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Electronic Frontier Foundation Censorship Government The Courts United States

EFF: US Gov't Bid To Alter Court Record in Jewel v. NSA 78

The EFF is only today able to release details of an attempt by the government to alter the historical record in the case brought by the EFF against the NSA in Jewel v. NSA. "On June 6, the court held a long hearing in Jewel in a crowded, open courtroom, widely covered by the press. We were even on the local TV news on two stations. At the end, the Judge ordered both sides to request a transcript since he ordered us to do additional briefing. But when it was over, the government secretly, and surprisingly sought permission to "remove" classified information from the transcript, and even indicated that it wanted to do so secretly, so the public could never even know that they had done so." As you'd expect of the EFF, they fought back with vigorous objections, and in the end the government did not get its way, instead deciding that it hadn't given away any classified information after all. "The transcript of a court proceeding is the historical record of that event, what will exist and inform the public long after the persons involved are gone. The government's attempt to change this history was unprecedented. We could find no example of where a court had granted such a remedy or even where such a request had been made. This was another example of the government's attempt to shroud in secrecy both its own actions, as well as the challenges to those actions. We are pleased that the record of this attempt is now public. But should the situation recur, we will fight it as hard as we did this time."
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EFF: US Gov't Bid To Alter Court Record in Jewel v. NSA

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  • Duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2014 @06:36PM (#47609805)

    We could find no example of where a court had granted such a remedy or even where such a request had been made.

    Well, duh! Normally our rewriting of history is effective enough that you will not find such records.

  • 1984 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bodhammer ( 559311 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2014 @06:44PM (#47609875)
    And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. "Reality control," they called it: in Newspeak, "doublethink."

    1984 - George Orwell
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 05, 2014 @07:00PM (#47609991)

    Contribute to EFF - they get results!

  • One way mirror (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dcollins117 ( 1267462 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2014 @07:25PM (#47610097)

    The end game of NSA is a perfect one-way mirror: They have all information about your activities, and you have zero information about their activities.

    Note that this is the opposite of what the American public needs to make an informed decision during elections.

  • Re:Duh! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 05, 2014 @07:52PM (#47610283)

    He did not look very far. It has happened at Gitmo.

    I thought the point of Gitmo was to not even go to court, so there are no court transcripts / records to change.

  • Re:Duh! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 05, 2014 @11:47PM (#47611625)

    How about contempt of court? I mean, it's pretty contemptuous of the Executive Branch to be demanding a subversion of the Justice Branch.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @12:27AM (#47611731)

    Which party or parties are being referred to by this article when it says "The Court allowed the government a first look at the transcript..." and "...the government wrote a letter..." et cetera. Was it "The Government" or the director of the NSA? Was it "The Government" or The President of the United States of America? Was it "The Government" or someone from the DoD. Was it Congress? The Senate? We the people?

  • Re:One way mirror (Score:4, Insightful)

    by l0ungeb0y ( 442022 ) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @03:25AM (#47612127) Homepage Journal
    If you believe that elections actually matter at all, I am sorry to inform you that you are seriously deluded. Corporations write the laws, Corporations have their lobbyists give the law to their pet Congressman, Congressman gets kickbacks and hot insider trading tips. You, the "pleeb taxpayer" get fucked in the ass. It doesn't matter who you vote for, blue or red, it's all just a shell game for the people with the real power.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.