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The Courts Communications Government Privacy United States

Supreme Court Disallows FISA Challenges 306

New submitter ThatsNotPudding writes "The U.S. Supreme court has rejected pleas to allow any challenges to the FISA wiretapping law unless someone can prove they've been harmed by it. 'The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, was originally designed to allow spying on the communications of foreign powers. But after the September 11 attacks, FISA courts were authorized to target a wide array of international communications, including communications between Americans and foreigners. ... In this case, the plaintiffs' groups said their communications were likely being scooped up by the government's expanded spying powers in violation of their constitutional rights. Today's decision, a 5-4 vote along ideological lines by the nation's highest court, definitively ends their case. In an opinion (PDF) by Justice Samuel Alito, the court ruled that these groups don't have the right to sue at all, because they can't prove they were being spied on.'" Further coverage at SCOTUSblog.
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Supreme Court Disallows FISA Challenges

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  • by helobugz ( 2849599 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @08:28PM (#43020199)
    Or, it's what everybody know's and nobody can prove.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @08:54PM (#43020395)

    Don't live with the delusion that the Supreme Court is a WYSIWYG entity. They are just a shill for the Repubmocrat Tyranny, redefining Constitutional black as Constitutional white for the last century or so. Read the Constitution, then read the SCOTUS interpretation of it. []
    You can see it is entirely for the convenience of the government and bears little likeness to the plain english document written "for the people"
    Not asking for a tin foil hat here, just asking you to adjust your horribly misplaced faith.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @09:00PM (#43020425)

    International Treaties have a force of law higher than FISA, and are subject to US Senate confirmation as a result.

    Use that, all you need are EU citizens who reside in the US who have had their data slurped up, contrary to EU law, which is forbidden by the EU-US Data Treaty.

  • by jamstar7 ( 694492 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @09:22PM (#43020585)
    Problem is, the FISA courts are supposed to be all about national security. No way they'd come out and tell you that you're under investigation until you get blackbagged off to sunny Camp X-Ray. That'd defeat the purpose of the investigation, and whoever leaked that info would be violating several federal laws.

    Big Brother has a long memory. And if you come to its attention, they might not find anything on you now, but that doesn't mean they won't find something to qualify you for a never ending vacation at Gitmo sometime in the future. Recently, the government came out with the revelation that the largest threat to national security is (wait for it!!!)...


    Think about it a moment. Who else has the training and experience in toppling a government by force of arms? Who else, especially the older veterans, would tend to view the current government situation with alarm?
  • Re:FOIA, anyone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @10:51PM (#43021087) Journal

    Voting is two wolves and a sheep deciding what is for dinner in case you ain't figured that out yet. the ONLY ones you will be allowed to vote for, be it in a primary or general election, are the pre-bought. hell you might as well have only one checkbox that says "support the system" because that is ALL voting does. Even though I'm in no way a libertarian (I feel their beliefs would end up with a return to feudalism) watch this video [] for a better explanation of why voting is just a waste of time.

    Oh and you might want to look up "Jon Stweart Ron Paul" to see how badly the primaries are rigged, he got footage that doesn't even try to hide how badly its rigged. It even shows that at places where Paul might have had a snowball's chance in hell the MSM treated him as "he who shall not be named" with talking heads practically tap dancing around their sentences so they would NOT ever speak his name, with it going so far as one naming the first, second, and FOURTH place finishers without even saying the words third place much less the fact that Paul took it. Its so bad that at the end of the video one of the reporters actually calls the anchor out on it, saying "Here we are talking about Palin and Christie, who aren't even running, and not speaking anything about Paul who is looking good in the polls here" and the anchor looks right at the camera, gets a douchebag smirk and says "If you get footage of Palin or Christie send it in, you can keep the Paul stuff". Hell he might as well have said "fuck the peasants, thinking they get a choice" while he was at it, because that douchebag smirk said it all.

    So all you can do is grab as much as you possibly can and be ready for the collapse which is inevitable now. Over 430% of our GDP is now in the stock market, including the retirement funds of a good portion of your fellow citizens, when the 29 bubble burst it was less than 125% GDP and that took nearly 40 years to climb out of, what do you think will happen when a bubble 3 times as large blows? there is nothing you can do to change it, nothing you can do to stop it, you can wave your little banner in the free speech zone all you want, the die is cast and the collapse simply can't be stopped. We shall see the system get more and more fascist as the collapse nears as they try to "maintain order" but it won't do any good, when the money is worthless and it takes a wheelbarrow full of cash to buy an egg nobody is gonna listen to big bro anymore, the whole thing will come tumbling down. But things will get a LOT worse before that happens, so be ready for it but don't think that walking into a booth with a piece of paper is gonna do shit, that paper isn't worth wiping your behind with anymore.

  • by flaming error ( 1041742 ) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @11:13PM (#43021181) Journal

    Toppling a nominally civilized government by force of arms is stupid. Who should we shoot? Our local congressman? Our neighborhood cop?

    A smarter way is for us to unite in disobedience to clearly unconsitutional laws, and drum up media sympathy.

    The last time we threw out a government (our independence from Britain), was a bloody drawn-out affair in which our people were fighting Britain and each other, neither the loyalists nor insurrectionists had an objectively clear moral high ground, and were it not for some fortuitous flukes of happenstance, England's victory was assured.

    India's independence was a bloody drawn-out affair in which one side was the clear aggressor, the people didn't kill each other, and England's ouster was inevitable - just a matter of time.

    Gandhi's way is foolproof against any government that wants to be seen as civilized. The way of the gun is a crapshoot, where we kill our brothers while the government runs the casino.

  • Re:FOIA, anyone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pyro_peter_911 ( 447333 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:14AM (#43021767) Homepage Journal
    Just a couple of weeks ago during my round as a potential juror the judge plainly stated that he would tell the jury what the relevant law is and how it should be applied. The jury was only to determine the facts of the case and if those facts ran afoul of the relevant law as described by the judge. He asked if any of us had any questions about that.

    I asked if a not guilty verdict could be reached on the basis that the relevant law was immoral, unconstitutional, or would otherwise result in an unjust verdict.

    Short answer: No.

    (and this is where this becomes a rant...) So, this is the point where I get punted. The Fucking Crack Whore sitting next to me in the jury box made it deeper into the jury selection process than I. I was one of the few people in the room who appeared even remotely interested in the proceedings. Now I understand why so many fucking cases get plea bargained. I wouldn't want to put my fate in the hands a few semi-literate rednecks and a half dozen WWII vets. The first round of juror culling eliminated just about everyone that I would have wanted on a jury for me.

    So, what am I supposed to do? Not answer questions like that even when asked?


  • Re:FOIA, anyone? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MaskedSlacker ( 911878 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @02:20AM (#43022091)

    I asked if a not guilty verdict could be reached on the basis that the relevant law was immoral, unconstitutional, or would otherwise result in an unjust verdict.

    Short answer: No.

    Long Answer: If they said no, they lied to you (which, incidentally IS legal for them to do). There are no requirements placed on the jury that govern the validity of a verdict. The jurors can rule not guilty because the sky is blue, if they are so inclined. The jury can use any basis they want to reach a verdict. They cannot be subject to penalty, and a not guilty verdict pretty much cannot be overturned (depending on how the jursidiction in question defines double jeopardy).

    Of course, if you point out the real state of the actual law you get punted yes. There's some logic to it besides pure state fascism (cops, relatives of cops, people associated w/ the legal profession etc. all get booted pretty much right off too), but it is a fucked up system.

  • Re:FOIA, anyone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 0111 1110 ( 518466 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @04:00AM (#43022331)

    You do realize that the founders of this country were 100% Libertarians themselves and that the All Men are Created Equal thing was one of their Libertarian slogans, right? Based to a great degree on the philosophy of John Locke. If you care about rights, human rights, individual rights, natural rights, whatever you want to call it then you are speaking the language of Libertarians. That's what Libertarians are all about: positing that all humans have certain inalienable rights that a government can neither give nor take away. That just exist as a natural consequence of being human.

    The whole point of Libertarianism is that people should not be treated as if one is superior to the other. Creating a level playing field without aristocrats was the whole point. That's what human rights are all about. The reason why humans are considered to have rights, equal rights, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was because some people realized that no one has the right to tell anyone else what to do, to force them to act against their will. That no man has the right to make another man his slave no matter how righteous he may think his goals are. Whether the noble goal is to "kill all the jews, gypsies and undesirables and create a pure race" or "soak the rich" or "Only corporations are full citizens."

    That all humans must be treated as equals is the whole point of Libertarianism. Not to make everyone equal, but to not favor one man over another. Not ever. If you are under the illusion that Libertarians are close allies with Republicans, either of the new 'compromise is everything' variety or the old fashioned Tea Party ones you couldn't be more wrong. If anything I would say we are more like the old style Democrats, the ones who founded the ACLU in the first place.

    When it comes to class warfare we just don't care. It's irrelevant to our way of thinking. A classless society is every bit as much an ideal for Libertarians as it is for Communists or Socialists and Democrats and Republicans don't really even have goals like that. Talking about philosophy at all isn't really speaking their langauge. Pragmatism is the only language they speak.

  • Re:FOIA, anyone? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:57AM (#43024257)

    Penn Jillette made the same point to me when we were going back and forth on Twitter (always a productive medium). But it's a clumsy paradigm -- there are lots of ways to oppress and subjugate people that a police force and a legal system can't protect against. Protecting my body against foreign invaders or a guy with a knife isn't much good if I'm dying from pollution in the water or being thrown out of my house by a bank that doesn't actually own my property. And "private property rights"? Do we redistribute all wealth equally before we begin the libertarian experiment? Or do we turn to the billionaire standing next to the homeless mother and say to them both, "Congratulations, this is now a libertarian country. You're free to do whatever you want with your property, with no government to get in your way. Have fun!"?

  • Re:FOIA, anyone? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:16PM (#43025973) Journal

    So, as the saying goes, a libertarian is merely an anarchist who wants the police/army to protect them from their slaves?

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.