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FBI Finds It Overstepped Bounds in Collecting Data 107

Posted by Zonk
from the back-over-the-line-you dept.
truthsearch writes with a link to a Washington Post article about an eyebrow raising internal FBI audit recently released to the public. The document finds that, contrary to a document release back in March, the FBI frequently overstepped its bounds in collecting data on US citizens. The article states that the organization may have violated laws or agency rules 'more than 1,000 times'. "The new audit covers just 10 percent of the bureau's national security investigations since 2002. The vast majority of the new violations were instances in which telephone companies and Internet providers gave agents phone and e-mail records the agents did not request and were not authorized to collect. But two dozen of the newly-discovered violations involved agents' requests for information that U.S. law did not allow them to have."
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FBI Finds It Overstepped Bounds in Collecting Data

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  • Never (Score:5, Insightful)

    by uberjoe (726765) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:58PM (#19508451)
    What? The government abused it's power? But they said they wouldn't . . . I must admit I'm stunned.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by magarity (164372)
      I must admit I'm stunned
       
      What should stun you is that they not only bothered to investigate it themselves, they've admitted to the public that they've done it. Well, maybe it doesn't stun you because you're so used to it but more people than not in this world live in countries where this would never get investigated, nevermind released.
      • Re:Never (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MyOtherUIDis3digits (926429) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:30PM (#19508951)
        What scares me is wondering what's the really bad thing going on that this is meant to distract us from.
      • by Bearpaw (13080)

        Well, maybe it doesn't stun you because you're so used to it but more people than not in this world live in countries where this would never get investigated, nevermind released.
        Yes, in the US, we're much more sophisticated about such things. A few relatively low-level "bad apples" are caught and punished. That way, there may be a little outcry, but most people actually end up believing that there's real oversight.
        • > few relatively low-level "bad apples" are caught and punished

          Um, I skimmed the article, and there was no mention of anyone being punished. Just a 'we promise to try to do better sometime in the future'.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Intron (870560)
        They have admitted it and as a result, the people within the FBI responsible for breaking the law have been identified and fired.

        Oh wait, no they haven't. There seem to be no consequences at all.
    • But but but but... (Score:3, Informative)

      by presarioD (771260)
      ...you've got "nothing to hide"(tm) so you shouldn't worry. Our comrades are after the "bad guys"(tm) only...
    • Re:Never (Score:5, Funny)

      by hxnwix (652290) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:26PM (#19508881) Journal

      What? The government abused it's power?
      No. A few low level agents made mistakes which they know shouldn't be repeated. We told them it was probably not OK with some people the first time around, and now that's it's happening again, we've issued a fresh round of lukewarm admonishments.

      Rest assured that the rule of law is important to us & all will be well.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Rest assured that the rule of law is important to us & all will be well.

        Oh yeah, one more thing: I still have complete confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

        Now, can we please get back to doing the people's bidness?
    • In other news, the Earth continues to revolve around the Sun.
    • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday June 14, 2007 @03:21PM (#19511011) Homepage
      1. 10-20 million of Texans [wikipedia.org] have been starved to death, as their food "surplases" were confiscated.
      2. 90% percent of farmers joined collective farms [wikipedia.org].
      3. The concept of "money" was eliminated [open2.net].
      4. 30 million of Americans were declared "enemies of the people" and sentenced to 25 years of labor camps without the right to correspondence [wikipedia.org].

      Just putting it into perspective... There are abuses, and there are other abuses...

      • by Chris Burke (6130)
        Abuses lead to other abuses, which is why we must diligently and aggressively punish abuse.
      • So if I steal your car and burn down your house, I could say in my defense that I didn't torture you to death, set your family on fire, and poison the water system, and that would serve to put what I actually did in perspective? I mean, there are millions of people Hitler and Stalin didn't kill, so I wish people would keep that in mind when they are being so alarmist. But I guess groupthink is easier than thinking. Or something.

        Op>

    • by Xyrus (755017)
      In other news, a recent FBI investigation concluded that the FBI had overstepped its bounds many times.....

      *crickets* ...And Paris Hilton was released from the hospital....

      *oooh ahhh omg poneez!!!11!*

      ~X~
    • by mpe (36238)
      What? The government abused it's power? But they said they wouldn't . . . I must admit I'm stunned.

      So what are they going to do about it, lie again?
      To be honest this isn't news. It would be news if did what they said they were going to do and only that (i.e. actually followed the rules) for a month (even a week).
  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <<info> <at> <devinmoore.com>> on Thursday June 14, 2007 @12:58PM (#19508459) Homepage Journal
    Just because the info you got is legal to get, it doesn't mean the way you got it was legal... it sounds in the summary like they think they should escape prosecution/etc because the net result was data they could've got legally anyhow. So if I ask someone for money, and they give it to me, vs. I hit them and take it, I shouldn't get prosecuted, because the net result I'd have received anyhow?
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What summary did you read? The one I read doesn't sound like that at all.
    • by cirby (2599) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:47PM (#19509275)
      It turns out that of that 1,000 incidents, 700 of them were from people at the companies sending too much (unrequested) information, not from over-intrusive FBI snooping. A few of the incidents had the agents sending out new letters requesting permission to use the extra info, but pretty much all of them were just discarded or filed away without anyone going through them (because you know someone would want to have a record of what was received, not what the agents actually wanted or used).

      So out of that "1,000" it turns out to be 300 or less.

      Because, as the article notes, it was "suspected" violations, not proven or even substantially indicated ones.

      And this is out of what, almost 50,000 pieces of info requested? And that includes things like credit reports and other semi-public records - it's not like they're digging really deep for most of this. You get more investigation when you apply for a job with many companies.

      A much less than 1% error rate is pretty damned good...
      • First, I would agree if it were all done in error. My question would simply be - In how many instances did they know they were vioalting the law? If >0 then it's not acceptable. Unfortunately, we will likely always hear "I'm sorry I didn't realize". The funny thing is that Joe Public is always told that ignorance is not a legal defense.

        Second, it was an internal audit. Where are they publishing the instrument used to randomly pull 10% of the investigations? If we don't get to see the instrument we need

      • Who are these companies and why are they giving out too much information? Can some consumer advocacy group list them in some sort of list with a suitable ranking? Perhaps with the top 8 or 11 or so particularly bad ones?
    • by morleron (574428) *
      I think you're absolutely right about this. Here's how the Feds are now recruiting people for the FBI and DOJ:

      (recruitment)
      Hey! Step right right up and put your name down for a job with the FBI or DOJ and possible nomination as next U.S. Attorney General. You've got just the attributes we here in Washington are looking for, primarily, the ability to rationalize anything that Der Führer^w^w President Bush wants done. You'll fit in nicely here in Washington, the land of the Big Lie, little credibilit
  • Compared to the illegal wiretapping that Bush & Co. were/are doing.. this seems relatively small potatoes..
    • by Tackhead (54550) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:06PM (#19508589)
      > Compared to the illegal wiretapping that Bush & Co. were/are doing.. this seems relatively small potatoes..

      Hey, we wanted a government that listens to its people, and we got one!

    • Compared to the illegal wiretapping that Bush & Co. were/are doing.. this seems relatively small potatoes..

      Might not be as major, but certainly worth pursuing, as it's another symptom of this runaway federal power binge that's really picked up steam since George the Second came into power. The FBI oversteps and Bush & Co's power grab are part of the same thing.

      Incidentally, there's another George floating around in the Bush family, and he's young enough he might yet go for politics. The last

      • by magarity (164372) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:38PM (#19509065)
        The vast majority of the new violations were instances in which telephone companies and Internet providers gave agents phone and e-mail records the agents did not request
         
        How the heck is this a "symptom of this runaway federal power binge"? Sounds more like extremely poor data security management at the service providers. Meanwhile, there were 22 cases out of a thousand in the audit where agents asked for more than they were authorized to get. That's hardly a runaway binge. Next time, please rtfa.
        • Thanks magarity, but I did rtfa. Note that my reply was to someone talking about the hidden and unconstitutional NSA wiretapping arrangement, which is directly about the feds. Note also that there *were* instances of direct and improper FBI requests:

          But two dozen of the newly-discovered violations involved agents' requests for information that U.S. law did not allow them to have.

          To step beyond the scope of my initial response, the telcos and ISPs simply *providing* such records to law enforcement offic

        • by Abcd1234 (188840)
          Interesting, I see you were careful to leave out the most important part of that paragraph. This part:

          The agents retained the information anyway in their files

          *That* would be the illegal part. Yes, I agree, this is a bit of a tempest in a teapot, but it's clear the agents were in the wrong, here (even if they were ignorant of that fact).
    • by blhack (921171) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:35PM (#19509005)

      Compared to the illegal wiretapping that Bush & Co. were/are doing.. this seems relatively small potatoes..
      Don't be naive, the United States (and pretty much the rest of the 1st world) has been wiretapping its citizens since the 70's
      link [wikipedia.org]

      "Bush & Co" as you so elegantly called our Chief Executive and his staff, are just the first people to actually be OPEN about it.

      YOU INSENSATIVE CLOD!
      ;-), just cause this is slashdot.
      • by Smidge204 (605297)
        But there is a difference between, say, wiretapping under supervision of a court because you had enough of a case to warrant it... and just shooting in the dark hoping to catch something. You know, legal vs. illegal wiretapping.

        Not to say the government has always been straight as an arrow about it, but Bush & Co. have by far been the most brazen about their exploits. C'mon guys, at least try to act like you're not violating the laws with total abandon.
        =Smidge=
      • "Bush & Co" as you so elegantly called our Chief Executive and his staff, are just the first people to actually be OPEN about it.

        Wow, put it like that and it almost sounds like the current guys are being honorable about it, as if they said "We're doing exactly A and B, but we'd never stoop to C!".

        When what's actually happening is they're being called out for taking the existing slimy activity, and trying to quietly expand it to unconstitutional new levels C, D, and F.
      • by db32 (862117)
        Uhm...they aren't being "open" about it except for their blatant violation of the law. What they are being is incompetent about it. Thats like telling me the guy who shoots up a bunch of people in the mall was being "open" about it and assigning some virtue to that, but the guy that shoots them in the dark alley wasn't.

        The upshot is at least people are becoming aware of the fact that they have been being tapped. Not that much has been done about this other than Congress signing stuff that says "illegal w
      • by hachete (473378)
        Stop being a Bush fanboi. The New York Times published the article outing the wire-tapping, for which act they've been villified and pilloried by every right-wing politico who had a cheap shot to make. I seem to recall that act being called treason on more than one occasion. Bush was *forced* into being "open" about illegimately then had to pass retrospective legislation to make it legal.

        What worries me is that your blatant piece of propaganda got labelled informative, and that the saner comments following
  • big suprise.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Victor Tramp (5336) <info@ross 1 5 4 . net> on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:01PM (#19508499) Homepage
    When a populace forgets that being free doesn't equate to being safe, and when a populace forgets that being secure doesn't mean being being free; then those who seek to have power over the populace, will.
  • ...and they still couldn't nail Tony Soprano. The FBI is a shadow of its former self.

  • x-files (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    perfect! just as I am at season 6 of my personal x-file rerun extravaganza
  • Justice Department and FBI investigators are trying to determine if any FBI headquarters officials should be held accountable or punished for those abuses, and have begun advising agents of their due process rights during interviews.

    Held accountable? "Punished for those abuses"? Exactly what would that be? Suspension with pay so these agents can sit around, drink beer, and watch Jerry Springer while getting paid?

    They violated the Constitution and our Civil Rights while "protecting" our Freedom....Oh God! (

  • Solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JamesRose (1062530) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:14PM (#19508707)
    Every FBI agent who asked for/took information not legally allowed should be sacked immediately, they either don't know the law they are enforcing or are deliberately breaking it themselves. No excuses, they should be sacked. With ten thousand offences (1000, but only 10% sample was taken) The management should be removed and replace. Maybe this would give a proper signal of what the people expect of their law enforcement and show to the people that criminal activity isn't tolerated anywhere.

    They either do this, or the populace should not feel under any compulsion to comply with any laws at all, or pay taxes, this is because the government has a responsibility as well as the individual, if the government has shirked its responsibiity no citizen can be expected in return to have any responsibility to the government.

    I know this seems extreme but in the long run it would be the right move giving a good precedent and restoring a large amount of faith in the system.
    • Every FBI agent who asked for/took information not legally allowed should be sacked immediately, ...

      Excellent first step.

      As a second step how about we enshrine in law a protection for citizens that are requested to comply with such overreaching data collection techniques. Think about it, if you were asked by a government agency to do something you thougtht was immoral, then one choice would only involve your concience, but the other choice might involve legal trouble and possible jail time. Citizens

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hatta (162192)
      Every FBI agent who asked for/took information not legally allowed should be sacked immediately, they either don't know the law they are enforcing or are deliberately breaking it themselves. No excuses, they should be sacked.

      I don't think we should be giving them any special treatment. If they broke the law they should be prosecuted just like any other citizen. Actually, IMNSHO, since they wield power over the average citizen they should be held to a higher standard and so deserve harsher punishment.
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by kiwimate (458274)
      Every FBI agent who asked for/took information not legally allowed should be sacked immediately, they either don't know the law they are enforcing or are deliberately breaking it themselves. No excuses, they should be sacked.

      Every sysadmin who had a system crash should be sacked immediately; they either don't know the systems they are adminstering or are deliberately crashing them themselves. No excuses, they should be sacked.
    • The remedy to these types of transgressions is that any evidence obtained from such can not be admitted into evidence. That is a pretty good system. It's not perfect, but then that is the nature of this world, pretty good but not perfect. We can not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.

      I don't consider this giving up liberty as it is the job of the FBI to investigate crimes. Gathering data is a huge part of that job and as we don't have robot agents yet, human error will always be a factor.
  • by JustNiz (692889) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:14PM (#19508711)
    They must have known and someone must have authorized it. Why aren't we reading about that person being fired or better yet pulled up in court?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      They must have known and someone must have authorized it. Why aren't we reading about that person being fired or better yet pulled up in court?

      Terror terror freedom terror way of life terror harm us terror terror!
    • They must have known and someone must have authorized it. Why aren't we reading about that person being fired or better yet pulled up in court?

      Don't worry, he's getting his! [cnn.com]

    • They knew, they just didn't care and never expected to have to answer for it. Yet another shining example of why you should NEVER just take an administration or agency at its word when they say "Don't worry, we promise not to abuse this power."

      If this is what the FBI has gotten away with, it sends a shudder up my spine to think what the NSA has gotten away with (and is STILL getting away with). I wouldn't be a bit surprised to learn that they're randomly fishing the entire U.S. population: listening in on

  • COINTELPRO! COINTELPRO!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO [wikipedia.org]

    Oh look, more books that will depress me if I read them are referenced. Much like 'Killing Hope'. I wish I had stopped paying attention to politics.
  • Ooh, ooh, I know what'll happen!

    Let's see, internal audit finds out that privacy laws were broken during an investigation. Then, it gets printed in the newspaper, but doesn't receive much discussion. Guilty parties get a slap on the wrist, and 'accidentally' make the same mistakes again in future investigations. If the matter is pressed, the official response amounts to, "Sorry everyone, but you see, we got to protect you from dem terrorists!"

    In the words of Joel from MST3K: "...we're stuck in a Moebius str
    • by sgt_doom (655561)
      Ya know, Good Citizen mattgreen, the other day I was discussing the similarities with a sociopolitically like-minded fellow (who actually still believes the "official" stories of the JFK assassination and the attacks on 9/11/01) between those two events - JFK's assassination and 9/11/01 - and I stopped immediately after mentioning that half of the clowns on the Warren Commission had been fired by JFK and the clown they used to justify stereotyping Oswald as a nutjob (that would be General Walker) was fired
  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:20PM (#19508785) Journal
    While there is no personal cost to law enforcement agents breaking the law, they will continue to break it. They're human, so that's not suprising.

    Until there is serious punishment liked docked pay, a firing or prison time (depending on the severity) for blatent lawlessness on the part of the law enforcement agencies, they will continue to do as they please.

    • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:51PM (#19509389)

      And allow me to rephrase that for you:

      While there is no personal cost to corporate agents breaking the law, they will continue to break it. They're human, so that's not suprising.

      Until there is serious punishment liked docked pay, a firing or prison time (depending on the severity) for blatant lawlessness on the part of the corporations, they will continue to do as they please.

      There. Now we've covered both halves of this corrupt equation.

  • The truly ironic part of all of this is that the FBI was originally created to investigate and oversee GOVERNMENT actions to prevent these sorts of abuses in the first place; to prevent tyranny and corruption. Now it is carrying out the exact opposite of its charter.
  • Why is it that both the Department of Justice and FBI seem to be violating so many laws these days? Shouldn't our law enforcement agencies be setting good examples for the citizens? These agencies should be held more accountable than your average citizen, because its their job to know the difference between legal and illegal. Placing your government agencies above the laws they create and enforce is very dangerous and tends to lead to the creation of a police state.

    A government without limits is far scar
    • Why is it that both the Department of Justice and FBI seem to be violating so many laws these days?

      Maybe you're just finally paying attention to it? I'm finding more and more people who couldn't have cared less pre-9/11 are now up in arms about the smallest movement within government that is questionable.

      Now here's my real question: Are you same people going to be so scrutinising and demanding when the next guy takes office?

      So much of this just seem like political spin to get a Democrat in office that,
      • by danpsmith (922127)

        Maybe you're just finally paying attention to it? I'm finding more and more people who couldn't have cared less pre-9/11 are now up in arms about the smallest movement within government that is questionable. Now here's my real question: Are you same people going to be so scrutinising and demanding when the next guy takes office? So much of this just seem like political spin to get a Democrat in office that, frankly, I'm concerned that most people are going to turn a blind eye once they get "their boy" in

        • but people can never seem to find an alternative.

          No, people never take a chance on the alternative. Every election I've ever voted in there has always been a good representation of third party and indie candidates. Few ever get elected because people actually believe it's better to vote for who might win vs who represents them best. Maybe if people took the time and heart to vote for who represents them best maybe they'd have a chance to win.
          • by danpsmith (922127)

            No, people never take a chance on the alternative. Every election I've ever voted in there has always been a good representation of third party and indie candidates. Few ever get elected because people actually believe it's better to vote for who might win vs who represents them best. Maybe if people took the time and heart to vote for who represents them best maybe they'd have a chance to win.

            Why is this though? You ever asked that question? Other countries have party systems but more diverse representa

            • I think not having a majority of any party in congress is the solution. I don't think I can convince many of this but it is what it is. Not to say that I've thrown in the towel, I still vote third party, but I know that it will take a lot of time before people move in one direction or the other.

              In some secret way I was hoping that there would be enough splintering at the points where Nader and Perot were in the mix that some of the moderates of both parties would have gone away from their own little party
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The vast majority of the new violations were instances in which telephone companies and Internet providers gave agents phone and e-mail records the agents did not request and were not authorized to collect.

    Isn't this along the lines of me handing you a 20 for a 10 dollar bill, leaving your place of business only to return with the police proclaiming that you overcharged me?

    While the 2 dozen or so counts of obtaining information by request that they didn't have rights to is very valid I find these other c
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by parcel (145162)
      Isn't this along the lines of me handing you a 20 for a 10 dollar bill, leaving your place of business only to return with the police proclaiming that you overcharged me?

      From the article: The vast majority of the new violations were instances in which telephone companies and Internet providers gave agents phone and e-mail records the agents did not request and were not authorized to collect. The agents retained the information anyway in their files...

      So to try to fit your analogy, it's more like you were g
  • by noidentity (188756) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:50PM (#19509357)
    They were "collecting data on US citizens". I guess that's the modern way to say they were spying.
  • by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @01:53PM (#19509423)

    I _know_ that this is not likely to be a popular opinion. I _know_ that this is decidedly unpatriotic, but I want to say it anyway:

    This just isn't worth it.

    The cost of our 'war on terror' is far outstripping any harm that those 'terrorist' groups could have done to us. We have sacrificed the lives of young men and women to war than were lost on 9/11, by a long shot. We have likely spent, or at least will spend, far more money than we lost in that attack. We have lost our faith in our leadership's ability to keep us safe and happy at the same time. We're losing our civil liberties and are devolving into a police state.

    WHY?

    Is this all really, truly just because a handful of zealots MIGHT crash more planes into more buildings?

    People joke about "if you do 'x', the terrorists win". In all seriousness, the truth is, if we are going to live in fear we may as well forfeit.

    • by cromar (1103585)
      There's nothing unpatriotic about that.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by danpsmith (922127)

      The cost of our 'war on terror' is far outstripping any harm that those 'terrorist' groups could have done to us. We have sacrificed the lives of young men and women to war than were lost on 9/11, by a long shot. We have likely spent, or at least will spend, far more money than we lost in that attack. We have lost our faith in our leadership's ability to keep us safe and happy at the same time. We're losing our civil liberties and are devolving into a police state.

      Of course. However, you have to ask yours

      • by sgt_doom (655561)
        I'm not saying 9/11 was fake or anything (those 9/11 conspiracy people are nuts)..

        Hmmmm.....I see....so it was logical for an immediate investigative commission to be created after the Challenger [wikipedia.org] explosion, but not illogical for this Bush administration to do everything possible to interdict any sort of investigative 9/11/01 commission from ever taking place, and finally when they capitulate to its existence, they refuse to allow it to have any subpoena powers, refuse to allow Bush and Cheney to testify

        • by danpsmith (922127)

          Hmmmm.....I see....so it was logical for an immediate investigative commission to be created after the Challenger explosion, but not illogical for this Bush administration to do everything possible to interdict any sort of investigative 9/11/01 commission from ever taking place, and finally when they capitulate to its existence, they refuse to allow it to have any subpoena powers, refuse to allow Bush and Cheney to testify under oath, severely underfund it, then try to have the American Business Representat

    • by Toonol (1057698)

      I _know_ that this is not likely to be a popular opinion. I _know_ that this is decidedly unpatriotic, but I want to say it anyway:

      This just isn't worth it.

      While I agree with you, you should probably dispense with the martyrdom. 95% of the readers here agree with you, and I'm sure you knew that when you posted.

      More accurate would be to phrase your sentence "Just like everyone else here, I don't think this is worth it."

    • Is this all really, truly just because a handful of zealots MIGHT crash more planes into more buildings? People joke about "if you do 'x', the terrorists win". In all seriousness, the truth is, if we are going to live in fear we may as well forfeit.

      To sum up: If we sacrifice all our freedoms for the illusion of security, the terrorists win anyway...

    • by Darby (84953)

      I _know_ that this is not likely to be a popular opinion. I _know_ that this is decidedly unpatriotic, but I want to say it anyway:


      It's quite a popular opinion, held by the vast majority of Americans.
      It's also a decidedly patriotic position that has been obvious to anyone with half a brain since before they even started trying to sell this bullshit war.

      Are you seriously just pulling your head far enough out of your butt to have finally noticed this?
  • by jmorris42 (1458) *
    Ok, an internal audit found a few (a couple dozen so this piece says) places where they probably crossed the line. They found a problem and will now see what policy changes can be made to reduce the chances of it happening again. The system worked as designed. Massive government operation makes mistakes, film at 11. Hello! It's a massive inefficient government operation changed with the almost impossible task of doing both law enforcement AND anti terrorism/counter insurgency operations while Democtats
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The problem is this is supposed to be the land of the free. Many people sacrificed their lives in order to keep it that. If you're willing to give up YOUR freedom in the name of safety, I'll lock the door on your padded cell myself. The rest of us will go on living outside your cell, facing the threats from tornados, car crashes, and terrorists. With any luck, we might even recognize their causes. With even more luck, we might address the root issues (hint, it's not that someone has a gun/bacterium/nuk
    • by BobMcD (601576)

      Well then I guess they can have the damn landmark. I'll keep my freedoms, thank you.
    • by Darby (84953)
      They found a problem and will now see what policy changes can be made to reduce the chances of it happening again. The system worked as designed.Massive government operation makes mistakes, film at 11. Hello! It's a massive inefficient government operation changed with the almost impossible task of doing both law enforcement AND anti terrorism/counter insurgency operations while Democtats insist they do it with both hands tied behind their backs and hopping on one foot./i.

      Oh, right, of course it must alwayt
  • Criminal Cops (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @02:26PM (#19510087) Homepage Journal
    When you (except you, the FBI agent snooping on this message) or I "overstep bounds" like those the FBI "overstepped" in this operation, we're guilty of breaking the law. We're criminals. The people the FBI are responsible for arresting and pushing into the justice system that jails us.

    Who at the FBI will even get fired for their crimes? Who will be charged? No one. They should be held to a higher standard than are civilians, because of the stakes at risk in their control, and the trust they're given based on their superior integrity. But instead, no one every gets fired, no one is ever charged.

    We cannot be surprised when cops not only do crimes repeatedly when they're not punished, but are more tempted to do them, their integrity undermined. Because by failing to hold them to account, to pay for their crimes, we demonstrate that our laws are arbitrary, our government merely force, not justice.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    • by pease1 (134187)
      Clearly thou don't understand just how pissed off conservatives are at W. At this time, conservatives are more pissed at W then the libs and more wary of what he'll do next. If you doubt that I'm saying then you need to listen to talk radio to understand just how much conservatives rebelled against W on the immigration bill and followed by an under current rage over his flip flop on global warming. If that bill comes back next week with stronger border control, it will be interesting to watch what happens
  • "no shit?" tag.

  • http://www.mysecureisp.com/ [mysecureisp.com]

    dont leave localhost without it
  • It is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
  • Uh-oh! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Thursday June 14, 2007 @07:47PM (#19514119)
    Sounds like there are going to be a few more wholly unrelated firings that Alberto Gonzales will naturally have nothing to do with coming up!
  • Overstepping boundaries? You have to give them some credit for trying it the Jack Bauer way.
  • Sometimes you need to hold them to the GOLD standard -- for every breach of privacy infraction they need to fork over $1,000 - $10,000. (depending on the infraction)

    For instance: I get a lot less spam faxes since you can sue a company for $500 - $1,000 in small claims court for EACH spam fax you get. (in California) When I get a spam fax, I call and give them 1 warning, then I'll sue. I haven't gotten 1 since I started doing that.

    If the FBI had a watchdog committee audit them and cut everyone a check fro

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

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