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White House Wants Phone Records Without Oversight

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:24AM (#35186304)

    LOL, all of your presidents and their administrations are the same.

    • now now, this is most certainly change from the GWB "freedom? lol what freedom? regime.

      yep, this is worse.

      • by Dunbal (464142) * on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:42AM (#35186434)
        Well no, that's where the "hope" part comes in. You have to "hope" that there will be "change". Americans refuse to come to terms with the fact that their country was bought and sold years ago, in fact not long after it was founded.
        • Well no, that's where the "hope" part comes in. You have to "hope" that there will be "change". Americans refuse to come to terms with the fact that their country was bought and sold years ago, in fact not long after it was founded.

          Huh? That's rather an odd thing to say: frankly, I'm not really a fan of sweeping generalities. Trying to paint a whole culture with a single broad brush stroke just makes for misunderstandings and divisiveness. So you might want to rethink your attitude there: you wouldn't want us talking about you and your country in such a cavalier way, would you? Besides ... how many Americans do you actually know? And of those ... how many have you queried about these issues? A hundred? A thousand? Do you have any stat

        • by hedwards (940851) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @01:35PM (#35187216)

          The thing is that the voters reward that kind of behavior. If he wasn't doing it and something did happen, do you really think he'd get any credit for adhering to the constitution? Which is really unfortunate, at this point one really has to hand it to him, while it's not easy to avoid this, it is his problem at this point.

          But by the same token, no President would be able to get away with it if there weren't a significant number of voters that are scared by their own shadows and willing to throw everybody else under the bus to get a modicum of safety.

          • by wordsnyc (956034)

            The thing is that the voters reward that kind of behavior. If he wasn't doing it and something did happen, do you really think he'd get any credit for adhering to the constitution? Which is really unfortunate, at this point one really has to hand it to him, while it's not easy to avoid this, it is his problem at this point.

            You left out "... because his primary concern is getting re-elected." And during his second term (unlikely, but let's pretend), his primary concern will be ensuring a Democratic successor.

            The sad thing is that so many people who voted for Obama are unwilling or incapable of admitting that they were snookered. Hello? He lied. Period. He had no intention of restoring constitutional guarantees, yadda yadda. How can you tell? Because he has gone so far past what Bush dared to do.

      • by DJRumpy (1345787)

        Hardly. When this all came to light in 2006, the practice was stopped. This entire article is just making an assumption that 'some day' they FBI could take this practice up again, and even notes proof to the contrary.

        now now, this is most certainly change from the GWB "freedom? lol what freedom? regime.

        yep, this is worse.

        From TFA:

        "Since 2006, it appears the bureau has refrained from using the authority it continues to assert, according to another heavily redacted section of the inspector general's report.

        "H

    • by NatasRevol (731260) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:32AM (#35186344) Journal

      Those of us who aren't so partisan realized this a long time ago.

      Each side has a few variations, but getting more power & money is the focus of both the Dems and the Reps.

      • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:59AM (#35186526) Homepage

        Those of us who aren't so anti-government realized this even earlier.

        Each side tries to do what they think is best for America, whether that's promoting human rights, economic security, or international stability. Each administration tries to make decisions based on what they believe to be right. For advice in that regard, they turn to expert advisors (usually chosen for their general views, rather than opinions on specific issues) and the public. Of course, when only a tiny fraction of the public actually cares enough to state their opinion, the administration's ability to make an informed decision is severely crippled.

        When was the last time you complained to your representatives about defense spending? Or the education budget? Or the overreaching power of the FBI? This is your government. Participate in it.

        • by gmuslera (3436)

          Is not that easy. How you discern someone that say something that you don't think is reasonable or popular enough from the words of a crazy maniac? Once you define "reasonable" you only have one agenda. Suppose that a lot think that they prefer freedom over all the "security screening" that is all around. Would be that considered crazy or the opinion of the majority of the people? And if your perception is "close" to 50-50, you will take the route that have more incentives (aka lobbying) to follow. US gover

          • by Sarten-X (1102295)

            Politicians can discern reason from insanity by examining the arguments presented. If you write a clear letter stating your exact opinion, with facts and figures as available, full citations, and a well-phrased persuasive argument, you're much better off than simply writing "I want this". I exaggerate, of course, but erudite writing is vital.

            No matter what decisions are made, someone always benefits. To use an old phrase, it takes two to tango. There are multiple sides to any debate, and yes, sometimes an o

            • I exaggerate, of course, but erudite writing is vital.

              True. But how many of us are actually capable of such writing?

              People don't realize how far our educational system has fallen. I remember reading letters sent from soldiers to their families during the Civil War and other internecine conflicts here in the U.S. These were just grunts, yet they were more capable writers than most college graduates today.

        • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Saturday February 12, 2011 @12:22PM (#35186674) Journal

          Some years ago I complained to my Representative about H1B visas.

          He actually wrote back! But he twisted my complaint. Bragged how he was doing all he could to stop the evil Latinos from illegally swarming across our southern border. The government was building a fence! Great-- they were going to waste more of our money finding out that fences don't work well enough to be worth the trouble. Certainly I don't want totally uncontrolled borders, but that wasn't what I was complaining about.

          "Suppose you were an idiot... And suppose you were a member of Congress... But I repeat myself." Mark Twain

        • by houghi (78078) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @12:32PM (#35186722)

          When was the last time you complained to your representatives about defense spending?

          Yesterday.

          Kind regards,
          The people of Egypt.

        • by Thing 1 (178996)

          Or the overreaching power of the FBI? This is your government. Participate in it.

          And be overreached around by the FBI? Seems bitching on Slashdot is a bit safer.

        • Each side tries to do what they think is best for America

          I believe you mean themselves.

          promoting human rights

          Taking away freedom and privacy in exchange for a false sense of security, you mean.

          When was the last time you complained to your representatives about defense spending?

          They'll start listening once the other 99% of the population starts doing the same. That said, they aren't really our "representatives" at all. People who are so easily bought by corporations do not deserve such a title.

          Participate in it.

          I'd love to, but a few changes need to be made first to reduce corruptions. More power to the people, for one.

          • by Sarten-X (1102295)

            So you're not going to try to change anything until someone else changes it first? That's some impressive laziness, right there.

            power to the people

            One of my favorite phrases, with the implication that politicians are somehow not people [wikipedia.org], despite outward appearances. That somehow, the very act of entering office turns them into slaves, controlled by corporations which are also somehow comprised of non-people employees, and supplied by other non-people companies, right down to the non-people producers of raw materials. That some

        • by deblau (68023)

          When was the last time you complained to your representatives about defense spending? Or the education budget? Or the overreaching power of the FBI? This is your government. Participate in it.

          That's why they poll all the time.

        • This is your government. Participate in it

          You make a very good point but most of us have been lulled into complacency and are only interested in what's on tv tonight or what teen supermodel got caught doing something she wasn't supposed to do. Only when something really big that affects a lot of people from all walks of life will things actually change. Look at Egypt, thirty + years under a dictator with massive joblessness and poverty and the people are just now starting to act.

    • by meerling (1487879)
      No, they aren't the same, but they are all politicians, and everything they do, or try to do, is filtered through the ideals, and petty rivalries of both of the primary parties. (Democrats and Republicans. There are other parties, but they are so ineffectual that they can be virtually ignored in almost all calculations.)

      Also, after over a century of B.S. campaign speeches, you'd think that most people would have figured out they are total fabrications by now. I guess that's where the hope comes in, they hop
    • GWB was a misguided buffoon with evil, extremely connected people pulling his strings. GWB really IS a "compassionate conservative" and a born-again Christian who thinks that anyone can be redeemed (Huckabee is the same. He doesn't pardon murderers for the purpose of furthering his career. He's scary too however).

      Obama is to the right of Nixon, but due to the extremely negative media coverage portraying him as being to the left of Marx he gets cover to sign off on shit like this. Obama was supposed to be be

    • Funny how people still think Obama is liberal, when he's actually center-right like Clinton.
  • meet the new boss (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lophophore (4087) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:25AM (#35186310) Homepage

    same as the old boss

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The Supreme Court has long held (since the 1800s) that searches at international borders don't require a warrant.

      This is nothing new.

      • by conspirator57 (1123519) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @12:20PM (#35186658)

        the same era's supreme court also upheld slavery and later provided us with Dredd Scott. So tradition is no defense against a facial violation of the Constitution. If we want unwarranted searches in certain conditions, we ought to do this thing called "amend" the constitution to allow it and enact laws in accordance with those amendments. that is what we call the "rule of law". We certainly shouldn't want to drift further away from being a nation of laws. Look at Zimbabwe for an example of our eventual destiny should we continue down the cult of personality road.

        Moreover, while the old precedent was bad, it is notably made worse by other, more recent encroachments that the supreme court is trying desperately not to hear because they clearly like having a king-like president but don't want to admit it.

        We used to, as a society, value the idea of improving our country and its governance to more closely resemble our ideals. Sure there were setbacks, but Americans in 1990 were notably more free than in 1950. 1950s Americans were notably freer than 1900s Americans. 1900s Americans were notably freer than 1850s ones. I think it's pretty obvious that 2010s Americans are notably less free than we were in 1990. I want us to return to the positive trend. I don't want a president encouraging dictators (*cough* Egypt *cough*) because they're our toadies and are more predictable and require less work and upkeep. I want freedom and self determination for all.

      • The Supreme Court has long held (since the 1800s) that searches at international borders don't require a warrant.

        In addition, the courts have repeated ruled that national security warrantless wiretaps are legal, such as this recent ruling:

        Intelligence Court Releases Ruling in Favor of Warrantless Wiretapping [washingtonpost.com]
        The judges ...concluded that the government's protections and restrictions included in the 2007 procedures were appropriate. "Our decision recognizes that where the government has instituted several layers of serviceable safeguards to protect individuals against unwarranted harms and to minimize incidental intrusi

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sonny Yatsen (603655) *

      It's a legitimate complaint that Obama's administration certainly haven't lived up to their promises on stuff like this - domestic information gathering and other powers. But I think we must also realize there are legitimate real-world problems that they have to contend with - for example, terrorism threats. It's always hard to give up powers and tools that may potentially make it easier to track and thwart terrorist attacks. This isn't a failure of idealism - this is pragmatism (albeit in an undesirable fo

      • by Sique (173459)

        Terrorism threats are statistically negligible, and much less dangerous for the average citizen than traffic accidents or choking while eating. When will we start to install special agents in every kitchen throughout the country to check food for fishbones and gristles so hazardous to our lives?

      • by houghi (78078) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @12:23PM (#35186678)

        But I think we must also realize there are legitimate real-world problems that they have to contend with - for example, terrorism threats

        Yeah, it worked. You are afraid. Step one of becoming a model citizen is done.
        Being afraid is good. Sorry that we had to focus from communism to drugs to terrorism. Uh, I mean, we have always been at war with terrorism.

      • by Svartalf (2997)

        The main reason they're going to be held accountable is not due to the premise you're making but due to things where he's either instructing or approving things like the government standard grope and perv shots to the tune of BILLIONS all the while they know they're doing them more for show to look like they're "doing something" about it- and then it proves out that it was as ineffective as many said it was.

  • Go America! (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
    Egypt puts you to shame.

    Free World my ass.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:31AM (#35186340)

    They told me if I voted for McCain the president would want "illegal" wiretapping privileges! And they were right!

  • by mbone (558574) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:34AM (#35186370)

    By what legal sophistry is this allowed under the Pen Registry Act [cornell.edu] ? These blatant end-runs around existing law are obnoxious and insulting. If they feel the law is too restrictive, I have no doubts that the Congress would be all too willing to oblige them, but I wish they would stop this BS.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      The problem is that President Bush stacked SCOTUS with jurists that weren't likely to say no to that sort of thing so that he could do as he pleased. The problem is that there aren't enough other jurists on the court that disagree to provide for the more reasoned approach. Additionally SCOTUS tends to be pretty deferential to the President in times of war anyways, Bush just fucked up royally by antagonizing them. Had he shown due respect, it's a pretty good bet that a lot more decisions would've gone his wa

  • Not really news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:34AM (#35186372) Homepage
    It's been a pretty publicly known for many, many years now that the US has tapped international telephone cables. Histories of submarine espionage like Blind Man's Bluff [amazon.com] go into some detail. There was no uproar then about listening in on people's private calls -- and some of these lines had US traffic going through them. The American public is pretty forgiving as long as the administration claims that it's happening off of US soil and is for a good cause.
  • Honestly, unless there is something huge that I don't know about, I just don't get how the information gained this way could be worth the cost of our freedom. This is just so sad!
    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      Well since you have no freedom to begin with (unless of course you are a billionaire), it actually costs very little. All that's happening is the veil is slowly falling. But never kid yourself that the government has not always had the power to break you. That's what government IS.
      • Well since you have no freedom to begin with (unless of course you are a billionaire), it actually costs very little. All that's happening is the veil is slowly falling. But never kid yourself that the government has not always had the power to break you. That's what government IS.

        Not so. It didn't used to have anything like that kind of power: up 'til the Second World War the United States Federal Government was tiny compared to its current incarnation, and didn't control most of the nation's wealth. Only since World War II has the government been a threat to its citizens on the kind of scale we're seeing today. Even the FBI, which went way overboard during the Fifties, was reigned in by the Congress of the time. Many of the protections put in place then were removed by the Patriot

    • by thomst (1640045)

      Honestly, unless there is something huge that I don't know about, I just don't get how the information gained this way could be worth the cost of our freedom.

      I suspect that the NSA and/or the CIA is responsible for Obama's acquiescence to this legal travesty. We ordinary citizens have no way of knowing what "facts" their most-highly-classified presidential briefings present, nor what scenarios they spin for our Chief Executive. It is entirely thinkable that their presentations to the President are loaded with convincing evidence that such blatantly unconstitutional activities are absolutely essential for our national security.

      And, of course, it's also entirely p

  • When I was campaigning for this man, who is now the president, I had hoped he would turn back the clock and fix the over reaching of his predecessors. So naive! I'm ashamed of myself for HOPING. I should have know it would just be the same shit, different day.

  • TFA is useless (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:38AM (#35186404) Homepage

    So according to TFA, the FBI is claiming "a section of a 1978 federal wiretapping law" gives them the power to ask about phone records. TFA does not actually say what section that might be. TFA then goes on to speculate on the (il)legality of phone companies handing over records, again without any further information or even consideration for any revisions since 1978. Apparently, "experts" say that these laws are being misinterpreted by the FBI. There's no mention of a lawsuit, no mention of anything more than speculation.

    That's great, guys. Please keep up the good work, fight the good fight, et cetera, but wait until you have something concrete and informative before you publish.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      Also mentioned in the TFA is that the phone companies can voluntarily comply with the request, but it still takes a court order if they chose not to. That has always been the case.

      • That would be great if the phone companies had any integrity. During the Bush administration they demonstrated that they did not by giving the NSA everything it asked for.

      • Also mentioned in the TFA is that the phone companies can voluntarily comply with the request, but it still takes a court order if they chose not to. That has always been the case.

        True. Now, having said that, what do you think the likes of AT&T or Comcast will (given their history on the subject of compliance with law enforcement) do when such a request is made of them?

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:40AM (#35186414)

    You got it!

  • *sigh* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:40AM (#35186416) Homepage Journal

    Can we now dispense with the myth of the 2-party system?

    There is one party -- the party of you're going to get fucked and you're going to like it.

    The two faces of this party manufacture differences to keep Americans at each other's throats. There probably are ideological differences somewhere buried, and they certainly talk differently during campaign time.

    But they are remarkably similar in how they actually behave: scratch the backs that scratched them, put the screws to the companies that don't play ball, put the screws to the vanishingly small subset of "normal Americans", who don't have some other group-identifying prefix or suffix.

    Add to that, cooperate with or live in ignorance of the fact that the money printers and bankers really run the show, and don't forget: expand federal government power and run ripshod over the core principles and civil liberties that set this nation apart at its founding (who reads history, anyway?) , and finally, almost all politicians of any flavor agree that the answer to every problem is to say YES to EVERYBODY, thereby having the best shot of re-election.

    I didn't and don't like Obama's professed worldview: I think he's much too redistributionist for my tastes, but then, I'm more individualist than Ayn Rand. But enough about me.

    Obama was supposed to FIX at least _some_ of the shit that GWB did badly. He was supposed to draw down troop deployments, he was supposed to get rid of our "parallel" justice system where torture and kidnapping and indefinite incarceration and no trials are all fine and dandy. He was supposed to give back some of the 4th amendment.

    He has done none of those things, and infact, on all fronts, has made them worse.

    Nearly everything that GWB was doign wrong, Obama has continued or made worse.

    I hope the Obama administration thus far has been a wake-up call for people who were looking for 180 degree turn.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      That's because even with a two party system, the US government has checks and balances. So even if the president wants to do something or wants to change something, congress has to, also. The executive branch cannot effect significant change without congress and vice-versa. The president can issue executive orders, but those do not hold the same power as legislation.

      So, if you are correct and the people vote him out of office in two years, it will still be the same thing as before. Obama was definitely

      • by ScentCone (795499)

        That's because even with a two party system, the US government has checks and balances. So even if the president wants to do something or wants to change something, congress has to, also. The executive branch cannot effect significant change without congress and vice-versa. The president can issue executive orders, but those do not hold the same power as legislation.

        You have this so wrong it's not even wrong. When people refer to a "two party system." they're talking about the politcal dominance of two groups of people (who identify themselves as Democrats and Republicans at the moment). These are groups of people who are using their First Amendment rights to speak and assemble. There is no constitutional guidance, nor should there be, regarding the forming of political parties. You could ban them outright, but what would stop two (or two hundred) like-minded congress

        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          I was responding to the original poster's comments and was not intending a political discourse on politics or congress, so excuse me for being "wrong."

          That said, we have a two party system because to get elected (other than president) you need to be able to win the majority of the vote in your state or district. It is highly unlikely that would occur on a regular basis if there were more than two parties.

          The Tea Party is not a third party (at least not yet), although many republicans wish they were, since

          • That said, we have a two party system because to get elected (other than president) you need to be able to win the majority of the vote in your state or district.

            This is (mostly) false.

            In general, you do NOT need to get a majority of the vote to win an election. You merely need to get more than anyone else. So if there were seven political parties splitting the vote approximately equally, the guy getting 15% of the vote could win.

            Exceptions: in a few places, a majority vote is required. In those place

      • I agree. The president is simply the head of the Armed forces. I never expect him/her to do any sort of ( IP | legal | health care | human rights ) reform -- The president of the USA, much like President Zaphod Beeblebrox, is simply a distraction to keep us from concentrating our attention on where we can actually make such changes (i.e. every other position of government, EXCEPT the presidency).

    • by ISoldat53 (977164)
      There are only two parties, the sold and the for sale.
    • Re:*sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @01:13PM (#35187070) Homepage

      Can we now dispense with the myth of the 2-party system? There is one party -- the party of you're going to get fucked and you're going to like it.

      That's actually not true at all. The problem is that the 2 parties in Congress aren't Democrats and Republicans. They're the Bribed Party, and People's Party. The Bribed Party is focused on getting their next round of campaign contributions and paying off the industries that get them into office. The People's Party, on the other hand, actually tries to figure out good policy.

      The challenge of this sort of system is that since no reasonable ordinary citizen would vote for the Bribed Party, the Bribed candidates spend a ton of money trying to convince you that they're actually part of the People's Party. And because both the Democratic and Republican Parties are heavily controlled by the Bribed Party, the role of primaries is almost always to try to ensure that members of the People's Party don't make it to a general election or gain national prominence. So by the time you get to a general election, the reason the two purported major parties are fielding identical-sounding candidates is because they're actually both part of the Bribed Party. (As proof of what the goal of the primaries really is: People's Party candidate Ned Lamont beats Bribed Party candidate Joe Lieberman in a primary, and the Democratic Party leadership enthusiastically supports Joe Lieberman.)

      The good news is that occasionally a People's Party candidate slips through, and some have established themselves quite well in Washington. A couple of examples of those guys are Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul, who led the effort to vote against the Patriot Act renewal just last week. There by all appearances are at least 148 members of the People's Party in the House, and they definitely deserve support even if they're hopelessly outnumbered and even more hopelessly outfunded.

    • Isn't it funny how this argument is only sounded when Obama makes it obvious, again, that he had zero intention of going through with "hope & change"? Whenever an (R) does something, his party affiliation is right up there in the first line. When a (D) does something, it's "both parties are equally bad". Can't have it both ways, man.
    • I agree with most of your post except this. You're spot on that Obama has mostly failed to do what he promised.

      put the screws to the vanishingly small subset of "normal Americans", who don't have some other group-identifying prefix or suffix.

      Who are these people? How, exactly, are people with group-identifying prefixes or suffixes benefiting or escaping being screwed in the same way? Can you name something specific? Women who have children outside of wedlock with no way to pay for their babies would fit within your rhetoric, but I have a sinking feeling you probably weren't thinking of them as one of your prefix/suffix groups.

  • Soviet Russia (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xPhoenix (531848) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:53AM (#35186500)
    I think it's time to retire the "In Soviet Russia..." comments and replace them with "In Democratic America..." No, really...
  • Is much larger than *any* one person. This just goes to show that once you get to Washington you are just swept away by the beast.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @12:03PM (#35186550)

    It seems that the summary omitted once crucial detail -- The FBI may request the information and it may voluntarily be given. However, to demand it still requires an intervention from the courts.

    There is nothing new here. If your phone company chooses to give information about you to the FBI or some other government agency, you may have a gripe with the phone company, but the government can't just come in a compel the phone company to give up that information without a court order.

    • In countries where privacy is valued, the phone company has no right to voluntarily give out your information.
      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        In countries where privacy is valued, the phone company has no right to voluntarily give out your information.

        I agree the phone company has no right to give you your information. However, they are not in fact doing that. They are giving out "their" information regarding their billing charges, which by it's very nature includes usage data. I don't agree with it, but that is in fact what occurs.

        There is nothing to stop companies from giving out any information about you that isn't protected by law (such as medical information). How many bad checks have you seen taped to a cash register with a note to not accept c

        • by PPH (736903)

          I agree the phone company has no right to give you your information. However, they are not in fact doing that. They are giving out "their" information regarding their billing charges, which by it's very nature includes usage data. I don't agree with it, but that is in fact what occurs.

          That's a subtle distinction between my data and theirs. At one time, that information was considered to be a part of a fiduciary [wikipedia.org] relationship between the customer and telco. But, if my memory serves me correctly, that was quietly changed in a telecommunications bill in the mid 1990s. I can remember (back in the old days) a statement to the effect that the telephone company would need access to my call data for the purpose of billing and administration. But those days are gone. Unless we can get Congress to

  • Is it really that different? Any data as to how many times the FBI (or similar) is denied a 4th (or Nth) amendment-breaching request?

    In practice, and given the "parallel" justice system that is being employed and growing in the USA, it seems like it is very simple to circumvent authority by invoking "enemy of the state" or "national security" arbitrarily. So why should it matter anyway?

  • Remember the good old days when we could hate Bush for this pine for the days when a Democrat in office would save us?

    (sigh, good times... good times...)

     

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @12:24PM (#35186684)

    When she calls me in Europe from the US?

    Mom: "Are you getting enough to eat?"

    Me: "Yes, mom, I live Western Europe, not the Western Sahara."

    Mom: "How's the weather over there?"

    Me: "It's fine, mom."

    Mom: "Are you getting enough to eat?"

    Me: "You already asked me that, mom."

    The scene switches to the NSA headquarters, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

    NSA Chief Analyst: "There must be some kind of code there. She keeps asking him, "Are you getting enough to eat?" What does that mean? Assign a team to crack this code. And the reference to the Western Sahara? Call the CIA and get their agents in the Western Sahara to snoop around, there must be something going on there . . .

    • by cob666 (656740)
      What I would like to know is what about all the calls that are ROUTED to an international number such as call centers and customer support numbers where you are dialing an 800 number without realizing you are calling overseas?
  • that's one reason why I prefer a congress from the other party. it would be great if citizens cared enough to tell the white house no, but we don't so I'll settle for the other party doing it just for spite (they'd agree too often if the president is their party)

  • When will they just discard with the formalities and just say that every goverment agency can do anything whatsoever with no warrants and paperwork required. It would simplify the law too, they could sum it up in one sentence: "Everything is illegal".
    • When will they just discard with the formalities and just say that every goverment agency can do anything whatsoever with no warrants and paperwork required. It would simplify the law too, they could sum it up in one sentence: "Everything is illegal".

      Most folks around here forget all about the problems with federal agency policy as de facto law whenever the FCC or Library of Congress do something they like.

  • by anonieuweling (536832) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @01:53PM (#35187390)
    So how stupid is this? If the person calling is a criminal this isn't needed at all. And what if I call Osama every other day? I land on a no-fly list? (even though calling Osama is not a crime...) Great to have a free country with democracy and fair trial for criminals so the people can live without fear...
  • I didn't know that laws were just for private citizens. What's good for the goose isn't good for the gander I guess. This kinda makes sense though, Bush's warrantless wiretapping was found to be illegal, Obama excused it, and now he's seeking to make what was illegal into something legal. But not for private citizens. Now I get it, "shackles" is merely a metaphor.
  • Is there anything the FBI does that does not subvert the 4th Amendment?

My idea of roughing it turning the air conditioner too low.

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