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Judge Orders FBI to Release Abuse Records 56

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the watching-the-watchmen dept.
Spamicles writes "A judge has ordered the FBI to release agency records about its abuse of National Security Letters (NSLs) to collect Americans' personal information. The ruling came just a day after the EFF urged the judge to immediately respond in its lawsuit over agency delays. This is the same case in which an internal FBI audit found that the bureau potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data about domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions in recent years."
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Judge Orders FBI to Release Abuse Records

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  • by Fox_1 (128616) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @12:14PM (#19533219)
    We know that there are records of this activity by the FBI. Now it is just a matter of time until these records come to light. The beauty of computers and email and automatic logging is that this administrations actions will be very difficult to hide. It's really amazing that the FBI and other Gov't agencies went hog-wild on peoples civil rights, and that they thought somehow that this was OK, that they would get away with it. How blind to the future consequences of their actions are these people? Seriously it's like watching the stooges play gov't.
  • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @12:22PM (#19533285)
    After all, as mewling pussies everywhere have reminded us ad nauseam, if the FBI isn't doing anything wrong, what do they have to worry about?
  • by hxnwix (652290) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @12:41PM (#19533423) Journal
    Thousands! Of terrorists, in our own country!

    And criminals! With 2,186,230 in jail and thousands investigated without due process, Americans are either the most criminal or the most oppressed people on this earth.
  • by _KiTA_ (241027) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @12:47PM (#19533475) Homepage

    We know that there are records of this activity by the FBI. Now it is just a matter of time until these records come to light. The beauty of computers and email and automatic logging is that this administrations actions will be very difficult to hide. It's really amazing that the FBI and other Gov't agencies went hog-wild on peoples civil rights, and that they thought somehow that this was OK, that they would get away with it. How blind to the future consequences of their actions are these people? Seriously it's like watching the stooges play gov't.


    Well, they felt that they had fixed the process enough that they had a "permanent majority" starting about 6 years ago. Fixed via either hosting sessions with DOJ and other Government officials on how they can do their part to fix elections, or getting easily edited digital election machines, or just restricting our rights to the point that we can't do shit to stop them.

    Ergo, why bother holding back anymore? They are "The Government" (Tm), now and forever, right? Right?

    I fear we're going to find all too many abuses of power in the upcoming decades. I've heard tell of us using White Phosphorous as a chemical weapon on civilians in Iraq, of using siege tactics on civilian cities, of all sorts of horrid crap that the US Media just won't acknowledge -- but is easily available information in the European and Asian news.

    Well, until the Democrats take full control in 2009 -- then suddenly the suddenly reformed US Media will "discover" all this bad stuff, just in time to find an excuse to blame it on President Obama.
  • by Original Replica (908688) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @01:44PM (#19534035) Journal
    While I would like to agree with your optimism about the Democrats in 2009, I can't. Politicians aren't in the buisness of giving up power, and if we get a Democratic president, then signing statements etc will become "useful tools in the right hands". I have to wonder if our nations great experiment in Democracy is showing it's flaws they way Communism did in the late 80s. Our founding fathers knew that this was the weakness in our system, and perhaps that would explain the rather elitist requirements originally need for voter eligibilty. Maybe we need to make some new requirements for voters, like a current events and history exam. Maybe a required logic course. Perhaps some critical thinking and depth of knowledge in the voter, would produce some critical thinking and depth in the candidates.
  • by kcbrown (7426) <slashdot@sysexperts.com> on Saturday June 16, 2007 @03:22PM (#19534923)

    We know that there are records of this activity by the FBI. Now it is just a matter of time until these records come to light. The beauty of computers and email and automatic logging is that this administrations actions will be very difficult to hide. It's really amazing that the FBI and other Gov't agencies went hog-wild on peoples civil rights, and that they thought somehow that this was OK, that they would get away with it. How blind to the future consequences of their actions are these people? Seriously it's like watching the stooges play gov't.

    Yes, they may "come to light", though if they do so it'll be primarily through foreign and "independent" media, rather than the "mainstream" US mass media.

    And even if the general population finds out about it, you know what will happen? Nothing. Just as nothing happened with the revelation that the NSA was tapping domestic calls.

    Why? The root cause is that the people make their political decisions primarily based on what the mass media tells them, and the mass media is now controlled by a very small number of very large corporations. Those who run these (and other) very large corporations favor fascism because a merger between the corporations and the state (which is what fascism is) gives the corporations the ability to create captive markets through law, something they wouldn't be able to do with a government "by the people and for the people". It also gives the people who own and run these corporations power that they can exercise without responsibility (because the stooges in government wind up taking the blame for the consequences of that exercise, and in a pseudo-democracy like the US is right now the people wind up blaming themselves since they think they have control over who winds up in office -- a fallacy since they don't have control over who winds up on the ballot).

    In other words, we're way past the tipping point now, and there's no way short of massive violent revolution to put things right again. And I think violent revolution will fall on its face unless it gets the support of the military.

    And that means you'd better get used to the New America, because it looks like it's going to be with us for a long time.

  • Re:Great! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kcbrown (7426) <slashdot@sysexperts.com> on Saturday June 16, 2007 @03:48PM (#19535141)

    Really, I don't understand how the FBI could "ignore" a ruling. I would think that the judge would respond by naming specific individuals at the FBI, like the Director, and holding them in contempt and in jail, in perpetuity, until compliance occurs.

    And who, exactly, would arrest them, huh?

    The DOJ? Only if the DOJ were independent of the executive branch. Thanks to GWB, it's not anymore (if it ever was). The DEA? Executive branch. The ATF? Executive branch. The military? Executive branch.

    The court's power is enforced through the executive branch. If the executive branch decides it wants to ignore the court, what can the court do?

    Not a damned thing, that's what.

    He who controls the guns controls everything. Power over life and death is the ultimate power. The executive branch has that. The judicial branch does not.

  • Re:Great! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Courageous (228506) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @03:59PM (#19535223)
    I'm uncertain in situations involving federal cases who the court appoints to conduct their arrests for contempt. However, I am pretty certain that they do indeed command the practical authority to have their contempt charges enforced. Whether or not they would be likely to engage an individual (FBI director, unlikely) as opposed to a fine ($100K a day until you comply... more likely) is worth discussing. And I think you're wrong: he who controls the PRESS controls everything. It just so happens that the one with the guns MIGHT be also in command of the press.

    BTW, while you have fine rant, the practical reality is that the FBI director won't be so for long with a warrant out for his arrest....

    C//

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