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Electronic Frontier Foundation Government Your Rights Online

Warrantless Wiretapping Cases At the 9th Circuit 126

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the no-good-peaceniks-causing-trouble dept.
sunbird writes "The EFF argued several critical cases yesterday before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Both Hepting v. AT&T and Jewel v. National Security Agency raise important questions regarding whether the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program (pdf summary of evidence), disclosed by whistleblower Mark Klein and implemented by AT&T and other telecoms, violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The full text of the Klein declaration and redacted exhibits are publicly available (pdf). ... The Klein evidence establishes that AT&T cut into the fiber optic cables in San Francisco to route a complete copy of internet and phone traffic to the 'SG3' secure room operated by the NSA. The trial court dismissed the Hepting lawsuit (pdf order) based on the 2008 Congressional grant of immunity to telecoms. Similarly, the trial court in Jewel dismissed (pdf order) the lawsuit against the government agencies and officials based on the state secrets privilege. Both cases were argued together before the same panel of judges. The audio of the oral argument will be available after noon PDT [17:00 GMT] today."
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Warrantless Wiretapping Cases At the 9th Circuit

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  • Are at war with the people of the US. The lickspittle courts are their puppets.

    End allegiance to this so called "America" right now. It's like a being a convict, with allegiance to his penitentiary.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not that the Democrats are much better, but if we elect a Republican president next year we are completely at the mercy of corporate America. Even the small privacy protections we have now will be gone, a victim of the quest to control and profit from all data.
      • by SilverHatHacker (1381259) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @11:35AM (#37276150)

        but if we elect a president next year we are completely at the mercy of corporate America.

        FTFY. Unfortunately, the only viable form of government I can think of that's not subject to human corruption is SkyNet.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You clearly don't get it. There are no Republicans or Democrats in politics. Those are farcical institutions designed to keep the populace at each other's throats.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You don't get it. There's not 2 parties dismantling government infrastructure and intentionally bleeding our finances in order to raise the gap between rich and poor. There is only 1 party doing any serious attempt at that. Dems will sometimes acquiesce or contribute to that problem but the scale is not nearly as grand. Your explanation is a weak excuse for not having paid attention. Look at the voting records, what Congress does and who votes for and against before making these lazy comments.

          The Dems

          • by element-o.p. (939033) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @02:49PM (#37278832) Homepage
            What, exactly, have you been smoking for the last three years? The Dems are no different than the Neo-Cons. Both sides lie, cheat and steal to hold on to their power. Obama campaigned on "Hope and Change", but what, exactly, has he done differently than his predecessor? Bush authorized warrantless wiretapping and Obama promised to vote against telecom immunity for that...until he was elected president, and then, as one of his last actions while still he senator, he voted for the very bill he promised to oppose. Bush (rightfully) got raked over the coals for the Iraq War; Obama now is dodging the War Powers Act so we can get involved in Libya. Under Bush, TSA/DHS was created; under Obama, TSA initiated the AIT scanners/pat-downs at the airports.

            Yeah, you can nitpick social issues like abortion and stem-cell research, but when push comes to shove, there really isn't a lot of difference between the two parties. Both of them are eager to drive the country to insolvency. Both endorse handouts to their corporate backers. Neither one is willing to make the hard choices that will get this country out of the hole we have dug for ourselves. Both parties are busy wiping their backsides with the Constitution while making the federal bureaucracy as bloated as possible, and neither party really gives a rip about how badly they trample the average joes like you and me in the mean time. If you think the Democrats are even remotely interested in making your life better, then, my friend, YOU are the one who hasn't been paying attention lately.
          • Good points about the difference in policies between the two, however it seems that having the Dems in power doesn't stop the Republicans from doing exactly what they want, it only slows them down slightly.

        • by nog_lorp (896553)
          Where are the mod points!? Sad that spot-on comments like this get no points and only get troll replies.

          Anyways... they aren't just there to keep people fighting and distracted, but also to exploit basic human nature. Sectarianism is always a powerful tool - you can't get a leg up by telling people to vote for the other guy, or to be unified.
      • by KiloByte (825081) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:04PM (#37276474)

        Dubya at least tried to hide his treason (hard to call that a different name), Barrack Hussein says wiretapping is the right thing to do.

        But hey, they're respectively 2nd worst and the worst US president in history. Look at other pretenders to these titles: Nixon, almost impeached for wiretapping a single freaking hotel while Dubya and Barrack H. do this to the whole nation. Buchanan who screwed an important task but at least tried. Harding, whose biggest sin was giving an oil company preferential access to a single facility. On the other hand, our present heroes went to multiple wars under knowingly false pretenses, threw away more taxpayer money than all other presidents in history and ensured a dominance of their buddies at Big Finance.

      • Clearly we are doomed, since we don't have any choice other than "democrats" or "republicans."
    • by Kjella (173770)

      The TLAs and Corporate Lackeys are at war with the people of the US

      That TLA is taken by another TLA, try again.

    • by Nadaka (224565)

      America has never really lived up to its ideals, but we have worked hard to make progress in that direction against enemies both foreign and domestic. We are currently loosing that battle against the corporatists, classists and authoritarians. Why do the American patriots have to abandon our country to those who have corrupted it and blasphemed against liberty and justice? Why not fight back, and put our nation back on the path towards a better America?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        That is exactly the game they will have you play, to keep you unempowered and in stasis.

        The first President was a Freemason. His Treasury Secretary was an Agent of The Bank of England. This has ALWAYS been a puppet-show.

        Wake up.

      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:04PM (#37276470) Homepage

        Why do the American patriots have to abandon our country to those who have corrupted it and blasphemed against liberty and justice? Why not fight back, and put our nation back on the path towards a better America?

        The major reasons this doesn't happen are closely related to characteristics of true patriots that differ heavily from corporatists, classists, and authoritarians. Here are some of the bigger ones:
        1. The patriots aren't willing to completely wreck the country if they don't get what they want.
        2. The patriots aren't willing to cheat, and in most cases aren't willing to commit violent or property crime, in order to gain power.
        3. Patriots who are not authoritarian are much less organized than authoritarians, who by their very nature are able to move in lock-step.
        4. Patriots are aware that if the authoritarians turned the US military, or military contractors like Xe, on the US citizenry, the authoritarians would likely win, even if they lost would wreck the place in the process (see point 1).

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Uh.. If (1) is true, the "patriots" you are speaking of are not patriotic. Rebellion that has any chance of success also risks completely wrecking the country. This is an unavoidable risk of rebellion, even when the rebels are strictly non-violent. It may be a small risk, and they may work to minimize the risk, but it exists. If they are unwilling to take it, they cannot succeed.

          If (2) is true, you are again not speaking of patriots. They have not learned the lessons that the populace of this country taught

        • Patriots see that they are too few in number to win. It is much easier to change countries and citizenships than it is to remain. As I see it, the USA is where Germany was in the beginning of the 1930's.

          Eventually you will have a one party system (republican with big corporate dollars to keep them there). One party leads to dictatorship.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Why do the American patriots have to abandon our country to those who have corrupted it and blasphemed against liberty and justice? Why not fight back, and put our nation back on the path towards a better America?

        How? What can anyone do that has a chance of turning this country around? Anyone with radical enough ideas to really change this country will never be taken seriously by the media. Therefore you will never have a chance of getting elected, and never have a chance to make a change working with th

        • by jafiwam (310805)

          There IS light at the end of the tunnel, we as a nation as a whole and singly just need to realize it is us. The country does not need "turning around", it needs a few adjustments in some very important areas that is all.

          Taking up arms in revolution is only legit if the means to change from within through the normal process are no longer valid. You can't just "disbelieve" in those means and gain validity for your revolution.

          You will gain no friends with that type of talk, you sound like an embittered

          • > Revolution would lose us the Constitution
            The Constitution was lost long ago. It has become glaringly obvious since 9/11, to anybody who reads it.

            > shoot you in the back
            You will gain no friends with that type of talk

            > bank on it
            An ironic recommendation, given that our fractional reserve banks are hardly a dependable bastion of security

          • by Hatta (162192)

            If we cannot change from within, then we have already lost the Constitution.

            Yes, that's my point. The US government is wholly illegitimate, and has been for years. You simply haven't been paying attention.

            • by imric (6240)

              Hatta - is that for the Palestinian village? Or Mohammad Hatta? Or Hatta in the United Arab Emirates?

              Just curious.

          • For the most part, I agree with you. However, there is one thing that trumps the Constitution on my list of priorities. When the government, whether democratically elected or not, begins to sufficiently persecute my family and loved ones unjustly, I will take whatever action I can to put an end to it, including, if need be, violent revolution.

            The Constitution is indeed very, very important to me, but ultimately it is only a means to an end (namely, justice and liberty).
        • by Omestes (471991)

          Judging from 99% of of people I've heard bandying about the term "revolution", I'd probably be on the street fighting against you, an in favor of our absolutely corrupt, somewhat evil, ELECTED, representative government. You might be a different type of revolutionary than most, for all I know, so don't take it personally.

          Most of the would-be revolutionaries I've mean, read about, etc... fall into two camps. Lunatics or Authoritarians who are mad that things aren't they way they perceive as the singular,

          • by Hatta (162192)

            Most of the would-be revolutionaries I've mean, read about, etc... fall into two camps. Lunatics or Authoritarians who are mad that things aren't they way they perceive as the singular, a priori, truth.

            I agree with you actually. This is why I'm not in favor of revolution at the moment. There's no popular movement in any direction that would make us more free. This makes me equally pessimistic about our chances for change inside and outside the system.

            Nothing good has ever come from people who claim to "

            • by Omestes (471991)

              Or look at Ron Paul this year. He got 2nd place in the Iowa Straw Poll, less than a percentage point behind Bachmann. Still, the media refuses to talk about him as if he were a serious candidate. It's obvious that what the people want simply doesn't matter

              This does annoy me. In the last primary Dennis Kucinich was my favorite (Holy Cow, the last remaining liberal!), and even though he had zero chance of being elected, the media still either ignored him, or basically made him a laughing stock for things not at all related to politics ("zomg, he saw a UFO!"). Or Howard Dean, who basically got kicked out because of a single out of context clip of him being enthusiastic at a rally (which everyone does), a clip that the media decided was more important than any

              • by Hatta (162192)

                basically made him a laughing stock for things not at all related to politics ("zomg, he saw a UFO!").

                This is fair. If I can ridicule Perry for his sky wizard bullshit, Kucinich deserves the same.

                But... the fact that people vote for who the media (or anyone) wants them to vote for is a deeper problem.

                The problem is, this is an inherent part of the human condition. Your reality is shaped as much by what people tell you is true as by what is actually true, if not more. People are not going to wake up somed

          • by Anonymous Coward

            "We have the government we deserve."

            I haven't voted Democrat or Republican in a long time. If you have any suggestions for getting the sheeple to vote for third party candidates when they don't like either the Democrats or Republicans, I'd love to hear it.

      • by wizkid (13692)

        Yes, It starts at the ballot box. Quit closing your mind and selecting democratic or republican candidates. They've developed a duopoly that locks out anyone working for the people. And we need to find a way to take the power away from the lobbyists. They're the ones writing the bills that get put before congress. IMHO we should get the people to put a amendment to the constitution to increase terms by 50%, and eliminate getting re-elected in office, and make all elections publicly funded and a

        • by fyngyrz (762201)

          Remember that the Constitution starts with "We the People". If we leave it to congress and the White House, they're going to change it to "We the Corporations".

          Already done. They did it by having the supreme court define corporations as "people."

          • Since slavery is prohibited, does that mean corporations can't be traded? Or that they can't really be owned?
            • by fyngyrz (762201)

              No, no. Read the 13th amendment [usconstitution.net]. Slavery is perfectly ok -- as long as the government does it as punishment for a crime. And as we all know, all corporations are criminals, and furthermore the legal system is so overweight and complex no one can really be sure they're acting completely in accordance with the law at any point, so...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ArcCoyote (634356)

      Sorry, your ID must be 1,2,or 6 digits for me to give a fsck what you say. There are approximately 99,899 kooks on ./, and I'm fairly sure where they are clustered.

      IF you have a 7+ digit ID, get off my lawn.

    • That depends how you define "America".

      If it's the federal gov't, I agree with you.

      But I prefer to think of "America" as an ideal, a people who historically have seen themselves as a beacon of freedom, a generous benefactor of those in need, an enlightened trailblazer.

      To that vision I am an ally, even if many of the people I see around me personify the opposite.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        That ideal is a ration of shit sold to keep the masses quiet. Sure it sounds great, but never happened.

        • > it sounds great, but never happened.
          That's probably the definition of an "ideal."

          But America has done those things, from time to time. Not as consistently as we'd like, and not without doing evil too, but there's no law of the cosmos that says a generally benign culture can't exist and flourish. They did it in Star Trek...

          • > it sounds great, but never happened.
            That's probably the definition of an "ideal."

            But America has done those things, from time to time. Not as consistently as we'd like, and not without doing evil too, but there's no law of the cosmos that says a generally benign culture can't exist and flourish. They did it in Star Trek...

            That's what I've been saying. We all know what the right ideals are, otherwise these stories wouldn't resonate with us, they wouldn't be so inspiring and powerful. Maybe those values have only manifested in a moment here and a moment there so far, but we aspire towards them with every tale we tell, and America, if nothing else, is a land of tales. We can start to tell a different one.

        • I've spent a lot of time thinking about this lately, and you are, of course, somewhat correct but you are also somewhat wrong.

          In what time period would I rather have lived? At what point in history was America a better country than it is today? Well...when founded, slavery was rampant and women were only marginally better off, so the first 100 years or so is pretty much out. Even after slavery was abolished, we were still a highly racist country for roughly another hundred years so that wasn't much be
      • I'd love to agree with you but your nic is disturbingly accurate here.

    • by msauve (701917)
      Three Letter Acronyms are at war with the US people? I'd have to agree.
  • by bughunter (10093) <bughunter&earthlink,net> on Thursday September 01, 2011 @12:02PM (#37276438) Journal

    Unfortunately, it seems like the only way to defend our constitutional rights these days is with lawyers, and lawyers cost money, even EFF's lawyers. And therefore, you and I and anyone who is not either a billionaire or a fictional legal person is at a severe disadvantage, almost impossible to overcome.

    Therefore, if you have any money to donate, even if it's only $5, please follow the link in my sig and contribute to the few people who are really, truly fighting for your rights.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Let's impeach the President for spying
      On citizens inside their own homes
      Breaking every law in the country
      By tapping our computers and telephones"
                                                                      - Neil Young

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It is illegal for the government to directly collect this information, but it is not for a private company... This should be fixed.

    • by Nadaka (224565)

      The closure of the loophole is that the government can not ask the private person/company to collect that information. Doing so creates a chain of authority and requires a warrant. That is why this is called illegal warrantless wiretapping. The loophole doesn't exist, but they are getting away with it anyway.

  • David Leigh of The Guardian may have sodomized Assange of Wikileaks. Assange said "no" but Leigh kept on pressing. Now Assange is suing for rape, but it all depends on the rape laws in UK.

  • The full text of the Klein declaration
  • The audio recording of the oral arguments are now available [uscourts.gov] (.wma).
  • Looks like a pair of "you're on a need to know basis, and you don't need to know" cases. How sad that (for the most part, this is par for the course) even the judicial circles are plagued with decision makers who are undoing the very transparency and due process which was designed to keep "the powers that be" honest.
    • The government is probably going to argue that since they aren't using evidence obtained illegally for actual criminal prosecutions, they don't need a warrant. Sad, that anybody thinks anybody should buy that argument.

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