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FBI Hid Patriot Act Abuses 243

Posted by Soulskill
from the nothing-to-see-here dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Wired is reporting that the FBI hid Patriot Act abuses with retroactive and flawed subpoenas, and used them to illegally acquire phone and credit card records. There were at least 11 retroactive, 'blanket' subpoenas that were signed by top counter-terrorism officials, some of which sought information the FBI is not allowed to have. The FBI's Communication Analysis Unit also had secret contracts with AT&T, Verizon and MCI, and abused National Security Letters by issuing subpoenas based on fake emergencies."
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FBI Hid Patriot Act Abuses

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  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:14AM (#22749632) Homepage Journal
    How many people will lose their jobs/careers/freedom for these transgressions?

    None.
    • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:19AM (#22749656) Homepage
      That would require them admitting they did wrong. It's much easier to claim national security is at risk.
      • Re:And? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by EXMSFT (935404) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:49AM (#22749834)

        That would require them admitting they did wrong. It's much easier to claim national security is at risk.
        Feels a sneeze coming on.... ahh... ahh... McCarthy!

        Whew. Much better.

        But really. It's all for the greater good.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by gEvil (beta) (945888)
          But really. It's all for the greater good.

          Yarp.
          • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by networkBoy (774728) on Friday March 14, 2008 @09:36AM (#22750286) Homepage Journal
            I have a friend that said something to the effect of it's vaguely like home. He said it with sadness. He emigrated from Russia (proper) after the wall fell. Some of the other folks I know from the Ukraine have said similar things. They all agree that politically it is not as bad as it was there, but we are marching slowly and relentlessly that direction.
            -nB
            • Patriot Act hides FBI Abuse!

              Oh, those cagey bees! The party has found you.

              Can we just start calling the FBI by it's proper name? Is that Stasi, NKVD or the KGB.
            • Just a thought... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by AnotherUsername (966110) on Friday March 14, 2008 @01:22PM (#22752708)
              Komityet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti translates to Committee for State Security which is eerily the same name as the Department of Homeland Security. For those who do not bother with changing the full name to the acronym, the Komityet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti is more commonly(at least in the United States) known as the KGB.

              Just a thought.
    • Re:And? (Score:4, Funny)

      by rob1980 (941751) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:19AM (#22749660)
      But surely these actions at least put some terrists out of work?!

      /facepalm
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by bsane (148894)
        No so far they're still working for the FBI/Homeland/CIA... we'll see if the congressional investigation does anything though.
      • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nschubach (922175) on Friday March 14, 2008 @09:10AM (#22750000) Journal
        The part that bothers me about the PATRIOT Act is that our forefathers would be considered terrorists.
        • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Gewalt (1200451) on Friday March 14, 2008 @09:15AM (#22750062)

          The part that bothers me about the PATRIOT Act is that our forefathers would be considered terrorists.
          They were terrorists, and damn proud of it too.

          What bothers me about your comment is you would consider our founding fathers terrorism to be shameful.
          • by nschubach (922175)
            Not even. I was simply pointing out that they would have been stripped of rights and sent to a government prison to never be heard from again. No questions, no news... nothing. (Not that they had rights, but I firmly believe that they could never pull off what they did in today's world.)
            • Had they lost the Revolutionary War, their fate (in the hands of the British) would have been much different, I'm sure.
              • Re:And? (Score:5, Interesting)

                by nschubach (922175) on Friday March 14, 2008 @09:40AM (#22750332) Journal
                Oh, I'm sure it would have been. But let's (just for a moment) assume that the British government then, is like the current US government. They would have sent an "elite" force of troops to strategically capture Adams, Jefferson, Washington, et al. and have them disappear overnight. Anyone that spoke up against such crimes would also be silenced. The "New World Order" US government has become the tyrannical king.
              • by bytesex (112972)
                I think the British would have made it a (very public) hanging of at least a few. Just to scare anybody with similar ideas. The others, they would have tried to tell on their friends and swap sides using both the carrot (possessions) and the stick (also being hung). The Brits didn't do a lot of disappearing; that was reserved for the French a century before that.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by eepok (545733)
            Yup, our founding fathers would be damn proud that their MILITARY TACTIC of terrorism and guerrilla warfare worked so well. Terrorism is a damn successful tactic used by the few to affect the many. Unfortunately, the US Government has seen it profitable to suggest that we are at war with the abstraction that is "terrorism". There is no singular enemy in terrorism. Thus, there's no end to the war.

            Look at every constitutional revolution or rebellion we can say we agree with (French, American, etc) and try to
          • Re:And? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by eclectic4 (665330) on Friday March 14, 2008 @12:34PM (#22752168)
            Therein lies the rub. I have still yet to find a true definition of what a terrorist is. Ask a gov official and he'll usually balk. I have been told that this is difficult to do as most definitions would then apply the "terrorist" tag to themselves...

            Kinda like when Israel and the US were the only abstaining votes at the UN when they were deciding what the definition should be... US backed Israel because most definitions would have applied to them, and us.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mister Whirly (964219)
          "our forefathers would be considered terrorists"

          All a matter of perspective. (Winning also helps, as the winners are the ones that write the history books.) One man's "terrorist" is another man's "freedom fighter".
    • by arivanov (12034)
      From the FBI - none. From the investigated - lots.

      Other quesions? If not, move along, Lavrenij Pavlovich does not like people looking into his practices.
    • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:41AM (#22749774) Homepage Journal
      How many people will lose their jobs/careers/freedom for these transgressions?

      None.

      Funny you should say this. I'm getting ready to write a piece on how it seems more and more, incompetency and failure are rewarded while honesty and hard work are denigrated.

      Using this administration is much too easy. Look at all the generals who have been honest about their assessments of how poorly run the occupation of Iraq has been, the mismanagement and theft of billions of dollars, the lack of equipment for troops and a whole host of other issues irrespective of the lies that were used to justify the occupation. Where are those generals now? Forced into retirement.

      How about Katrina? "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie." Brownie completely fails at his job and gets rewarded by being a consultant to examine why he failed doing his previous job.

      Outside the administration, look at Countrywide Financial or Citigroup. Countrywide's CEO uses insider information to sell his stock before the subprime mess hits and makes millions. Investors are left holding the bag, wondering if the company is going to go bankrupt.

      Citigroup's former CEO, Charlie Prince, got multi-million bonuses for running the company into the ground, wiping out years worth of profits and having to have the company rescued by foreign governments lest it collapsed.

      HP, Enron, and a whole host of other companies follow the same pattern. Reward the incompetent failures with buckets of money and act as if they're doing people a favor, all the while, the folks who do the real work, the grunts on the front line, get the shaft. Every time.

      Naw, I'm not bitter. What would make you think that?

      • Re:And? (Score:5, Informative)

        by sm62704 (957197) on Friday March 14, 2008 @09:24AM (#22750156) Journal
        Naw, I'm not bitter

        And people wonder why geezers like me are cynical. There was a book several decades ago called The Peter Principle [wikipedia.org]. The premise was "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." It explains why things are so messed up.

        The last Governor [wikipedia.org] here in Illinois is in a Federal prison for bribery and other misconduct, another example of what you illustrate well in your comment.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by maxume (22995)
        The complete institutional failure of the federal government in responding to Katrina was not one person's fault.

        Mozillo(the former Countrywide CEO that you are talking about) made a planned sale of stock(and soon to expire options) meeting the standards of Countrywide's compensation committee and the SEC. He spent 30 plus years building the company and sold when the stock was doing incredibly well, but it's not like he was hiding anything(because there are rules in place preventing him from hiding anything
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jafac (1449)
          Maybe the process that granted him those options needs improvement, but there isn't really anything offensive about him exercising them(unless you hate people making large sums of money).

          The money has to come from somewhere - so you present a false and dishonest argument with the statement "... unless you hate people making large sums of money..." - and the answer is YES - in cases like these, I hate people being rewarded for incompetence while many, many others are being deprived in exchange for hard work.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by JasonTik (872158)
      Undoing accidental Moderation. Sorry for the random post. This moderation system NEEDS a confirm button, not a javascripted, auto-committing box.
  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShakaUVM (157947) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:17AM (#22749646) Homepage Journal
    Well, I guess we no longer need to argue back and forth over the "slippery slope" of giving the government access to stuff it shouldn't have access to.

    The case is closed - the government will abuse any power it has access to.

    As Bruce Schneider says, what we do not need is security at the expense of liberty and privacy - we need liberty, security, *and* privacy.
    • I was just thinking the same thing when I came across your comment. Remember when we said it's just a "slippery slope?"

      Welcome to the bottom of that slope. Enjoy!
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:17AM (#22749648)
    I don't know why the FBI even bothers to try to hide its wrongdoing...after all, this administration has made it very clear that they are above the law, and that anyone who joins them in their abuses can enjoy a comparable freedom from responsibility.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Gewalt (1200451)
      MODS! I call you out! Parent post was NOT funny. Oh, it deserves the +5 rating, but in no way was it funny.

      Insightful? Sure.

      Informative? Maybe.

      Funny? Hell no.

      /sigh... well, there goes that karma.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PONA-Boy (159659)

      I don't know why the FBI even bothers to try to hide its wrongdoing

      If the Senate (and the President) have their way, this new FISA bill that provides RETROACTIVE immunity to the Telco's from prosecution will obviate any need for secrecy. I applaud the House for _their_ version, which renews most of the FISA provisions yet leaves out this Telco immunity nonsense.

      As I have read, heard, and understand, the current FISA (and general litigation) provisions already protect businesses from legal action so long as they were complying with lawful requests for information by govern

      • by Sczi (1030288) on Friday March 14, 2008 @11:40AM (#22751582)
        Is the original FISA expiring, or just Bush's modifications? As I (think I) understand it (but could be mistaken), neither house of congress needs to pass a damned thing. The FISA laws that existed before any of this came up are still in effect, and they work just fine. FBI and police can easily get warrants if they have anything even resembling evidence, however they are subject to a bit of bureaucracy, but I can live with that. As for the wimpy telcos, maybe a few nice fat lawsuits will put the fear of the people into them, and they'll learn to question authority a bit better. It's not like they don't have droves of lawyers for just such an occasion. I'm sure they discussed whether or not they could be subjected to lawsuits, and if they take in the pants now, then the next time the question comes up, they will already know the answer, and they'll ask for a warrant like they should have done this time.

        The pre-existing FISA laws maintain a desirable level of what Antonin Scalia (and apparently others) called "calculated inefficiency".

        Here's a great quote I found trying to find out more about what Scalia was talking about (different justice, same sentiment):

        "In his famous Myers dissent Justice Louis D. *Brandeis said: "The doctrine of the separation of powers was adopted by the convention of 1787, not to promote efficiency but to preclude the exercise of arbitrary power. The purpose was, not to avoid friction, but, by means of the inevitable friction incident to the distribution of the governmental powers among three department, to save the people from autocracy" (p. 293). This is a classic expression of the eighteenth century hope that freedom could be secured by calculated inefficiency in government. A more modern hope is that freedom would be better served with more efficiency and more democratic accountability. We are still haunted by an ancient riddle: How far can we build up effective government before it topples over into despotism? How much inefficiency can we afford without slipping into disaster?" (bold=mine)

        http://www.answers.com/topic/separation-of-powers?cat=biz-fin [answers.com]

        I think that really says it all.. the FBI, et al, want unfettered access to basically everything, and there are probably some in the organization who are pushing for it, and their heart really is in the right place, but that's just not good enough. How efficient can they become before it "topples over into despotism"? I'd rather not find out.
  • by transporter_ii (986545) * on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:18AM (#22749652) Homepage
    Needed with 1 in 300 being a terrorist

    With one out of three people being a terrorist, I think we should all be gratefull that they are doing whatever it takes to get their jobs done:

    http://www.aclu.org/privacy/spying/watchlistcounter.html?=main [aclu.org]

    Seriously, I said all along that they didn't care anything about catching terrorist...that it was just smoke and mirrors to monitor us. And low and behold, they will get to monitor us legally, as one out of three of us is a terrorist.

    If this doesn't scare the hell out of you, I don't know what will.

    Transporter_ii
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:29AM (#22749722) Homepage Journal

      Needed with 1 in 300 being a terrorist
      So what they're essentially saying is that it must be true that out of a typical high school graduating class of 1,000 or, 30 people -- the equivalent of an entire classroom of kids, is a terrorist. (Just using the high school as an example to show scale, don't mean to imply anything about age or whatnot).

      Well, fsck. Guess I'll have to quit my job, move to Montana and live out in the middle of the woods where no one can find me...wait? What did you say? The Unabomber. Sh*t. Time to move to Australia. Is there a big demand for sysadmins in Australia?

      • With a class of 900 people, it would be 3. The one in 300 number in my subject was correct, but twice I managed to write 1 in 3 in the body. I was trying not to be late for work and just flat out missed my mistake. My bad.

        Still, someone figure out how many terrorist were at the Super Bowl.

        Transporter_ii
      • by Jimmy King (828214) on Friday March 14, 2008 @09:33AM (#22750238) Homepage Journal
        Sadly, that sounds about accurate. A co-worker of my wife has a husband who is doing federal time and is labeled as a domestic terrorist. You know what he did? He and a couple friends tried to blow up a port-a-potty in the middle of the night.

        Stupid? yep. Irresponsible? Yep. Terrorism? Only if damned near everyone I knew in highschool is a terrorist for doing similarly stupid and destructive crap.
      • by ukemike (956477)

        So what they're essentially saying is that it must be true that out of a typical high school graduating class of 1,000 or, 30 people -- the equivalent of an entire classroom of kids, is a terrorist. (Just using the high school as an example to show scale, don't mean to imply anything about age or whatnot).

        1 in 300 is equivalent to a bit more than 3 in 1000 not 30. Not only the author of the comment but at least 4 other people who modded him 'insightful' missed this order of magnitude mistake. Oops. I wonder if any of them are working on the terrorist watch list?

    • To be fair, that's an international list. There are names such as Saddam Hussein(Former Dictator of Iraq), Evo Morales(President of Bolivia), Yusaf Islam(Former London Pop Singer) and that's just what they show on the website. I won't deny that the list is far to long and needs to be trimmed a lot. There are far too many U.S. Citizens on the list, however it's not 1 in every 300 as you say since it is after all international.
      • by EXMSFT (935404)
        Somehow I think Saddam Hussein's name is off that list. He doesn't travel much anymore.
        • by stjobe (78285)

          Somehow I think Saddam Hussein's name is off that list. He doesn't travel much anymore.
          That was exactly the point; Saddams name is STILL on the list, even though he's dead.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by EXMSFT (935404)
            We can't be sure he's dead. Not until we've found his stockpile of Weapons of Mass Distraction. And his army of clones waiting with them.
        • 15 of the 19 terrorists that hijacked planes on September 11 are still on the list. But don't laugh we must be forever vigilant to protect our homeland from the threat of terrorist zombies.
      • by jo42 (227475)
        And who helped put Saddam Hussein in power? The CIA you say?
    • by molex333 (1230136) on Friday March 14, 2008 @09:00AM (#22749892) Homepage
      This is my favorite. Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Brown was blocked from flying while on his way home from an 8-month deployment in Iraq. He was listed as a suspected terrorist due to a previous incident in which gunpowder was detected on his boots, most likely a residue of a previous tour in Iraq. I was actually held for 2 hours once because one of the people in airport security because I smelt like gasoline. I was returning home from a business trip and I had to fill up a rental car with gas. There was some gasoline residue on my shoes. Do I really need to be searched and treated like a criminal for filling up a car with gas?
    • by tinkerton (199273)
      That will include a lot of people who didn't know they were a terrorist until the FBI told them.
  • Of oourse, it gives those convicted using such information grounds for appeal. The evidence gathered could be thrown out and their convictions overturned.

    The FBI should know better.
    • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:48AM (#22749826)
      The point of all this blanket monitoring is not to secure convictions of suspected terrorists. The old FISA law was completely adequate for that purpose.

      The purpose here is to make the American public toe the line, and for that purpose, convictions are not necessary. The mere threat of action, with the associated social embarrassment and financial hardship, will do nicely.
  • by Britz (170620) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:20AM (#22749670) Homepage
    Democracy is just a set of checks and balances to prevent that. We wouldn't need to elect leaders and stuff if it wouldn't be for that. We actually don't need so many new laws in our day-to-day lives. All we would need is a good lawbook to start from and police to enforce it. But since power will always be abused we need that complicated thing called democracy to be able to get rid of people that abuse too much.

    By removing checks and balances (which is currently done in almost all democracies all over the world for no reason) we see an upsurge of abuse.

    So nothing to see here, please move along.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:28AM (#22749712) Journal
    So - all you guys with guns, who maintain that they can protect us from a corrupt government. Where are you? We need some protecting from a corrupt government.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      So - all you guys with guns, who maintain that they can protect us from a corrupt government. Where are you? We need some protecting from a corrupt government.
      I think you're looking for this guy [catb.org].
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mister Whirly (964219)
      Soap box, Ballot box, Jury box, Ammo box -- In that order. I think the jury is just about letting out now...
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:33AM (#22749744)
    No one is seriously in favor of wiping out all security and simply letting crime happen as it wills. There is a reason we need the FBI, military, and local and state police departments. We all agree that crime prevention and the provision of justice is one service that government must provide. Otherwise we would live in anarchy, and even though the thought of vigilante justice is attractive to some, we for the most part believe that their must be a social framework upon which we want to build our culture. This necessitates a government and the responsibilities both of and to it.

    To that end, the expansion of police powers at the top levels of the government is not necessarily a bad thing. When we look at 9/11 and the failure of communication between various law enforcement agencies, it is clear that we cannot have a law enforcement system where one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing. The Patriot Act, for all its faults, is trying to address this need by opening up and sharing the law enforcement databases so that vital information is not overlooked or ignored simply because it is not available. The implementation has left a lot to be desired, though.

    When we start to expand federal powers, such as like and under the Patriot Act, great care must be taken to provide oversight capable of taking the power wielder to task. Normally, you'd expect this to be Congress. But much more fundamentally, you would expect the President (the Chief Executive) to show some restraint and good sense in the execution of the expanded powers. What we have unfortunately seen is that the President has not seen fit to restrain the DHS and has not forced common sense and common decency as policy. Rather, the departments have run wild creating new and more intrusive rights for themselves at the expense of American freedoms.

    We say we are the beacon of the world, but we have not lived up to that moniker here at home, and we have destroyed our good name abroad. We must start our transformation immediately back into that beacon, and we must start at home.
    • "We all agree that crime prevention and the provision of justice is one service that government must provide."

      No, we do not. Most of what you say I agree with, but this I do not.

      'Crime Prevention' is a misnomer that has given police departments carte blanch to do many of the things we see above. The government must investigate crime, and prosecute those responsible in a fair trial.

      I have yet to see a police or law enforcement that has 'crime prevention' in it's charter, because it is impossible. Just as 'preventing terrorism' is, or 'suicide prevention'. If someone wants it to happen bad enough, no law enforcement agency can prevent it. Giving them the tools to 'prevent' what got us here to begin with. Give them the tools to find out what happened. Nothing more.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rampantbaboon (946107)

      When we look at 9/11 and the failure of communication between various law enforcement agencies, it is clear that we cannot have a law enforcement system where one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing. The Patriot Act, for all its faults, is trying to address this need by opening up and sharing the law enforcement databases so that vital information is not overlooked or ignored simply because it is not available

      The problem with this is, rather than try and fix communication issues, they decided the solution was more monitoring by more agencies to allow more things to be communicated. The previous survailence laws were plenty sufficent to do what the government needed with a bit of re-orginization. Law Enforcement agencies should have shared their info with each other and Military Intelligence/CIA. The non Law Enforcement intelligence should stay on it's side of the wall, though.

  • There's nothing to see here, move along. Just business as usual.
  • That government officials would abuse their positions, lie, cheat, and steal.

    What bugs me more is that people cry foul over this but turn around and what these goons to run their medical needs as if that won't be an invasion of privacy and rights in itself.

    When are people going to learn, letting the government do things you can do is wrong, letting them do the rest unsupervised is wrong, and expecting them to do it right in either case without public oversight is just stupidity.

    The problem the FBI faces is
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:51AM (#22749846) Journal
    Prior to the Patriot act, only the NSA was tapping our phones without a proper warrent. Now, we have the NSA, DOD, AND the DOJ hitting it. The ppl at the NSA have no real power to arrest ppl. More importantly, prior to W. they never shared their data with others EXCEPT when there is a reason. That means that they did not use their knowledge to affect regular citizens.

    OTH, the DOJ has ALWAYS abused their powers. ALWAYS. WHy? We have combined the ability to arrest, with the mentality to be a guarddog, the ethics of a Republican, and now with the ability to listen in on all. No wonder that they will lie, cheat and steal to achieve their goals. This is a group that now believes the ends justify the means. Very bad set-up. That is why DOJ must not have these spying abilities.

    Finally, the DOD is now looking through our lines. The problem is not that they are likely to use it against a citizen, but that they will use the knowledge to affect their future. IOW, they can now listen in on conversations between gov. ppl. This is part of the industrial-military complex that also needs to be stopped.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nimey (114278)
      Why do you propose letting the NSA have the ability to tap our phones without oversight? If the FBI can abuse it, so can the NSA, and NSA can certainly pass on information to organizations with the power to arrest or harass.
  • by scubamage (727538) on Friday March 14, 2008 @08:54AM (#22749860)
    Seriously, Clinton gets a bj in office and gets impeached. Bush recklessly gets us into a war for no factual reason, destroys the economy, slashes and burns the constitution and nothing happens. The FBI abuses the patriot act, the NSA initiates a domestic spying program, and nothing happens. WTF America? Don't any of you have any pride or perspective anymore?
    • by stinerman (812158) <nathan@stine.gmail@com> on Friday March 14, 2008 @09:12AM (#22750020) Homepage
      The reason this happens can be easily explained with a short excerpt of a good book by a man named Douglas Adams:

      "I come in peace", it said, adding after a long moment of further grinding, "take me to your Lizard."

      Ford Prefect, of course, had an explanation for this...

      "It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."

      "You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"

      "No", said Ford, ... "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."

      "Odd", said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."

      "I did", said Ford. "It is."

      "So", said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't people get rid of the lizards?"

      "It honestly doesn't occur to them", said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."

      "You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"

      "Oh yes", said Ford with a shrug, "of course."

      "But", said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"

      "Because if they didn't vote for a lizard", said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in."
      • by scubamage (727538) on Friday March 14, 2008 @09:18AM (#22750090)
        "... Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man,
        the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time
        handed out military command, high civil office, legions - everything, now
        restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things:
        bread and circuses."
        Juvenal, Satire X, on Roman apathy towards politics.
    • Or backbone for that matter. It's not like these abuses are new stories.
  • As usual with this sort of story, "I Don't Believe..." guy makes his own conclusions in the poorly formed summary. It is strange how he derived "and used them to illegally acquire..." from the story that clearly uses the carefully constructed "possible" qualifier. There is a huge difference, legally and intellectually, between illegal and possibly illegal activity.
    • by EXMSFT (935404)
      Damned liberals! You must be right - because the term "warrantless wiretapping" sounds SO inline with the Constitution.
  • And I for one welcome our new Bolsjevik American overlords.
    • by EXMSFT (935404)
      If he's smart, Santa has been outsourcing his "naughty/nice" list generation to the Fed. After all - I think they know WAY more than he does.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mb108 (1228888)
      http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd%5B347%5D=x-347-559597 [privacyinternational.org]

      I don't see a whole lot of green and blue on this map. Greece is doing pretty good. Granted, it's disappointing that USA ranks right up their with Russia and China, but you can't really expect much privacy anywhere unless you take steps to ensure it yourself (GPG, Tor, Freenet, etc).

      IMHO the trend we're seeing is the downside of moving to an information-based society: if information is free for the taking, you betcha they're going to
    • by psmears (629712)

      And I for one welcome our new Bolsjevik American overlords.
      Spelling "Bolshevik" like that suggests you're Scandinavian rather than American...
  • So, is the FBI trying to destroy this country from within?
  • It's OK, though (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Friday March 14, 2008 @09:18AM (#22750086)

    The Homeland Security people say they've laid a serious hurtin' on the terrorists, they just can't tell us anything about it for obvious reasons. And there have been no more attacks on American soil, which absolutely proves that they're doing everything right because otherwise all those terrorists they keep telling us about would be eating our babies right this very minute.

    So it's all OK and we should just quit worrying, because even though they legalized everything short of grabbing people off the street and exporting them to other countries for torture (Oh, wait a minute...) it would all be in our best interest because they're the good guys.

    So I guess what I'm saying is: lay off the FBI, because they know best and you guys are just making their job harder by pointing out that they're abusing their powers. And that's just wrong. Better we live on our knees than die on our feet and all that, because if there's another attack then the terrorists have won and the United States will have turned into a police state for nothing.

    And wouldn't that suck...

  • I read this too soon after waking up, and I thought the title read: FBI HID Patriot Act Abuses. I couldn't for the life of me understand how the FBI could possibly abuse my mouse.
  • by haakondahl (893488) on Friday March 14, 2008 @10:29AM (#22750800)
    ...and we know what happens when it is set too far in the direction of limiting the actions of the FBI about "information they aren't allowed to have". Try googling "Gorelick wall". For a really interesting take on coverups, read about how the woman whose policies made 9/11 possible also sat on the 9/11 Commission. Interesting.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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