I've signed a number of petitions on the Whitehouse petition website and received a number of responses to my petitions from said website.
I can tell you that you are wasting your time going there to sign any of the petitions.
What you will get is a statement from the Whitehouse justifying the status quo. At no point in any of these communications is there even a HINT that things need to change.
It's purely a PR stunt meant to fool the sheeple into thinking that they care about your, my, or anyone's opinion.
From the response to the petition asking for a repeal of the PATRIOT Act:
"While these are important tools, we do not need to sacrifice the privacy and civil liberties of the American people for security. As noted above, all investigative techniques used by the government must be employed in a responsible manner that is consistent with our laws, including the U.S. Constitution, and our values. It is also important to note that many of these tools are subject to rigorous oversight by the different branches of government. For example, with respect to the three provisions of the PATRIOT Act that were recently extended, approval of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court is needed before the government may use any of these authorities, robust substantive standards and procedural protections are in place within the executive branch, and the Congress continues to exercise its oversight responsibilities."
For me, the primary reason to REPEAL the PATRIOT act is that it's been shown time and time again that law enforcement agencies do NOT use investigative techniques in a responsible maner. Nor are they ever held accountable for transgressions against the law.
Congress is not providing oversight. If it were then the branches of the government that were acting in contravention to our laws would be held accountable for their actions. Where are the consequences to the FBI for warantless wiretaps, for goading the weak minded into terrorist plots of their own fabrication so that they can then "thwart" them. For the seizure of domains and property by ICE without due process, a RIGHT guaranteed by the Constitution?
We HAVE sacrificed our privacy and civil liberties, not for security, but for security THEATER.
I demand that all the Internet Service Providers pay each and every tax payer a royalty check for their use of the technologies that are the basis of all their businesses, without which none of them would be in business and all of which were developed with taxpayer money.
I also expect back payments all the way back to the founding of said companies along with interest on royalties and licenses fees that have not been paid to date.
If any of these companies are associated with the MPAA or RIAA then they should be subject to additional penalties for "stealing" the afore mentioned technology.
So you don't use an iPad, iPhone, Laptop running OSX, Windows or Linux, Desktop running OSX, Windows or Linux, server running OSX, Windows or Linux.
How the hell do you expect to get anything done, including running this website without the hundreds of thousands of developers out there who have made themselves a "bitch" to one of the above mentioned systems in order to provide you with the tools you need to do your job.
Beyond stupid doesn't even begin to cover your statements.
Yes there are risks to being someone's bitch.
But striking out on your own to be your own bitch is risk free right?
I consider this particular post one of the piles of dung I have to wade through to find the diamonds that keep me coming back to Techdirt.
Why should they bother with due process? That takes work filing all those briefs, issuing summons, assuring proper delivery of said summons, scheduling dates, dealing with responses.
By and large, the only reason that people subject themselves to jumping through hoops is because the alternative to jumping through those hoops is worse than the hoop jumping.
The FBI, TSA, NSA, DHS have been shown time and time again by Congress that there is NO downside for them to ignore proper channels or do things in a way that even vaguely conforms with due process.
So why should they bother? There will be no repercussions to their actions. Not so much as a slap on the wrist.
The have shown, by deeds and actions, that they feel that they know what is best for the rest of the citizens of this country and laws to the contrary be dammed. The are doing it for OUR good after all, so they feel that it gives them the right to engage in pretty much any illegal activity they choose.
Laws are for the ignorant masses, not for the people we charge with upholding and enforcing those laws. For them, they are merely suggestions to be ignored as needed in order to insure the common good.
The long term consequences of this sort of behavior are chilling. When you don't punish someone for stealing they don't steal less . . .they steal MORE. These people are not being punished for any of their actions. This will embolden them to increase both the frequency and the egregiousness of their transgressions against the laws of the country and the rights of it's citizens.