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DOJ Still Looks To Have Suit Against Verizon Tossed

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the protecting-the-soldiers dept.

Privacy 79

An anonymous reader writes "With Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell acknowledging that the 'private sector' had a hand in assisting the president's warrantless wiretapping initiative, the DOJ is ever more strenuously demanding that the suit against Verizon be dropped. 'The Justice Department attorneys argue McConnell's statements did nothing to change the fact that it hasn't ever confirmed any of the activities alleged by the class action plaintiffs--and has, in fact, denied the existence of any sort of "dragnet." The arguments made by the class action plaintiffs rest on nothing but "speculation," the attorneys wrote. In the Justice Department's view, litigating the case would still require exposing how the program actually does work--which, it says, would in turn endanger national security.'"

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Gone but not Gonzales (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20414783)

Evidently, just finally dropping Gonzales from his stonewall turret isn't enough to force the "Justice" Department back into the service of the American people and our legitimate security needs. Eventually this circling the wagons over the illegal domestic spying will start claiming that holding responsible the guilty parties will threaten the existence of corporations like Verizon, and their buddies in the government.

They will hold our country hostage to get us to let them walk all over our people.

Re:Gone but not Gonzales (-1, Troll)

homey of my owney (975234) | more than 7 years ago | (#20414923)

Was the coffee bitter this morning?

Nah but a few more conservatives died in Iraq. (-1, Troll)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415505)

Which is kinda cool, we're getting something positive for our money.

Re:Nah but a few more conservatives died in Iraq. (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415787)

That's just a sick thing to say, and flamebaiting :(

Dead mercenaries and contractors is just fine. (0, Flamebait)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415829)

Those douchebags are getting 3-4 times normal pay for helping Bush's amoral police action. I shed no tear for their deaths. They are profitting from an illegal, amoral and unethical display of power.

As for the military, well, the guys who were already in before Bush started this conflict get my sympathy. Sucks to be them, but they knew what they were getting into.

If you signed up for this evil war after it began, you deserve whatever you get at the hands of the Iraqis.

I like watching belligerant and imbecillic assholes fail fail fail. The military told us no more than 6 months. The White House told us $50 Billion dollars. They were warned, now they get mocked.

Re:Dead mercenaries and contractors is just fine. (1)

homey of my owney (975234) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416351)

The thing I like best about this conversation, is how civil everyone is.

I didn't do any of the things you suggest makes someone a; douchebag, amoral, unethical, belligerant (sp), imbecillic (sp), or asshole.

Maybe if you stick to facts without the mean spirited attacks, we can actually get somewhere. No, you shouldn't ignore the attacks that come your way, but I don't think you're helping the cause.

I didn't call you any of those words, did I? (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416555)

If you can't handle insulting words when used to describe people who do bad things, you really need to get over yourself.

I've been spewing the facts since 2003. Now I just don't give a fuck about convincing anyone who hasn't already realized what a fuck up and pathetic failure our president and our military has been.

Sorry if that bothers you, nothing personal.

Re:Dead mercenaries and contractors is just fine. (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416515)

Actually, the conservatives who went to Iraq at least deserve some respect. It's those who didn't, or only did as a token, who are complete scum...

This is true. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416593)

Gotta give respect to those who called for war and actually turned up to help out. I wonder if they still believe whatever they believed when they enlisted...

How did a country go from being founded by men who distrusted government to a country where you are denigrated for questioning your government so quickly?

Re:This is true. (1)

Lost Penguin (636359) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416667)

"I wonder if they still believe whatever they believed when they enlisted..."

Most are voting with their boots..... /Not re-upping....

Re:Gone but not Gonzales (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415579)

If your coffee is more important to you than American fascist surveillance and coverups, then you need to drink yours before posting. Maybe several thousand gallons of it.

Re:Gone but not Gonzales (-1, Troll)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#20414997)

I saw you on South Park the other night, Aging Hippie Liberal Douche!

Mirth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20415305)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAoh wait it's not funny that you're retarded enough to assume everyone opposed to widespread government surveillance is a "liberal" please fuck off now thx bye

Re:Gone but not Gonzales (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415657)

No, that was me drawing the cartoon: Ancient Recovering Ex-hippie libertarian socialist FASCIST KILLER.

Re:Gone but not Gonzales (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415261)

Dead on, Baby. The super-secret outsourcing of "intelligence" to private-sector firms is the "$1000-Dollar Hammer" of the new century. With the added benefit from the both the size of the contracts and the protecting from public scrutiny because such information "is classifed" and discussion of the topic "aids terrorists" and "will result in Americans dying."

If you thought you saw something over the last decade - with big telecom industries operating a revolving-door operation with the FCC regulators, just wait and see what "intelligence" has in store! There is profit in War - that's what the size of the "defense" budget represents: how much of your taxes will be funneled as a subsidy to Haliburton and General Dynamics. Now, AT&T and VeriZion are in on the act.

Re:Gone but not Gonzales (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415531)

I exult in "Jeremiah Cornelius" validating me and calling me "Baby" :).

Can I have the keys to either the airtight garage, or Una Persson's chastity belt now?

Re:Gone but not Gonzales (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 7 years ago | (#20418015)

Una's her own lady, Doc!

Airtight garage? I think you gots to speak en francaise.

I do have the key to a Rolls - with minor oil-pressure issues. And maby Frank has a hit of "something," other than Tempodex.

Re:Gone but not Gonzales (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20418139)

I'm going to paste this conversation inside the pages of my bound editions of the first volume of _Metal Hurlant_. Wait, reverse that: this conversation finally explains how the pages containing them got stuck into those volumes years ago when I got them. Is that us? I think I can see the windmill pinwheels now, over the Hawkwind...

Re:Gone but not Gonzales (1)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415665)

There is profit in War - that's what the size of the "defense" budget represents

Exactly. Some figures [washingtonpost.com] :
$460 billion in the fiscal 2008 defense budget
$147 billion in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
up to $50 billion in additional funding for the war in Iraq

Not counting the money already spent on the perpetual "War on Terrorism" [sourcewatch.org] .

In other words... (5, Insightful)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 7 years ago | (#20414803)

We're screwing you for your own good.

Re:In other words... (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#20414947)

Verizon: "Can you hear me now? NSA can. It's the Network."
AT&T: Your world, delivered. To NSA.
Cingular: Lowering the bar.

> We're screwing you for your own good.

OK, fess up. Which telco are you working for?

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20415987)

I really thing it should be:

Cingular: Ignoring the BAR [wikipedia.org] .

Re:In other words... (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416273)

Everyone knows they are using this capability to label anti-war protesters and prevent anti-war protests.

Good subject for confirmation hearings (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20414817)

This should come up in the confirmation hearings for the new Attorney General.

Re:Good subject for confirmation hearings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20414905)

I was under the impression that Bush can give, say, Chertoff a recess appointment, without ever having to have had any hearings, and that the resulting appointment would last now for the rest of Bush's term, so are you really expecting hearings?

Re:Good subject for confirmation hearings (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415243)

If Bush decides to do that, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can simply call a "pro forma" session to receive the nomination and then promptly adjourn. This tactic is designed to make Bush's appointee's get Senate clearance.

Re:Good subject for confirmation hearings (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415347)

Hell, Reed doesn't even have to do it. As long as there are two senators in the Senate, they can declare a pro forma session all by themselves.

Re:Good subject for confirmation hearings (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416149)

Presupposes that the Dem senators have a collective spine. I haven't seen much evidence of that yet.

self preservation (4, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 7 years ago | (#20414837)

If verizon gets hammered by lawsuits over the illegal wiretapping it doesn't stop there, eventually there will be pressure put on the agencies that did this nonsense in the first place. I suppose that they figure by shielding Verizon it'll discourage any further suits and investigations into what the department was doing.

Re:self preservation (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415419)

Does it ever work that way? Seriously...by circling the wagons, its only making them look guilty as hell.

Re:self preservation (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415451)

thats true, but they figure postponing their demise is better than committing political suicide

Re:self preservation (0, Flamebait)

Entropius (188861) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415661)

Everyone already knows they're guilty as hell, except for the maybe 15% of Fox-News-watching Baptist-church-attending santorum-spewing Young-Earth-believing folks who just don't give a shit because Bush is on the side of "values". Making them look guilty as hell has no drawback any more.

Re:self preservation (2)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415811)

santorum-spewing

Are you referring to the ideas of a certain ex-Senator, [wikipedia.org] or to "that frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex?" [wikipedia.org]

Re:self preservation (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416695)

The latter, with intentional irony regarding its etymology and the former.

The most dangerous thing in the world is ... (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 7 years ago | (#20414849)

someone who is NOT a qualified proctologist looking at the seat of your pants holding a flashlight in his/her hand.

Like the little kid says on "the Awful Show": "Okay ... Bend over"

I feel, uh, violated...

Hopefully judges wont buy that sort of shit. (4, Insightful)

AlanS2002 (580378) | more than 7 years ago | (#20414931)

In the Justice Department's view, litigating the case would still require exposing how the program actually does work--which, it says, would in turn endanger national security.

I would of thought that if that were the case that not all the hearings would be open to those without necessary clearance. Sounds like a bit of a cop out to me. Along the lines of "We've done stuff we shouldn't of done, but because it's in the interests of national security, we can't tell you what we did and how we will keep on doing it".

Re:Hopefully judges wont buy that sort of shit. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20417183)

Along the lines of "We've done stuff we shouldn't of done, but because it's in the interests of national security, we can't tell you what we did and how we will keep on doing it".
Worse: I expect them to argue that exposing the wrongdoing itself will degrade national security. The rationalization being that if nobody knows about an ongoing crime then there's no outrage. Since criminals were allowed to operate within the system, exposing that fact will undermine confidence in the system overall.

For example, it wasn't until evidence of prisoner abuse surfaced that that subject began to cause its own additional stress on national security.

The thinking is that if you could stop the leak, there would be no outrage and no outrage == no problem.

Re:Hopefully judges wont buy that sort of shit. (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20417571)

Exactly. And that's why you have in camera [wikipedia.org] hearings.

Can Someone post the "Easy Summary"? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 7 years ago | (#20414971)


I'm no fan of either player here. This reads like a triple negative. Who's the side we're supposed to be 'rooting for' and is this a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

Nothing to do with "which side are you on"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20415997)

There should be transparency, there is no good reason to not have it. Rights are being squashed as it is!

OMG!
captcha: torturer

Congressional Hearings (5, Insightful)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 7 years ago | (#20414995)

You know, I usually can't stand the idea of Congressional hearings on anything (they end up being more campaign speech-y, than enlightened probes), but this might be an instance where I'm inclined to change my opinion. If there was any type of collusion between the government and big business to break the law of the land, quite a few corporate heads need to roll.

Note that I'm not advocating that these be public hearings - I'm willing to let the government keep a few of its secrets - but all testimony should be under oath. What I cannot abide is watching anybody lie to Congress [washingtonpost.com] , and get away scot free. Especially corporations that have received substantial benefits (subsidies, market consolidation, etc.) from the very same people they are lying to.

Re:Congressional Hearings (3, Insightful)

AlanS2002 (580378) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415137)

Note that I'm not advocating that these be public hearings - I'm willing to let the government keep a few of its secrets - but all testimony should be under oath.

Well I would think that in the interest of having 'checks and balances', in practice rather than theory, that is what ought to happen. If Major corporations have wronged their customers and the DOJ has acted in an illegal manner it needs to be corrected, not brushed under the carpet because it's "in the interests of national security".

Re:Congressional Hearings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20415237)

This guide is largely restricted to terms and information in the Vindolanda tablets and is only intended as an introduction to complex and controversial topics. Commentaries and notes on the tablets linked via the reference section provide more relevant information.

Re:Congressional Hearings (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416739)

Well I would think that in the interest of having 'checks and balances', in practice rather than theory, that is what ought to happen.

I'm wiling to make an even stronger statement: FUCK "national security!" If we, as a nation, have to make a choice between "national security" and checks and balances, then we're just damn well going to have to be "insecure!"

Re:Congressional Hearings (2, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 7 years ago | (#20420459)

Technically speaking, as a democracy, the security of it's citizens is the first priority of 'national security' as such, ensuring that the government and it's agencies does act in a manner that would be approved by the citizens is in the interest of the citizens and provides them with security.

So all those acts must be made public to ensure that they actually do or would receive public approval. In hiding it's methods and it's actions, the current administration and it's political appointees know that the public would not approve of those methods used and the actions taken, and they are specially via their secretive actions are endangering the security of the citizens and in turn having a major negative impact on national security.

So you do in fact want national security, but you want if for real, not just legal bull shit to hide unconstitutional and criminal activities as well as the corruption that allows those activities to occur. The current administration gives major concessions to telecommunication industries that actively disadvantages the majority of citizens, in turn the telecommunication companies allows and supports gross abuses of the constitution and the law to occur on it's services for purely politically motivated purposes.

Re:Congressional Hearings (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415703)

All testimony should be under oath and encrypted with moderately weak encryption, so it's not public now, but we're guaranteed of distributed.net beating the hell out of it sooner or later.

Who is "it" (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415019)

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in those suits recently submitted the McConnell transcript for the court record, in an attempt to blunt the government's contentions that proceeding with the case will endanger national security by exposing state secrets.

Not so, the Bush administration countered in a Wednesday court filing seen by CNET News.com. The Justice Department attorneys argue McConnell's statements did nothing to change the fact that **it** hasn't ever confirmed any of the activities alleged by the class action plaintiffs--and has, in fact, denied the existence of any sort of "dragnet."
Who is the **it** that TFA is talking about?
It could be:
The Justice Dept.
The Bush Administration
National Intelligence Program (McConnell, Director of)

From what I understand [wikipedia.org] Mike McConnel is a political appointee of the President and his words = the Administration's words.

In other words, if he admits to something, the Bush Administration has admitted to it too.

Re:Who is "it" (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416199)

From what I understand Mike McConnel is a political appointee of the President and his words = the Administration's words.


And they get it both ways: McConnell will take one for the team if the heat gets too bad. "I didn't condone what this man did!"

Gov't protects those that pay them off (1)

Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415033)

No film at any hour

Jim Carrey for the defense (0, Offtopic)

abb3w (696381) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415049)

Fletcher: Your honor, I object!
Judge: Why?
Fletcher: Because it's devastating to my case!
Judge: Overruled.

I find his movies generally annoying, but this one tolerable enough that I sat through it without walking out.

Gone. Done. Bye Bye. (1)

RevHawk (855772) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415065)

The Department of Justice is hypocritical through and through. Even it's name is hypocritical. I would say THEY'VE lost all credibility, all trust...But... We're the biggest losers. We've lost credibility. Self esteem. Self image. Everything.

Re:Gone. Done. Bye Bye. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20418589)

I would have to agree..... All I can really say is that the military is probably the only portion of our government with any integrity anymore. I hope when the president declares martial law [whitehouse.gov] after the invasion of Iran, and suspends all further elections as well as consolidating [whitehouse.gov] all 3 branches of government to the Executive that the military sees through all the BS and defends the American people the way they are supposed to.

It was a confession of guilt (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20415089)

What he said was that the lawsuits would bankrupt Verizon:

"Now if you play out the suits at the value they're claimed, it would bankrupt these companies,"

Which means they have merit. Moreover he said it publicly, so he can testify the same under oath without causing any additional problems for national security.

Re:It was a confession of guilt (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20417561)

"Now if you play out the suits at the value they're claimed, it would bankrupt these companies,"

More to the point ... what is wrong with bankrupting those companies? That's the purpose of lawsuits ... if you're too successful at screwing people over, and you get called on it, you are supposed to have your ass handed to you on a platter. That's why we pay all the good people at the Justice Department. Honestly, I'd have thought they would be all over Verizon and the rest, but apparently Justice and the telcos are two halves of the same problem.

Re:It was a confession of guilt (1)

Software (179033) | more than 7 years ago | (#20418531)

Huh? Saying a lawsuit would bankrupt the defendant does not mean that the lawsuit has merit. SCO vs. AutoZone had no merit, even though the suit might have bankrupted AutoZone. The same goes for many of the suits filed against people who don't own computers by Sony, BMG, and the other **AA member companies.

They should be thrown out. (2, Insightful)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415287)

When the DOJ comes to your company and says, "by executive order, do this", you don't just ignore them. It isn't the fault of these companies that phones were tapped, that's like blaming the gun for a robbery.

Re:They should be thrown out. (2, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415381)

What country do you live in? Obviously, not the US. The DOJ doesn't have "executive order". Unless they come to you with a warrant (even a FISA-issued warrant), you're a jackass for violating your customer's privacy. This isn't "24".

Re:They should be thrown out. (1)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 7 years ago | (#20421235)

In case you weren't aware, the situation is still legal gray matter, and it certainly was at the time. The real issue at stake here is not the Phone companies violating privacy, it's how much privacy we are willing to give up in the name of "Security". If one of these allegedly illegal phone taps were to prevent a 9/11 type attack, not nearly as many people would be complaining.

Re:They should be thrown out. (2, Insightful)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415415)

When the DOJ comes to your company and says, "by executive order, do this", you don't just ignore them.

That's right. You have your legal department determine if the EO would make your company violate the law (not hard, since that's the office to which EOs are submitted in the first place) and, if so, file with the court to have an injunction placed on the feds.

Ignoring an executive order is as bad as just bending over for it.

Re:They should be thrown out. (1)

kennylogins (1092227) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416285)

To some degree I agree with this. This is all a bit of a distraction. The real energy of litigation should be focused on the instigators.

Re:They should be thrown out. (1)

jeko (179919) | more than 7 years ago | (#20417743)

Eventually, it will be. The first step is to get the telcos to roll over on the people who gave the order.

Re:They should be thrown out. (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416329)

There's something called illegal orders.

You take them and go uh-huh. Then you publish them in every paper / on television nationwide.

In the military, you can get away with the statement - "Sir! I refuse to follow that order as I believe it to be an illegal order."
You may have to sit in the brig while you await your military tribunal, but you can do it - and once the order is exposed and deemed illegal, the one giving the order and anyone who followed it will be sent on for courtmartial.

Ministry of Truth (1)

denkenmensch (1148995) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415307)

Just believe whatever the Ministry of Truth tells you and don't ask any questions. BB is watching.

You think that's a good hand... (1)

Topherbyte (747078) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415449)

I'll see your National Security bluff, and raise you one one Traditional Family and an American Dream.

Take that.

Re:You think that's a good hand... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416193)

Think of the children...

I call (read 'em and weep)

Re:You think that's a good hand... (1)

Hyperspite (980252) | more than 7 years ago | (#20419459)

My Online Gambling and Senatorial (Anonymous Conservative Gay) Sex meet your children.

Watch out! He's shooting the moon!

Don't know what to say (1)

OVDoobie (887621) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415627)

Anyone else have a constant nagging feeling that our government is utterly and completely out of our control? I say "our" as a voting, gun carrying American citizen who has had about as much as I can take of this type of bullshit. The soap box is monitored, if not outright under their control, the ballot box is rigged, the jury box is full of government "yes" men, how long till they come for the ammo box?

Re:Don't know what to say (1)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416895)

Yoshi Ben Yossi! They have been working on that since 1934 [wikipedia.org] , but there are alternatives [wikipedia.org] .

Pure B.S. (2, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415675)

In the Justice Department's view, litigating the case would still require exposing how the program actually does work--which, it says, would in turn endanger national security.

Pure DoJ bullsh*t.


The safe bet is that the NSA is packet-sniffing all foreign and domestic communications involving targeted individuals or, in the event they can't narrow it down to an IP address, they monitor all the public WiFi services in the neighborhood. Anyone familiar with the technology can figure out how to do it. Anyone communicating with individuals abroad or any number of 'suspect' domestic groups (Islamic, Arab-American lobbying groups, etc.) can figure its being done to them. There's no big secret needing to be kept.


What would endanger 'security' is that this technology is also being used for domestic surveillance for political and even economic reasons (i.e. industrial espionage). The security it would endanger is the current administration's ability to remain out of prison.

Re:Pure B.S. (3, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415869)

I disagree.. What ould endanger 'security' is willfully violating the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights longterm.... I understand the security concerns, and they have a valid point, but they must work within our Bill of Rights...

It is not a big secret understanding what they want. They want to monitor all communications in the US, and be flagged when the system finds things they are looking for. They have wanted this for a long time, even before this administration, and was the whole reason of the original Echelon Network design. Meaning, for the rest of the world they have been monitoring traffic for some time, but were prevented from doing so to its own US citizens. Now they want this power and think that they can justify it by using the 'terrorist' angle...

Interesting Precedent (1)

hackus (159037) | more than 7 years ago | (#20415931)

"With Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell acknowledging that the 'private sector' had a hand in assisting the president's warrantless wiretapping initiative"

So, if this argument is then accepted, we can now consider any corporate entity in the USA a part of the United States government.

So, this is JUST what corporations want. It goes, same to same, that is a coporation can enjoin itself and become an arm of the government, acting on enforcing a governments whishes, then this corporation then has all of the powers of said government.

This is the next step in turning the USA from a republic into an empire in my opinion.

Once corporations are granted that sort of legal power, which they technically already do have, its called your CREDIT RATING, then the last two pieces fall into place:

1) First abridge and control the government laws on credit and trade and put it under the "watchful" eye of just 3 corporations, which hold a trinity of economic power greater than the government itself. Have those entities draw "taxes" from its "citizens" if they wish to buy sell or trade.

You do this every time you check your credit history on a yearly basis. Its is almost required now to do so because if you don't you could seriously injure yourself economically.

Then they have you by the gonads because they want that credit check "tax" to buy borrow or trade as frequently as possible.

Thats why it is so easy to steal identities. For the credit agencies, its BIG business to incompetently manage everyones credit history.

Yes, that would be Equifax, Trans Union, and that other guy.

2) Next step is to generalize corporate law, and insure it is enforced by the government by making it one and the same entity.

Thats what this case is about. I hear a ton of people here crying about separation of church and state, while the merging of government and business gets the BIG GREEN LIGHT with every election that flies by.

3) Final step in this process of becoming an empire is to require citizenship based on employment. If you lose your JOB, your technically NOT A citizen of the Empire of the United States.

That is what happens next: You don't vote anymore, because states will cease to exist. The only states are corporations, and the larger the corporation you belong too, the more power you will wield in privs.

-Hack

Re:Interesting Precedent (1)

catalina (213767) | more than 7 years ago | (#20417211)

That is what happens next: You don't vote anymore, because states will cease to exist. The only states are corporations,

OK, so long as they follow through with good RollerBall teams....

Wait, what? (2, Interesting)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 7 years ago | (#20416089)

Did they just argue that they haven't admitted that they were doing it, but they can't talk about doing it because it would threaten national security? Um, hello? First, it's true that you're not supposed to be able to sue on a hypothetical situation. SCO aside, there's supposed to be a real issue before you can sue. But the government seems to be saying that they have to admit to the wiretapping before they can be sued for it. IANAL, but I don't believe that's how it works, not even for the federal government. Second, maybe "we can't talk about it" is precisely why they haven't admitted it? So, maybe, not admitting it doesn't mean a thing? I hope and expect that the judge can see right through this rubbish...

Not the first time the BUSH DOJ has sided with ... (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 7 years ago | (#20417019)

corporations and against the interests of citizens.

The previous and most notable occurance was when they took defeat out of the jaws of two convictions and created a toothless settlement with Microsoft that enabled them to continue their monopoly. Citizens of all countries have been paying through the nose every since.

Locking everyone up would be good for security... (2, Interesting)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | more than 7 years ago | (#20417163)

... a thought which should be enough to illustrate that the argument "would endanger national security" is pure nanny-state. "If you don't have anything to hide, what are you worried about?" Government by neo-facist paranoiacs, that's what. People are trying to kill them, sure, but their behaviour is that of cowards and bullies, the likes of which have been known to do a lot of damage.

So wait...what about Yahoo (2, Insightful)

torkus (1133985) | more than 7 years ago | (#20419027)

Ok. So Yahoo follows Chinese law and provides information to the chinese gov't ... and gets sued in US courts. Then people cry FAIR...saying Yahoo should know to obey 'international human rights' nonsense.

Yet VZ follows the mandate of it's OWN gov't who i guarantee have the most weight in determining 'international human rights' and winds up in court. Then the DOJ is looking to have the lawsuit dropped?!

So wait.

China forces a company to provide private info to 'out' a journalist per a LAWFUL (in china) request = BAD

Verizon willingly cooperates with secret requests (of highly questionable legality) to not only provide information on-hand but actively seek out and CAPTURE information (i.e. wiretap) for the *US* gov't = GOOD??

I know we're 'holier than thou' but seriously...can anyone in their right mind justify the disparity? I mean, without resorting to 'because we said so' like my parents used to when I was 6.

Re:So wait...what about Yahoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20422557)

uhhh....what disparity? Yahoo are getting sued, people want to sue Govt./Verizon. Looks nothing like a disparity to me....

Independence of the Courts? (3, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 7 years ago | (#20423383)

It seems to me for the executive branch to demand a lawsuit be dismissed is meddling in the independence of the judiciary and violating the Constitutional separation of powers.

Oh, wait, I forgot "activist judges" are supposed to be a bad thing. Never mind about that separation of powers rubbish, then.

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