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Judge Rules NSA Wiretapping Unconstitutional

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the well-whaddya-know dept.

781

strredwolf writes "CNN is reporting that NSA's warrantless wiretapping program has been ruled unconstitutional. This is the ACLU lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars, and lawyers. From the article: "U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.""

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Trust us! We're the government! (4, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927905)

The government argued that the program is well within the president's authority, but said proving that would require revealing state secrets.

Basically what this argument boils down to: We can't tell you why we're justified, but trust us, we are. This, despite the fact that 50% of the US and a good portion of the rest of the world does not trust the current US government.

Of course, there's a well-established method of establishing that a search/wiretap/etc. is justified: it's called a warrant. In fact, for the past several decades, we've had a program in place that makes getting a warrant for wiretapping quite easy. You can get a FISA warrant quickly, confidentially, and even retroactively.

Yes, retroactively. You can spot a suspect, set up an emergency wiretap, then a day later you can walk into the secret court and tell the judge why it was necessary to set up the wiretap. And you'll get the warrant. It's no hardship, unless you have reason to believe a judge wouldn't grant you the warrant.

This whole thing could have been resolved months ago if the administration were willing to just say, "Oh, yeah, you're right, we should be getting warrants for this sort of thing. We'll start doing so immediately." End of controversy, they can still listen in on suspects, it's still done without revealing state secrets. Arguing that they need the ability to spy on people without warrants makes them look awfully suspicious.

P.S. to people who do trust the current administration: just consider that someone you don't like will eventually be in charge. Maybe another Republican, maybe a Democrat, maybe the balance of power will realign and we'll be looking at Republicans vs. Greens or something for the next few decades. However it works out, someone you disagree with will be in the Oval Office at some point. Would you want them to have the powers that this administration has been insisting on?

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927940)

They can still listen in on specific suspects, NOT on the entire population/subscribers to an ISP.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (5, Informative)

megaditto (982598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928026)

Actually, you are thinking about the wrong program.

The Federal Judge has ordered NSA to stop wiretapping international calls that the Government says targets suspected al qaeda members.

The one you are thinking about (a much broader domestic wiretapping) was recently dismissed [slashdot.org] . It was also filed by the ACLU, hence the confusion.

While the decision may be a good news for privacy advocates, it is certain that the Government is likely to appeal Judge Taylor's decision.

I would argue that of the three known warrantless data collection programs, the one targeting international calls has the least privacy impact and the most potential to garner actionable intelligence and protect the American public, so it may be unfortunate that this is the one ordered stopped, while the other two are allowed to continue.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (4, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928150)

I would argue that your right to free association is being violated. After all, the wiretaps between a US citizen and foreign national always involve the US citizen, even if its the foreign national whom the goverhment is really interested. You can't collect the data without violating the rights of the US citizen (unreasonable search, freedom of association). Hence, they should always need a warrant.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (3, Insightful)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927955)

I wonder how long before the Judge is found dead, "of apparently self-inflicted gunshot wounds"?

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928042)

That would be too suspicious. An Iranian dirty bomb would be just as effective and give the administration brownie points to take the War On Terror to Iran.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (5, Funny)

mctk (840035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928053)

I think he'll be okay. Hunting season is over.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (4, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928119)

"Well, He sounded like a quail..."

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (2)

dsgitl (922908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928131)

"He'll"? From the article:

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.

When you assume....

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928096)

Apparently, not soon enough.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (4, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928121)

Why stage a suicide, or even a murder for that matter, when they can imprison or even kill him and then claim that it was done legally?

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (5, Insightful)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927965)

P.S. to people who do trust the current administration: just consider that someone you don't like will eventually be in charge. Maybe another Republican, maybe a Democrat, maybe the balance of power will realign and we'll be looking at Republicans vs. Greens or something for the next few decades. However it works out, someone you disagree with will be in the Oval Office at some point. Would you want them to have the powers that this administration has been insisting on?

That's already the case. Pretty much everyone who has rallied behind Bush and his administration for the advances of executive power that he's pushed for criticized Clinton for the same attempts. They granted the line item veto, only to have Clinton use it once and have it taken away. Bush has used signing statements to accomplish the same thing. Clinton's ties to industry were scrutinized; Bush's are clear, yet it's OK because it shows he supposedly knows what's going on.

Directly related to FISA and the wiretapping, Clinton's administration conducted a few physical searches w/o warrants, which was legal at the time. When it was discovered, and a law was passed saying that a warrant was needed... they stopped.

It's just a case of "When our guys do it, it's OK, but if your guys do it it's not" syndrome. What they really want to have happen is have a law that only takes effect when members of a certain party are elected. So there would be a "Republican Only" law that only works when the president's party is Republican. And so on.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (2, Interesting)

fohat (168135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927971)

The current administration will never admit mistakes such as these. You are absolutely correct about the warrents.

Ever since I heard about the wiretapping issues, when I talk to my friend over my cell phone, I sometimes say hi to the NSA just for fun. They never respond though...

I am so glad to hear about this decision! I hope that the message has been sent now: We will not tolerate being spied upon for no apparent reason.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (5, Funny)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928085)

when I talk to my friend over my cell phone, I sometimes say hi to the NSA just for fun. They never respond though...

You:"Hi NSA we are talking about bombs!" (smile)

NSA:"Actually you were dicussing your blog, get a thesaurus."

You:

NSA:"The TP is in the hall closet"

Sound of phone dropping and wet footsteps running away

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928153)

Oh, for mod points! +1, Coke-out-the-nose

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (1)

JGuru42 (140509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928024)

This whole thing could have been resolved months ago if the administration were willing to just say, "Oh, yeah, you're right, we should be getting warrants for this sort of thing. We'll start doing so immediately."
Can you please tell me when the President or the administion has admitted to doing the wrong thing?
Of course, I mean besides small gaffes such as poking fun at a person who was legally blind for wearing shades that would help extend the eyesight he was.

Our country would be a lot different if we had a president of either party who would admit to a mistake without being forced into it.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (0, Flamebait)

mgessner (46612) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928132)

You mean like when Clinton denied having "sexual relations" with Lewinsky?

Yeah, that would've been refreshing...

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928032)

Indeed. This is what is so frustrating about supporters of the current administration - complete short sightedness and disregard for the future. For all the pro family BS of the far right, they sure have no problems passing the buck to our children.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928057)

Or in other words, proving that the program is within the President's authority would require revealing state secrets?

We have secret laws now? Jesus Christ, Godwin be damned, we're PAST the fucking Nazis AND the USSR. God help us as a nation!

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (-1, Flamebait)

Riverman2 (991512) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928059)

This, despite the fact that 50% of the US and a good portion of the rest of the world does not trust the current US government.

This is not true. Where do you pull a figure like that from? Your ass?

Most people in the United States support the wiretapping program.

Oh well. The cat's out of the bag. Another peaceful attempt at security blown to smitherines.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (2, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928155)

Oh well. The cat's out of the bag. Another peaceful attempt at security blown to smitherines.

If they'd just done it by the rules, it would have remained both confidential and legal. The problem is that this Administration thinks it can make its own laws. You want to blame someone, blame them.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (4, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928112)

I'd expand the question in your PS to why ever trust an entity which can exercise total power over you? Its not wise to do, even if you like the people in said entity.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928141)

Sure, I've got nothing to hide. I'm pretty much the most boring person on the planet. I don't watch TV, I don't listen to the radio, I don't subscribe to any magazines, I don't really ever go to any stores and make any purchases other than food every few weeks and some clothes every few years. I don't spend any time online when I'm at home. I don't talk to anyone on the phone, nor does anyone ever call me. I think anyone trying to wiretap me would die of boredom.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (2, Insightful)

sukotto (122876) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928145)

Which works great when you're spying on individual suspects.
This wiretap program seems to be spying on everybody. There's no way the secret courts can handle that kind of paperwork.

Re:Trust us! We're the government! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928152)

This, despite the fact that 50% of the US and a good portion of the rest of the world does not trust the current US government.

Wow - you have approx. 150 million people in the US stating that they don't trust the govt? That's pretty amazing. Ask the world, and most of them don't trust ANY government....Well, cept the French - they trust that their government is good at surrendering...

Of course... (5, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927907)

It doesn't mean they won't keep doing it anyway.

In COBN3T AM3PNKA (2, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927981)

I Soviet America, NSA rules judge!

Nothing (1)

Salzorin (985348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927908)

Nothing for you to see here, please move along.

Nothing? Bah. Can you hear the Devil now? (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928008)

He's sneezing.

Told you so... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15927912)

you fox-news-watching right wing weenies.

Finally. (5, Insightful)

oddman (204968) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927921)

One branch of the U.S. government acts in a sane and rational manner, not to mention appropriate regard for the Constitution.

Re:Finally. (5, Insightful)

Incongruity (70416) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927959)

Indeed. It just seems like a dangerous practice to be able to claim that national security trumps the constitution or seemingly substantive claims that constitutional rights have been violated. Protecting us by depriving us of liberty is not really protection in the secure, unharmed sense... but that horse has been beaten so many times that I'll leave it at that...

Re:Finally. (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928086)

It just seems like a dangerous practice to be able to claim that national security trumps the constitution or seemingly substantive claims that constitutional rights have been violated.

No, it just is a dangerous practice to be able to claim that national security (or anything else whatsoever) trumps the Constitution. Full Stop. No qualifying statements are required.

No shit, sherlock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15927963)

Judicial review is the JOB of the federal court system.

Is there a -1 Obvious mod option for morons like you ?

Re:Finally. (5, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928004)

This is just a stop on the way to the supreme court. Don't be counting any chickens of liberty as yet. And remember: This is the supreme court that ruled that growth, distribution and use of pot within the borders of California was "interstate commerce", and it's not a lot different from the supreme court that ruled that retroactive registration of sexual and violent offenders wasn't ex post facto punishment, either.

Don't get me wrong -- I applaud the ruling. But the fact of the matter is that for matters of state and country, things typically progress to the supreme court, and lower court rulings mean very little in the long run.

Re:Finally. (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928143)

This is just a stop on the way to the supreme court.

Exactly. Circuit courts are just the testing grounds; the Supreme Court will be the proving grounds. However, given the shift in the Court of late, I'm not sure how this one will fall. Should be an open and shut case -- no warrant, no wiretap. But the SC always has to look at the spirit of things, not just the letter, and there might be enough Justices who see this as a necessary evil to make it a close vote.

Re:Finally. (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928071)

Don't worry, it's not a pattern. Insane court decisions are still the norm. 20 year sentances for selling some pot and 3 weeks for rape and attempted murder.

Re:Finally. (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928087)

Don't worry, they'll be gone within the week.

It's a righteous slap in the face for the Bush Adm (0)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927927)

She did what she had to do. The Bush administration has walked over the constitution in so many ways, and it's delightful to see that the judiciary backs up the rights of the people to go about their business unfettered by the government's oversight of their private conversations-- without a constitutional warrant.

This is a hallowed day.

Correct, but... (2, Insightful)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928015)

It was the Clinton administration in the 90s that expanded the FISA law to easily allow warrantless searches and wiretaps.

Re:Correct, but... (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928090)

And who put it to use? The paranoid Bush administration.

The New Hampshire Motto is right: Live free or die!

Re:Correct, but... (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928136)

They've done it since FISA was introduced in the Carter administration.

Re:Correct, but... (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928109)

Who cares (aside from partisan dumbasses (and everyone who is partisan is a dumbass))? Government abuse of power always sucks, no matter what ideology the perpetrators subscribe to.

Re:It's a righteous slap in the face for the Bush (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928017)

Guys, this still has to go through the appelates and the supreme and I doubt they will side with a musty old piece of parchment over a government that's "doing what's best for it's citizens".

It's stopped cold until the Solicitor Gen appeals (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928117)

And you might imagine that the Supremes, having spanked the Bush Admin in these areas before, will do it again. Until then, the NSA is enjoined. Read the decision. It's encouraging to all but the fascists and paranoids.

*Jaw drops* (5, Insightful)

JGuru42 (140509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927932)

It's such a small article but with all of the talk that has been going on about the "alleged" illegal wiretapping this simple story headline was more then enough to make my jaw drop open in awe.

However, how long will it take before Judge Taylor becomes just another of then "activist" judges?

Bravo, Judge Taylor, Bravo.

Re:*Jaw drops* (4, Insightful)

JordanL (886154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928003)

However, how long will it take before Judge Taylor becomes just another of then "activist" judges?

If this case goes before the Supreme Court, I can almost guarantee that the SCOTUS will also declare it unconstitutional. The Administration is directly marginalizing the oversight powers of the very branch of the government which these people represent. It won't be an activist judge thing.

And FYI, I voted for this guy.

Re:*Jaw drops* (2, Interesting)

Athenais (922233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928055)

I had the same reaction. Frankly, it scares me a little bit that we've reached the point where I'm *surprised* a judge was able to make the right decision. A part of me was expecting to see nothing whatsoever come of this lawsuit.

Now let's see if the government that ignores the constitution and rule of law will ignore the ruling of a judge as well.

Damned women (-1, Flamebait)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928107)

See, this is why you should never let women have any position in power. She is clearly power tripping, and feels that it's her "woman's right" to nay say the clearly supeior men who run this country. She has absolutly no authority to make such a sweeping condemnation of the administrations policies, and she should be removed from the bench. It's this type of female that we must guard against in all decisions. You know, if it were me, women, except those who have sworn a loyalty to the cause of the administration and pledged their souls to keep us on the right track, and have proven it in service.

You see, this is exactly why we can't let anyone but the Republicans run anything. This is the kind of back water, Jimmy Carter, "School for Girls" kind of crap that happen to our once proud country when we let down our guard.

Sorry, I was pretending I was going to interview for Rush's new show "I'm so right, I'm wrong".

Bad Wording (2, Insightful)

JGuru42 (140509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928126)

However, how long will it take before Judge Taylor becomes just another of then "activist" judges?


Please read this as "How long will it take before Judge Taylor is branded just another of the "activist" judges?

It was meant to be poking fun at the current administrations attempts to use labels to make people who oppose their view seem less credible.

I just really wish I could honestly say futile attempts....

Re:*Jaw drops* (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928127)

This is especially good news following on the heels of that terrorist scare recently. I was expecting another knee-jerk pro-administration kick after they paraded that conspiracy around.

Use encryption! (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927935)

As the article says, the US is "secretly taping conversations between people in the U.S. and people in other countries". I assume these are just telephone conversations.

I disagree with the ruling. If they want to get phone records, that's fine. As long as they don't strike down encryption, they can do what they want. Not just because I don't want to be blown up, but because the technological solution should win.

Re:Use encryption! (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928027)

I agree with the last sentence in theory, but remember that your money is being spent on these programs. Would you pay for a legal problem just to allow the technological solution to win?

Re:Use encryption! (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928084)

The money is not a huge amount. I do agree with money being spent to catch stupid terrorists who don't use encryption. I don't agree with catching "intellectual property" problems or drug transactions.

This isn't the end (0)

amightywind (691887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927941)

It is easy for the ACLU to find some whacked liberal judge to make this ruling. The real test will be if they can get 5 supreme court justices to agree. My guess is no.

And if they can't... (1)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928021)

...then the next step will be to ammend the Constitution.

Well (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928043)

They ruled that non-citizen 'enemy combatants' have constitutional protections, so there is hope that they will say you need a warrant to wiretap calls from within the US.

Re:This isn't the end (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928062)

I don't know about that. Merely point out that the NSA can listen in on their 1-900-hotlips conversations without a warrant, and they'll change their tune.

Re:This isn't the end (1)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928066)

How is it "whacked," "liberal," or--the word that always seems to follow in these discussions--"activist" for a judge to rule against a defendant who claims to have irrefutable evidence, but is unwilling to present it?

Aw, hell. I've been pwned by a 13-year old Dittohead. I've really got to stop hitting the reply button.

Re:This isn't the end (1)

amightywind (691887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928101)

Would you believe I am 42. That I was able to decend to that pwnd level amazes even me.

Re:This isn't the end (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928123)

It is the most ridiculous argument. I'm surprised they're crazy enough to even try it.

Re:This isn't the end (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928157)

If you disagree with Dick Cheney, you are by definition a whacked-out liberal. Didn't you get the memo?

So What? (5, Interesting)

bbernard (930130) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927943)

Not to seem too pessimistic here, but exactly what kind of enforcement is going to happen here? Is the judge going to order Bush arrested if they don't stop? Will the judge impound NSA's computers? Sure, it's a step in the right direction, but it seems much more symbolic to me that actually useful.

Re:So What? (2, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928033)

No enforcement -- just like all the other laws he's broken, Bush gets a free pass.

But you... YOU had better weat that seatbelt, Mr. smart-ass.

The most important question (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15927946)

Does it mean that any arrests and prosecutions made as a result of information gained from these wire-tappings are deemed unconstitutional and their respective cases dropped and verdicts overturned? What happens to the people whos freedoms were violated by this unconstitutional act? .. sorry that's more than one question

-Sj53

Re:The most important question (3, Informative)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928151)

> Does it mean that any arrests and prosecutions made as a result of information gained from these wire-tappings are deemed unconstitutional and their respective cases dropped and verdicts overturned?

Oldthinkers unbellyfeel AmSoc!

Or to phrase in in Oldspeak: Your question is moot -- when one starts from the principle that one does not need a warrant, it logically follows that one does not arrest, nor does one prosecute, because there is no case to be brought before any court, and no verdict need be overturned, because no verdict need ever be handed down.

In Newspeak: Poster oldthinker, unbellyfeel Amsoc. Refs unwords "arrest" "prosecute" "constitution" "case", "verdict". Assign oldthinker MiniLuv reference subgroups educamp, joycamp.

Accountability (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15927950)

Ok, so it's unconstitutional... now what? Who's going to be held accountable?

Good compilers know enough to optimize out a test if nothing will be done as a result of that test. Seems to me that the U.S. courts could've gone the same route and just skipped the trial.

lawsuit filed on behalf of.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15927953)

There's a mistake there. It should say the lawsuit was filed by the ACLU on behalf of Islamofacists.

Ok...This is what happens next (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15927961)

As provided for under Section VI of the Patriot Act, President Bush will now declare U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor an enemy combatant, have her stripped and dog piled in Gitmo.

Land of the free, eh?

Congratulations! (5, Funny)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927966)

Welcome back, you guys.

Signed,
The Free World

Re:Congratulations! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928019)

America is the world.

At least tell me you aren't from Britain (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928064)

Or I will have to LMFAO in your face.

Re:At least tell me you aren't from Britain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928138)

How right you are. Here in Britain, shit like the wiretapping program only requires a secret warrant from a politician! This country is fucked up.

Re:Congratulations! (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928122)

Welcome back, you guys.
Signed,
The Free World
Not so fast, there, bucko -- this will go to the 6th Cicruit Court on appeal, who consistently rule in favor of national security over civil liberties.

Re:Congratulations! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928147)

This was just a district court decision; it still most likely has to go to the Supreme Court. Also, we've still got the damn "U SAP AT RIOT Act" and whatnot to deal with.

In other words, your congratulations are premature.

This is Pat Riot, weeping for America (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927969)

It's over. *sob* It's all over. *sniffle*

Dear God, America is doomed. We'll be speaking Arabic in 10 years tops. It was that bloody Constitution that did us in. Thanks to a bunch of freedom loving ninnies, America has been bound and gagged in the face of Ay-rab brutes and now we won't stand a chance of knowing what they're doing.

Oh, wait. Didn't President Bush stacked the US Supreme Court? Yippee! We may yet crush the deadly scourge of freedom and preserve the security of our Union! But that won't always save us; maybe what we need is to suspend the Constitution until the War on Terror is over.

[end neo con parody]

State secrets? (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927975)

FTFA

"The government argued that the program is well within the president's authority, but said proving that would require revealing state secrets."

What about the President's authority is secret? Is there some part of the constitution that you have to be TS/SCI to read? If the law exists that allows the President such powers, then let's take a look at it. I think the "state secrets" trump is going to fail them this time. It's not about the purpose for what's being done, but the authority to do so, and this judge has (thank goodness) made a sensible call that the President does not have the power to authorize this invasion of privacy, even to combat terrorism or while thinking of the childern.

Re:State secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928091)

>Is there some part of the constitution that you have to be TS/SCI to read

I'd tell you, but you don't seem to have codeword clearance.

It goes back... (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928102)

They have been doing this kind of thing since the Carter administration, unfortunately. The famous spy Aldrich Ames was captured during the Clinton administration by a warrantless search of his property using the same 'precedents'.

It was the FISA court that ruled that the FISA act was not unconsitutional. Interesting, eh?

cue the obvious comments (5, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927978)

Damn activist judges, legislating from the bench! What's that? There was no legislating involved here? She was just ruling based on the laws that are already on the book? Well, she's still a damn activist judge!

Their masters (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15927984)

This is the ACLU lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars, and lawyers.

Great! Now they can get their instructions from their masters without worrying about those idiotic anti-terrorest groupies getting in the way.

I for one... (4, Funny)

MufasaZX (790614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927985)

I for one reject our NSA wire tapping overlords. Halleluiah for "activist" judges! =P

Impeachment (2, Insightful)

elzurawka (671029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927986)

I think that this is the best news this year. This means that the wiretaping *should* stop, and if it doesnt, who ever is doing it, will be breaking the Law

This has clearly been against the constitution since it began, and since it was not appoved by congress, shoudl never have been done. Does anyone know of a amendment to the constitution giving the president the right to disregard the consitution? If this continues, and bush still knows about it, then it is definatly reason enought to impeach him, if there has been enought so far.

also check out BBC [bbc.co.uk] and CBC [www.cbc.ca]

Re:Impeachment (1)

elzurawka (671029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928080)

Check this out [wikipedia.org] for more information on why this should happen. There are pages and pages of inforamtion as to why this President should be impeached, and i dont understand why he is getting off scott free, and Clinton went all the way through to the sent. Clinton did now start any wars on a lie(this is arguable), but bush has been proven to have lied for the reasons for starting the Iraq war. Hopefully once the democrats win back congress, this may happen

You can bet on this..... (4, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927988)

This has been anticipated and all the pardons have already been written and just awaiting a presidential signature at the right time.

Yeah yeah people have been talking about how f*cked the government has become but the nice thing about the United States is that it DOES eventually correct itself and justice usually comes.

The absolute and correct interpretation of how disastrous this presidency has been is now beginning. Worst administration ever and that has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat. It just IS.

Andrew Jackson will return! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15927989)

"John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!" -- Andrew Jackson's reply to the Supreme Court on the subject of indian removal.

The lesson learned: judges can strike down anything, but unless it's enforced, the decision is moot. Will the NSA stop? No. Will the government ensure they stop? No. What can anyone do? Nothing.

Results 1 - 10 of about 34,200 for Unconsitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15927992)

Did you mean: Unconstitutional

This is great, but I'm not so optimistic (1)

vishbar (862440) | more than 8 years ago | (#15927993)

I have a feeling that it'll go to the Supreme Court and, because of the 5 conservative judges on the court, Judge Taylor's ruling will be massacred.

There's still a ray of hope...SCOTUS ruled reasonably on the Guantanamo Bay case, hopefully they'll do it here too.

Divisive Issues (5, Interesting)

MandoSKippy (708601) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928025)

I was listening to a local radio talk show when this issue came up. The host, a right-leaning Bush mouthpiece used the if you are against this program, then you are pro-terrorist. I actually called in and explained to him about the FISA court, and how it is retroactive, and most people (including myself and those I have spoken to) don't have a beef with the program itself, but more so the warrantless methodology used by the administration. The talk show host, quick on the reponse as most of them are Asked "So you would have activist judges like the judges who ruled that goverments can take your land and give it to corporations making the decision on whether you are wiretapped?" He was basically using a tactic that many policial folks, use another unrealted issue to hide the issues with the one we are talking about. Well, I responded quietly and firmly that he was using an unrelated case, AND in that case the Supreme Court did not rule it that goverment can take your land and give it to companies, but instead ruled that nowhere in the constitution does it state that people are protected from this, and as long as the process is lawful (which in Conneticut at the time it was) it wasn't the Supreme Court's decision to make. This is a correct judgement, and has lead to many newly passed state laws protecting citizens from this behavior. His response was "What are you a lawyer or something?" to which I replied, no just an informed citizen. My point? I am sick an tired of divisive issues like this being hidden in the terrorism crap... you are any NSA wire tapping, you are pro terrorism... that's BS. We just want security WITH protections of our rights. Some actually informed news people who could communicate the issues instead of getting all hot button on the issues wouldn't hurt as well.

the obvious? (4, Insightful)

SafariShane (560870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928034)

The reason that they do not want to retroactivley get warrents is simple. Elegant actually. They are tapping an extreme amount of traffic, more than any of us can imagine. Probably entire geographic regions. Much later on when someone is suddenly suspected of being a terrorist, they have at their fingertips mountains of backdated infomation to sift through to see what you've been up to. There is likely waaaaay too much data to peek at it all, but if you suddenly became a terror suspect tomorrow, they are going to listen to your overseas calls from three years ago.

That's why they can't go to the court and get a warrent "retroactivley". The judges on the court can't time travel, and would be freaking pissssed to find out that the government is doing in effect that.

FP TROLLKORE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928045)

to 4void so as 7o believe their non nigger patrons

Today is a good day. (1)

Zephyros (966835) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928060)

Now we just have to believe that the ruling is ultimately upheld after all appeals.

That, and enforcement. More oversight and a stronger FISA court (i.e. one that isn't simply a rubber stamp) will be important.

Anybody have any thoughts about how this precedent will affect the EFF v. AT&T case?

We are not out of the woods yet (5, Informative)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928069)

Folks, it isn't over until it's over. The ruling can still be appealed. Bush nominated judge Samuel Alito to the supreme court. Alito subscribes to the notion of the unitary executive [wikipedia.org] , which basically means that anything the president does is legal, by definition. Alito may be sympathetic to the administration's view on this. He is just one of nine judges, but I point him out to show you who Bush is appointing.

Remember the Total Information Awareness project, proposed by Admiral Poindexter, shortly after 9/11? It was to be a gigantic database of all electronic information -- the complete, ongoing electronic record of every US citizen. Of course, because of public outcry, the project was defunded. However, the project has simply been broken apart and pursued. Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] says "An unknown number of TIA's functions have been merged under the codename "Topsail".

We don't know the full story, yet we are being given some very clear, bright red flags. Why does the government need to keep track of every single citizen?

Impeach Bush (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928088)

This should be enough to impeach Bush, even if he halts the wiretapping now. He swore to uphold the Constitution when he entered office. Ignorance -- even acting on the advice of paid attorneys -- is no excuse under the law.

Great, but... (1)

Mori Chu (737710) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928110)

Maybe I'm just getting cynical in my old age, but I wonder whether the ruling will matter. I expect the government to overrule the judge and continue doing as it pleases.

What justice do we have, if the justice department is ignored?

Power outage (4, Funny)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928111)

In other news, freak power outages have been reported all over the United States today. Experts attribute this power outage to the newly-installed generators on the Founding Fathers' graves. Powered by their eternal rolling over, they were expected to provide power to the United States for the duration of the Bush presidency.

The Department of Energy has urged power consumers to attempt to cut back on their energy usage until new generators can be installed on the Republican Spin machine, which provides nearly as much spin as the Founding Fathers' graves.

I wonder if ... (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928113)

W. had not pushed the patriot act, if the judge would still have ruled the same way. One part of the act was to allow (in fact, insists on it), that data moves from NSA/CIA to the DOJ/DHS that was collected while in the persuit of terrorists. Had that not been there, and had the NSA been operating the same as always (all data is kept to self except for chasing a real terrorists), I suspect that she would have had less reason to rule this.

Looks great but (1)

BeoCluster (995566) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928118)

Can I make a Beowulf Cluster of all these wiretapping programs ?

Just great! (0, Redundant)

deadhammer (576762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15928129)

Now the terrorists will win! Think of the children!

Diggs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15928139)

Note to self: Can't go wrong with a Web 2.0-friendly judge.
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