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Court Again Says It's Okay For The Feds To Snoop Through Your Digital Info Without Telling You

from the that-old-4th-amendment dept

You may recall that in its quixotic attempt to go after Wikileaks, the US government has been snooping through the private communications of a bunch of folks they're trying to connect to the organization, including Icelandic politician Birgitta Jonsdottir and Jacob Appelbaum, who gets detained and harassed every time he re-enters the country. All of this came to light only because Twitter actually stood up to the US government and refused to just hand over info that was requested using the obscure 2703(d) process. Twitter also got the court to allow it to reveal the existence of the order (something that every other company which has received one has kept secret). A court eventually ruled that Twitter had to hand over the requested info.

Following this, Jonsdottir, Appelbaum and one other person, Rop Gonggrijp, (represented by the ACLU and the EFF), chose not to challenge that ruling, but did appeal concerning the secrecy around the order -- asking the court to have the specific 2703(d) order unsealed -- arguing that they have the right to access judicial documents about themselves. However, last week, an appeals court rejected that appeal, and basically said that the feds can sniff through your digital data without your knowledge, and, well, too bad if you don't like it.

Even though the court did find that 2703(d) orders are "judicial records," which could make them subject to a right to access, they then claimed that, well, when the government investigates things, it should be able to do so in absolute secrecy, and who really cares about pesky little things like oversight or a right to know about it.
Subscribers' contentions fail for several reasons. First, the record shows that the magistrate judge considered the stated public interests and found that the Government's interests in maintaining the secrecy of its investigation, preventing potential subjects from being tipped off, or altering behavior to thwart the Government's ongoing investigation, outweighed those interests.

Further, we agree with the magistrate judge's findings that the common law presumption of access to § 2703 orders is outweighed by the Government's interest in continued sealing because the publicity surrounding the WikiLeaks investigation does not justify its unsealing. The mere fact that a case is high profile in nature does not necessarily justify public access.... Additionally, Subscribers' contention that the balance of interests tips in the public's favor because the Government approved the disclosure of the existence of its investigation by moving the district court to unseal the Twitter Order is adequately counterbalanced by the magistrate judge's finding that the "sealed documents at issue set forth sensitive nonpublic facts, including the identity of targets and witnesses in an ongoing criminal investigation."
The government gets to peer deeper and deeper into our lives, and we're less and less able to even know about it.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Gothenem (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 4:01am

    Closer and closer

    Closer and closer we get each day,
    to that world envisioned and Orwell did say,
    1984 it is called and that day will soon come,
    And then all our freedoms will be undone.

     

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  2.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 5:46am

    So, this is the 'land of the free' that is lauded by people all around the world?

     

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  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 5:51am

    Yep, the government gets to investigate crimes without having to turn over information on their active investigations to whiny bloggers like you. Big deal. I know you just like to criticize everything the government does because you hate the government and everything about it, but it's pretty unreasonable to think that you should have access to active investigations. Do you think you should be able to go to the police station and look through all the detectives' paperwork for the cases they're working on? I don't, and neither did the court of appeals. Keep complaining about everything, Mike. It's all you know how to do.

     

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  4.  
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    Erlkoenig, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 5:53am

    I mean, I don't see why this is such a big deal. After all, it's just like how the 4th Amendment says that the government can just come into your house randomly and search through your mail and whatnot.


    Wait...I think I might have gotten that backwards.

     

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  5.  
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    yaga (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 5:58am

    So frustrating...

    The government gets to peer deeper and deeper into our lives, and we're less and less able to even know about it.

    And the sheeple of the US are content in letting it happen.

    Actually I'll go on a conspiracy tangent for a moment - the people in power, along with mainstream media, are distracting the sheeple from noticing that this is happening.

    Either way it's happening and not enough people are fighting it nor is there enough publicity about these types of actions and court rulings in favor of these actions.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 5:58am

    Re:

    Hi there, Kettle.

     

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  7.  
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    Erlkoenig, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 6:02am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 28th, 2013 @ 5:51am

    From your wording you care more about hating Mike, but I'll go ahead and respond anyway,

    He's not saying the government should turn over data on active investigations. If the police get a warrant to search through your shit, they have to somehow provide you a copy of the warrant. Here that doesn't happen. It's just more of the government pretending that the 4th Amendment doesn't apply to technology.

     

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  8.  
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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 6:13am

    Let's see if I've got that

    Judge rules that the Government's interests in secrecy outweighed the citizen's interests in privacy.

    Yeah, that sounds right. Everyone knows the government's interests are heavier... "Secrets for me, but not for you" is exactly the opposite of transparent government that limits corruption and abuse.

     

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  9.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 6:13am

    Re:

    It seems Google disagree's with your idiocy of allowing your government to get anything they want no matter what too and now requires a probably cause warrant on ALL requests by government, and that includes ECPA requests as well, no matter what prosecutors or other governmental investigators think.

    See Twitter isn't the only one fighting back, nor Mike, nor other reasonably intelligent US citizens and corporations.

    As for access to active investigations, it is a matter of due process that an accused has to be able to confront their accuser in all matters and know exactly what they are being investigated for if they find out about the investigation.




    "“Google requires an ECPA search warrant for contents of Gmail and other services based on the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which prevents unreasonable search and seizure,” Chris Gaither, a Google spokesman, said"

    Via wired

     

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  10.  
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    trish, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 6:26am

    interesting that the government will go ahead and enforce privte comapnies' right to make money, but can't even respect a citizen's right to democracy.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 6:33am

    The judges in these cases need to be publicly named and duly shamed.

     

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  12.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re:

    Oh and further to my above comment.

    Happy Data Privacy Day to you all, whomever you anonymous guys are ;)

    [ a link to what Google is doing today ]

     

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  13.  
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    Michael, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 6:59am

    Re:

    What 4th amendment?

     

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  14.  
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    Another AC, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:06am

    Re:

    Criminal Investigation, Witch Hunt, Tomato, Tomatoe.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re:

    Amendments are for pussies! Kick the foreigners and women, for they have no rights and let the government pursue its business as it want to. The founding fathers were eternally divine and their knowledge of modern information technology endless!

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:13am

    When do I have to report to the Zampolit?

     

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  17.  
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    richard (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:18am

    The Constitution is a joke now, the government breaks it when the feel like it and the people do nothing and soon we wont be able to do anything

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:25am

    "The Feds! I thought I smelled your foul stench. The tighter your grip, the more star systems will slip through."
    Well we need an encrypted message system with your own key, no one else can unlock it and then when the feds want the info they are welcome to it. If they want to read it they have to contact you to get the key. Then you demand a subpoena Real simple.

     

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  19.  
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    Irving, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:32am

    "Court Again Says It's Okay For The Feds To Snoop Through Your Digital Info Without Telling You"

    The judiciary is a branch of government. What did you expect them to say?

     

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  20.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:42am

    Re:

    Yep, the government gets to investigate crimes without having to turn over information on their active investigations to whiny bloggers like you. Big deal.

    It is, actually, a big deal. Warrants allow a person to push back if they feel the government has gone too far. In cases like this, the person might never know. Perhaps the 4th Amendment doesn't matter to you, but to some of us it seems important.

    . I know you just like to criticize everything the government does because you hate the government and everything about it,

    Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm a big fan of government that works well and recognizes it works for the people. But I think we have an obligation to speak out when we see abuses by the government.

    I guess you believe in shutting up and taking whatever the government does to you, no matter how abusive. Odd, but so be it.

    Do you think you should be able to go to the police station and look through all the detectives' paperwork for the cases they're working on?

    No, of course not. But I do believe that if the government wants to search my house they have to show a warrant.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:46am

    Re:

    I mean, I don't see why this is such a big deal. After all, it's just like how the 4th Amendment says that the government can just come into your house randomly and search through your mail and whatnot.

    Nowhere is the Fourth Amendment even mentioned in the embedded document. It was a First Amendment challenge.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re:

    This was a First Amendment challenge. Not sure why you're bringing up the Fourth Amendment. Care to explain the connection?

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:57am

    Re:

    I think they should actively investigate you, especially without telling you, and use the flimsiest of pretexts to throw the book at you. After all, you wouldn't complain; you would embrace such a righteous gesture.

     

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  24.  
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    Jeff (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re:

    Oh sweet! This only deals with the first amendment - so it could never impact any of our fourth amendment rights, cool - got it.

    /jackass

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re:

    I think they should actively investigate you, especially without telling you, and use the flimsiest of pretexts to throw the book at you. After all, you wouldn't complain; you would embrace such a righteous gesture.

    And while you guys are on the internet whining about perceived violations of constitutional rights, I'm studying so that I can actually defend actual people's actual constitutional rights. So yeah, tell me again how I don't care. I'm planning a career of protecting people's constitutional rights. What are you doing?

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh sweet! This only deals with the first amendment - so it could never impact any of our fourth amendment rights, cool - got it.

    So you can't make the connection either. Got it.

     

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  27.  
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    Jeff (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The connection is simple - government sweeping aside all of our constitutional rights when it feels like it. Defend them all or defend none...

    You seem to live a la-la land where the government does everything *by the book* and every body is above board, and abiding by the law of the land. Take off your rose colored glasses - our constitutional rights are under assault - all of them. Not just the first amendment, or even the second amendment like the gun guys will quite vocally tell you; all of them are under pressure - defend them all or GTFO.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You still have told me what the Fourth Amendment has to do with the opinion embedded above. Nor do I think you can.

     

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  29.  
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    Jeff (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Are you being a purposely dense lawyer? Because a resonable person can correctly see this as another incident in an increasing pattern of government overreach into our indivdual rights. You are corrrect when you say "this is a first amendment challenge" - you are completely wrong to dismiss it as trivial. But hey, perhaps you'll be the first lawyer hired by the Zambolitisa...

     

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  30.  
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    Ophelia Millais (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow. I hope at some point you find yourself defending freedom of the press. I'd sure like to see the look on your client's face when you refer to their attempt to shine a light on malfeasance and injustice as "whining on the Internet".

     

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  31.  
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    Plac Ebo, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Re:

    I'm an occasional visitor to TechDirt. Even so I've noticed that you are quite vociferous. Maybe you were neglected as a child and crave attention. Anyway, do you think that there should be any limits to government intrusion into individual's lives?

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Are you being a purposely dense lawyer? Because a resonable person can correctly see this as another incident in an increasing pattern of government overreach into our indivdual rights. You are corrrect when you say "this is a first amendment challenge" - you are completely wrong to dismiss it as trivial. But hey, perhaps you'll be the first lawyer hired by the Zambolitisa...

    You're just spouting general rhetoric about how our rights are under attack. I'm asking specifically what this specific opinion has to do with the Fourth Amendment specifically. Mike brought it up, and I have yet to see why.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wow. I hope at some point you find yourself defending freedom of the press. I'd sure like to see the look on your client's face when you refer to their attempt to shine a light on malfeasance and injustice as "whining on the Internet".

    I did some work last summer getting a law enjoined that violated the First Amendment. I didn't whine on the internet. I did something about it.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re:

    I'm an occasional visitor to TechDirt. Even so I've noticed that you are quite vociferous. Maybe you were neglected as a child and crave attention. Anyway, do you think that there should be any limits to government intrusion into individual's lives?

    Of course there should be limits to government intrusion, just as there are limits to constitutional rights. Things need to be balanced, not completely slanted to one side or the other. I'm concerned with the bigger picture.

     

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  35.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re:

    Well, of course, but we already know that Google is an evil terrorist organisation, so of course they'd want to adhere to due process.

    /sarc

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The people being investigated are the ones asking for the orders to be unsealed so they can see what is being used against them. Not sure where you got this to be a First Amendment challenge.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not sure why you call an open discussion 'whining.' Your enjoinder didn't sprout from the earth all shiny and complete. It took conversations and research, just like we present here, to do what you're harping about. This is part of the process, and if you wish to deny it, well.. you're only another cog, anyways.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I. A.
    Title II of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, commonly known as the Stored Communications Act ("SCA"), was enacted to protect the privacy of users of electronic communications by criminalizing the unauthorized access of the contents and transactional records of stored wire and electronic communications, while providing an avenue for law enforcement entities to compel a provider of electronic communication services to disclose the contents and records of electronic communications.
    To obtain records of stored electronic communications, such as a subscriber's name, address, length of subscription, and other like data, the government must secure either a warrant pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41, or a court order under 18 U.S.C. ? 2703(d). 18 U.S.C. ? 2703(c).
    The SCA also provides for gag orders, which direct the recipient of a ? 2703(d) order to refrain from disclosing the existence of the order or investigation. See 18 U.S.C. ? 2705(b).

    If that doesn't speak to you at all about the fourth amendment, then we should be glad you're still in law school.
    Even if we assume that the federal government does lawfully procure all necessary warrants (and I see no reason to assume they will), the ability to avoid disclosing their searches to the affected parties effectively removes the fourth amendment's protection against unreasonable search. If you cannot know when you are being searched, how can you assert your rights when the search is unreasonable?

     

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  39.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The case at hand was a first amendment challenge. The speech in the case is about revealing information that relates to existing fourth amendment issues.

     

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  40.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not sure why you call an open discussion 'whining.'


    It's because he disagrees, so seeks to belittle any discussion of it.

     

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  41.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Of course there should be limits to government intrusion, just as there are limits to constitutional rights.


    There should be no limits to Constitutional rights, except when specific Constitutional rights come into conflict with each other. Then they must be balanced with each other.

     

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  42.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:36am

    Re:

    Well, they're a different branch of government. If the government were operating properly, then they would be acting as a check on executive branch power.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No you didn't.

     

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  44.  
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    anonymouse, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:16am

    really

    This ruling and those before are the reason that more and more people are hiding what they do and using not only encryption but other means to hide their activity and their private confidential files private.
    If the governements around the world do not stop this infringement of our right to privacy then we will force them to accept that not only will our legal files be encrypted and beyond their grasp but also all the files that they really do need access to to seek down those that would hurt our country.
    There is no reason citizens should not have privacy, no reason at all. The excuse of terrorism is nothing more than a smoke screen and anyone that does not understand that is being blinded by the propaganda spewed out to gain access to everything we do and prevent any future uprisings against governments like happened with the arab spring.

    And surely if the government is afraid the people will rise up against them they should be resolving the problems that put them in that situation not trying to just stop the natural venting of anger at the governments inane actions.

     

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  45.  
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    anonymouse, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Of course there is a connection the right to free speech and the right to no unnecessary search and seizure is basically one and the same thing , you obviously dont understand the constitution very well do you. Imagine i write a speech and i have it in a file on the internet, they come and sneak in and steal it and knowing what is in it can arrest and jail me for incitement to violence before i have even made the speech available to anyone to hear/read. So yeah nice try splinting the two but they are bound together if they are going to use one to stop the other.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, cite or GTFO.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    These guys were searched with a sealed warrant that they cannot access after the search has been executed. Remind me again why it is so important that5 the warrant was sealed and those named cannot access it post-facto?

     

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  48.  
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    placebo96799 (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Specifics?

    What limits do you favor? Are you OK with government reading of private communications without judicial oversight?

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The people being investigated are the ones asking for the orders to be unsealed so they can see what is being used against them. Not sure where you got this to be a First Amendment challenge.

    Read the embedded opinion. It's ONLY about whether there's a First Amendment right.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If that doesn't speak to you at all about the fourth amendment, then we should be glad you're still in law school.
    Even if we assume that the federal government does lawfully procure all necessary warrants (and I see no reason to assume they will), the ability to avoid disclosing their searches to the affected parties effectively removes the fourth amendment's protection against unreasonable search. If you cannot know when you are being searched, how can you assert your rights when the search is unreasonable?


    The government gets a warrant based on a reasonable suspicion standard. If the government ends up indicting someone, that person would then be able to challenge the sufficiency of the showing made in the warrant application. There is no loss of the ability to challenge an unlawful search. The fact is that this is at the pre-indictment stage. Once there is an indictment, there is a panoply of protections given to a defendant. You're trying to make this sound like the big bad government can get away with shitting on our rights. I don't see it.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The case at hand was a first amendment challenge. The speech in the case is about revealing information that relates to existing fourth amendment issues.

    It's about whether there's a First Amendment right to access this information. There isn't. If down the road someone is indicted, then they would be able to access the information and bring a Fourth Amendment challenge.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There should be no limits to Constitutional rights, except when specific Constitutional rights come into conflict with each other. Then they must be balanced with each other.

    All constitutional rights are limited, and rightly so. This opinion shows how First Amendment rights are to be balanced against competing interests.

     

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  53.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You were asking why people here were discussing the fourth amendment when the case was a first amendment one. I've explained the connection.

     

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  54.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not arguing that Constitutional rights have no limits or are not balanced against other rights. I'm arguing that Constitutional rights should only be balanced against other Constitutional rights.

    I do not agree that balancing Constitutional rights with governmental power is legitimate.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So in your opinion, the government interest in protecting the health, safety, property, and welfare of its citizens should never be given any weight whatsoever in a constitutional analysis? I don't think that makes much sense.

     

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  56.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 28th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm saying that the Constitution is the last word, and the provisions of the Constitution are not to be balanced against anything other than other provisions of the Constitution.

    I'm not really sure how to make this any clearer. To the extent that the Constitution permits the government to act to protect the public welfare (and that's not a small extent), those are balancing factors.

    However, the minute that we say that Constitutionally protected rights are to be compromised to external factors (such as a vague "public welfare" rationale, or because of "patriotism" or whatever), we have entered a very dangerous place.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The fact is that this is at the pre-indictment stage. Once there is an indictment, there is a panoply of protections given to a defendant.

    I see. Only once we reach the indictment stage can there have been any wrongdoing in the investigation. I suppose if the government fails to obtain a proper warrant, or obtains one against a citizen's reasonable expectation of privacy, but doesn't end up pressing any charges, then that citizen has not lost his right to security against unreasonable search because he wasn't indicted! Thanks for clearing that up.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm saying that the Constitution is the last word, and the provisions of the Constitution are not to be balanced against anything other than other provisions of the Constitution.

    I'm not really sure how to make this any clearer. To the extent that the Constitution permits the government to act to protect the public welfare (and that's not a small extent), those are balancing factors.

    However, the minute that we say that Constitutionally protected rights are to be compromised to external factors (such as a vague "public welfare" rationale, or because of "patriotism" or whatever), we have entered a very dangerous place.


    The police powers of the states aren't mentioned in the Constitution except for the 10th Amendment which just says whatever's left after the federal government gets its powers belongs the states. Our constitutional rights are always balanced with other countervailing interests. Your right to speak in the park is curtailed by the state's right to close down the park at night for safety reasons. I'm not sure I understand what your point is since what you're suggesting is just not how constitutional rights work.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I see. Only once we reach the indictment stage can there have been any wrongdoing in the investigation. I suppose if the government fails to obtain a proper warrant, or obtains one against a citizen's reasonable expectation of privacy, but doesn't end up pressing any charges, then that citizen has not lost his right to security against unreasonable search because he wasn't indicted! Thanks for clearing that up.

    Don't be such a nit. The neutral magistrate who issues the warrant is there to assess whether reasonable suspicion has been articulated. We're talking about active investigations where the court can not only keep the warrants sealed, but it can also issue gag orders so that people that find out about it don't mess up the investigation. Sorry, but I prefer to let law enforcement officers do their job. I love the ACLU and the First Amendment, but I also recognize that sealing things and issuing gag orders is sometimes necessary for law enforcement to do their job.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I love the ACLU and the First Amendment, but I also recognize that sealing things and issuing gag orders is sometimes necessary for law enforcement to do their job.

    So long as you also recognise that I have adequately pointed out to you the parts of the opinion which bring out the fourth amendment concerns, as well as acknowledge that conceding the ability to gag search warrants may include as collateral damage the loss of some of the protections of the fourth amendment, you are certainly welcome to your opinion that such concession is necessary.
    I don't agree with you, though.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So long as you also recognise that I have adequately pointed out to you the parts of the opinion which bring out the fourth amendment concerns, as well as acknowledge that conceding the ability to gag search warrants may include as collateral damage the loss of some of the protections of the fourth amendment, you are certainly welcome to your opinion that such concession is necessary.
    I don't agree with you, though.


    What's the concern? That the government won't really have a "reasonable suspicion" (which is a low standard)? That the magistrate won't be able to be impartial? Where's the Fourth Amendment violation that's so worrisome that we should meddle in the early phases of an ongoing investigation?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What am I doing? Not my country, so I'm not sure what I can do about it. Though, it doesn't look like you give two poops about constitutional rights. You actually think life + 70 is moral and just. I can't imagine anyone would trust you with constitutional rights further than they could throw you with both their arms chopped off.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What am I doing? Not my country, so I'm not sure what I can do about it. Though, it doesn't look like you give two poops about constitutional rights. You actually think life + 70 is moral and just. I can't imagine anyone would trust you with constitutional rights further than they could throw you with both their arms chopped off.

    Considering that life plus 70 is the international norm, you must think that the majority of people on earth are immoral and unjust because they have a different belief about the proper term of copyright than you do. Surely that should be the measure of a person's worth. "Agree with me about the length of copyright, or else I know you're not a good person." Good luck with that worldview.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's the international norm only because the RIAA and its international incest-born clones jacked up rates in different countries, then whined to their local lawmakers that if copyright lasts shorter than the maximum in other countries their economies lose out.

    The majority of people on the planet don't agree that copyright lasting that long benefits anyone. Sure, they might agree that it's in law, which is a fact, but not so much when it comes to the benefits of upholding such a law and its penalties. You seem intent on defending this law regardless of the merits or lack thereof, and your posting history is indicative of you being "not a good person".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think the law should be respected and that people's rights thereunder should be protected. Want to shorten copyright? Be my guest. I personally think life+ is the way to go, but I would gladly respect any democratically-instituted change to the law. I'm not defending it only because it's the law, I'm defending it because I think it's meritorious.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:16pm

    Shakespeare should have said "judges" instead of "lawyers".

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And this view is shared by the majority of the planet's population? You seem to be discrediting the earlier post on the grounds that most people think that "life+ is the way to go". Anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise.

    Are you also advocating the merits of constantly extending life++? If so, care to elaborate?

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Heck, I still can't figure out why Eminem said he'd be remembered as someone who "tried to take the Fifth Amendment, use it, twist it, and bend it". But then, who knows why he says ANYTHING he says?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2013 @ 8:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't know what a majority of individuals think, as I'm sure neither do you. I do know that a majority of lawmakers voted that way. You write this off as RIAA engineering, but that sounds like a gross oversimplification to me. For example, I believe the statutory right of publicity in California is life plus 70. I doubt the RIAA was behind that. I think instead it reflects the balancing of interests. I'm not advocating any further expansion of copyright term. If any suggested one, I'd be dubious as to why it were needed. Like with the property right of publicity, I think the property right of copyright rightly belongs with the author for as long as the author lives. It's the author who creates that market value, and that author should be the one to reap it while still alive. The "plus" is because I believe that it should be treated like other valuable assets that comprise one's estate and it should pass on just like other personal property.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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