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Judge Orders DOJ To Turn Over FISA Surveillance Documents 184

itwbennett (1594911) writes "In a victory for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is suing to make the DOJ release information about surveillance on U.S. citizens, a California judge on Friday ordered the Department of Justice to produce 66 pages of documents for her review. The judge said the agency failed to justify keeping the documents secret and she will decide whether the documents, including one opinion and four orders by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), were improperly withheld from the public."
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Judge Orders DOJ To Turn Over FISA Surveillance Documents

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  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @10:02PM (#47243273) Journal


  • Re:OCA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jiro ( 131519 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @10:07PM (#47243291)

    That assumes that the information is classified because it's genuinely sensitive rather than classified because classifying it helps cover up wrongdoing.

  • Re:OCA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2014 @10:16PM (#47243311)

    Fuck off and die, apologist. After all the corruption we've seen revealed in the US military-industrial-espionage complex, the only thing that really needs to be kept secret is nuclear launch codes. Everything else should be leaked, as it would pose no existential threat to the US, we are in no danger of invasion.

    Even the death of a few agents in the field, the usual danger that scaremongers bring up, would be worth it if it struck a blow to the steady establishment of a police state.

  • OCA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2014 @10:17PM (#47243317)

    All three branches of government along with the intelligence agencies have proven that they cannot be trusted to hide behind the shield of 'classified information'.

    Our rights are rapidly vanishing and a police state is being erected. It has become a competition between each newly elected or appointed set of government to see how they can break more laws than the last guys. It's not a democrat or a republican thing, it's a wealthy-and-powerful thing. The wealthy and powerful are using government to find new ways to control you, spy on you, rob you and imprison you.

    If ever there was a time to push for the 'classified information' curtain to be torn down, that time is now. Information is being kept secret not for national security reasons, but to make it harder to expose overreach and lawlessness by our own government.

  • Re:OCA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spiritplumber ( 1944222 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @10:57PM (#47243403) Homepage
    Let's also keep the nuclear assembly instructions secret... but yeah, classifying stuff should be opt-in (and hard to do), not opt-out.
  • Re:OCA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @11:31PM (#47243505)

    The smart ones realize they can't take all the money because starving people are dangerous.

    This is why the wealth disparity that the ultra rich work towards is so baffling. I get why they want to have more money than they could ever spend, but at a certain point, it becomes self destructive to continue to accumulate wealth beyond even that.

  • Re:OCA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @11:46PM (#47243543)

    I believe that you are grossly and intentionally ignoring how and why documents have been classified historically by the US Government and its agencies. This is not something new, unfortunately the abuse goes back at least to the 1960s. COINTELPRO and Operation Mockingbird are just two examples where systems were abused for political gain and oppression. Those two are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but the easiest to find information about.

    That said, this judge could agree with the Government that there is a secret to be kept. Your insinuation that a judge is not intelligent enough to make the distinction is both disturbing and disgusting. The judge may release portions of the documents they feel safe, or the whole, or none.

    The false claim being made by government agencies and FISA courts is that they can't reveal _anything_ for security reasons. Even when discussing terrorist activity this can be easily displayed with redacted information. You are either falling for the gag, or trying to proliferate it. Either way, shame on you.

    More and more people are waking up to the level of corruption we currently have in the USA. Quite frankly, not everyone in politics is on the side of the "insiders" trying to pull all the strings. Pressure is mounting for change and to clean up the corruption, citizens must keep this up until it's actually resolved.

  • Re:OCA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cheater512 ( 783349 ) <> on Sunday June 15, 2014 @11:56PM (#47243581) Homepage

    Anyone who hasn't figured out how a regular nuclear weapon works is an idiot. Its surprisingly crude.
    You just need the time, money and material.

  • Re:OCA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @11:57PM (#47243583)

    Last I checked, poor people don't have monopolies on TV and Radio shows so so they can attempt to shape society. They don't influence tax code to give themselves more money and screw over those rich guys. They are not paying lobbyists to get favorable laws passed. They are not spending billions of dollars in foreign countries to start civil wars, and they are not out generating propaganda so that they can send the rich kids off to die in a war for profit.

    Sure, there are people in every society that will take advantage of others for gain. We are supposed to have laws protecting us universally from that happening, yet today if you are rich you can take billions and walk but if you are poor and sell a joint you are doing 1-5 years.

    So yeah, the ideologies are always going to be around. Those ideologies have been around since our earliest political writings (read Plato's "The Republic"). This is why we (you included) should be fighting to clean up the corruption, end the monopolization of media, and break up the financial cartels.

  • Better summary: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MasseKid ( 1294554 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @12:16AM (#47243615)
    Stalemate continued, EFF showed some promise, but the DoJ has to 1) actually comply with the order, 2) The judge actually agree on merits, 3) The DoJ not immediately file for an appeal due to matters of national saftey, 4) the DoJ actually give the information to the EFF.

    Don't get me wrong, what happened today was good, however calling it a victory is a bit premature.
  • Re:OCA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @12:27AM (#47243641)

    Ballot box? You mean that box where you may choose whether you want the one person from the party, the other person from the party or whether you vote for someone else, i.e. you don't care whether it's going to be the one or the other person from the party?

    Third party voting is failing for the same reason consumer boycotts fail. It's near impossible to organize enough people to actually get something done unless you have lots and lots of money available. And then, you're more likely to be interested in supporting the status quo than change it.

  • Re:OCA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @01:16AM (#47243815)

    Religious extremists were present in Iran the whole time. The Shah helped keep them in check. They were part of the revolution.

    Even though I doubt it is really your bag, you should really look into the Soviet Union in the 30s, and maybe a few other times/places I could name. Compared to them the Shah was a piker. I think it likely that your assessment of the Shah and his regime isn't based so much on the actual scope of brutality but on the fact that he was allied with the US.

    There is an old saying you should take to heart: Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

  • Re:OCA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2014 @01:55AM (#47243917)

    Every time I read one of these posts I think to myself "Wow. This guy is so out of touch with reality....", finally glancing over the poster's username and letting out a sigh of relief, "oh, it's just cold fjord".

  • Re:OCA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @04:10AM (#47244217) Homepage Journal

    Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

    John Steinbeck.

  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @06:13AM (#47244431)
    ... a court should and will assume that the information you didn't hand over would be speaking against you. That is common practice. So if the judge orders the DOJ to hand over documents, it doesn't really matter that much (in the court case) whether they do or don't. If a plaintiff says "they should hand over these documents because it will clearly show that X is true", and they don't hand them over, then the court will assume that X is indeed true.
  • Re:OCA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @08:44AM (#47244943) Homepage

    Of course the flip side of that is the assumption that many people here make which is that there is nothing that is genuinely sensitive and damaging to release.

    Oh, we believe it would be sensitive and damaging -- but we also believe it would be because they've breaking the law in many cases and bypassing any real oversight.

    The assumption is the FISA court rubber stamps everything without actual regard for the law.

    We don't trust them. We can't verify what they do. So we pretty much have to assume the worst.

  • Re:OCA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2014 @09:03AM (#47245043)

    Confidential information is information kept away from the people. In a democracy, the people are supposed to be in control of the government (you know, "government of the people", and all that).

    So, when you keep information away from those who are in control, how can they make decisions based on that information?

    I.e. should we have voted for those who wanted a war in Iraq? Without the real, classified, information on those weapons of mass destruction, none of us were capable of coming to a valid conclusion on that question. In other words, we were voting in blind - we had no idea what we were actually voting on. If Saddam had nukes, we might have been voting on saving the world. But in reality, we were voting on transferring Iraq from Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda.

    If you vote without the necessary information, you may as well toss a coin. And nobody would suggest that a coin is democratic.

  • Re:OCA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptnZilog ( 33073 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @10:09AM (#47245501)

    You are suggesting that having any confidential information in a democracy is anti-democratic. That is clearly nonsense.

    No, that's not it at all. Look, *nobody* is saying that the nuclear launch codes shouldn't be top secret information and not given out to the public, and *nobody* is saying that our nuclear bomb research (in depth) shouldn't be secret... but it's not a secret that there *are* launch codes and bomb secrets. Nobody is saying that we shouldn't have secret research for new military hardware, Lockheed Skunkworks type stuff, etc - we know it exists and much of it is "black budget" stuff, but there's a reason it's secret.

    Nobody (I don't think) is saying the government shouldn't be able to *get a warrant* (with reasonable suspicions) to wiretap someone, track their cell location, and any number of other things. Even if the warrant is issued by a secret court on a person-by-person basis, there may well be reasons the warrant shouldn't be "public record". That being said, *everyone* should be against warrantless tracking/wiretapping of citizens of your country, not of select people but of *everyone* in bulk. If they can't come up with a reason for someone, much less *everyone*, to be a "suspect" and get a properly issued warrant from a judge for that person (or people) *by name*, then they shouldn't be doing it because it is illegal. They don't want the documents of even just what they are doing (in general, without any specific names/people) released - nobody is asking them where the 'taps' are for the internet cables, what the exact technology is they are using, etc... but when they can go in front of Congress and flat out *lie* about gathering information on everyone, there's an obvious problem.

  • Re:OCA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @11:51AM (#47246491)

    That post he just made is quite useful to to the crowd of people that may not be familiar with you and your particular flavor of bias.
    He knows you. And 5 slashot moderators know you and are willing to spend points to bump this up.

    His post was, in short, insightful.

    But hey, some people need more help than others,

    Feel free to point out the facts I get wrong

    CAN DO!

    Your overall argument is that the rich aren't all that powerful and the poor have plenty of power. That the poor can get together and give their money to political organizations that run this town.
    And that'd be nice, if it were true. But the fact of the matter is that the rich ARE powerful, very powerful, to the point that

    Fact: The gini coefficient [] in the USA is rising. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class is shrinking.

    Political ideologues aren't simply "always going to be around." Some of them are dangerous and need to be guarded against.

    Not when they're homeless poor people. The crazy guy ranting on the corner WILL always be there and no, there's no real need to go guard against him. If anything we need to guard against the people trying to censor him.
    The guy is harmless, at least on a political scale. He has zero hope of swaying the masses. If he somehow managed to gather a crowd and/or become a cult leader, and people started to listen to him, he'd probably no longer be a poor homeless person. He'd transform into a radio host, a televangelist, a full-blown-locked-in-a-compound cult leader, or worse, a CEO.

    When did "the rich" develop a monopoly on TV and radio stations?

    Since their inceptions? Only the rich could afford to step into those industries. They were serious money ordeals back in the day. But hey, now anyone with a phone can shoot video. Look at all of those mom&pop TV channels watched by millions! Oh, wait, no, that's Youtube and the Internet.
    Well radio broadcasters are cheap! Look at all the... oh wait, the barrier to entry for commercial radio stations is really high just to keep competition out. Well there's always HAM... which is specifically barred from making money from it.

    So this one is wrong. You're presuming there was a time that the rich didn't have a monopoly on it. And that isn't true.

    Are you confusing "the rich" with corporations?

    And this might be the basis of why your worldview is so fucked.
    YES. The rich and powerful run the corporations. Literally. The job is titled "CEO". Their boss is supposed to be the shareholders, but it's effectively the board, which is composed of a handful of rich people who are CEOs of their own corporations which have the original CEO on THEIR board.

    Is there some group or segment of the population that you think doesn't have at least some radio stations catering to it?

    And this here is some fantastic spin. Here let me point it out for you.
    "catering to".
    There is some rich individual, running a corporation that controls a chunk of spectrum that caters to rednecks. They pay lip-service to the cultural background of the redneck, play the right music, and run ads that hit the mark, but it is wholly controlled, steered, and profited by soulless corporate goons that don't know the difference between a banjo and a guitar. If you think that a corporation that SELLS to a group is the same thing as the group being politically empowered, then you are monstrously fucked up.

    Who are the rich people that you are apparently claiming are "spending billions of dollars in foreign countries to start civil wars"?

    Bush. Rumsfeld. Cheney. They spent billions of (someone else's) dollars to destabilize the middle east. The sectarian violence in Iraq during the US occupation killed 100's of thousands.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford