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Judge Halts NSA Snooping
tedster




msg:3050564
 8:35 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

The Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping on Amercians' telephone and internet communications is unconstitutional and must stop immediately, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

Wired Article [wired.com]

[edited by: tedster at 9:18 pm (utc) on Aug. 17, 2006]

 

ken_b




msg:3050569
 8:38 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

A judge may have ordered the snooping halted.

That doesn't mean it will be.

moishe




msg:3050573
 8:41 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

or that it should be

Rugles




msg:3050574
 8:45 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

politics.... i will pretend i did not see this thread

</reading>

Lorel




msg:3050595
 9:01 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

If this goes through we had better start building bomb shelters again because it will give terrorists an edge.

Don't people remember 9-11?

tedster




msg:3050614
 9:13 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, we don't need a political back and forth here. There's plenty of opinion already published on various sides of the issue, and political forums are the right venue for that discussion. As an amateur at the law, I'd say that this seems to be the only possible ruling, given what is already written. So change the law or change the activity and get warrants, but you can't have it both ways.

I'm glad to see the issue moving forward -- there's a lot to sort out of great importance to the future. This issue and the recent AOL search data debacle certainly should spotlight online privacy issues for at least a couple news cycles.

Thing is, the data privacy issue was already a runaway train before the public got a hint of it.

[edited by: tedster at 1:23 am (utc) on Aug. 18, 2006]

bedlam




msg:3050625
 9:19 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

or that it should be

If this goes through we had better start building bomb shelters again because it will give terrorists an edge.

Remember that what's at issue here is that the program in question has apparently been circumventing the laws established to govern this type of espionage.

It's generally a pretty darned disturbing development in the life of a nation when governments start trying to circumvent the checks and balances that limit their powers...

-b

encyclo




msg:3050639
 9:30 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

From the quote above:

warrantless eavesdropping

This is not a ruling against required, authorized eavesdropping, simply a ruling which means that the authorities have to follow established proceedures such as getting a court order.

Perhaps I should recommend to those who commented during the period when the link was broken to go and read the article. ;)

adamxcl




msg:3050640
 9:31 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

we have laws for reasons and they work. If they don't, laws can be changed. No one should be able to bypass them for their convenience and power. I'd rather live with freedom, privacy and bad guys than none of them.

walkman




msg:3050641
 9:32 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> Don't people remember 9-11?

sure we do! But, do people remember Watergate? How about J. Edgar Hoover?

In this case if snooping is needed, it's really simple: ALL they have to do is change the constituion. At least we'll have truth in advertising.

natural number




msg:3050651
 9:40 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Liberty finally won a battle, after losing so many to Bush. Maybe this is a sign of better times to come.

oneguy




msg:3050670
 9:48 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

From article...

The Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping on Amercians' telephone and internet communications is unconstitutional and must stop immediately, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

Or what? The judge will raise an army?

From article...

It also marks a serious blow to the administration's sweeping interpretation of executive authority under the Constitution, a stance that's riled politicians and legal scholars alike.

Now they'll have to reinterpret their reliance on the opinions of judges.

From article...

The wiretapping "violates the Separation of Powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Title III (of the Constitution)," according to Taylor's injunction.

Executive branch response: "We see what you wrote on that piece of paper there, but we think you actually meant something else."

The branches are fairly used to ignoring each other in various fashions.

jk3210




msg:3050691
 10:04 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

<<change the law>>

Congress CAN'T change the law. That's the problem.

The basis for a warrant comes from the Constitution. Its wording clearly requires "probable cause," PERIOD. Congress can't change that. Only a constitutional amendment can change it.

THAT'S why things have shaped-up as they have. THAT'S why Bush doesn't simply "get a warrant" like some people keep stating over and over. He can't. There is no "probable cause" showing.

If this was Britian, it would be different --they are only required to have a "reasonable suspicion" that a crime is afoot. That's a much lower hurdle than ours.

If you amend the Constitution to allow Bush's wiretaps, you also amend it for all domestic search and seizures.

Big problem.

walkman




msg:3050768
 11:00 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> Congress CAN'T change the law. That's the problem
No, but they can start asking for it, and if it is such a great idea it will catch on. Let Mr. Gonzales ask for it--live on CNN.

motorhaven




msg:3050774
 11:06 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Today’s ruling is a landmark victory against the abuse of power that has become the hallmark of the Bush administration," said ACLU Director Anthony D. Romero in a written statement."

That statement pretty much show's the ACLU's politcal motivation against the admin rather than just the merits or lack thereof, of this case.

Where was the ACLU when the previous administration put in its Internet snooping programs?

Thankfully the Brits aren't saddled by the ACLU and stopped an operation that would have made 9/11 look small.

Yes there are privacy and constitutional concerns but they do not apply to non citizens operating off-shore contacting operatives in the US.

Rugles




msg:3050810
 11:50 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well it went political, hmmmm.

And it only took 4 posts before that day 5 years ago was mentioned on one side of the argument. Any minute now we will hear about that thing that happened in Germany about 70 years ago.

pgrote




msg:3050820
 12:08 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can someone explain why this is on the front page?

tigertom




msg:3050827
 12:12 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

So tempting. You can snoop without a warrant. So why stop with terrorists? Criminals, political opponents, activists, freemasons, rotarians, feminists, students, bloggers, geeks; bug them all, then we'll all be safe.

Oh, is that a knock at the door? At _this_ hour? Who could it be ...?

[heh, heh, heh]

tedster




msg:3050898
 1:21 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can someone explain why this is on the front page?

The story has to do with Internet surveillance and expectations of privacy -- the US government watching private email, among other things, without a warrant. We have covered this storyline in its many facets at least since the now renamed FBI Carnivore project. For example, see [webmasterworld.com...]

Today's judicial ruling in the US is an important bit of Internet news, and another step on the unfolding story, no matter what anyone's personal politics are.

balam




msg:3050915
 1:43 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

> The story has to do with Internet surveillance [...]

Does it?! Everything I've read about the subject - including the linked story - seems to indicate that this issue regards the surreptitious monitoring of telephone calls.

> Well it went political, hmmmm.

It is/was political far before the OP posted.

> Can someone explain why this is on the front page?

Shoot, why is an example of America's (read: Bush's) "guilty unless we decide you're innocent" attitude being posted here at all? Doesn't this thread violate (at minimum) TOS #16? As a webmaster who doesn't live in a police state, I fail to see the importance of this thread.

balam




msg:3050925
 1:59 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you open Pandora's Box...

> Thankfully the Brits aren't saddled by the ACLU and stopped an operation that would have made 9/11 look small.

"9/11 look small"... I believe it was Scotland Yard that said it would have been "murder on an unimaged scale."

I've got to ask, are Brits suffering from Body Count Envy? 10 planes with 300 "souls" each equals 3000 units of tainted fish food. Anyone who's heard of "9/11" has no trouble imaging that.

Visit Thailand




msg:3050928
 2:03 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would imagine that there are many members biting their tongue.

I regard these forums too highly to engage in political discussion here.

walkman




msg:3050931
 2:11 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Thankfully the Brits aren't saddled by the ACLU and stopped an operation that would have made 9/11 look small.

With over 100,000 people dying each year from prescription medicine., it seems safe to say that if we monitored all the (legal) pharma execs conversations we could easily save more than 3000 lives a year, by simply finding out what they are hiding from FDA and the public. Of course I could have picked any other industry, legal or illegal. Not to mention cams in our houses and cars to keep us safe by making sure we don't engage in "dangerous activities".

The point is that as a society we have to pick a proper balance between safety and liberty. Here's another example: North Korea is one of the safest countries on the world, as everyone spies on each other, yet I am in no rush to go and live there. If I die here for living in a "less safe" country so be it.

I wish the Brits the best; I hope they enjoy their "safety."

AhmedF




msg:3050941
 2:27 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

jk3210 - so what is FISA?

tedster




msg:3050945
 2:32 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The point is that as a society we have to pick a proper balance between safety and liberty.

Exactly -- and the Information Age has thrown ingredients into the stew that never before existed. Big ingredients that have very strong flavors. We have not yet resolved this issue as a society, and we need to start working on it (in fact, we have, but slowly.)

Because of the very nature of the Internet, this is an issue that transcends not only partisan politics but also national boundaries. It cuts into areas such as privileged business communications (even if encrypted), and with telephony rapidly moving from switched connections to packeted voice data over IP, we get into all kinds of new complications.

Sound bytes and one liners will not resolve the issue. I for one hope to see some statesman like brilliance -- intelligence from somewhere far beyond "politics as usual" -- brought into the arena. I do not pretend I know the answers, or even all the issues. But I can feel how huge this is (as I imagine we all can), and how immense the impact on the future of everyone's quality of life.

My hope is that everyone will continue to inform themselves, to feel beyond their preconceived ideas and patterns, and keep looking at all sides of these issues. We cannot have a sane resolution if we only come from our pre-disposed positions.

There is intelligent observation from many directions here, although often hidden behind spin and rhetoric and the "news cycle" of the moment. For example, it is clear to me that modern technology has put extreme weapons within reach of very small minorities. This needs to be addressed. It is also clear to me that there is a great paradox in the idea of surrendering freedom to protect freedom. This also needs to be addressed. It ain't easy at all.

jk3210




msg:3050980
 3:05 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

<<jk3210 - so what is FISA?>>

Here [en.wikipedia.org] you go.

As I understand it, the problem is not monitoring a specific known person --FISA can cover that. The problem is the blanket monitoring they are doing to INITIALLY DISCOVER who the bad guys are.

"Approval of a FISA application requires the court find probable cause that the target of the surveillance be a "foreign power" or an "agent of a foreign power..."

Who's name do you put on the FISA application as the "target" if you don't know who they are or if they even exist?

mcavic




msg:3050986
 3:14 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The problem is the blanket monitoring they are doing to INITIALLY DISCOVER who the bad guys are

Yes, that's the problem. The government isn't allowed to go fishing for suspects. They have to start with a specific suspect, and then dig for more concrete evidence.

it is clear to me that modern technology has put extreme weapons within reach of very small minorities... It is also clear to me that there is a great paradox in the idea of surrendering freedom to protect freedom... It ain't easy at all.

Well said. It's that paradox that concerns me. I'm glad that the Bush Administration and the rest of our government is working so hard to keep the country safe. But at the same time, I applaud the Judge's decision in this case.

packeted voice data over IP

By the way, based on my limited experience with Skype and Vonage, I don't think I could distinguish "let's attack Washington DC" from "be back, I'm running to the washing machine".

Dante




msg:3050997
 3:35 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

By the way, based on my limited experience with Skype and Vonage, I don't think I could distinguish "let's attack Washington DC" from "be back, I'm running to the washing machine".

I communicate internationally for hours a day on Skype and 95% of the time the communication is far more clear than using my land line or cellphone.

lammert




msg:3051199
 7:15 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that after this ruling data-mining to get useful intelligence information from large blocks of data is more restricted for the US government, than it is for US businesses.

Data mining itself on a random mix of suspected and unsuspected stream of data to make an initial selection of possible suspected information (which is how you can define the technique the NSA used) is IMHO not very different from what search engines do, or at least can do. We recently had the incident with AOL bringing a set of "anonymous" search queries of their customers in the open. Many reports have shown that with this information it is easy to track down anonymous data back to individuals and their behaviour and interests.

No doubt that a dive in the search history stored at the large search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN will give a wealth on information. Not to mention a "grep" on the contents of public mail systems like gmail or hotmail.

Many people seem concerned about the US government using data mining as a method to protect the lives of their citizens (which is despite all the political buzz around this issue IMO their primary interest), but on the other hand almost no-one cares in the same way of the possible dangers of companies and individuals within those companies to do the same, yet with totally other intentions.

TravelSite




msg:3051315
 9:45 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't think that people in the UK, US and around the world are actively trying to stop technology that can protect people.

It's rather that there is a belief that the technologies that can protect us can't be allowed because governments will missue it.

A belief that governments will happily use some of todays threats as excuses to implement systems that they want in place for their own benefit.

The only solution that I could invisage would be some kind of public involvment whereby organisations would have to make a request to a public body (randomly selected citizens and one or two experts) before they get the go ahead to do something - rather like how the jury system decides on verdicts in court cases.

But with ever advancing technology this debate is likely to heat up and continue for some time.

This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >
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