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Electronic Frontier Foundation Communications Privacy The Courts United States Your Rights Online

Warrantless Wiretapping Decisions Issued By Ninth Circuit Court 156

sunbird writes "The Ninth Circuit yesterday issued two decisions in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuits against the National Security Agency (Jewel v. NSA) and the telecommunications companies (Hepting v. AT&T). EFF had argued in Hepting that the retroactive immunity passed by Congress was unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit decision (PDF) upholds the immunity and the district court's dismissal of the case. Short of an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, this effectively ends the suit against the telecoms. In much better news, the same panel issued a decision (PDF) reversing the dismissal of the lawsuit against the N.S.A. and remanded the case back to the lower court for more proceedings. These cases have been previously discussed here."
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Warrantless Wiretapping Decisions Issued By Ninth Circuit Court

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  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Friday December 30, 2011 @12:23PM (#38539116) Homepage

    That a government acting against it's Constitution will have courts that uphold acting against it's Constitution.

    Constitution is naught but a museum piece. We have ceased to recognize it by passing laws and court decisions that by-pass it entirely.

  • Re:Nuremburg Defense (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Friday December 30, 2011 @12:42PM (#38539320) Journal

    So if your fourth amendment rights were violated

    Where's your cause of action though? Presuming your rights were violated by the Government collecting the meta-data of your phone calls; did the Government use this data in any criminal prosecutions? If it did then you'd be able to raise the 4th amendment as a defense; it might not be successful but you could raise it. I'm not so sure you can just sue the Government and/or telecoms after the fact when the data was never used against you though.

    Understand that I'm not saying I agree with any of this. For better or worse this is the way it is though.

    Once again, thank you President (then Senator) "I will filibuster any bill containing telecom immunity" Obama. Meet the new boss; same as the old!

  • Re:Good decisions (Score:5, Informative)

    by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Friday December 30, 2011 @01:28PM (#38539928)

    I can't think of a single case in which corporate civil disobedience has succeeded.

    I seem to recall there being a little phone company called Qwest saying "No. Come back with a warrant.".

  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Friday December 30, 2011 @01:52PM (#38540228)

    The courts appear to have decided that threats from alleged terrorists trump the threat of tyranny by the executive branch. That's why State Secrets doctrine so often wins, and that's why the courts have protected the NSA from judicial scrutiny in general.

    I fear that with the eternal War on Terror, they've confused which threat is greater.

  • Re:Impeach (Score:5, Informative)

    by similar_name ( 1164087 ) on Friday December 30, 2011 @02:34PM (#38540752)
    There is Article 1, section 9 of the Constitution

    No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed

    Of course courts have interpreted it to not apply to all laws. I guess the wording was too vague.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.