EFF Sues The Gov't Twice In One Day: Over Surveillance And ACTA

from the busy,-busy,-busy dept

The EFF sure has been busy today. First it filed a lawsuit against the US Trade Representative for keeping info on the ACTA negotiations secret, and then it sued the NSA, President Bush and Vice President Cheney over the warrantless wiretapping issue. Must be a busy day at the EFF office. In both cases, it seems likely that the lawsuits may draw some additional attention to the issues, but it seems unlikely to have much of an impact on actual government policies.


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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 1:47pm

    Thank goodness somebody is doing something about it!!

    How can I help?

     

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    dorpus, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 2:26pm

    Why not

    The Wall Street Banker Charity Fund as well?

     

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      hegemon13, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 2:41pm

      Re: Why not

      This may be the first post you've made that I agree with. Break it down, and the government spent $282.00 for every citizen to save a company whose careless management failed the very people whose tax dollars are now paying to keep it afloat. (That's using a 2007 total population estimate of 301 million. Restrict it to tax-paying wage-earners and the dollar amount per taxpayer is much higher). And, they socialized another large portion of the financial industry in the process.

       

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        Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:27pm

        Re: Why not

        ...the government spent $282.00 for every citizen to save a company whose careless management failed the very people whose tax dollars are now paying to keep it afloat.

        And if they hadn't done that, it would have made home loans much more difficult to get and pay for. Are you a homeowner? Would you vote for a government that did that to you?

         

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          hegemon13, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 6:28am

          Re: Re: Why not

          Here's the thing. Either you regulate, limiting the free market, but making it safer, or you don't. If you choose to spend eight years enacting policies to deregulate financial institutions, part of the risk is that companies will kill themselves with greedy, unethical, short-sighted practices. That is exactly what happened. In order for a pure free market system to work at all, they HAVE to be allowed to fail.

          Personally, I don't believe it ever should have been allowed to reach this point. But, since our policies have been to allow them to run free, we can't provide a safety net. Allowing a company to use those greedy, short-sighted practices that aren't good for anyone, and then bailing them out, sets a horrible precedent and creates a market incentive for greed and failure.

          Harder to get a home loan? Maybe. I WAS a homeowner, and I was one of those people who shouldn't have been. At the time we bought the house, my wife and I could not reasonably afford it. We thought we could, because we paid more for rent. What we did not understand was the huge ongoing costs of maintenance and property tax. We did not lose the house, but we came close. We managed to sell in the nick of time. It is not every American's right to own a home. The "ease" of getting a home loan has been the biggest financial curse we have encountered, worse even than college credit cards. If those policies have to change so that only those who can actually afford a house are able to get it, then so be it. The "ease" of getting a mortgage is exactly what put us (the country, not just me personally) in this economic crisis to begin with.

           

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    hegemon13, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 2:44pm

    Maybe...

    Maybe the media storm that will surround the lawsuit against the president himself will spur the do-nothing Democratic Congress to get off their butts and impeach. I can dream, can't I?

    Seriously, though, it will be interesting to see where this leads. Once Bush is out of office, he won't be nearly as untouchable in court, and this lawsuit will certainly drag on far longer than the remainder of his term. I would love to see him, and Cheney even more so, imprisoned for this. Again, I can dream, right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:46pm

    "it would have made home loans much more difficult to get and pay for"

    ARE YOU KIDDING! That is the point! That they have been too easy. Owning a home is a responsibility, not something that should be "traded up" every few years.

    And because they where too easy, it has over inflated their value. A simple but NICE house where I live is now over $400k! Considering my parents perched there land (two acres work) and home for just UNDER $40k just 25 years ago, don't you think that is outrageous?

    Point being, there is a major "correction" coming, and unfortunately a lot of good people are going to get stiffed. If the fed hadn't done a nee-jerk reaction of lowering the interest rates by like 4% in such a short time years ago we would be having a simple slow down (ya that would suck too) right now rather than a massive crash. Sorry, a home should not cost four hundred thousand bloody dollars! It pisses me off.

    Infact, I wouldn't call it a crash now that I think about it. Every few years one industry is over inflated and then "pops". First it was the rail roads, and in most resent times it was the .COM industry. But with each "pop" it leaves us with the strongest of the pack left over, and a built out and well developed infrastructure. Maybe we need to look at this as a natural cycle if you will.

    Ok, I will stop talking now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 8:02pm

    Man my spelling is horrible. Please forgive it.

     

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    urza, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 8:17pm

    Hasn't this been done?

    I seem to recall the ACLU already suing over the wiretapping issue....

    http://www.aclu.org/safefree/nsaspying/35942prs20080710.html

    What's the difference? Or are they just running two lawsuits on the same thing? If that's the case, wouldn't it maybe be better for them to just kinda work on it together?

     

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      hegemon13, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 6:32am

      Re: Hasn't this been done?

      They are suing for different things. ACLU is suing for specific warrantless wiretaps that were placed on targeted suspects. The EFF is suing for the dragnet of wiretaps on ordinary citizens, including domestic calls, that the NSA placed through the telecom companies (namely AT&T). There is a Q&A with more info at eff.org.

       

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