Growing Number Of People Agree That Ed Snowden Is A Whistleblower

from the moving-in-the-right-direction dept

A new poll from Quinnipiac University suggests that, despite widespread efforts by politicians to attack and demonize Ed Snowden, a growing percentage of the American population views him as a whistleblower. It's now up to 57% from what had been 55% in the last poll. The same poll also showed that a majority of people now think that the US government's anti-terrorism policies have "gone too far." It cracked 51%, up from 45% right after the first Snowden revelation, and way up from the 25% who felt that way back in 2010. The poll also suggests that fewer and fewer people support the Section 215 bulk metadata collection program, even when it's framed with this question, which I would imagine most people are biased towards agreeing with:
"Do you support or oppose the federal government program in which all phone calls are scanned to see if any calls are going to a phone number linked to terrorism?"
After the Snowden leaks, 51% of people supported that description of the program, while 45% opposed. Now it's down to 48% support and up to 47% opposed. Similarly, the percentage of people who claim this program "is necessary to keep Americans safe" has dropped from 54% down to 48%. Perhaps it helps that multiple studies have now shown that the program has not helped.

It's certainly slow going, but it certainly appears that the trend in public opinion is moving against these programs and increasingly in support of Snowden.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 4:06am

    The FBI revelations back in 1971 that were mentioned here on Techdirt last week took years to bear fruit in terms of actual reform, but in the end, bear fruit they did.

    Just hang in there, liberty. Sometimes things do get better.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Zem, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 4:19am

    Patriot and a hero seams more appropriate than whistle blower.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 4:54am

    about time too!!

    the government and associated security forces got caught with their fingers in the cookie jar, were exposed to the world, because the world was/is involved and obviously didn't like it. the naughty bit was using the power of their positions to try to screw someone for dishing out embarrassment by claiming him to be a traitor. that is typical of governments today. they want the backing of the people, but when the people find out what is being taken from them, covertly or 'in their name', they dont like it but the response is always OTT 'because they can'!

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 5:06am

    Only a 2% difference is a "growing number"? What's the margin of error on those surveys?

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 5:09am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 17th, 2014 @ 5:06am

    Just checked, +\- 2.5%. So potentially fewer people could think he's a whistle blower. Weaaak.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 5:45am

    Re:

    "Patriot and a hero seams more appropriate than whistle blower."

    I second this!

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    David, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 5:59am

    Re:

    Why choose when you can just check all the options?

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cow, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re:

    I third it!

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 6:27am

    Re:

    I had the same thoughts. The results aren't as positive as the title implies. Sometimes I wish Techdirt was a bit more objective, but I don't know of anywhere else that covers issues like this in detail.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    David, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 6:29am

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 17th, 2014 @ 5:06am

    Well, one needs to reconcile one's world view. As the percentage of people who consider Obama an honourable man, and so all of them, the NSA, and the rest of the administration, all honourable men, plummets, there grows free space in people's minds and percentages giving them room to rethink how to evaluate their statements that Snowden was ambitious.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 7:33am

    I do agree with the pooh-poohers. A change within the margin of error is not much movement, or "slow going" as it was described in the articles.

    On the other hand, I do think that this change will turn out to be a viable trend. Every morning, I hear one more news story where the NSA and their proponents continue to state that:
    They did nothing wrong,
    The evidence against them doesn't matter,
    They don't want to change, and
    Anyone asking them to is an enemy or a traitor.

    That kind of hubris gets old after a while.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 7:50am

    Very Telling

    "Do you support or oppose the federal government program in which all phone calls are scanned to see if any calls are going to a phone number linked to terrorism?"
    If the survey questions are framed like this it's very telling indeed that it still comes out against the government's policies.
    Imagine how much worse the figures would look if the questions weren't leading...

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 7:50am

    With supposedly 1M+ documents having been turned over to persons (and perhaps governments) unknown, and the contents of all those documents unknown, to call him a whistleblower and try to let him off the hook by nominating him for sainthood is grossly premature.

    He decided on his own that he was right in his views and others charged with security activities were wrong, violating constitutional principles embraced in our laws. Problem with this, however, is that there is absolutely no unanimity of opinion on the merits of his views from a legal sense. Certainly, most members of the judiciary disagree with his "legal opinion", in which case it is he who is likely wrong. This does not mean that reconsiderations of policy are unnecessary, but only that unilateral action as he undertook by making a data dump of highly classified materials to a persons outside the US, allegedly surrendering complete control of what and how they would be disclosed, and they flying off to a country to be outside the reach of US authorities are not actions that strike me as exhibiting conviction and the willingness to stand up for one's principles in the face of great personal sacrifice.

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re:

    The results aren't as positive as the title implies
    *shrug* everyone has their own spin, but even with the margin of error, as many or more people don't support the government's policies than do even despite the apparently leading questions. That's gotta be worth at least a minor "whoop!"

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    Jeff (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 7:57am

    Re:

    So mister coward - how would you have fixed this situation? What would you do? It's easy to be a Friday morning quarterback...

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 7:59am

    Re:

    Uh, unilateral action? What you describe is pretty much the text-book definition of a whistleblower, so your argument seems to be "He's not a whistleblower because he's a whistleblower".
    As for the running away, are you suggesting that in order to be a whistleblower it's mandatory to also be a martyr?

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 8:01am

    Re:

    to call him a whistleblower and try to let him off the hook by nominating him for sainthood is grossly premature.


    Ignoring the weird sainthood reference, it's certainly not premature to call him a whistleblower. He say wrongdoing. He alerted us to it. He's a whistleblower. It's pretty basic.

    He decided on his own that he was right in his views and others charged with security activities were wrong, violating constitutional principles embraced in our laws.


    That's right. Just like every other whistleblower.

    Certainly, most members of the judiciary disagree with his "legal opinion", in which case it is he who is likely wrong.


    That's not certain at all. Outside of the FISC, most members of the judiciary have not presided over a case that involves these issues. Of the two that have, there's a 50-50 split in opinion.

    This does not mean that reconsiderations of policy are unnecessary


    Without Snowden, these reconsiderations would never have happened.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 8:20am

    Re:

    It is the journalists dilemma: Either you push the numbers a little or the story gets extremely tame and/or technical.

    It is not showing much in terms of movement of opinion based on medias stories, which is what Mike could be accused of saying, but neither does it show a movement in the other direction, making the counter-thesis even less trustworthy.

    When it comes to statistical certainty, you can lower the bar from 95 % confidence to, say 50 %, in which case the result is a signficant movement towards more trust in Snowden and less in the surveillance.

    Nobody wants to read about how the change in data is insignificant and doesn't mean anything. Using a 99 % or 95 % confidence interval is good if the numbers have to be used in scientific models, but if significance level is used to "debunk" trends, it is on its own a bias in interpretation. In other words: No truth exist in the world of statistics, but it doesn't mean every statement is equal!

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Brazenly Anonymous, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 9:11am

    Re:

    He decided on his own that he was right in his views and others charged with security activities were wrong, violating constitutional principles embraced in our laws.


    The only actions Snowden took were to speak up about some things and bring evidence to back himself up. He is the first to provide substantial evidence. He is not the first to speak out about these things. He decided on his own... about his own actions. He didn't unilaterally change the NSA to fit his vision.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re:

    I see...a whistleblower is one who releases classified information because he has determined that everyone else is wrong about the legality of what is being pursued. Maybe he will ultimately be proven right, but to date our courts have except in one instance rejected his stance.

    Now, policy arguments can be made with facility that existing law is too broad and impinges upon important privacy interests, so I am not suggesting that the law as it is being applied in optimal (or even necessary) for our national security interests. I am saying that policy is the role we have delegated to Congress, and it is that deliberative body to which policy concerns should be provided...and not some expatriate news reporter as in the case here. There are ways force such policy discussions. I find it nothing short of remarkable that Snowden was able to copy all of this information, but apparently unable to get it in the hands of persons within our government who would act upon it responsibly and without disclosing our secrets to the entire world.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, my comment should have been limited to those members of the judiciary who have passed on these matters. It is undeniable, however, that only one has opined contrary to all others.

    BTW, the FISC membership is comprised of practicing federal judges who, in addition to their regular duties as judges presiding at locations all over the United States, are required on a rotating basis to travel to DC to preside over requests that a warrant issue. I mention this only because it seems many appear to believe in error that these judges sit only of the FISC.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 9:24am

    Hopefully it won't be too late when the Americans fully wake up to this madness. It seems the tides are changing, slowly but surely...

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    krolork (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 9:28am

    We need a revolution.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Brazenly Anonymous, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    A whistleblower is someone who discloses alleged violations (of any kind) by a group. This can be either external or internal to the organization in question. It almost always runs counter to the publicly expressed opinion of everyone else in the group. After all, they wouldn't be carrying out the activity on which the whistle is blown if they didn't support it or weren't under pressure to at least appear to support it.

    There are ways force such policy discussions.


    Many have been trying for years, including a few members of Congress. Clearly Snowden's method was necessary to actually bring about the discussion.



    Basically, when determining whether an activity is whistle-blowing, you need to look for a few things:
    1) Is the activity occurring? [yes]
    2) Is the activity reasonably alleged as a violation? [roughly 50% of the population sees it as a violation, so yes]
    3 )Does the group alerted have authority over the group carrying out the activity? [of the people, by the people, for the people]
    4) Did the supposed whistle-blowing intentionally cause real, demonstrable and similar or disproportionate (in relation to the severity of the violation alleged to have occurred) harm? [nope]

    If 1-3 are yes, you are dealing with a whistle-blower unless 4 is also yes. If all 4 are yes, you are dealing with espionage masquerading as whistle-blowing. If any of 1-3 are not yes, then you are dealing with advocacy, dissent or slander.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Sunhawk (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    BTW, the FISC membership is comprised of practicing federal judges who, in addition to their regular duties as judges presiding at locations all over the United States, are required on a rotating basis to travel to DC to preside over requests that a warrant issue. I mention this only because it seems many appear to believe in error that these judges sit only of the FISC.


    ... all appointed by the same guy (the Chief Justice), and the recent statements rubbishing the possibility of an adversarial role in the court, a broader source of members etc is somewhat dismaying.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Mace, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 10:43am

    Response to: Zem on Jan 17th, 2014 @ 4:19am

    How about you stop having opinions until you can spell simple words correctly?

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The primary purpose of the FISC is to consider requests for warrants. To my knowledge there is not a single court, state of federal, that issues warrants on an inter parties basis. That would be ludicrous since the purpose of a warrant it to provide legal authority for a search. Should we let suspects know in advance we are seeking a warrant to search their home/car/etc.? I am sure they will place the "stuff" hoping to be found on the front porch so that law enforcement does not have to waste time searching through the premises.

    If it is deemed proper to have legal opinions by the offices of the various agencies considered to provide a second set of eyes to promote impartiality, warrant proceedings is one of the last places I would second such an individual.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    Bryan (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 12:08pm

    Snowden for President?

    President Obama's approval rating is at 42% and Snowden's at 57%. In the United States extremely bipartisan political climate, that is hugely interesting.

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    the FISC membership is comprised of practicing federal judges who...


    Yes, and so?

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I am saying that policy is the role we have delegated to Congress, and it is that deliberative body to which policy concerns should be provided...and not some expatriate news reporter as in the case here.


    And when Congress fails in their duty, it is the responsibility of each of us as citizens to.


    There are ways force such policy discussions.


    There are? What are they? All of the whistleblowers on this issue prior to Snowden tried the sanctioned ways of doing this, and all were ignored. And most were punished. Snowden did this the way he did because he learned from their experiences.

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 12:15pm

    Re:

    Slow but sure is how all major course corrections in the US have happened. Have heart!

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 12:19pm

    The rest of the poll is not so favorable to Snowden...

    While one particular question favors Snowden as more of a Whistleblower than a traitor, it may be that the people checking the boxes were not happy with the choices. More people (46%) think that Snowden's revelations were bad for the country than those who thought the revelations were good for the country (40%). Even worse for Snowden, 47% of respondents said the government should keep pursuing Snowden, versus 39% who said the government should stop.

    Snowden may not be view as a traitor by most people, but neither are most people viewing him as a hero.

     

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

  33.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I see...a whistleblower is one who releases classified information because he has determined that everyone else is wrong about the legality of what is being pursued
    Yes, now you're getting it. If these things weren't true there would be no necessity to be a whistleblower. In a corporate setting he might be fired for gross misconduct, in a governmental/military setting it it inevitably illegal.
    You can argue his motives if you must, but his actions are textbook whistleblower.
    I find it nothing short of remarkable that Snowden was able to copy all of this information, but apparently unable to get it in the hands of persons within our government who would act upon it responsibly and without disclosing our secrets to the entire world.
    Really? Who? Even now, after months of media coverage and with a decent portion of public opinion to provide a political flak-jacket the vision from this side of the pond suggests that only a relative handful of "the government" are digging for real answers. Would they have done as much (read: anything) without public opinion to back them up?
    Suggesting he "should have gone to the government" is artful at best when it's become clear "the government" is a cunning combination of ostrich, clueless and deliberately misinformed when it comes to intelligence oversight.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    South Sider, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 1:26pm

    No Surprises

    Snowden is a hack and I believe him to be counter-productive to us US citizens. He had no right to divulge information to the public. He should be prosecuted when caught. Obama was not my choice, but I am stuck with him.

    I always thought the NSA was listening and I have never thought twice about it. Why are all you people so up in arms about being monitored? If there were no morons in the world, I would agree with you, but there are numerous morons who would like us all to disintegrate. I believe our security systems save us from those morons.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    tom, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 2:20pm

    seriously?

    There are people who think that he is not a whistleblower?

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 2:29pm

    Re: No Surprises

    I believe our security systems save us from those morons.
    Ah, no... in fact those security systems turn you into "those morons"

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The primary purpose of the FISC is to consider requests for warrants."

    Right. But they are going before the FISC to get approval to collect information WITHOUT a warrant. So your point then is? Sounds to me like they are using the FISC for a purpose that it was never intended in direct violation of the Constitution.

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, and so?
    No "and so"... I think you'll find the intent was to sidetrack the discussion from trying to counter your arguments about Snowdon onto a tangential and irrelevant discussion on the FISC court

     

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

  39.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 6:21pm

    Re: No Surprises

    I am all up in arms about it because, in the first place, it is clearly unconstitutional, and in the second place, US history has shown that literally every time this sort of thing is done, the end result is that innocent people are abused.

    There is no indication that this monitoring has saved us from anything at all -- even NSA senior officials have admitted as much now -- but even if they did, I would still be opposed.

    These sorts of programs do not make us safer. At best, they only change which group of people are the threat.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 7:04pm

    Bullshit I don't buy it there is no way in hell 48% support it. In fact I don't know one single person who does, maybe on the internet but trolls don't count.

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Clownius, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Its good to see the representatives of the surveillance state feel the need to educate us on why they are right and Snowden and the rest of us are wrong. Laughably while trying to remain anonymous themselves.

    Because you know if you have nothing to hide. Unless your the NSA, a contractor, the USG or a multitude of other important people who call terrorist and national security. In that case if anything comes to light the person is a traitor.

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Clownius, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 8:10pm

    Re: No Surprises

    The good old if you have nothing to hide argument....

    Please sir post your phone logs and emails for the last 5 years to this public message board along with your name and address if you feel none of this information should be private.

    Oh whats that no thats private information. Thats what i thought!

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2014 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They are part of the judicial mainstream (jurists with full dockets of the same types of cases as their colleagues), and not a cabal of jurists who sit apart from the rest of their peers waiting for the NSA to walk through the courtroom door so they have something to do.

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    Ronny (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 10:31pm

    Re:

    According to the government they both do not know what he took but also give us a huge number in regard to the files released. Snowdens own people put it at under 60,000. which of course does not include his "dead man's switch". Whether you believe one group or the other is up to the individual. But, from my point of view it has been the government that has reason to and has been doing the exaggeration in an effort to discredit Snowden.
    Snowden has not made a "data dump" as you put it but released the files slowly and carefully through his chosen advocates.
    Both people he released to are American, and outside the US is the safest way to do what needs to be done.
    They have conviction, but having it does not mean they should be stupid and trust the system in the USA, which has proved not only to be unsafe, but one that will do it's utmost to quash as much as it can anything detrimental to it.
    He didn't decide he was right, he gave people the chance to make up there own minds.
    certainly it is unknown how many of the judiciary agree or disagree, as yet I have not seen such a poll.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    Ronny (profile), Jan 17th, 2014 @ 10:38pm

    Re: Re: No Surprises

    Your right, freedom and privacy, all the good things we want in our society is risky, but those risks are worth it. Whats the point in giving up those things just to pretend we have them.

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    JLinnell, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 4:33am

    Re:

    2% is still over 6 million people, so it's not that small of an improvment.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 7:08am

    Re: The rest of the poll is not so favorable to Snowden...

    Of course these revelations are bad for the country, but that is not Snowden's fault. He's just the messenger. The damage was done by the actions of the NSA not Snowden's revelation of them.

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 7:12am

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 17th, 2014 @ 5:06am

    It is still probabilistically most likely an improvement. Instead of it of it being 42.5% to 47.5% oppose it is now 44.5% to 49.5%. The window is shifting for the better.

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 7:23am

    What we need

    Part of the problem appears to be that there are no real penalties for government officials violating the people's rights. So the government violates the 4th amendment and brings a case against an individual with evidence gained from an unconstitutional search and seizure. The defense proves that the evidence was obtained illegally and gets the case dismissed. Ok fine. But those officials that violated the defendants rights also committed a crime. If they hadn't decided to use that evidence or never brought the case anyway, they still would have committed a crime that should require some accountability. We need some real penalties in place codified into the law for individuals that commit these acts.

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 7:31am

    Re: What we need

    Along with this maybe we need a system where the public (after meeting a significant level of support) bring a criminal case to be prosecuted with what would under normal criminal cases be a defense attorney against the government officials that are responsible.

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 8:13am

    Re: No Surprises

    Save us from morons? Obviously they're doing a horrible job, because somehow you slipped through the net.

     

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

  52.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 18th, 2014 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Again, and so? I seriously don't understand what point you're trying to make here. While they are acting on the FISC they are absolutely jurists who sit apart from the rest of their peers. I don't understand the relevance of the fact that being on the FISC isn't their only job.

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 18th, 2014 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I know, but I honestly want to understand what the AC is trying to argue. There might be a good point in there, after all. This isn't derailing the conversation, I think, so much as also engaging in a related side conversation.

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ok so these judges also hear other cases just like the rest of the judges in the federal system. BFD. They are still picked by a single justice who has a singular opinion of how things should work. That alone biases the sample. There have been far too few cases filed before the rest of the judges in the system to support your assertion.

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 10:34am

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

    He is trying argue that because the FISC is comprised of judges that come from the general system all of the FISC decisions should be considered as evidence that the courts in general have supported his position.

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The requests for actual warrants that the FISC hears and decides on are not at issue here. Snowden and everyone else for that matter hasn't been complaining about those cases. It's the cases where they want permission to collect untargeted surveillance information on people without any probable cause to get a warrant to collect information on them that is the problem.

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 18th, 2014 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It is undeniable, however, that only one has opined contrary to all others.


    Yes, and "all the others" consists of one. 50-50 split. I may have missed something, but outside of these two the other courts who have seen this issue come before them have declined to rule one way or the other because they determined there was a lack of standing.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 11:45am

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

    The relevance is that far too many who weigh in on what the FISC does do not appear to understand that the judges have a "judicial practice" elsewhere, and FISC is an additional duty they have been assigned. Moreover, because FISC is merely an additional duty they perform, it is worthwhile to consider that they each deal with law governing the issuance of warrants on a regular basis, so to say they are mere rubberstamps when a warrant is requested from FISC is absurd. They apply the same legal rules in their "day job" as they do in carrying out their FISC duties.

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    FISC judges also count, at least the last time I looked.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    classified, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 12:10pm

    ahemalarkyahem

    sNOwden acted on his own and despite what might be deemed treacherous spying by the US gov't's NSA bunch, sNOwden put this country, its citizens and its military service personnel act a high level of danger/risk. Now the enemies all over the world have what should have remained secret for whatever reason. I can't wait til the wolves eat him alive.

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 3:39pm

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

    Their other cases are not relevant to this discussion and therefore don't matter. The fact that they hear other cases has no bearing on this discussion.

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 3:46pm

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

    And again these are not warrant requests. If they were actual requests for warrants under the rules of law for what is required to obtain a warrant then there would not be an issue. These are requests for permission to obtain information where they would be prohibited from getting an actual warrant.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2014 @ 3:57pm

    Re: ahemalarkyahem

    Exactly how are they now put at a higher level of danger or risk?

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jan 18th, 2014 @ 10:02pm

    Re: Re: ahemalarkyahem

    It's it obvious?

    Because [CLASSIFIED].

    Yeah, anytime you've got someone making claims about 'putting soldiers lives at risk', without actually backing the claims up with evidence, just assume it's an emotional plea. Remember, they did the exact same thing with Manning, claiming that 'soldiers would be put at risk and die!', and yet even the government couldn't find a single case, not one death they could definitively blame Manning for, despite having three years to look.

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jan 19th, 2014 @ 2:15am

    Re: Re:

    It scares me when someone as intelligent as you is going to take their word that it isn't being done anymore or that it won't be done in the future.

    Look at what they have done in secret already. You think it won't happen again? They know what is best for us. This must be done at all costs.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2014 @ 6:27am

    Re: Re: Re: ahemalarkyahem

    My FUD detector works perfectly well. Maybe his needs new batteries or something.

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2014 @ 8:11am

    Re: The 48%

    If you live in the east or the west, you may well have an opinion that is mirrored by those around you. Yet, much of the middle of the country between the coasts has the opposite opinion.

    Obama was principally elected by the coasts and the north central part of the county, and the states in the south and the west extending from Arizona to Montana and the Dakotas voted against him. During the last election, I did not know anyone who voted for Obama, and yet he was elected. However, I do not believe in internet conspiracies and being misled by trolls.

    What I believe is that the more populous states on the coast outvoted the less populous states in the rest of the country. Such may be the case with respect to the 48%. Large swaths of the country still have faith in our government, regardless of how badly the government is failing them.

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    FM Hilton, Jan 19th, 2014 @ 1:00pm

    Re: No Surprises

    "Snowden is a hack and I believe him to be counter-productive to us US citizens. He had no right to divulge information to the public. He should be prosecuted when caught. Obama was not my choice, but I am stuck with him.

    I always thought the NSA was listening and I have never thought twice about it. Why are all you people so up in arms about being monitored? If there were no morons in the world, I would agree with you, but there are numerous morons who would like us all to disintegrate. I believe our security systems save us from those morons."


    Unfortunately, you and your mind set are the majority of the people in the NSA who think that Ed Snowden should be convicted of treason before being tried for it, or at least eliminated from the world.

    You, and your brethren are what's wrong in this country.

    There are those of us who value privacy and our Constitutional rights. Obviously you do not.

    Thankfully there are more of us than your type of thinking, otherwise we'd have thrown out the Constitution back on 9/11. We came very close to doing that.

    But as it is right now, 20 years later, we're still dealing with the aftermath of a bunch of people who had no right to tamper with it but did so anyway, and unleashed this beast called the security state.

    What was it that Ben Franklin said?

    "They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This