

This case doesn't really have anything to do with what happened in Canada though, because Canada doesn't have a PATRIOT act.

Misunderstood (5, Informative)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013033)


I believe that you misunderstand the situation.

The ACLU is not challenging the FBI's ability to request ISP customer data from suspected criminals or other shady figures.

What it is challenging is the fact that under the PATRIOT Act of 2001, the FBI can now do this "without a judge's approval."

"The ACLU lawsuit contends that the USA Patriot Act...expanded the FBI's power to use national security letters by deleting parts of an earlier law requiring that there be some suspicion that the subject of the probe was linked to spying or terrorism."

Thus, in the past the FBI had to go to a court and get approval before they received authorization to access all this data. Now, however, they don't need to show any reasonable suspicion. That's what the ACLU is arguing.

Ooo... (-1, Offtopic)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012921)

Lets play count the acronyms!

USA PATRIOT, not USA Patriot (5, Funny)

syntap (242090) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012924)

Kudos to /. for recognizing that PATRIOT is an acronym... you rarely see it properly noted as such.

Providing
Appropriate
Tools
Required to
Intercept and
Obstruct
Terrorism

or the "real" meaning...

Providing
Americans with
The
Real
Incentive to
Overlook
Tyranny

No big Change (2, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012926)

force companies that hold personal information, specifically in this case, ISPs, to turn over their records without a court order.

As opposed to the warerant-mill judges the FBI already have who give 'em out like candy, this just made it official, the FBI has been using the constitution for toilet paper for decades

-1 spelling (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013037)

I can't type with this fucking wrist splint..... 5 more weeks till i can type properly again.

+1 Obvious - In Soviet Russia... (-1)

Aexia (517457) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012927)

PATRIOT Act supresses YOU!

Oh wait...

Re:+1 Obvious - In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013056)

No, no... in Soviet Russia, YOU act like a Patriot.

WTF? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9012936)

ISPs have PDUs that power DVD-R's that the FBI, CIA, or DIA can take to put you in a federal PMITA prison?

WTF!

These are the true defenders of our freedoms. (5, Insightful)

Alexis Brooke (662281) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012946)

Thank God for the American Civil Liberties Union. For everyone who hasn't done so yet, I recommend visiting the ACLU website [aclu.org] as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org] and donating, even if it's just a small amount. Help keep America free.

Re:These are the true defenders of our freedoms. (2, Insightful)

einnor (242611) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013152)

For everyone who hasn't done so yet, I recommend visiting the ACLU website as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and donating

And sign up for their action lists. Send letters to congress about important freedom items. (Of course, you send them the default form letter and they send you back a form letter. But I'm certain that somewhere someone's counting the number of for and against letters. So they can decide which issues they're not gonna advertise that they're supporting.)

thank you ACLU (4, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012949)

Maybe you don't agree with a lot of their suits or think they waste resources and time on foolish pursuits, but this time they hit the nail on the head. Hopefully we'll open up the little breach in the PATRIOT dam that'll grow big enough to topple it.

And don't forget:
"President Bush has been pushing Congress to renew all of the Patriot Act before it expires next year..."

Vote.

Proper rebuttals to the DoJ (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012950)

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.


So far, We've seen media-described breaches of all of these in the DoJ, FBI, and Military holdings in the military base in Cuba.

Why do we still have this president again?

Re:Proper rebuttals to the DoJ (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013007)

except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger

Oh yeah, its not a war cuz the other guys dont have matching uniforms. Cute liberal loophole. Still, why should the US bill of rights apply to afghani terrorists? I guess it should. They should get welfare too.

BTW, we have this president because Clinton was an embarassment, and Gore was a fucking tool.

You actually voted for Gore and his "ban movies and music and video games with the f-word in them" platform?

Hindsights 20-20, but still, I'd rather see our enemies dead or locked up than appeased with bribes.

Don't blame me, I voted Libertarian. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013119)

People of all nations deserve HUMAN RIGHTS, the Bill of Rights guarantees that for those under its jusisdiction.
While foreigners may not be covered by this, to argue that they don't deserve rights and are 'terrorists' without any checks or balances is arguably arguably inhumane.

Re:Proper rebuttals to the DoJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013131)

Which would you rather have? Locked up indefinitely in a jail somewhere in Cuba, or games without the word FUCK in them? Yes, it's a false dilemma but it provides a different perspective on the whole thing.

Re:Proper rebuttals to the DoJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013011)

if the constitution is all they have to base their case on we are screwed...remember theres a war on and we need to protect the children

Re:Proper rebuttals to the DoJ (0, Offtopic)

Vlion (653369) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013072)

Part of the problem is that the status of non-citizens seems to be legally hazy with respect to their rights. Not that it should be, but it is, and the DoJ et al are exploiting that to the maximum.

"Why do we still have this president again?"

Because he won the electoral vote, which trumps popular vote. Which, if you don't like, go be a lobbyist in D.C.
Just be glad that Slick Willy wasn't in office. He would have done jack squat about the Two Towers except make soothing noises.

Re:Proper rebuttals to the DoJ (2, Funny)

Wingnut64 (446382) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013154)

Just be glad that Slick Willy wasn't in office. He would have done jack squat about the Two Towers except make soothing noises.

Yeah, it would really suck if he didn't invade a country that never posed any threat to us. I mean, lying about WMD and sending hundreds of soldiers off to die is one thing, but lying about getting a blowjob? That's just sick.

Re:Proper rebuttals to the DoJ (1)

Shwilmo (750573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013167)

Just be glad that Slick Willy wasn't in office. He would have done jack squat about the Two Towers except make soothing noises.

Republican denial at it's worst, folks.

Because all Bill Clinton did in office was get blowjobs, he never directly attacked Al Qaeda bases in an attempt to kill Osama Bin Laden (which, at the time, was of course ridiculed by the Republicans as an effort to divert attention away from the blowjob). This is of course in direct contrast to George W, who was immediately focused on terrorism pre-9/11 and didn't completely ignore the people in his administration who claimed terrorism was a major threat.

Hopefully the sarcasm tags are implied.

Re:Proper rebuttals to the DoJ (5, Insightful)

Nevo (690791) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013099)

Um, the president didn't pass the PATRIOT act. The congress did.

(Not to say that your question is totally without merit, but let's not forget who does what here.)

Re:Proper rebuttals to the DoJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013108)

The individuals kept prisoner at Guantanamo are not United States citizens, so they are not protected by Constitutional rights.

Card-carrying member? (5, Insightful)

Lurkingrue (521019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012973)

And about time this is happening, too.

I'm always amazed at Americans who consider being a "card-carrying member" of the ACLU a bad thing.

Sure, you may not agree with some of the individuals they protect, but it is comforting to know that there is an organization that will protect the rights of anyone, irrespective of personal opinions/feelings/politics.

The USA is supposed to be a country based on the Constitution, and was founded with the belief that every individual has natural rights that need to be protected -- against the government, against the majority, against those in power. These ACLU folks are every bit as patriotic as the folks in the armed forces doing their duty overseas that the current presidential administration loves to trumpet about. To see true patriots go up against the so-called "PATRIOT Act" warms my heart.

Re:Card-carrying member? (3, Insightful)

thefirelane (586885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013055)

The problem is that the ACLU selectively defends the constitution. They don't defend the rights of gun owners for one.

This means they are really no different than anyone else. Everyone agrees they like the constitution, they just can't agree on which parts are important to protect and which aren't.

If the ACLU would say, we want to protect everything, they would get a lot more respect from me. I support a lot of what they do now, but I think that point needs to be addressed

Re:Card-carrying member? (4, Insightful)

Lurkingrue (521019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013107)

See my post below -- I agree that the way that the 2nd amendment is ignored or distorted is unconscionable. In spite of this, I'll gladly support a group that defends 95% of my enumerated rights, and work on the other 5% through different channels and organizations.

Everyone else (1)

xant (99438) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013197)

Well, they're not like everyone else. For example, they're not like the large number of organizations that seek to increase censorship and decrease freedom. The ACLU chooses what causes to champion, just like everyone else, but they don't choose to champion one right while working to shut down another.

Hmm, it's a little bit scary. (5, Insightful)

wookyhoo (700289) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012977)

Does anyone else find the fact that they can't even share the details of the lawsuit with us incredibly scary?

Whether the rest of the PATRIOT act remains or not, we should at least have the right and opportunity to free and open public debate about it.

Hide all the details when you're looking for information, sure, but don't hide the details and criticisms of the act. That is exactly the sort of thing that we all have a right to know.

good (3, Interesting)

Vlion (653369) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012983)

I think that this is a good move.
It is unfortunate that the P.A. even was passed.

I spent some time studying the US constitution this semester, and although I havn't looked at the P.A., I suspect that it breaches the writ of habeus corpus in the US constitution.(Its not even in an amendment- its in the original document)

Writ of Habeus Coprpus: A summons to a gaoler demanding that they present themselves and their prisoner to the judge, so that the gaoler can give an account of why the prisoner is being held.

Re:good (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013064)

although I havn't looked at the P.A., I suspect that it breaches the writ of habeus corpus in the US constitution.

Yeah, I think that's the basis of Jose Padilla's case at the Supreme Court. You know, the "dirty bomber". First it was foreigners and now it's American citizens who are denied fundamental legal rights. Ashcroft/Bush have seriously f*cked up things in this country.

Detainees (2, Insightful)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013073)


Well, I know for a fact that there were several thousand detainees in the Tri-State area about a year ago who were being held for months without even being charged. I think that qualifies as a violation of habeas corpus.

Then there was an additional throng who had been ordered deported two or three months previously, but who were still being held.

Cool - A four Wookie story (-1, Troll)

SpaceBadger (556685) | more than 10 years ago | (#9012997)

Count 'em guys - Four Wookies.

If the right-hand column of that page contains four Wookies you must not read the article.

The Justice Department has already ... (4, Insightful)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013018)

used the Patriot Act in a number of non-terrorist cases. That the FBI would use these NSLs against anyone/everyone they want to comes as a surprise only to those who haven't been paying any attention at all.

Since the current administration views the Presidency as answerable to no entities, domestic (judiciary, congressional, public) or foreign, they will keep attacking the Constitution as long as they are in power. And they will do this with a free conscience becasue they are incapable of even imagining that anything they do is wrong. After all, God put them in place to do it all.

Re:The Justice Department has already ... (4, Informative)

doormat (63648) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013143)

Yes, in fact the "Justice" department encourages the use of the PATRIOT ACT against anyone and anything. The idea is to make it so entrenched in the way they do business, that to repeal it when the terrorist threat goes away (or at any time really) because a very big issue of public safety.

An example of this was the G-Sting operation in Las Vegas, the feds used the PATRIOT ACT against owners of strip clubs.

Even when it Violates ISP's TOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9013024)

Most ISP's TOS says that they have to notify you if they are sharing your information with anyone including law enforcement agencies. I personally ran in to this issue a while back with my ISP, as they handed my information to the FBI and didn't notify me. While having the ISP notify the user means Law enforcement has to move quickly, it is no different than if the FBI asked you neighbors if you were a satanic demon worshiper and they came over and told you that the FBI was checking up on you.

Oh, and because so many people will say Yeah sure, really happended to you... Brandon Wirtz www.griffin-digital.com Google me you'll find the story.

facism calling... (5, Insightful)

calix (73098) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013044)

Let's disregard the whole argument "if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about" routine. Consider for a moment that you haven't done anything wrong, but your ISP's records are requested by the FBI via an NSL. So, there goes your privacy. Maybe you cruised a pr0n site or two, maybe you shared some freely-distributable music. Does the fact that the FBI can investigate you without cause scare you? It should.

From the other side of things, it's nice that the government can just barge right in to grab the information that's needed... but... I wonder; if the FBI can demand such information without reasonable suspicion, and without court order, what's the point? To make it faster? More secret? What is it about obtaining a warrant that takes so long that it warrants (pardon the pun) circumventing judicial approval? From what I understand (and please feel free to enlighten me), as long as there's reasonable suspicion, there should be no roadblocks to obtaining a warrant. So what's the point of this portion of PATRIOT? Looks like more government power to me.

Re:facism calling... (2, Interesting)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013128)


You know when I was in middle school they used to always talk about "checks and balances" in the United States government.

The PATRIOT Act is literally bypassing the need for judicial approval in order to get private information about (presumably) law abiding citizens.

So, essentially, its undermining our pretty little system of "checks and balances."

Pop Quiz (5, Interesting)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013046)

Name the country that used the following law enforcement tactics

- Authorizes the use "Secret" Search Warrants that may be carried out without the recipients knowledge and prevent the recipient from discussing said warrant and search with anyone including legal council, which do not define the nature of the search in any means.

- Makes it a Federal Offence to discuss any "secret action" taken by law enforcement by any knowledgeable party.

- Where National Security reasons apply allows suspects to be secretely detained only on law enforcements "reasonable" suspicion and to be held indefinitely without any formal charge nor the ability to seek council or contact anyone to infomr them of their detainment.

- Allows for Court proceedings to be held in secret and all records thereof to be sealed from the public.

Select the answer from the Following List

A) Soviet Russia (USSR)
B) Nazi Germany
C) United States of America
D) All of the above

Re:Pop Quiz (3, Insightful)

NixterAg (198468) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013139)

Name the country that, if you were a citizen of said country and made your comment, would not put you in prison (or just put a bullet through your skull):
A) Soviet Russia (USSR)
B) Nazi Germany
C) United States of America
D) All of the above

If you didn't answer C then you are simply a reactionary fool.

Listen, I'm all for fighting for privacy, security, and equal rights, but can we please keep the knee-jerk paranoid comparisons out of the discourse? It doesn't serve any purpose but to delegitimize you arguments in reasonable minds.

Young Bull, Old Bull. Wisdom. (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013118)

I like this part...

"But the document says that [...] supervisors must exercise care in their use, particularly because that part of the Patriot Act is set to expire in 2005 unless renewed by Congress."

Once upon a time, a young bull and an old bull were standing on a hill, overlooking a valley full of cows.

The young bull said to the old bull, "Hey, old bull, let's run down into the valley and maybe we can fuck one of them cows!"

The old bull turned to the young bull with a wizened eye and said "No. We walk down. We fuck 'em all."

Upon hearing this, the young bull was enlightened.

When it comes down to it... (-1, Offtopic)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013138)

I really don't give a shit.

200 years down the drain (5, Insightful)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013180)

Im neither a lawyer or an american, but even i can see that this whole thing is totally unconstitutional to the point where you have to wonder: if bush came right out tomorrow and said "the bill of rights is null and void" would there be mass protest? or would there be a little poll on the cnn website?

ACLU suing FBI (1)

Sjobeck (518934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9013201)

turn over this information without a court order?! Yeah, right. That sounds OK, let's let the most incompetent 57 white fat-assed stupid old men who dont knwo what a computer is, let alone who it works, what to do with it, go around knocking on doors asking for things, and expect them to get it correct. This is the stooopid leading the blind.
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