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The Courts Government Privacy United States

First US Appeals Court Hears Arguments To Shut Down NSA Database 199

An anonymous reader writes: The second of two lawsuits filed against the U.S. government regarding domestic mass surveillance, ACLU vs. Clapper, was heard on Tuesday by "a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit." The proceeding took an unprecedented two hours (the norm is about 30 minutes), and C-SPAN was allowed to record the whole thing and make the footage available online (video). ACLU's lawyers argued that mass surveillance without warrants violates the 4th Amendment, while lawyers for the federal government argued that provisions within the Patriot Act that legalize mass surveillance without warrants have already been carefully considered and approved by all three branches of government. The judges have yet to issue their ruling.
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First US Appeals Court Hears Arguments To Shut Down NSA Database

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  • Re:In other news.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by disposable60 ( 735022 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @07:33AM (#47815393) Journal

    It was a gigantic pile of legislation - so big it looked like it had to have been ready to go on 9/10 - and was passed and signed in alarmingly little time, almost without debate or dissent. At least that's the way it seemed at the time.

  • Re:It's amazing (Score:4, Informative)

    by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @09:06AM (#47815843) Homepage
    I watched the entire hearing last night, and Its hard to tell which side the judge panel was on, however they did seem to be more interested in the ACLU side over the governments. Obviously we have to wait and see but these judges did NOT seem dumb in the slightest
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @10:26AM (#47816365)

    with the judges participating.
    It was an interesting 2 hours of argument.

    There appear to be two main, independent issues.

    1) Is the current interpretation of the law what Congress intended?
              G: They reupped it twice after being told to go read the secret report telling how it was being used.
              P: Not that many folks actually knew what was happening. If they did not explicitly say yes, then the default is no.
              J: If we rule against this use, then the Congress can then explicitly say if this is what they meant.
                                This will require a public vote with the issues widely known to the public.
                                The judges doing this immediately should be tempered with the needs of keeping out the bad guys.

    2) Is the bulk collection a reasonable search under the 4th amendment?
              G: Yes, it follows from Smith which is the 3rd party pen register precedent with no expectation of privacy.
              P: No, this is an extreme extension of Smith. We expect our privacy and we want it back. (My words)
              J: If this is a reasonable collection, there doesn't appear to be any end to what can be collected under this 3rd party logic.

    The govt said that if nothing is done, the act is up for another reup in 2015.

    Everybody agreed that there were other means possible with the phone companies holding the data.
    This might not be as expedient but sounded like it would probably work.
    It would lower the concern of no audit trail for a rouge, internal govt search of the data set.

    It will be interesting to see how the judges rule.
    It seems to me that if there is another way, it is unnecessary to put this much secret power in one place.
    Which would make it an unreasonable search.

    My sense was that the govt representative was resigned to this possible outcome.
    It would be interesting to see if others watching the tape get the same sense.

    If this is how things work out, it seems a use of the old negotiating technique of
    ask for something really nuts so you can get something less nuts.

  • Re:Does it? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @10:38AM (#47816497) Homepage
    really??? can you count to 10? The 10th amendment

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    who modded you up??

  • Re:It's amazing (Score:5, Informative)

    by whistlingtony ( 691548 ) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @10:38AM (#47816499)

    Look up Wolf-PAC. I'm a member, and I'm sad to say that most of us are left leaning. There's a fair bit of libertarians in there with us. I'm not a Tea Partier. So, you're wrong again.

    Ahem. I'm not just a member, I'm a volunteer coordinator for my state. I've met with my reps.

    Lefties love this country too. I'd say we love it more. We're always the ones complaining when it does bad things. I see the EFF and the ACLU fighting the government's overreach in the courts. I see Lefties in the streets, for specific causes. I don't see a lot of Tea Party folks doing much of anything really. Sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but I really don't see them. Who is against the stupid wars we fight? Who complains when we topple democratically elected leaders? Where's the Right's Noam Chomsky? Who was against slavery? Who actually fights in the courts against government overreach? Lefties....

    Who rants about guns when there hasn't been a serious push to take away guns at all? Righties. Tea Partiers.

    So don't give me any shit about the Tea Party Libertarians being the only ones fighting. Lefties have a long and far better history of fighting against government overreach than anyone else.

    Unless you want to call The Government Actually Helping People as overreach. Then, yes, Righties fight against government overreach all the time. damn social security! Damn welfare! Damn the VA. Damn government health insurance! Damn interstate highways! Damn FDR and paying people to build infrastructure we're still using today and that benefited the nation greatly!

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling