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Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet 986

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the freedom-of-the-press dept.
An anonymous reader was the first to write with news that Groklaw is shutting down: "There is now no shield from forced exposure. Nothing in that parenthetical thought list is terrorism-related, but no one can feel protected enough from forced exposure any more to say anything the least bit like that to anyone in an email, particularly from the U.S. out or to the U.S. in, but really anywhere. You don't expect a stranger to read your private communications to a friend. And once you know they can, what is there to say? Constricted and distracted. That's it exactly. That's how I feel. So. There we are. The foundation of Groklaw is over. I can't do Groklaw without your input. I was never exaggerating about that when we won awards. It really was a collaborative effort, and there is now no private way, evidently, to collaborate." Why it's a big deal.
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Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:06AM (#44616483)

    America used to be a free country and now where are we?

    • It was a myth (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:08AM (#44616491)
      It was a myth, a good PR. The truth is probably the USA were never more, or less, democratic and free than most of western europe state. Just your run of the mill western democratic country. Not bad, but not the best either : just one among many good country to live in.
      • Re:It was a myth (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:19AM (#44616547)

        It was a myth, a good PR. The truth is probably the USA were never more, or less, democratic and free than most of western europe state. Just your run of the mill western democratic country. Not bad, but not the best either : just one among many good country to live in.

        Not really good PR, just standard. Every other country has it too. If you live in France then you're told France is the best, if you live in the UK then you're told UK is the best... it sometimes seems that Americans buy into their own publicity a little too easily but I'm sure there are worse national traits than self-deception.

        • Re:It was a myth (Score:5, Interesting)

          by somersault (912633) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:39AM (#44616731) Homepage Journal

          The only people I ever see acting like their country is "the best" overall are Americans. A country can be "best" in certain areas, but I don't really see any one country as being "the best" overall. I was brought up in Scotland, and I think I'll continue to live here because 1) It's pretty and temperate, 2) Australia has too many deadly creepy crawlies, 3) the US is too smug.

          • Re:It was a myth (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:45AM (#44616795)

            The only people I ever see acting like their country is "the best" overall are Americans.

            Maybe the Swiss, though admittedly this is from a short visit and knowing one family

            • by fuzzytv (2108482) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:16AM (#44617189)

              There's one difference, though. The Swiss are right.

          • by azav (469988) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:14AM (#44617149) Homepage Journal

            We are! We are THE BEST in overall prison population.

            USA USA!

            We're also pretty good in scientific illiteracy.

            Gooooo Jesus!

            • Re:It was a myth (Score:5, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:23AM (#44618053)

              We are! We are THE BEST in overall prison population. USA USA!

              Funny shit. I'm old enough to remember an age when the USA was better than the USSR because the USSR, (being a totalitarian communist dictatorship), had more people, per capita, in prisons, than we did. They taught us this in schools less than 30 years ago.

          • Re:It was a myth (Score:5, Interesting)

            by sageres (561626) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:09AM (#44617873)
            Funny when I was growing up in the old Soviet Union, we were told day in and day out that Soviet Union is the best, and the Soviet People are the greatest, and the greatest brother among them was the (ethnic) Russian people. And that we were more free than anyone else, richer than anyone else, and more fair than anyone else. Oh, and that the average boys and girls in America live on the streets and governed by the evil tzar whose name is Reagan and who can not sleep at night tossing and turning just trying to think of the new ways to kill innocent Soviet children...
        • Re:It was a myth (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jcdr (178250) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:00AM (#44616951)

          I disagree.

          First there is really big difference between countries about the privacy question. For example in Switzerland (where I live) the privacy question is far more mature than in the USA. It's not a government vs peoples fight, but a normal subject where change have to be voted by all citizens. In the USA the government is so powerful that it can do almost anything, especially using his agencies, without strong opposition.

          Secondly, the USA is by far the country that have the most used his massive commercial and political influence to impose to others countries to destroy the privacy rights of there citizens. Many non-USA peoples are upset about that, really. This is not an hazard if now the USA is considered an evil county about privacy and that some others non-USA country is now regarded as more free than the "used to be free" USA.

          For many peoples, USA was the way to go until the end of the 20 century. Recent release of documents have show that the USA success was based on one of the most massive manipulation of information and manipulation of others governments. It's normal that there is a reaction about that, internally and externally. I really don't known how the USA will evolve from that point. Regarding everyone as a suspect is certainly not a way to build a bright future.

        • by N1AK (864906) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:37AM (#44617475) Homepage
          There is national pride in just about any country, however I really don't think the American superiority complex should be dismissed based on that. The very fact the question of whether America is the greatest or not is controversial and seriously asked in the media gives an interesting insight.

          The show 'Newsroom' starts with a 'shocking' scene where a student asks what makes America the greatest country in the world. If/when that happened in real life no one would be remotely surprised. When someone answers with "it isn't" THAT would be a shock!

          America is probably the closest any country can come to claiming to be the greatest without looking entirely ridiculous. The problem is that when people think they are greatest they dismiss the views of others, believe they know the truth and should be allowed to do what they want because they know best.
        • Re:It was a myth (Score:5, Insightful)

          by nedlohs (1335013) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:10AM (#44617891)

          Most western democracies don't have their children pledging allegiance to the flag on a daily basis. American exceptionalism is pretty exceptional as well, most western democracies don't claim such a thing for their countries.

      • Re: It was a myth (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sumdumass (711423) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:39AM (#44616723) Journal

        At one point in time the US was more free then other countries. This is because the size and scopr of the federal government has traditionally been constrained and limited for the most part. The cold war changed a lot of that ss well did the hippy movement of the 60's and the economic colapse in the 70's. Government expanded rapidly trying to "PROTECT" us from then communidt russians and the people started demanding more of the federal government which they were more then happy to address as long as it could increase the powet it held over the people.

        This isn't party specific either. Even when a party runs against it as part of their platform, once they get power then make it worse but different.

      • Re:It was a myth (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tolkienfan (892463) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:01AM (#44616973) Journal

        The US has seen many protests. Many people have moved there, even from the UK and other European countries, for freedom. Look at Salmon Rushdie.
        No, this is relatively new and your attitude doesn't help.
        We need large number of people showing their indignation, not sitting at home saying "it was probably always like this"

      • Re:It was a myth (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:14AM (#44617151)

        It may not be a case of wimping out. Lavabit was slapped with a gagging clause by the US spy agencies and told that it would have to allow the NSA to spy on its customers on its behalf without telling them. Lavabit decided to shut down rather than act as a mole for the NSA, and was then charged by the Feds for not spying on their behalf. It looks very much like the same thing may be happening with Groklaw. Groklaw is quite outspoken on behalf of freedom of speech, openness, and transparency and therefore critical of the NSA's activities. The US spy agencies are currently in the process of intimidating and shutting down any free speech that exposes NSA lawbreaking or is embarrassing to the US spy agencies. Groklaw would therefore be a prime target. I can't help wondering whether Groklaw has received similar legal threats under cover of a gagging order. Certainly there were many posts criticizing the NSA on Groklaw, and I wonder whether the NSA asked Groklaw to provide access to the NSA to spy on its emails and posters in order to intimidate and silence them. That must surely be the only explanation for the sudden shut down and the freezing of discussion posts.

        • Re:It was a myth (Score:4, Interesting)

          by zieroh (307208) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @10:21AM (#44618893)

          Very doubtful. Groklaw doesn't represent sensitive communications on the scale that the NSA or CIA would care about. PJ is delusional if she really thinks anyone in the government gives a damn about her site and the emails between her and her collaborators.

          Having started browsing Groklaw again after several years absence, it is my personal observation that Groklaw is a pale shadow of its former self. PJ's posts lately seem like painfully-biased missives against the companies that don't share her specific values (putting aside the fact that the companies she sides with don't either) as she willfully ignores the subtler details of every single issue she reports on in order to continue her angry screeds. That's not journalism. It's not even entertaining.

          I think deep down, PJ knows this. And I think this closure is just a convenient excuse to get out. Good riddance, says me.

          (And this is coming from someone who was very pro-Groklaw during the SCO saga).

      • Re:It was a myth (Score:4, Informative)

        by cold fjord (826450) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:20AM (#44617235)

        It was a myth, a good PR. The truth is probably the USA were never more, or less, democratic and free than most of western europe state.

        Today, Western Europe is about as democratic as the US because within living memory various countries had actual fascist governments overthrown by war or social change, and communist governments removed or communist movements thwarted either by war or social change. Collectively all of Europe is far freer today than it was 70 years ago. The US and UK have been free and democratic the whole time, now Western (and most of Eastern) Europe has joined them. Even formerly Soviet Russia is now freer even if there are some troubling trends. (And there is a country that is an exception [spiegel.de]. And there is an ugly trend [telegraph.co.uk] that should be a relic of the past - will that curse never leave? )

        So no, it isn't just PR. This is all subject to change if people forget or act unwisely.

    • by SirGarlon (845873) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:17AM (#44616533)

      America used to be a free country and now where are we?

      At a defining crossroads. My fellow Americans, now is the worst possible moment to wimp out.

      • by thoth (7907) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:44AM (#44616785) Journal

        At a defining crossroads. My fellow Americans, now is the worst possible moment to wimp out.

        But isn't that what all these sites that are shutting down are doing - wimping out?
        I can understand Lavabit, but these others are just folding due to what exactly, uneasy feelings?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:27AM (#44616617)

      It won't. Not until there is a war. And nobody wants a war.
      So I guess the only thing to say is this: welcome to the new world.

      I think the funnier thing is the gun nuts who were always going crazy about how they will defend themselves from a tyrannic Britain now face a much worse enemy and sit around doing fuck all because they know they lost already.
      Yeah, you try shoot a tank with your peashooter. Good luck with that, son. Enjoy being shot with a drone in advance.

      Cowards, spies, psychos and delusions, that is all America is now. No freedom here, Stranger.

      • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:54AM (#44616891)

        It won't. Not until there is a war. And nobody wants a war.

        You must either be very young, or be living in a barrel.

        It has been mentioned by observers outside the US, often enough to become a truism, that America is incapable of functioning without a war, whether declared or not. And history certainly shows that your illustrious leaders like nothing better than to start a nice shiny new war when the cracks in their domestic policy need papering over.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:46AM (#44616801)

      Oh come on, Americans are still free, just monitored. Being watched doesn't make you less free.

    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:48AM (#44616831)

      You are much more free than before. Because you know more.

      What you see is a forward movement.

      Did you expect the power to just surrender to a future where they don't matter anymore?

      As you know more and more. As you recover what is rightly yours. As you take over the control of your own country. They will fight back. And they will bite and tear down your houses searching for traitors. And they will destroy you, and put you in jails, and kill many of you.

      But you will prevail.

      Because freedom only moves one way.

      You're scared because you're the first ones. There's only darkness ahead. But you shouldn't be, because behind that darkness is the future that will look back and cheer at you as the freedom fighters of this century.

    • by Rockoon (1252108) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:02AM (#44616987)
      The reason that it gets this way is essentially a market failure.

      The thing is while most people apply the idea of a market failure to asymmetric incentives in economics where an outcome could be a net negative for everyone as a whole but a net positive for all the principle players such as both the business and its customers, it also applies to all forms of governance.

      In democratic or representative republic forms of governance, the personal investment required to be an informed voter is a cost that is much greater than the benefit of actually making an informed vote. Part of this is due to a lot of noise within the available information, but it also has to do with the number of people that themselves are uniformed .

      The upshot of this is that other uninformed voters creates an incentive to be an uninformed voter yourself, a self-sustaining entirely rational population of uninformed voters.
    • by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:12AM (#44617103) Homepage

      America used to be a free country and now where are we?

      In a place where every email/SMS/tweet needs to look like a terrorist email/SMS/tweet, where every communication needs to have something forbidden attached to it, where every web page needs to go through a couple of proxies, where they cannot sift any useful information from the mass of data.

      They ARE going to do this, it won't go away because a few people grumble. Time to decrease the signal/noise ratio to the point where it's unusable.

    • by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:01AM (#44617777) Homepage Journal
      America is not a democracy [salon.com], if looks, smells and tastes like a plutocracy, then no matter the handwritten label you stamp over it, is not. That you (and hopely, most) are becoming aware of it is an improvement, in any case.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:10AM (#44616495)

    Welcome to 2013, the terrerists are still winning without having to lift a finger.

  • by some old guy (674482) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:14AM (#44616515)

    Apparently our freely-elected Constitutional government has succeeded in creating a critical mass of fear in the US. Real investigative journalism, what little there actually was, is now dead. We are therefore left with only state-approved information exchange.

    Time for me to get my passport renewed and learn a new language. Fuck this country. I can get a job anywhere.

    • by prisoner-of-enigma (535770) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:40AM (#44616743) Homepage

      Time for me to get my passport renewed and learn a new language. Fuck this country. I can get a job anywhere.

      And precisely where are you going to go? Name me another country that has less restrictions on free speech, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, right to property, and so forth. Everywhere you look there are governments that have it written right in their version of the Constitution that they can detain you, take your stuff, monitor everything you do or say...the list goes on and on.

      You can say "I'm gonna move somewhere where they can't spy on me and arrest me for saying unpopular thing about the government" but I challenge you to find anyplace on the planet where that's guaranteed anymore. The US was the last bastion of this. If it's fallen, you're SOL.

      • by some old guy (674482) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:48AM (#44616827)

        Iceland.

        Game, set, and match.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:20AM (#44618011)

        Switzerland.

      • by SecurityTheatre (2427858) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:27AM (#44618123)

        For practical purposes, most western countries have strict privacy laws. They also have a healthy fear of secret courts and secret police.

        While there are some three-letter agencies in Europe, their scope and reach is substantially limited.

        It's always worth pointing out that the US (having less than 5% of the world's population) houses over 30% of the world's prisioners and takes people's freedom at a rate nearly double Russia and China and 10-16 times that of most of Europe.

        Despite a similar framework of laws, this particular obsession, itself, belies a pretty specific and astounding obsession with authority and police that is unique among the world (except, maybe, in China).

        This is also one of the myriad reasons I left the US for good several years ago. Good riddance.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:38AM (#44618281)

        There are actually people who attempt to measure this in an objective way. The results are interesting.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_index
        freeexistence.org

        It is perhaps coincidental that freedom indexes seem to track roughly with other prosperity indexes as far as the US is concerned, in that a couple of decades ago you could pretty much assume the US was right at the tip-top, but that ain't so true anymore.

  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:15AM (#44616525) Homepage Journal

    It sounds very melodramatic, but we really are heading towards the day when many of us are going to need to flee our own country. Those of us that have been free and open with out opinions, anyway.

  • Thank You, pj (Score:5, Insightful)

    by some old guy (674482) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:18AM (#44616541)

    Groklaw will be missed. You are, and will remain, a rock star. :)

  • by spacepimp (664856) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:28AM (#44616625) Homepage

    This is unprecedented that companies are folding in response to the abuses of the US government. It is not something to ignore and yet we still have anonymous cowards humping the legs of slashdot making sophomoric marginal comments. Keep up the good work AC. You truly are the lowest common denominator.

  • by Vermonter (2683811) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:29AM (#44616629)
    And I said nothing, because I am not a Lavabit user. Then they came for Groklaw, and I said nothing, because I don't visit Groklaw. Then they came for Slashdot, and I had one less platform to voice my outrage...
  • by killfixx (148785) * on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:30AM (#44616639) Journal

    Groklaw has been an excellent source for legal information. PJ has always done an excellent job.

    This is another marker on that downhill race to revolution. I just hope it's not as bloody as the last one.

    • by meta-monkey (321000) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:06AM (#44617033) Journal

      Blood? That's so 20th century.

      The revolution is here, though. And the streets will run red with tape.

      The bankers and the politicians think they are safe because they've built prisons. They've built a militarized police. They've built an omnipresent spy machine.

      It is a mighty machine indeed. Powerful! Terrible! You'd be mad to fight that machine! Who could?

      But there is one, tiny, adorable little flaw in their design. Uh, what tells the soldiers in which directions to point their guns? What determines who occupies the prison cells? What determines whether the spy machine is listening to your pizza delivery calls rather than ferreting out bank fraud?

      Why, it's just a piece of paper. It's just a law that says "defend bankers, gas protesters." All you have to do is change that law to say "prosecute bankers, defend protesters" and that machine turns right back around on its makers. Kind of a clever hack, eh?

      Let's see, let's see how to change those laws...

      Oh, look, the laws of my city, county, state and nation are right here on the Internet. And look, I have a text editor, too! I bet I can write better laws than a bunch of dickbags who failed kindergarten and slept through civics class. If I need some help, advice on wording, I wonder if there's anybody on the Internet who might help? And I bet if I tidied up the body of laws for my own town, removed the tax breaks for the golf course where the city council gets free memberships and used that money to fix potholes in the streets, people might actually vote for that! Only need a plurality. And I bet I can crowdfund some ads. Or FaceBook it. My grandma might Like it.

      I'm working on this right now, and I can use some help.

      It's basically Sourceforge for law. Get your laws. Fork them. Hack them. Vote on a release candidate before a general election and choose a random Installer to put on a ballot. Crowdfund money.

      Turn it into a game. The US electoral district map is a game of Risk. Each unit has tax money and a militarized police force if you win it. Campaigns are just an MMO, with quests like "write 10 letters to the editor," "collect 100 FB likes for these laws," and raid bosses like "drive people to the polls." I'd love to get "haunches" in there somewhere. Oh well. Maybe collect 10 pictures of opposition candidates drunk or with their hair out of place. Dick pix = legendaries.

      If anybody wants to help, I need:

      Law hackers.

      Foundation/community organizers.

      Sourceforge for law (I'm hacking Allura now, but I've never used Python before)

      Kickstarter for cash.

      Memes to explain this to people.

      Trolls to troll politicians.

      Stackoverflow (law version) to help people write better laws

      Secure online voting system.

      It's all right there. Every tool we need is available for free online. We can repair the entire US government from our parents' basements in our pajamas, one district at a time.

      We need not hide, we need not encrypt. We will occupy no streets, break no laws, have no secrets and be the very, very most obedient of citizens. Call it an "Open Government" maybe. Or New/America.

      We just need some hackers.

      Do you know any?

  • by pipedwho (1174327) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:35AM (#44616677)

    What this translates to isn't that Groklaw doesn't like what's happening to others and is shutting down out of protest.

    It is that it has been served with a demand for information/wire-tapping along with an attached gag order, courtesy of the 'Star Chamber'. The only 'legally' safe way for organisations to tell people that something like this has happened is to shut down their operations.

    So, translation of Groklaw's announcement: the NSA/FBI/TLA have copied our hard drives and installed a data logger in our data centre. Oh yeah, and we're not allowed to talk about it.

    • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:49AM (#44616839) Homepage

      It is that it has been served with a demand for information/wire-tapping along with an attached gag order, courtesy of the 'Star Chamber'.

      Do the gag also orders also order you to write 2000+ words of false information on why you're shutting down? Because if you're trying to hint that you're not allowed to talk about the reasons, inventing valid but false reasons would seem to be the wrong way to go about it.

      • by Alsee (515537) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:25AM (#44618101) Homepage

        The stunning abruptness of the shutdown and the discussion of Lavabit screams at me that she was hit with an NSA letter. There's no way PJ would yank the plug without warning like that on some whim. Even comments were disabled. If PJ simply wanted to retire the project she would have wound things down gracefully. She would have encouraged the community to stay active. She would have given the community time to look for alternatives. She would have encouraged someone else to take up the job running a successor site.

        I saw nothing in her post that I would call "false information". If she got an NSA letter and didn't mention it, that does not make any of what she wrote untrue. If PJ got an NSA letter with a legal gag order, she would obey it to the letter. But that can't stop her from shutting down the site to refuse to participate, and she knows the community is smart enough to see how utterly out of character such an abrupt shutdown is.

        -

  • wtf groklaw (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:48AM (#44616833)

    Groklaw is one of the watchers watching the watchers!

    Their articles expose the corporate corruption and report on the legal shenanigans by the likes of the RIAA, Apple, Microsoft, SCO, Sony, and even the federal government itself.

    We need Groklaw now more than ever.

  • by jkflying (2190798) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @07:57AM (#44616905)

    First they came for the whistleblowers,
    But I was not a whistleblower.
    Then they came for the journalists,
    But I was not a journalist.
    Then they came for the lawyers,
    But I was not a lawyer.
    Then they came for me,
    And there was nobody left to defend me in court, write about my case or provide facts as to what had been done against all of us.

  • Madison quote (Score:5, Informative)

    by plaut (42347) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:35AM (#44617463)

    "If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
                    -- James Madison (4th US President)

  • by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @08:58AM (#44617737) Homepage

    While I respect PJ and all she has done to bring light on the many legal issues of interest to /. and other internet users, I do not understand this decision. She seems to be implying that she fears that one day, maybe, she'll be forced to turn over a private e-mail, perhaps even an encrypted one and links that to the current NSA revelations. But that is a red herring - Groklaw has always been subject to subpoena for documents related to a criminal or even civil litigation. And anyone sending information to PJ knows the inherent security risks - PJ has no obligation to provide complete security, something that is impossible or at least nearly so. To the extent that PJ feels the current environment will discourage sources of information or her consultations with associaties, as others have pointed out, use strong encryption. Doing so will eliminate much of the creeped out feel she says she has about the possibility of emails to/from her being read by the government(s).

    I don't know but I just feel a bit like PJ is being a drama queen on this one. Yes, there are concerns and nobody should be happy about the wholesale spying that is going on. But shutting down is going a bit over the deep end and I think sends the wrong message.

    • by bwcbwc (601780) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:56AM (#44618527)

      I think a lot of this is more a personal statement about the rule of law and constitutional protections in the US in general, rather than any specific risk to Groklaw itself. PJ has always been careful to emphasize that the rule of law is a process designed to ensure justice is achieved as much as humanly possible. It must be incredibly disillusioning to her to see this process break down so dramatically as it has in the case of the NSA and FISA. If the rule of law means nothing anymore, Groklaw serves no purpose, regardless of whether there is any direct impact to the site from the NSA monitoring.

  • Some thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dcollins117 (1267462) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:13AM (#44617925)

    Allow me to present two quotes I think are relevant. The first is from the the Groklaw article referenced to in TFS.

    Not that anyone seems to follow any laws that get in their way these days. Or if they find they need a law to make conduct lawful, they just write a new law or reinterpret an old one and keep on going. That's not the rule of law as I understood the term.

    The second is from a recent op ed piece from Charles Krauhammer. I usually disagree with him on just about everything, but I read his stuff anyway just to get a glimpse of the what the "other side" is thinking. Nevertheless, I think he is spot on with the following:

    Such gross executive usurpation disdains the Constitution. It mocks the separation of powers. And most consequentially, it introduces a fatal instability into law itself. If the law is not what is plainly written, but is whatever the president and his agents decide, what's left of the law?

  • by new_breed (569862) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @09:22AM (#44618027)
    So I thought: well time to delete my slashdot account, I don't need anyone tracing certain posts back to my email account, but guess what? Slashdot doesn't allow deletion of account! That's more of a reason than ever to want to delete it IMHO.

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