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DNI Admits FISA Surveillance Violated the 4th Amendment 132

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fox-mulder-reporting dept.
colinneagle writes, quoting Ms. Smith: "It's official; the government's spying efforts exceeded the legal limits at least once (PDF), meaning it is also officially 'unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.' The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) sent a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden giving permission to admit that much. This started with Sen. Wyden requesting that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) declassify some statements regarding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act enacted by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. Although this FISA power is supposed to sunset in December 2012, in May a new Senate bill extended the warrantless wiretapping program for five more years. That vote was regarded as the first step 'toward what the Obama administration hopes will be a speedy renewal of an expanded authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to monitor the U.S. e-mails and phone calls of overseas targets in an effort to prevent international terrorist attacks on the country.'"
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DNI Admits FISA Surveillance Violated the 4th Amendment

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  • Too late (Score:5, Insightful)

    by freman (843586) on Monday July 23, 2012 @05:51PM (#40742495)

    The US has already lost it's war on terror - its government and its citizens live in terror every moment of every day.

    The worst part is the government fears its citizens and the citizens fear their government.

    • Re:Too late (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bill Hayden (649193) on Monday July 23, 2012 @05:55PM (#40742533) Homepage
      I disagree. The very problem is that the government does not fear it's citizens. They are not beholden to the citizens any more.
      • by jhoegl (638955)
        Wait, my government was supposed to beholdin me?
        Where can I sign up for this service?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The very problem is that the government does not fear it's citizens.

        And when you step back and ask, "Who ARE they afraid of?", I just think about where the politicians' money is coming from.

        And I keep coming up with one answer: very wealthy business men hiding behind their corporations and Super PACs.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by cold fjord (826450)

          And when you step back and ask, "Who ARE they afraid of?", I just think about where the politicians' money is coming from.

          And I keep coming up with one answer: very wealthy business men hiding behind their corporations and Super PACs.

          If what your wrote is true, the events listed below should be impossible. Since the events below actually happened, what you wrote is absolute rubbish.

          Former Chairman and CEO of Kellogg, Brown & Root Inc. Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Foreign Bribery and Kickback Schemes [fbi.gov]

          WASHINGTON—Albert “Jack” Stanley, a former chairman and chief executive officer of Kellogg, Brown & Root Inc. (KBR), was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt

      • by freman (843586)

        I agree, I've had a coffee since my first post and your statement is what I wanted to say - a government that willingly attacks and deprives it's own citizens of liberties and justice clearly isn't afraid of them any more.

      • by slick7 (1703596)

        They are not beholden to the citizens any more.

        They never were, the NDAA proves it.

      • I disagree. The very problem is that the government does not fear it's citizens. They are not beholden to the citizens any more.

        Utter rubbish. The United States continues to elect its governments as it always has. The bureaucracy is as dependent on the legislature and president as always.

        • Re:Too late (Score:4, Informative)

          by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:32PM (#40744485)
          Except that third parties are left at a deliberate disadvantage by those in power, the police invade the homes of unarmed citizens and using grenades and assault rifles, and the executive branch of government has the power to declare laws and then arrest people for violating those laws...
          • Third parties are at a disadvantage due to the American political system mitigating against extremes by its nature. The fight is for the middle - stray too far and you won't have enough support to be elected. That is why the media has had to work overtime on behalf of certain candidates. The police are most likely to behave as you suggest when they either have the wrong address, or the offense involved is one prone to involvement with violence, such as drug cases. The executive branch has zero power to

            • The police are most likely to behave as you suggest when they either have the wrong address, or the offense involved is one prone to involvement with violence, such as drug cases

              I know the media paints a scary picture, but most drug dealers or producers do not turn their homes into fortresses. SWAT deployment should be limited to extreme cases, where there is good reason to believe that the suspects are heavily armed and dangerous. Right now, SWAT assaults are routinely used to execute search and arrest warrants, regardless of there being any suspicion of the suspect being armed. Here are some typical examples of the excessive use of SWAT:

              http://www.washingtontimes.com/news [washingtontimes.com]

      • by trawg (308495)

        I disagree. The very problem is that the government does not fear it's citizens. They are not beholden to the citizens any more.

        But... but... you have all those guns!?! Isn't that the point of having them?

    • and the UK. and Oz/NZ.

      (maybe poland too. lets not forget poland!)

      • by freman (843586)

        Shhh dissing the US is how we help ourselves feel better about our own problems down under :(

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Oh don't worry ya dang kangaroo munchers we ain't forgot about what you did to us in the USA, we'll get you yet!

          I mean there we was, think y'all were friendly, we save your butts in WWII, you gave us some Foster's and it seemed like everything was going nice...hell you even gave us one of the best damned movies in history, the incredible piece of cinema known as Mad Max, but now we know it was just to trick us into thinking you were nice! I mean sure, we should have known you dirty down underers were up to

    • Re:Too late (Score:4, Insightful)

      by shentino (1139071) on Monday July 23, 2012 @06:52PM (#40743113)

      No, the worst part is that OUR OWN LAWMAKERS are being restrained in what they can talk about.

      This is a direct affront to the principle of congressional oversight.

      • Re:Too late (Score:4, Insightful)

        by evafan76 (2527608) on Monday July 23, 2012 @08:56PM (#40744243)

        No, the worst part is that OUR OWN LAWMAKERS are being restrained in what they can talk about.

        This is a direct affront to the principle of congressional oversight.

        In this case I agree. This is complete crap. A Congressman having to GET PERMISSION from the Executive Branch to inform those he represents that the 4th Amendment has been breached by the Executive Branch makes one wonder about what he wasn't allowed to say, and why the hell he had to get permission in the first place. However, there are somethings I believe that politicians, no matter the branch, should shut up about, such as information that gives away a source, or puts the lives of those who have helped us in jeopardy. But even that has to take a backseat to the Constitution.

        Go ahead, mod me down.

        • by T Murphy (1054674)
          I don't see anything about Wyden being required to get permission. Generally it's considered a good idea to try cooperation before taking unilateral action.
      • No, the worst part is that OUR OWN LAWMAKERS are being restrained in what they can talk about.

        This is a direct affront to the principle of congressional oversight.

        Over time the legislature has determined that providing America's enemies with things such as its war plans and lists of its intelligence agents is a bad thing.

        Congressional oversight occurs in hearings and results in votes, all of which continue all the same.

        • by TheCarp (96830)

          Except the buck stops with them, they are the elected officials.

          If they don't feel the system is providing that oversight, then they should blow the wistle to the people who elected them...the public.

          War plans are fine but politicians don't get the real war plans anyway, tactical plans. Sure...but if by "war plans" you mean "plans to go to war with someone else" then that sort of back room dealing should be wistle blown....early and often.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      The US has already lost it's war on terror - its government and its citizens live in terror every moment of every day.

      The worst part is the government fears its citizens and the citizens fear their government.

      The U.S.A. Government is the terrorist.

      They terrorize their citizens, they terrorize the citizens of other countries.

      You ask, how are they terrorist? Because they have been preaching and using fear to pass laws that limits our rights. Worse, we are letting them.

      You want to stand up to the terrorist problem? Start with the government.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      The US has already lost it's war on terror - its government and its citizens live in terror every moment of every day.

      The worst part is the government fears its citizens and the citizens fear their government.

      And everybody seems to enjoy it? (otherwise can't explain why the situation is tolerated).

    • The US has already lost it's war on terror - its government and its citizens live in terror every moment of every day.

      What you wrote is true to the same extent that the stories of the spread of penis stealing and penis shrinking magic [bbc.co.uk] from Africa to Australia and New Zealand have left all men outside of the armed forces (BTW, aren't you Australian [slashdot.org]?) as angry, emasculated remnants of their former selves. Is it true? Shall we call you "Little Richard"? Or are both rubbish?

      The worst part is the government fears its citizens and the citizens fear their government.

      American citizens continue to control their government by means of elections. There are some members (no offense) of society that do bear watching. T

      • American citizens continue to control their government by means of elections.

        Elections are not binding in any way. After you were elected, you can do what you want. Obama was elected on "hope & change", and everybody kind of assumed he meant that in contrast to what Bush was doing. It wasn't, so what can the Americans do? Wait 4 years, then fall for the next one, or the same one again. And then they will AGAIN have nothing to say.

        And you call that "controlling" something? I control my keyboard. Mainly b

    • Wow, I didn't realize that I live in terror when I'm shampooing my hair, or when I'm playing with my dog, or putting fruit in my shopping cart.

      Thanks for letting me know that I live in terror every moment of every day. Especially those moments.

      Signed,

      A Citizen of the United States of America.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @06:04PM (#40742615)

    The 9/11 terrorists were very far-sighted, and seem to have been winning ever since they died.

    America has been continually digging a grave for itself from that moment....

    • by Nadaka (224565)

      I really really hate to admit it, but you are right.

      We have a choice between a "right wing authoritarian plutocratic douchbag liar",
      and the contender attempting to out "right wing authoritarian plutocratic douchbag" lie the incumbent.

      My America is dead. Liberty and Justice were little more than a fleeting dream before returning to the waking nightmare plutocracy and despotism. There is nothing left to do but wait for this country to burn. And maybe after another dark age, we can try again.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @07:17PM (#40743357)

        How do I say this delicately?.... Obama is the most left leaning president you've ever had. You're getting exactly what you should have expected based off countless examples all over world history. Pawning this off of "he's doing bad stuff - ergo he's right wing" is not based in any rational thinking with any basis in fact, but rather knee-jerk emotion and plain desire to maintain your current flawed world view (one in which you have your team -"go team! rah rah!", and thus the other must be "bad guys").

        As you've probably gathered, I'm right leaning (yeah yeah - boo hiss, I know). It may surprise you, that I mostly agree with your conclusions. You see the policies we're opposing are not right leaning, or left leaning per-se, but anti-democratic. That which you call "evil right wing policies", I call "evil socialist policies" and dislike them for many of the very same reasons you do. There's a reason congress has a sub 15% approval rating. When "our guy" was in power, he set up idiotic stuff the patriot act and the TSA with broad bipartisan support. When "your guy" gets in and expands those policies it doesn't make him right wing because the policy was never right wing to begin with. Don't believe me? Right wing ideology is centered around a very simple concept - a small limited government (essential services only type thing - as spelled out in the constitution). What part of this boondoggle is limited and/or constitutional?

        The current bastards in Washington are not left wing or right wing - they're power oriented and only interested in themselves. They are drunk on the idea that they can and should change the world to accomplish their goals (either left or right goals) and lost all principles along the way. Does wiretapping the population help them do this? Absolutely! (Don't you think that if an honest good politician ever showed up, it would not be convenient for them to have phone records with some dirt?) The TSA are obnoxious jerks? "Elect me, and I'll make sure we (the government) help you! How would you ever get along without me?".

        So why am I right wing? Well the last 12 years are a good example (and no - I don't consider Bust to be conservative - he often lacked the core principles that allowed him to implement some of these idiotic solutions). A government that is big and powerful enough to take care of all of your needs, is large enough to take everything you have. In left wing (socialist) governments, the government tries to expand to do more things for more people. As government grows, this kind of garbage inevitably happens "for the greater good". Very few seem to realize those good intentions are just paving the road to hell.

        • You couldn't be more right. Right and Left wing are terms associated with governmental interference in the economy. Totalitarian and libertarian are terms associated with governmental interference in individual rights.

          There is no communist regimen up to this day that managed to be non totalitarian, and it is probably impossible to do so, but a capitalist regimen can go either way. Unfortunately USA is going into the totalitarian path for sometime. There is still a long way to go for it to become North Ko
          • by cffrost (885375)

            [...] regimen [...]

            I'm sure you meant "regime."

            Although regime (government) is used as a synonym in place of regimen (medical/therapy plan), the reverse is not true.

          • by omfgnosis (963606)

            There is no communist regimen up to this day that managed to be non totalitarian

            Only most of human history [wikipedia.org], at least according to those most famous for articulating communist theory. And of course they used the term derisively, as it would be hard to sell a political program to achieve communism through starkly opposite arrangements if those of us to whom communism appealed realized that communism is evidently in our nature, needing to be beaten out of us.

            • Certainly, there was nowhere near the differences of today, because there was too few people and not very many possessions for one to have beyond food and women. And there was always the boss and his favorites. They often had most females, which were propriety, and the best of them, were able to choose what they eat first, so eat better, etc. Furthermore in most tribes if you couldn't do your part for any motive, you were usually abandoned or banned.

              I would hardly call this communism, at least, as the te
              • by omfgnosis (963606)

                Your portrayal of primitive societies demands some evidence. While there have certainly been (and continue to be) primitive societies that feature one or more of the conditions you describe—perhaps even all of them—it's hardly safe to assume that this is representative of those societies in aggregate, much less of human society prior to the advent of civilization.

                As far as the use of the term "communism" to refer to a government system, this use is radically at odds with the meaning as conceived

                • I can't really prove beyond doubt that most, or any, primitive societies fit in my description, but neither can you, and I want to remind you that the one who started with claims of knowing how humanity behaved for most of its History was you. The best we both can do is to refer do documentation uncovered by historians, which many times are inconsistent with each other.

                  Furthermore I never mentioned that a communist regimen must be totalitarian, just that nobody ever managed to implement a real one that w
        • by Nadaka (224565) on Monday July 23, 2012 @08:38PM (#40744081)

          "Right Wing" aka conservatism is not and has never been about small government, despite the protestations of those who have fallen for that line. It is about restoring the old order. The order that was shaken to its core by the French and American revolutions. It is about returning to an age of absolute authoritarianism where a select few gentry have absolute power over the masses by legal, economic and superstitious means. The free market ideology as it exists today is merely a means to that end. In America, for a time, the government stood against that tyranny, and that is why they now want to neuter it. The abstract free market concept has been corrupted as a means to pursue that goal, you can't put a corporation under the guillotine, and the plutocratic class are shielded from the repercussions of the abuse they meet out to the peasants begging for scraps.

          The free market ideal was an abstract model that can never truly exist because it assumes that:
          A: all parties start from a level playing field.
          B: all parties are rational actors
          C: all parties are fully informed and knowledgeable.
          D: and that monopolies never form.
          A moderately (and properly) regulated market is closer to this ideal than a laissez faire system that doesn't attempt to restrict corruption, deceit and other harmful practices.

          • What's the difference between a corrupt, monopolistic corporation and the corrupt, monopolistic government? If you want to, you can always stop giving your money to the corporation.
          • by roman_mir (125474)

            A: all parties start from a level playing field.

            - irrelevant, doesn't matter where everybody starts from, the only question is this: is the gov't prevented from stealing individual freedom, so that it is prevented from selling it to those first in line?

            B: all parties are rational actors

            - completely irrelevant.

            C: all parties are fully informed and knowledgeable.

            - completely irrelevant.

            D: and that monopolies never form.

            - monopolies are only created by government force, businesses without gov't power do not form monopolies, they can become large economies of scale and hold that position as long as they provide the best product at the best price.

            A moderately (and properly) regulated market

            - an oxymoron. There can

          • by dywolf (2673597)
            "Right Wing" aka conservatism is not and has never been about small government, despite the protestations of those who have fallen for that line. It is about restoring the old order. The order that was shaken to its core by the French and American revolutions. It is about returning to an age of absolute authoritarianism where a select few gentry have absolute power over the masses by legal, economic and superstitious means" This part is absolute bullcrap.
        • by hibiki_r (649814) on Monday July 23, 2012 @09:56PM (#40744671)

          I'd not put him in the top 5 most left leaning presidents the country has ever had. I'm not even sure he's to the left of Nixon.

          If you want a left leaning president, try FDR.

  • Tell them that even if it was only once, unlikely as that may be, even once is one time to many!

    • it would be more useful to write to tony the tiger and ask that he change his stripes.

      is there one scrap of evidence that, in the last 20 or so years, 'writing to a politician' ever did anything to sway them?

      can we PLEASE stop with this myth that the gov cares about its serfs?? it does not. thinking that you still have some say is part of 'their plan'. seems that some of us still fall for that BS, too ;(

      • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Monday July 23, 2012 @06:16PM (#40742733)
        SOPA/PIPA was stopped because of people writing and calling their congressmen but that seems to be the exception to the rule. Any time I write my congressman be it mail or Email, he doesn't change the way he votes, and then he sends me all sorts of campaign propaganda and asks me to donate to him. Ya right..
        • by Anonymous Coward

          SOPA/PIPA was stopped because Google put their weight against it.

        • by ubrgeek (679399) on Monday July 23, 2012 @06:32PM (#40742879)
          Then you're not holding them accountable. Clicking on an email petition adding your name to a list of countless other people does little. Call their offices, ask to speak to their press secretaries or general council. Ask them with which groups they meet when they say they've met with "subject matter experts" to understand the issues. Then check on those experts. Call them. Then call the senator/congresswoman/city councilman/whatever back and give them feedback on the group. Offer your services (if you really are qualified) as an expert.

          Look folks - I know there are some memes on /. that show up everyday, not the least of which is the "impending death of America" (or, more often, "America is already dead"). The reality is that no, it's not. Do politicians listen to corporations that line their pockets? Yup. But they do listen to you, if you actually present an argument. And if they don't, vote them out of office. (And I don't want to hear the whole "there's only two parties" etc. etc. At the local level third-parties CAN get elected.) Democracy isn't easy. I don't think it's supposed to be. It takes more than just clicking on a link from MoveOn, PublicCitizen, etc. to get a point across.
          • local level?

            those people have FISA approval and veto powers?

            I DID NOT KNOW THAT!!

            • by ubrgeek (679399)
              No TheGratefulNet, obviously not (although you'd be surprised at just what the local law enforcement can get away with if there's a "friendly" judge). But a lot of times locally elected politicians move up to higher-level positions, either in state politics or even at the national level. Remember the whole "Think global, act local" concept. You've got to start somewhere.
          • by Mitreya (579078)

            Call their offices, ask to speak to their press secretaries or general council. Ask them with which groups they meet when they say they've met with "subject matter experts" to understand the issues. Then check on those experts. Call them. Then call the senator/congresswoman/city councilman/whatever ...

            Don't get me wrong, but I already have a full-time job (that usually takes up business hours when such calls would be made). You are thinking of a lobbyist that gets paid for doing things like that.
            Yet another case of uneven playing field in our political system.

            • by ubrgeek (679399)
              Mitreya - As do I. I'm not saying I do it for every cause, but there are some that I set aside some time to do it. I can't do it at work either but the representative's offices seem to be open late enough (EST) for me to reach someone and leave a message. I just make a point of following up when they call back (and I think I've only ever had two not call back over the years.)
        • sopa was NOT stopped!

          it comes back again and again.

          what we saw was a delay tactic, nothing more.

          sorry. I wish you were right in this, but you are not. we did not win SOPA war. at best, we got a temporary delay of execution.

        • by Mitreya (579078)

          SOPA/PIPA was stopped because of people writing and calling their congressmen

          Actually, SOPA/PIPA was stopped by various large organizations (Wikipedia had a full blackout day! Google promoted the issue).
          People writing and calling had nothing to do with it - my letters opposing to any issue always return with "Thank you for supporting us on this issue" canned response. No one reads them as they don't come with a large campaign donation.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday July 23, 2012 @06:15PM (#40742717)

      Dear Citizen,

      we like our new powers. we're not giving them back. dream on.

      have a nice day. (and vote quimby!)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Dear Citizen,
        Although it may seem like I've copped out taking all that PAC money and helping to speed up climate change, have no fear. It's been my secret plan to submerge the Cayman Islands.

    • by undeadbill (2490070) on Monday July 23, 2012 @06:27PM (#40742835)

      What you do is you write to them, and you tell them that you voted for them. Once.

      Then you tell them that what they did was immoral, abhorrent, and you consider what they did a violation of their oath of office, and of the trust you put into them as your representative.

      Telling them isn't enough. They have to be convinced that it could be fatal to their career.

      You enumerate for them just how much you are going to work to see someone else that you do believe in is put into office. Tell the legislator the money that you gave their campaign will now be donated five fold to your new champion. Tell this person that you will be providing X hours a month of volunteer time working for another candidate. Then tell them that you will find no less than 5 friends who listen to you and trust your opinion, and they will do the same, and bring their friends along as well.

      Then, email the letter to their Congressional office, with a cc to their campaign manager.

      Then, go make good on your promise. Because, ultimately, if you want something to change, you will need to unfuck it yourself. Chances are, if it is a contested district, you might get a phone call back. If not, at least you know you are doing something to fix the problem created by voting for someone who would sell you out. This isn't about fighting and beating the current candidate- it is about the journey it will take *you* to become involved enough to become a good gatekeeper for the governmental process in your district.

      • for every vote they lose from you or I, they will gain a vote from some dumb-ass who believes in 'we are making you more safe!'.

        holding back on votes does not work. obvious issue is that they ALL (essentially) want this new set of powers. there's no one siding with We, The People, anymore. no one in power, anyway.

        • If apathy is your solution, then please, by all means, continue waiting for Godot. I will continue working.

      • by Mitreya (579078) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ayertim>> on Monday July 23, 2012 @07:56PM (#40743701)

        Chances are, if it is a contested district, you might get a phone call back.

        And there is the first problem!
        According to this [wikipedia.org] ~82% of are not even close to being contested ("In the 2000 Congressional Elections, out of the 435 Congressional districts in which there were elections, 359 were listed as "safe" by Congressional Quarterly. [4] In all of these 359, there was no uncertainty as to who would win.")

        • Even in "non-contested" districts, people have lost their seats. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. In most of these districts that are non-contested, this happens because many of the local businesses put their money into that candidate's coffers, hoping some pork will come back. I didn't say that there is this magic way of making this happen. I implied that making that happen would take a lot of hours and dedicated work.

          Nobody "needs" to go fire their Congresscritter. Even if they suck. Ple

  • That's at least once per household, right?

  • "Anyone but Bush." Remember? Way back when large masses of suckers (myself included, lamentably), thought that we were able to vote for "anyone but Bush." Someone different. Someone who was not a corrupt ass-kissing stooge of war criminals, financial scammers, drug traffickers (legal or illegal), deranged religious fanatics, or the usual parade of fascist sociopaths. Supposedly, there was some guy who would not be that way. I didn't fully buy it, but what the hell. Who else would I vote for? Now that odious
    • by Anonymous Coward

      "It's Green Party or Peace and Freedom"

      Wasted vote. Any vote not for Romney is a vote for Obama and you know it.

      Romney doesn't thrill most of us, but the fact is he is not a power hungry Marxist and at least we have a chance to force him into the conservative mold.

      Almost more important is to vote conservative in all other offices, House and Senate are critical.

      I'm curious, you reject Obama but then want to support the Greens or Peace and Freedom? Obama is your man, he is a Marxist, so are they. Have you

      • I gather you are conservative? Obama is not even close to "marxist." He is center right. Center right. Much more important than left or right, and more important than how much to the right you seem to be to consider him "marxist," he is staunchly pro-establishment. Romney is also staunchly pro-establishment, and I would wager that if elected he will be very much to the left of your politics, and you will almost certainly feel the same way about him as I do about Obama. In practice, in everyday, banal, sausa

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "It's Green Party or Peace and Freedom"
        Wasted vote. Any vote not for Romney is a vote for Obama and you know it.

        A vote for Romney or Obama is a vote for corporate overlords. There's no practical difference between the two. Yeah, sure, one of them thinks that innovation only happens in Wall Street boardrooms, and one of them thinks that education and government funded research drive innovation, but differences in their policies devolve to which industries and by what mechanisms they want to give taxpayer money away. When a president gets elected with less than 40% of the popular vote, media may wake up to the broad

      • Romney doesn't thrill most of us, but the fact is he is not a power hungry Marxist

        He's a power hungry neo-con. The only people who stand a chance of "forcing him into conservative mold" are those who understand "conservative" as "more Jeezus everywhere".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "government's spying efforts exceeded the legal limits at least once (PDF), meaning it is also officially 'unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment"

    So the central question then is this; if the limits imposed on the federal government are not defined by the Constitution, what ARE the limits?

    Isn't this exactly what the Constitution is designed to do?

    Any of you drones wonder what happens when the state is run by the Evil Right Wing Conspiracy (that's me BTW)? What will their limits be? Hmnnnnnnnnn?

    Gee, maybe

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      "government's spying efforts exceeded the legal limits at least once (PDF), meaning it is also officially 'unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment"

      So the central question then is this; if the limits imposed on the federal government are not defined by the Constitution, what ARE the limits?

      Doh... do you have to ask?? Whatever the "free market" allows [wikipedia.org].

    • I don't recall "hippies and leftists" rallying to give the state all this power - the power to form secret committees to conduct warrantless surveillance on citizens. Many conservatives, on the other hand, were quite happily defending them under the guise of "fighting the enemies of our way of life" and whatnot.

      Anyway, the legal limits imposed on the federal government (and the states - don't forget the 14th!) are defined by the Constitution. The practical limits, on the other hand, are defined only by what

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