Why Do We Need Warrantless Wiretapping If Not A Single Wiretap Warrant Request Gets Rejected?
from the oversight? dept
While the government continues to defend its warrantless wiretapping program — despite it being found illegal and prone to serious privacy violations — the latest report on official wiretaps that did receive a warrant shows not only that they were way up in 2009, but that not a single request for a warrant to wiretap was turned down. Not a single one. Now, admittedly, these are different types of wiretaps: by the police, mostly for drug cases, rather than the feds for terrorism cases. But it does suggest that the judicial system is pretty open to approving wiretap requests, and still makes us wonder why the government keeps insisting that actually getting a warrant — as is required by the law — is too much to ask in many cases.
Filed Under: warrantless wiretapping, wiretaps
Comments on “Why Do We Need Warrantless Wiretapping If Not A Single Wiretap Warrant Request Gets Rejected?”
Sometimes, the simple explanation is right...
Thats easy. They dont want to get a court order because then there is a record of it somewhere, and eventually can be made public or FOIA’d. By bypassing (read: ignoring the law) the court, they can wiretap anyone with virtually zero accountability.
To them, the fact that none of the wiretap requests are being denied shows that we can trust them, so having to request a warrant is an unnecessary step and impediment in the war on terror.
Do you think terrorists ask for warrants before doing something? We should be allowed to and must employ all tactics the terrorists use. They [terrorists] hate us for our freedom!
We have met the enemy …
Yes, we should do everything terrorist do.(sic) But, then, don’t be surprised when the rest of the world calls you a terrorist.
Re: Re: Re:
I’m relatively sure he was being sarcastic.
Re: They [terrorists] hate us for our freedom!
Thats utter bullshit.
“We should be allowed to and must employ all tactics the terrorists use.”
So we can be as low as them? You sound like Hitler.
We USED to be able to claim moral high ground, but we have no morals anymore.
They hate us for placing puppet regimes in their countries.
“shows that we can trust them”
HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….ahhhh….ahem.
“war on terror”
HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….ahhhh. Just another ism to instill fear in the people.
Here is your terrorism:
Re: Re: They [terrorists] hate us for our freedom!
Yes, let’s become just like them. Lose all sense of morality and propriety of our system to save our asses but lose our souls. Screw the Constitution! It was poorly written anyway,right?!
The requirement for warrants is the largest institutional barrier to monitoring communications indiscriminately. I’m still unsure how they plan on hand-waving away the relevant portions of the Bill of Rights, however.
My guess is utilizing corporate willingness to give information and access to their systems to trump the end user’s rights.
perhaps every wiretap that didn’t have a warrant would have been rejected if a warrant was requested…
If the ‘courts’ never refuse a wiretap request, why bother with warrants?
“If the ‘courts’ never refuse a wiretap request, why bother with warrants?”
See my comment #1 above. One of the main purposes of getting a court order is ACCOUNTABILITY and having it ON RECORD. Just because they approve all of them doesnt mean there should be no paper trail.
Re: Re: OTOH
“One of the main purposes of getting a court order is ACCOUNTABILITY and having it ON RECORD. “
OK, I’ll bite. Who has been held accountable for a wiretap?
Re: Re: Re: OTOH
Re: Re: Re: OTOH
“Accountability” and “on record” understates it a bit. Accountability means Johnny Law is less likely to wiretap that guy at the dry cleaners he doesn’t like, or his wife that he thinks might be cheating on him.
Having it on the record really is about a thousand times better than it being a secretive thing as far as accountability is concerned. Even if they never get denied before the fact or punished after the fact, it’s a barrier to entry.
Re: Re: Re:2 OTOH
IOW, when has that been a real problem for anyone?
Because perhaps ultimately the goal is not simply to get these wiretaps, or even wiretaps in general. Perhaps the goal is to chip away at one more protection of our liberty, paving away for the next chip, and the next, and the next.
It’s called a feature creep, and it’s an extremely effective way at slowing down public opposition to otherwise damnable actions. Show this law to colonial Americans in the hands of the crown and they would FLIP….
And any time the populous needs encouragement, they drag out the boogeyman man.
why would anyone want in a democratic nation to have any over site is right?
LIKE the Vancouver police running over to a guys apartment knocking on the door to serve him not only a warrant BUT a beating BIG TIME, then turns out hes the wrong guy.
THAT’S why you want to see that warrant and find out WHO MADE the address error and then you can MORE likely hold the bad cops accountable.
END OF STORY
“It’s called a feature creep, and it’s an extremely effective way at slowing down public opposition to otherwise damnable actions.”
No, it’s called “Scope creep”. The way warrant-less wiretapping is being used today is outside of the original scope. I’m not disagreeing with you.
As noted in the article: “Now, admittedly, these are different types of wiretaps: by the police, mostly for drug cases, rather than the feds for terrorism cases.”
Thusly, it needs to be re-evaluatated, and new controls should be added to ensure it remains used within it’s original intent. What is happening may show a level of un-ethical application of the law’s use.
it could, of course, simply show that no requests are made for warrents under conditions where the request would be turned down.
Obviously they are just trying to save tax payer money.. since the request for a warrant is apparently just a formality. Maybe they think that they are just doing the responsible thing to save taxpayer money by removing the “safeguard” entirely.
I mean did you all see and take note of the low ratio of arrests and lower ratio of convictions from all these authorized wire taps? I guess what I’m saying is that in a significant number of cases it turned out that this stuff was being both authorized and carried out for what amounts to no reason at all. Shouldn’t that maybe factor into future requests at least a little?
“But it does suggest that the judicial system is pretty open to approving wiretap requests”
We need an elected judicial system without lifetime limitations. Some way of holding judges accountable to the people.
“We need an elected judicial system without lifetime limitations. Some way of holding judges accountable to the people.”
Then I suggest you turn your attention to the state level, as most state judiciaries are elected by popular vote. Perhaps then you will see how well an elected judiciary is able to apply and interpret the law fairly and justly when under political pressure.
While I do believe in civil liberties and accountability… I don’t see the big deal about warrant less wire taps. I’m not a terrorist, I don’t sell illegal drugs, not a sex offender… what do I care. All you whiners about “oooo the government is taking away my freedom”, maybe you should stop with the above actions as you clearly have something to fear from wiretapping. I’m sure you’re the first to be up at arms when a terrorist does blow something up. Nice we have to play by the rules but they don’t. Get over yourselves and think of what’s more important… the government overhearing (and not caring) about your perverted phone conversations, or possibly finding out about some plot to kill innocent people (who might just be on the other end of your phone conversation).
Not to go on a tangent, but I think too many people take the Constitution and Bill of Rights as is and don’t put it in a modern context. Do you really, REALLY think our founding fathers would have wanted every citizen of the US running around with hand guns and automatic weapons after the formation of our nation’s military branches (I’m sure most people hunted for food back then, and we didn’t have much in the way of armed forces for protection). Let’s evolve a little and adapt our 200+ year old documents to follow suit.
If we become terrorists ourselves in the process of defending against them, then we are no better than they are. What made this country strong was the ideals that it stood for and practiced. Now that we have sunk to the level of common cowards/thieves, what is really left to be proud of?
The founding fathers may not have wanted every citizen of the US running around with handguns and rifles (have fun trying to get an automatic weapon legally), but they DID want each and every citizen to be able to make their own choice as to how they want to defend their family and country against whatever may come.
Besides, an armed populace for the government to fear/consider isn’t that bad of a thing.
If you want to give up your rights – fine. But don’t take away mine.
And your point is ?
Try again when you actually have a logical point to make.
While I do believe in civil liberties and accountability… I don’t see the big deal about warrant less wire taps
The beginning of your sentence is in total conflict with the end of your sentence.
I’m not a terrorist, I don’t sell illegal drugs, not a sex offender… what do I care.
Yes, but the gov’t gets to define what it doesn’t like, and what if something that you do currently engage in — which you feel is fine — is suddenly classified as “wrong.”
All you whiners about “oooo the government is taking away my freedom”, maybe you should stop with the above actions as you clearly have something to fear from wiretapping.
Ah, so anyone concerned with the basics of the 4th amendment must be a terrorist?
I’m sure you’re the first to be up at arms when a terrorist does blow something up
Yes, and studies have shown that by piling on MORE data from bogus wiretaps, officials have had MORE TROUBLE actually connecting the dots on real plots.
“Do you really, REALLY think our founding fathers would have wanted every citizen of the US running around with hand guns and automatic weapons after the formation of our nation’s military branches”
This is a typical false question asked by gun control folks. The answer, in short, is that YES THEY WOULD HAVE. They advocated for American’s ability to overthrow their own government if it became oppressive. Owning arms with the ability to do so is key to that ability. The very REASON the 2nd amendment is in the constitution is so the people can own guns capable of fighting back against the police and military….
“what do I care”
First, you need to understand what laws are being broken, Read Volume 5 of the Church Commissions report, title, Volume 5: The National Security Agency and Fourth Amendment Rights particularly relevant would be pg 131, effect…on fourth amendment rights of citizens.
Next, you have to understand how the Fourth Amendment is actually a protection, needed by the rights granted under the First Amendment. It is difficult to say the least to have an open exchange of ideas, if only certain ideas are allowed.
Stinks of communism, you’re not a pinko commie are you?!
Finally, you need to understand the the constitution is a living document. While you say we need to “put it in a modern context”, you fail to understand that, that is what the amendment process does. It gets voted on, and ratified, and codified into a law. In this way it is not a 200 year old document, but a changing document reflecting our will as a people, with mechanisms built in to protect the few, an thier inalienable rights, from the many.
The only way the Constitution can fail, is if we misunderstand it. When enough of us do that, it will become the instrument of our own destruction.
“what do I care”?
Why don’t you care? Are you ignorant or just uneducated? Put down the Big Mac and the remote, and try to have an intelligent conversation with someone, anyone. Talk about the many innocent people that have died because of ignorance and apathy in regard to the actual costs of your house with the 2 car garage, and your fancy smartphone. Talk about the people who are starving, farmless, homeless, wounded and killed, because Fascism abhors equanimity, and freedoms.
Get your number, stand in line, wait for the end, good job boy!
Free speech is the last freedom standing between us and total control.
Stats not showing all applications?
It could be that the statistics don’t reflect the way things work in practice. Not sure how this warrant process works but in general:
– I need approval for something from someone
– I’m time constrained
– and I have direct access to this person,
I’d check with them before submitting a formal application to ask whether they’d approve it. So I’d say “Hey will you approve this if I submit it” and I’d alter the application if they feel it needs changes, or not submit it if it has no chance in hell.
Thus I’d only submit winning applications. Not sure if something like this is skewing the stats?
“Obviously they are just trying to save tax payer money.. since the request for a warrant is apparently just a formality. Maybe they think that they are just doing the responsible thing to save taxpayer money by removing the “safeguard” entirely.”
That may be technically be true, however if application of the law results in blowback from legally allowing what was once illegal, but it certainly raises questions if the new method of business in it’s application is morally and ethically correct.
Hence, the law needs more controls to ensure the original desire of the law is followed.
Not to be a killjoy, but it seems a level of micromanagement is perhaps necessary with incoming business leaders as this seems to be a common problem with many regulated industries. When the original desire or “Spirit” of the law is not followed, we get things like financial crises.
As dismal as it may be, I foresee additional industry-level bailouts as we learn more about how they subverted originally recognized protections in an effort to sell personal information to any government under the guise of public safety from “champions of non-industry”. Indeed, capturing information about every citizen of the world can be quite costly, but eventually people have to question if the ends justify the means.
Res Publica Non Dominetur
Populus vult decipi.
The Comment Below
We need warrantless wiretapping because we cannot be trusted to do the right thing. /sarcasm
Perhaps we should extend civil IP problems into the realm of executive agencies that are all for warrantless wiretapping. /I thought the sarcasm was completed by now.
I would hope
That the requirement to get a warrant for a wire tap would be to allow the need for such a tap to be examined during any court trial. That part of due process that is missing with warrant-less taps.
They are Data Mining
Because they are data mining the entire communications grid, and would be impossible to get a warrant for each of billions of emails, text messages and voice conversations a day.
I think this is the most likely answer to the original question.
It more than just wiretaps. Its collecting ALL electronic traffic.