Rep. Grayson: Let Me Tell The NSA: There Is No Threat To Our Nation When I Call My Mother

from the so-why-do-you-have-the-records? dept

So far, we’ve seen lots of Congressional Representatives falling over each other to attack Ed Snowden and Glenn Greenwald over the NSA surveillance efforts. A few have raised concerns, but if you want to see an elected official say what’s on many of our minds, listen to Rep. Alan Grayson’s speech about the NSA scooping up all phone records.

He points out that the NSA is only supposed to be collecting foreign data, highlights how extreme it is that they’re collecting all phone records and says that he’s shocked this is happening.

Let’s be clear about this. This appears to be an order, providing that our telephone companies turn over call records for every single telephone call, regardless of whether it’s international or not. Now, if someone had come to me nine days ago and said, ‘Congressman Grayson, do you think that the Defense Department is taking records of any telephone call that you make or I make?’ I would say ‘no, I have no reason to believe that. It would shock me if it were true.’ Well it is true and it DOES SHOCK ME. Why should we have our personal telephone records, the records of who we call, when speak to them, how long we’re talking… why should we have that turned over to the Defense Department?

What possible rationale could there be for that?

Well, I’ll tell you what I think their rationale would be: “because somehow that makes us safer.” Well, let me say to the NSA and the Defense Department: there is no threat to America when I speak to my mother.

It goes on, in much greater detail about why this is such a problem. He points out that the order “clearly violates the 4th Amendment,” which is the first time I’ve seen a politician finally admit that. He highlights that there’s no probable cause and no particularity, as required by the 4th Amendment. And, for those who immediately, like rote, spout out Smith v. Maryland and the third party doctrine, Grayson responds to that as well, calling those who make that argument a “farce,” noting the differences in that case, which involved seizing a single record once, not all records all the time.

Towards the end of his speech, he notes that the intelligence agencies have a long history of abusing surveillance:

You know, this is not the first time we’ve had this problem. This is not the first time that the government has entered into surveillance on people without probable cause. Many of us remember that there was FBI surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, including wiretapping and bugging his personal conversations. I thought — perhaps naively — that we’d moved beyond that. And, in some sense, we have moved beyond that. Because now, they’re doing it to everyone.

One could well say that we are reaching the point where Uncle Sam is Big Brother.

…though its proponents depict this is American as apple spy (sic?), this program is an anti-American program. We are not North Koreans. We don’t live in Nazi Germany. We are Americans and we are human beings. And we deserve to have our privacy respected. I have no way to call my mother except to employ the services of Verizon or AT&T or some other phone company… that doesn’t mean that it’s okay with me for the government — and specifically the Department of Defense — to be getting information of every phone call I make to her. It’s not okay with me…. and I know for most of the people listening today, it’s not okay with you either.

As he concludes: “this has gone way too far.”

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Comments on “Rep. Grayson: Let Me Tell The NSA: There Is No Threat To Our Nation When I Call My Mother”

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261 Comments
horse with no name says:

All that and...

All that and yet, we all know that most congress critters are the biggest criminals around. So it’s sort of like Al Capone saying “don’t worry about the guys with the guns, they are just there for image”.

If anything, there should be an open warrant for all critter communications. That might solve a few problems in the world.

It says a lot about Techdirt’s morals when you are siding with these guys.

horse with no name says:

Re: Re: All that and...

I realize that plenty. However, I think it’s pretty sad when the best example to work with is a congress critter, the type that is blamed for blindness, corruption, and rubber stamp attitudes here on Techdirt on a regular basis.

It’s like taken lessons in honest from Kim Dotcom.

TDR says:

Re: Re: Re: All that and...

It’s like taken lessons in honest from Kim Dotcom.

Or from you, nameless one.

Apparently, it has yet to occur to you that some small spark of humanity might yet exist within that tattered cesspool known as Congress. Faint, no doubt, but there. Wyden and Udall are other examples. A pity we have so few of them, though.

horse with no name says:

Re: Re: Re:2 All that and...

Small sparks are all around, but it seems that the average politician is either indicted, arrested, embarrassed out of office, or caught have sex / phone sex / sexting / what have you every few months. Having a congress critter say he isn’t guilty is like Leigh claiming to be talented. You know it’s laughable.

I suspect the guys like Wyden who whine the loudest probably have the biggest closets, and one day the door will burst open and you will be shocked.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 All that and...

I don’t think it will shock anyone, I sure will not be surprised.

Most politicians laugh at the letters they receive if they even read them at all, I saw some of them saying out loud how gullible the public is, they believe only them know better and everybody else is stupid, kind of like you.

They all end up the same, scorned and forgotten.

Do we really need a central government?
Are there no other ways to create thriving societies?

FM HIlton (profile) says:

Outraged too late

About time someone (anyone, really) finally put two dots together when talking about the NSA: mainly that it’s a military intelligence unit run by the Defense Department, and most of its’ programs as well.

Always has been, and will be.

That being the point, why does the military need so much information from domestic sources?

It is specifically forbidden to gather domestic intelligence..and this is exactly what they’ve been doing, using the cover of “security”.

Whoops..gotta check that paranoia nerve, it’s acting up again..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 4th Amendment

“Hopefully, now that someone in CONGRESS has spelled out how it’s against the 4th Amendment of the Constitution, something will be done to permanently prevent this from happening again.”

most of congress (ie the majority) believe and accept it is both legal, and constitutional.

Prevent this from happening again, don’t you mean STILL and will continue, regardless of your tin foil hat extremists views.

It must really piss you off living in a democratic society, where the majority rules, when you are in the minority.

Kal Zekdor (profile) says:

Re: Re: 4th Amendment

It must really piss you off living in a democratic society, where the majority rules, when you are in the minority.

If the majority wants this kind of widespread and warrantless data snooping to be legal, then they can very well go ahead and pass a new amendment to the Constitution making it so. Until then, it is in clear violation of the 4th Amendment, and needs to stop.

horse with no name says:

Re: Re: Re: 4th Amendment

Until then, it is in clear violation of the 4th Amendment, and needs to stop.

It seems that to this point, the courts have disagreed. While they haven’t ruled on the whole ball of wax as one big thing, there are clearly enough judgements that show that this information is something law enforcement can pick up, collect, acquire… whatever you want to call it.

Perhaps if you want to expand the 4th amendment to cover all of your public actions, you might want to push for an amendment to the constitution. Until then, pay attention to the courts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 4th Amendment

Actually the courts haven’t really delt with it at all because every time a case comes up it gets killed before it can be heard by claims of sovereign immunity or national security so no the courts haven’t disagreed. In fact it is possible that even though we don’t have many details to be sure that the case was related to these specific programs one court has already released a determination that they HAVE violated the 4th amendment which would suggest that the courts would agree if the cases were allowed to proceed. Not dealing with the issue is not the same as disagreeing with the position.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 4th Amendment

there are clearly enough judgements that show that this information is something law enforcement can pick up, collect, acquire… whatever you want to call it.

Actually, there is not a clear-cut trend with the courts on this sort of thing. In the non-classified cases, sometimes the courts have ruled it’s OK, and sometimes not, depending on the specific circumstances. They have not given a blanket “this is just fine” kind of ruling ever.

In the classified cases, it’s a single court that makes rulings we can’t see, on the basis of legal thought that we can’t know. There is no reason to take that seriously.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re: 4th Amendment

Last I checked, the 4th Amendment required warrants w/ specifics & reasonable suspicion that the one the Warrant covers was involved in a specific crime.

Asking for data on everyone who uses Version , AT&T or any other phone company does not meet that high bar. Not getting a warrant for each individual explaining why you need their data is, therefore, against the Constitution, & therefore against the Law.

I have no problem if the FBI gets a warrant to investigate a suspect. I do have a problem w/ the NSA trying to get metadata on the whole country w/o the legally required SPECIFIC warrants.

Also being overlooked is the 9th Amendment, guaranteeing us unspecified rights not covered by the other Amendments. Our right to privacy would be under that. The 9th Amendment was put there to protect rights the Founders couldn’t foresee or didn’t think of when they were drafting the Constitution.

The NSA is also violating the 5th Amendment by bypassing Due Process.

The NSA has overstepped it’s authority, which is a violation of the 10th Amendment.

So, really, w/o getting into them doing the FBI’s job (Domestic law enforcement), which they’re banned from doing (being they’re restricted to Foreign Intelligence), they’ve violated 1/2 the Amendments to the Constitution. & you’re OK w/ that?

horse with no name says:

Re: Re: Re: 4th Amendment

Asking for data on everyone who uses Version , AT&T or any other phone company does not meet that high bar. Not getting a warrant for each individual explaining why you need their data is, therefore, against the Constitution, & therefore against the Law.

You ALMOST got it, but you missed the point. The 4th amendment applies in specific circumstances. However, it does not preclude the large scale collection of third party material, where no privacy exists. Essentially, it’s the “car on a public road” thing. The police can (and in some places do) note the license plate of every car as it goes past a certain point every day. There is no 4th amendment requirement to do this.

Further, all of those pay for use roads, such as EZ pass, those are all tracking your movement. Again, all of that information is out there.

The problem with your argument is that at each step, you get more and more wrong. You are piling amendments on amendments and entirely missing the point.

5th? Where is the due process, if they are not specifically investigating anyone in particular? Should they read the rights to the entire country? Who’s due process is blocked?

10th? Snore.

9th? the sound of desperations.

Keith, I would say that since you missed the main point (third party data) the rest of your rant is just that, a rant.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:2 4th Amendment

Seems to me that the government is using private corporations such as phone companies and whatnot to amass data on citizens, then gobble it up with an unconstitutional FISA court order. That qualifies as a direct violation of the 4th Amendment because your conversations aren’t supposed to be public; you have an expectation of privacy.

The Constitution does not grant you rights as a citizen; rather, it imposes limitations upon the government so that your rights may not be encroached upon.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 4th Amendment

Wait, seriously?

I have to be reading your comment wrong, as you seem to be saying ‘Gather data on one person, warrant required. Do the same thing on everyone, no warrant needed’, which is so insanely wrong I can’t quite put it into words.

That would be like saying that while police would need a warrant to search one person’s house for evidence of a crime they are investigating, it would be perfectly fine for them to do the same thing, without a warrant, to an entire neighborhood, as they aren’t targeting anyone in particular.

Also, your police analogy is more than a little off, as the NSA’s actions is less like writing down every license plate number, and more like searching every car that going past, ‘just in case’. A license plate number is in plain view, anyone can see it without any extra effort, so it is indeed public, but the details of a call, including who was called, how long it lasted, and so on, is anything but public, since it requires a good deal of effort to ‘see’ that extra data.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Change the subject.?

Has anyone else noticed the current, sudden, move to give some aid to the Syrian rebels? Could it be that the administration is trying to change the subject of the ‘merican mindset’?

There are a lot of reasons to either support or not these rebels. On the pro side is in unequal balance of heavy artillery, aircraft of war, and chemical weapons. On the minus side are questions of who are other possible supporters of either side? Questions that are currently unanswerable, and any wrong decision here may lead to some very serious intended or not consequences.

So, other than changing the national conversation, what is in the timing of this?

How does one go about charging all three branches of the government with treason for failure to uphold their oaths of office? I will look tomorrow, but I am fairly certain that every one of them talks about upholding the constitution, not ‘protecting’ the population.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Notes for this amendment: Proposed 9/25/1789

What is so hard about that? All the tap dancing around this is incredible. What is so hard about interpreting those words? The words have been around since 1789 and we are still trying to figure out what they mean?

I will wager several Internets that one could get a great interpretation of these words from a (well given the school system as envisioned by George Bush, maybe not any) sixth grade classroom.

Why are all these ‘well’ educated people (looking at our nine black robed morons in a hurry here as well) still discussing what it means?

What really is their agenda? American data to the DEFENSE DEPARTMENT??????

I expect a whole lot more tap dancing. I really do wish they could actually dance. This is painful.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Change the subject.?

“Has anyone else noticed the current, sudden, move to give some aid to the Syrian rebels? Could it be that the administration is trying to change the subject of the ‘merican mindset’?”

or the administration is just getting on with the job, and leaving the crazed cult fringe dwellers to continue crying and whining about something the MAJORITY of Americans agree with and accept.

It’s only Masnick and his fellow cultists working hard for click bait who cannot and will not ever change their narrow, extremist mindset.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Change the subject.?

Last I checked, the MAJORITY of Americans weren’t asked, so how do you presume to speak for everyone? The fact is, this administration is acting unilaterally, without the consent of the people. In fact, as can be observed by looking at various message forums with regards to Syria, the majority of posters are AGAINST it. Americans don’t want another war; people are sick of this crap. Who’s freedom would we be fighting for? Certainly not ours which is under attack by our very own government.

Someone should tell McCain and the other war-happy politicians that if they want to go help Syria’s Al Qaeda rebel forces so badly to go put on their combat gear and we’ll dump them on the front lines. What the hell is our government doing supporting a friggin’ Al Qaeda insurgency anyway? Whatever goes on in Syria is NONE OF OUR BUSINESS.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Change the subject.?

wow, you start out sort of ok, then you got to ranting and got a bit out of control there. Kind of lost the plot.

I can just imagine you on the street corner yelling..

“SOMEONE SHOULD TELL MCCAIN AND THE OTHER WAR-HAPPY POLITICANS …. and so on.. “what the HELL is our Government doing supporting a friggin Al Qaeda insurgency, “

Got right into the feel of it there, LOL

love a good crazed rant…

Anonymous Coward says:

there is no threat to America when I speak to my mother.

great to know, but SO WHAT, and who’s word do we have for that ?

So according to this idiot, if you simply tell the security services you are no threat that is somehow supposed to prove you are no threat ?

I am also quite sure the NSA would also be able to work that out, even without ANY human intervention.

It’s the ‘I am not a criminal because I say so defence”. LOL

All terrorist group be informed, if you put your headquarters in your mothers name, you are exempt from investigations. Genius .

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re:

I would rather live in a world/country where I could get killed by a terrorist attack than one where the government watches my every move.

You miss the point of his statement completely.

There are BILLIONS of calls, every day by millions of Americans, BILLIONS of texts every day, etc by Americans. In WHAT way does it make sense to monitor ALL of that?!

So according to this idiot, if you simply tell the security services you are no threat that is somehow supposed to prove you are no threat?

Ever hear of the phrase “innocent until proven guilty”? You must not have. Allow me to explain then. You could be accused of a crime or someone could think you’re a threat, but until they prove it or you do something to prove it, they can’t stop you from doing what you’re doing so long as you’re not endangering lives or putting others at risk.

See, some of us, apparently not you, were brought up under the idea of Innocent Until Proven Guilty when it comes to law enforcement in America.

What the NSA is doing is going “everyone’s guilty unless they can prove their innocence”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

So according to this idiot, if you simply tell the security services you are no threat that is somehow supposed to prove you are no threat?

Ever hear of the phrase “innocent until proven guilty”?

yes, but what does that have to do with anything, being monitored is not a conviction of guilt..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Being monitored without cause is an invasion of privacy and a risk to every individual that is governed by so many laws that not even scholar hope to know them all by heart, so what chance have the common individual of knowing and following every bit of law out there?

Laws them become selective, you just chose to enforce the law on certain groups and leave others alone, that is discriminatory and the basis for an undemocratic regime.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“There are BILLIONS of calls, every day by millions of Americans, BILLIONS of texts every day, etc by Americans. In WHAT way does it make sense to monitor ALL of that?!”

then why are there not billions of people being arrested and charged for something ???

clearly if you are innocent, it makes no difference if you are monitored or not.

Being monitored, is not charging or conviction you of anything..

me thinks you don’t understand much.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

clearly if you are innocent, it makes no difference if you are monitored or not.

Yes it does. You seem to have no idea what the government can do with that data. Even if you’re innocent, the government can go “well, this data indicates that he was here at the time, so, he’s guilty.”

Being monitored, is not charging or conviction you of anything..

If that’s the case, why are they monitoring me like this? Shouldn’t I have a right to privacy?

me thinks you don’t understand much.

I understand WAYYY too much. In EVERY society that has EVER come before our current ones, if people are monitored heavily, it doesn’t take long for everything to be trampled on and crushed by an oppressive government. For example, look at China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, or Eastern Europe when the USSR had control of it.

Do you REALLY want the U.S. to go down that route?

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“then why are there not billions of people being arrested and charged for something ???”

There aren’t billions of Americans. More like close to 400 million. Well ok, some of them are not technically Americans but you get the drift.

“clearly if you are innocent, it makes no difference if you are monitored or not.”

Actually, yeah, it does. It makes a huge difference. Since when did our private lives become the government’s business? We have an expectation to privacy; that includes our communications. If it’s not such a big deal then would the government mind if we snooped in on all of their conversations?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Billions will not be arrested only key figures to keep others in line, after all the government can’t and won’t be able to function if they have to feed, treat and watch everyone would they now?

That is why programs for early release are so popular nowadays.

You seem to mistake control with justice, the reason to keep an eye on everybody is to target the dissent and nip it at its bud before in can grow into something meaningful at least that is the theory, the problem is that to do that you have to annoy a large number of people and eventually organic movements start to form, just like pirates spring everywhere.

Power get some drunk.

Are you sure you never broke a law? anywhere?
We should look at your connections, I am sure there is something bad in there somewhere that somebody can spin it to make look naughty enough to send in the SWAT teams.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You know what? If I wasn’t monitored and spied on by the government, I could enjoy myself more.

Fact is, you can’t stop every scary thing from happening out there, you don’t need to take away freedoms and liberties to give people a false sense of security, because you can’t guarantee it!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Statistics that show you are not going to be killed by a terrorist. Have a read, and then consider if the price that goes with total surveillance is worth the almost zero impact on your risk of death by terrorist action.
The terrorists have successfully terrorized the US, to the extent that the government are using the almost non-existent threat to take an increasingly totalitarian control of the population.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Statistics that show you are not going to be killed by a terrorist. “

Statistics wont make you any less dead if you are !!

No statistically you are far more likely to be killed by an American exercising his constitutional right to own a gun.

In fact if you own a gun, statistically most likely going to kill yourself with it.

But terrorists goals are to instil terror, people feel fear of terrorists actions, terrorists kill to create terror.

You don’t have to be killed by a terrorist to experience a terror from their actions.

You said it yourself, so you know I am right!

The terrorists have successfully terrorized the US

Again, I love it when you debunk your own argument in the same post, but it does make it far to easy.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You don’t have to be killed by a terrorist to experience a terror from their actions.

The real terrorists, as far as many people are concerned, is the U.S. government.

Bin Laden said it best…

“I no longer have to do anything. The U.S. will destroy itself with its own policies from here on out.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I was not the one saying I would rather die by terrorist than have a phone record !!

I don’t live my life based on the statistical probability of the method of my death!!! Do you?

I also understand that “the authorities” seek to minimise possible deaths whenever possible, they for example legislate for seat belts, and air-bags, and create laws regarding how fast you can travel, and requirements that you are sober and so on.

Lots of people drown so they create life guards to reduce the threat, some people die from illness, so they create hospitals and medical science.

Some people die from acts of terror, to they take action to reduce that threat (some would say overreaction as opposed to action) but measures are taken in all aspects of life to sustain life and the quality of life.

You don’t mind being under surveillance when you are the beach by life guards, because you know they are there to watch over you and protect you.

It’s the same mindset with the NSA, “ya gotta do what ya gotta do”.

What if only 10 people world wide died from a particular illness, would you say they are statistically insignificant and ignore the condition and not find ways to cure it ??

do you mind being under surveillance if you are drowning and being carried out to sea in a rip ? But PRIVACY !!!!

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I don’t live my life based on the statistical probability of the method of my death!!! Do you?

But you do. You made the calculation that the risk of dying at the hands of terrorists was worth sacrificing some freedom for.

You don’t mind being under surveillance when you are the beach by life guards, because you know they are there to watch over you and protect you.

Bad analogy. If I did mind being surveilled by life guards (and I know people who do), I can always go to a different beach that has no life guards. I can’t avoid NSA surveillance, though, without dropping out of society entirely.

What if only 10 people world wide died from a particular illness, would you say they are statistically insignificant and ignore the condition and not find ways to cure it ??

No, but I would absolutely object to being required to pay a heavy price for them to find a cure.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“But you do. You made the calculation that the risk of dying at the hands of terrorists was worth sacrificing some freedom for.”

No, I worked out the reduction of risk from terrorist damage is worth having NSA perform the same function your police routinely do every day thousands of times a day.

That is watch the population in specific situations to ensure less crime going undetected.

Just like the cop on the side of the road watching for speeding drivers, or take plate numbers, and checking rego and insurance.

Just like banks reporting large and unusual transactions to the police.

and just like phone companies reporting unusual ‘activity’ in regards to phone usage, and internet usage.

and just like I accept that when I do a Google search I know my search details are not only recorded but that information then is provided to other companies.

And just as I know the police watching cars for illegal activity is perfectly acceptable in a society.

I and it appears most of the American population fully understand why this is something worth doing, and worth doing properly.

It’s legal, ethical, typical, not unique, constitutional and even desirable.

We all also know Masnick is only harping on about this because it’s ‘money in the bank’ for him.

And, it beats the shit out of having to do a real job.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

No, I worked out the reduction of risk from terrorist damage is worth having NSA perform the same function your police routinely do every day thousands of times a day.

So, you admit that you’re doing a calculation. That’s all I was saying. BTW, the local police to not do this same thing every day, thousands of times a day.

Just like the cop on the side of the road watching for speeding drivers, or take plate numbers, and checking rego and insurance.

We disagree. The two things are not even close to being comparable.

Just like banks reporting large and unusual transactions to the police.

No, more like if the banks were reporting every transaction. Which they don’t do.

just like phone companies reporting unusual ‘activity’ in regards to phone usage, and internet usage.

The NSA revelation indicates that the phone companies are reporting every usage, not just unusual sorts. that’s the problem.

just like I accept that when I do a Google search I know my search details are not only recorded but that information then is provided to other companies.

Not at all like that, since you can completely avoid that surveillance.

it appears most of the American population fully understand why this is something worth doing, and worth doing properly.

It’s legal, ethical, typical, not unique, constitutional and even desirable.

It may be legal, but I don’t agree that it’s ethical,typical, constitutional, and especially that it’s desirable.

It’s the opposite of desirable. It’s extremely dangerous.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

A life guard will have forgotten most of the people that were on the beach by the time they get home. hey may not even be sure who they know by sight was on the beach.
NSA on the other hand will keep a record of what numbers your phone called, where the phones were, and for how long they were connected. Put some ‘names’ behind those numbers and they can identify probable medical problems, romantic affairs etc. They can also identify the organizers and facilitators in political and protest movements.
Unless you build a relationship with them, the lifeguards no very little about you. On the other hand NSA may build up quite a picture of what you are doing.
Unless you specifically tell them, the life guard will have no idea whether or not you have a medical issue, or are carrying on an affair. he NSA on the other hand can work out these things if they take an interest in you for any reason, which may include identifying you as a protest movement organizer from your phone records.
Therefore the life guard is no threat to your privacy, but the NSA records are.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Quote:

What if only 10 people world wide died from a particular illness, would you say they are statistically insignificant and ignore the condition and not find ways to cure it ??

Funny, that is exactly what happens in real life, you just let people die, you don’t divert resources from cancer research to save 10 people and if you can after than you go try to save the others.

You don’t carpet bomb an entire country to kill some terrorists, you don’t close down an entire city to get one criminal.

And you don’t fucking throw out the constitution because it doesn’t align with your mistaken idea of security.

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“I don’t live my life based on the statistical probability of the method of my death!!! Do you?”

I do and so do you. You make decisions like that every day without even thinking about it. If you step in front of an approaching truck you have a high statistical probability of dying, so you decide to wait ’til it’s passed and there’s a safe gap in traffic. You probably make multiple such decisions daily.

The chances of dying in a terrorist attack play practically no part in my daily decision making, because there is practically zero chance of it happening.

“You don’t mind being under surveillance when you are the beach by life guards, because you know they are there to watch over you and protect you.”

This ridiculous comparison proves you’re either not smart enough or not honest enough to play a meaningful part in this discussion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“What the NSA is doing is going “everyone’s guilty unless they can prove their innocence”.”

and yet the NSA are tracking millions of calls every day, then there should be millions of convictions, or at least millions of charges.

If you call is tracked (not even listened to), you are not guilty of anything, YOU ARE INNOCENT, not even if you make a million calls a day to Yemen are you even found guilty, you are innocent, UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY !!!!

Go figure, you shoot down your own argument, well done..

Even with probably cause, if they don’t find anything proving your guilt you are not charged and not found guilty.

Your argument, is prove that you are innocent until proven guilty, with millions of examples that you alluded to.

A police officer see’s you walk out of a crack house, they have probable cause that you purchased drugs, they detain you and search you, they find NO DRUGS, they have no evidence that you purchased drugs, they only though you might of because where you just were.

You are not arrested or charged because they had probably cause, but if they had probably cause (you came out of the crack house) and when they detained and searched you they found drugs.

They would take that case to a court who would look at the fact you had drugs on you and convict you, the court cannot convict you on the basis of probable cause along.

NSA has probably cause that if you call specific people or places that you may be engaging in terrorism. But they cannot charge you or convict you based on that suspicion, they can based on that probable cause conduct further investigation to determine if you were ringing up your mom or your terrorist cell leader.

That still would not be enough to charge you, or convict you, they would have to ‘prove beyond reasonable doubt’ that you were engaging in terrorist activities.

But it appears you dullards cannot work that out, speaks far more about your paranoia and your fundamental lack of education than your activities, or any surveillance you might be under.

IF you drive a car, a police office might observe you, (Government surveillance !!) if he has probable cause to believe you are breaking a law, he may pull you over and ask you for your license, insurance and registration!!

But if you are driving your car, and a law abiding, you can still be watched, and pulled over, but once the police determines you are acting legally, he lets you go.

So in your world (the dream one), you think if a cop looks at you, you are therefore guilty of something ?

Oh wait, most of your country understands this simple fact, and therefore the clear majority agree that probably cause is not a finding of guilt, and surveillance is not a finding of guilt, most Americans (except masnick and his cult followers) understand reality, and have at least a basic understanding of the laws.

Not to mention some common sense, which also seems deeply lacking on TD.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Tsk… You honestly have ZERO idea about anything, do you?

“So in your world (the dream one), you think if a cop looks at you, you are therefore guilty of something?”

Newsflash! Cops aren’t looking for guilty or innocent people, that’s for the courts to decide, they’re looking for suspects to arrest when looking for clues to a crime.

So, yes, if a cop looks at you for more than a second, you can probably think that they think you’re guilty of something.

You might want to understand why common advice when dealing with cops is “don’t say anything and ask for a lawyer, no matter what”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Newsflash! Cops aren’t looking for guilty or innocent people, that’s for the courts to decide, they’re looking for suspects to arrest when looking for clues to a crime.”

that’s funny, in so many ways, cops ARE looking for guilty people, people they SUSPECT of some breach of the law, they do that by first looking at EVERYONE.

You are right a police man cannot determine guild, he can only suspect and allege a crime, that is why he ready a Miranda rights to the suspect upon arrest on SUSPICIAN of a crime.

Of course, for things like speeding, the police is able to make a judgment and issue a punishment on the spot, so often he can find someone guilty or not.

But he watches everyone, and picks out the ones he suspects.

Don’t know a lot about your legal system do you, (and you live there !!!)

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Shakes head You honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. If you did, you’d understand, but it’s quite obvious that you’re trying to dumb down and simplify something that shouldn’t be.

Maybe you should find out the average number of false arrests that police go through during the course of an investigation for people they think are guilty of a crime sometime.

Maybe you should look up the number of people who get tossed in prison because they were pressured into talking by the police even though they committed no crime.

Or maybe, just maybe…

You should stop running your mouth off when you understand nothing. You’re like the spectator at a car accident who thinks the cars are going to explode because they crashed into each other.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Of course, for things like speeding, the police is able to make a judgment and issue a punishment on the spot

The police can not do this, ever. The police can issue a traffic ticket — which is nothing but an accusation. If you think it’s mistaken, you can go to court and have a judge rule. The cops do not issue a judgment or punishment “on the spot” or ever (unless the cops are breaking the law).

Daniel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It actually makes perfect sense… knowledge is power, so if you know everything, you’re all powerful. That said, it doesn’t make it right and/or legal. Humans tend to be power hungry, and once they get that power it’s much easier to abuse it. For those that say they don’t care if the government hears their calls… well, what if what you said was used to blackmail you? Actually, you don’t even have to say it… they could literally use your call records and piece together you saying something you never said.

There’s a point where it’s too far. If I wasn’t a US citizen I’d probably be even more pissed. Companies & ISPs should be required to respect their privacy policy regardless of what the government wants from them. Real criminals know how to use encryption anyway, so it’s irrelevant.

Anonymous Coward says:

We are not North Koreans. We don’t live in Nazi Germany. We are Americans and we are human beings.

so North Koreans and Germans are NOT HUMAN ??

Where is Nazi Germany again ??

I tried to look up Nazi Germany on Google maps and I could not find it !!!

quite a disgusting and racist comment. So accordingly Masnick accepts him as a hero.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re:

Again, you miss the point of his comment.

How old are you anyway? Or maybe you’re IQ is too low to understand the context of his comment?

Then again… When you say stuff like this…

I tried to look up Nazi Germany on Google maps and I could not find it!!!

It pretty much tells me that you’re a complete buffoon.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

exactly my POINT!!!!

What point?

All you’ve proven is that you don’t understand what he was talking about.

Anyone with more than 3 brain cells knows about Nazi Germany or the USSR. Prussia’s quite a bit less known.

I guess you simply DONT GET IT, it’s ok, it will come to you in time.. probably.

You don’t get it, you never have, you never will. You’re obviously lacking in brain power. Here’s a piece of advice for you. Stop drinking alcohol. You can’t afford to lose anymore brain cells.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I thought you might of been able to work it out, but I guess not.. oh well.

I assume to do know none of those places exist, sure they used to exist, so for example, Nazi Germany is a WHEN, not a where. as is Prussia and USSR.

they do not exist now.

So I was alluding to the fact that Nazi German does not exist, by saying “WHERE IS IT” , “I tried to find it on Google maps”.

I forgot, Americans don’t get sarcasm.

Anonymous Coward says:

That’s that smug fuck who said during the debate on the ACA that the opposition wanted you to die.
Loses his seat in the eighth Florida congressional district so me moves down the street and wins in the 9Th.
It just shows you he’s a guy that just wants the perks of congress more than serving the people who put him in congress.

Anonymous Coward says:

although it makes a change to have a Congressman come out and say all the things that the vast majority are thinking and saying,i am waiting to see what the bull shit excuses are against what he said and how far he is prepared to go ‘putting money where mouth is’. i am also waiting to see what, if any, guarantees are given that this has stopped completely, by ALL agencies everywhere and nothing remotely like it will happen again, ever! like has been said before , the USA is not ‘at war’ with nations like China etc. they may do things that are not liked, but treating them or anyone else ‘as the enemy’ when it is far from the truth, is uncalled for. is it any wonder that the USA is so untrusted and disliked? it complains very vocally on the behaviour and conduct of other nations when it turns out it as bad and is doing the same things. everyone needs to feel safe from outside threat, but when people fear their own government more than outside threats, there is something very seriously wrong!! it’s not just the USA either. the UK is in just the same situation, although i wouldn’t be a bit surprised to learn that this is because of the fear mongering from the USA. let’s face it, the UK hasn’t got the balls now to stand up to or against anyone! during the last 5 years it has turned into a USA puppet, doing whatever it is told. it has even taken over as the Internet Censor for the entertainment industries, becoming their own personal police force both on and off the Internet. the ‘Great Firewall of China’ has been extended to the UK and all to protect movies and music, apparently. with the surveillance wanted, i suspect it’s the government that will be using it more than the industries!!

FM HIlton (profile) says:

“Being monitored, is not charging or conviction you of anything..”

Let’s take this a step further:

What if you’re guilty of something, and they need to know what it is you can be charged with?

Monitoring your actions is the first step to being investigated for a crime that you might have committed, whether or not you are aware of it.

You know, like a secret law that you didn’t know you were breaking.

Lots of those on the books.

Just because you think you’re innocent doesn’t mean you actually are and they’ll have all the proof in the world to back up any charges they care to bring against you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:


What if you’re guilty of something”

you mean what if you committed a crime ?, then I would expect you would be charged for the crime you committed.

what is the point of your argument ?

“and they need to know what it is you can be charged with? “

they could probably work out what to charge you with based on the crime you committed. It’s generally how it works..

Anonymous Coward says:

so it’s not ok to show where you make phone calls too, but it is ok to have your borrowing, and loan information available for anyone who asks for it !!!!

No, that makes great sense.. !!!!!

go back to your facebook page and update it showing the last time you took a dump… as well.

but make sure you get enraged if you have to show what phone numbers you called, and how long you talked for !!!!.

but make sure you credit reporting database is correct, and let everyone know if you are a bad debtor.

AG Wright (profile) says:

Congress and this whole NSA thing

Congress can stop this cold. All they have to do is remove funding from this part of the NSA. No money, no contractors, no contractors, nobody to analyze data and of course no new equipment.
I simply do not understand the whole if you aren’t guilty then you have nothing to fear attitude. With more federal regulations than even the government knows about, if anyone wants to arrest and convict you, you will be arrested and convicted.
It WILL happen that some ex husband, ex boyfriend, obsessed fan, even obsessed girlfriend or something will abuse this data to hurt or even kill some innocent, well mostly innocent, since nobody is innocent according to this way of thinking, person.
It is there because the security nerds at the NSA have a wet dream every time they think about “having” all that data.
It’s unconstitutional. It may take a tragedy and a change in the constitution to do it but it is against the character of our country to gather information like this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Congress and this whole NSA thing

Removing funding for this would likely only be a speed bump. They would likely just divert funds from other projects, seek additional funding from outside sources through back room deals with large private sector firms, and/or introduce requests for funding for “new” projects disguised to hide the fact that it was really for more of the same. This has to be dealt with as the violation of the Constitution that it is and the people who are responsible have to be held accountable.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Congress and this whole NSA thing

They can ignore the removal of funding. They’d just fund it from the black budget, or through creative financing (remember the Iran-contra scandal?)

If, however, they have no legal authorization, then the whole thing can be limited through court and/or congressional action. Much like the Church Hearings the last time that this sort of thing got out of control.

You’re right, though, that in the long run they will find a way regardless, and we’ll have to keep having this fight over and over, forever.

This is a big part of the saying “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance”.

hugh Mac Neill (user link) says:

Idle/indolent threats to the nation's "fictional intel"

Mothers are directly responsible for 2,500 court marshall at Air Force at Dover in Gulf War time frame: due to telling sons/daughter: never take the MI Anthrax vaccine, it kills people in military. Eng. passed a 2008 law to forbid it given to soldiers. It was a Carlyl Group project: Gen. Smedley Butler Marines, reported on such things in his book: “War Is a Racket”

FM HIlton (profile) says:

Not to get the point

You see, circular logical fallacies like yours is why the government is doing this:

“they could probably work out what to charge you with based on the crime you committed. It’s generally how it works..”

Do you understand the basis for being charged with a crime? It’s called “probable cause”, and it is the very first step in a criminal case.

What if: you break a ‘supersecret’ law that you had no idea that you had broken? What if the government makes one up just to suit themselves? What if you don’t even realize you’re breaking it at the time they ‘catch’ you doing it?

That’s what happens when you have some secret law in place to allow them to get all of the information available without your knowledge.

For starters, let’s try the Bill of Rights for an answer to one question:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Notice the words “Due process of law”. Seems to be a step missing in this logic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Not to get the point

“probable cause” is not the basis for a charge, it is the basis for certain types of searches, but is not a requirement for other kinds of searches.

For you to be charged, you need far more than probably cause, you need evidence (that might be the result of a search based on probably cause).

Then once evidence is acquired, it is then up to a court to consider that evidence and convict you.

You are NEVER charged on “probable cause”. Please oh please learn about your legal system.

Anonymous Coward says:

Besides, terrorists speak foreign languages. Remember, very few people, if anyone, working for the government can speak two languages. So they would all need translators. Lets just fire the NSA members that only speak one language and keep the ones that speak more than one (fluently) since those that speak only one language are basically a waste of taxpayer money and aren’t doing anything to improve our security.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130311/11092522281/artists-sampled-without-permission-harlem-shake-song-demand-to-get-paid.shtml#c326

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Besides, terrorists speak foreign languages.”

what language did Timothy McVey speak ??

what language do you think the person who lived in the US and took flying lessons in the US speak, you know, the guy who flew a jet into the Trade Centre ?

Apart from that, and most many other examples, they speak English (or American, :))

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The 911 terrorists were foreigners … citizens of Saudi Arabia.

If you want to stop foreign terrorists it’s helpful to speak foreign languages. Oh, sure, those terrorists may speak English in addition to their foreign language but that’s not to say they would be plotting their terrorist attacks in English.

A: It’s easier for them to use their native language

B: It’s more difficult to get spied on when using their native language.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The Boston bombers were foreigners, as mentioned.

The wall street bombings were never solved, though believed to be Italian in origin.

No, not all terrorists are foreigners, and that’s not what I’m claiming. But many are and they speak foreign languages and so being able to speak those languages should be a requirement to work for intelligence. Yet no one working for our lazy worthless overpaid government can.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The Black Swamp area of the Midwest. Do you even know where that is on a map? You keep saying they spoke English. No one is denying that, so your continued insistence is a moot point. What is being stated is that anyone that is working in foreign intelligence should be required to speak a second language that is not English. I’m sorry this concept seems to be beyond you, but you are, quite simply, beating a horse that isn’t just dead, but had turned to dust and bones.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yes, they came to the United States from a foreign country and got their statement of naturalization and became naturalized citizens. So now, all of a sudden, they no longer speak their native language anymore and can no longer plot terrorist attacks in their native language when the feds spy on them.

Anonymous Coward says:

It goes on, in much greater detail about why this is such a problem. He points out that the order “clearly violates the 4th Amendment,” which is the first time I’ve seen a politician finally admit that. He highlights that there’s no probable cause and no particularity, as required by the 4th Amendment. And, for those who immediately, like rote, spout out Smith v. Maryland and the third party doctrine, Grayson responds to that as well, calling those who make that argument a “farce,” noting the differences in that case, which involved seizing a single record once, not all records all the time.

As I predicted, which was so easy to do given how predictable Mike is, Mike DOES think it violates the Fourth Amendment, and he was just waiting for someone to say something plausible to that effect so that he could latch on to it and run with it. Mikey, let’s hash out your newly-found theory that Smith v. Maryland doesn’t apply. I know you’re such an evidence-based guy that you’ve clearly done your research and obviously you must be fully prepared to defend your argument that this is unconstitutional. Right? I’ll be here if you man up and want to discuss the merits of your claim. (We all know you don’t, because you’re a total fake that works backwards and runs from opposition. You’re so predictable that I only need to know one or two things about a story before I know what your take will be. Since you start with your conclusions, it’s quite simple to predict what you’ll say. To you, the facts are law are inconsequential.)

Anonymous Coward says:

And, for those who immediately, like rote, spout out Smith v. Maryland and the third party doctrine, Grayson responds to that as well, calling those who make that argument a “farce,” noting the differences in that case, which involved seizing a single record once, not all records all the time.

Mike, I’m just oh so curious about this new theory you’ve latched onto. I’ve just reread Smith v. Maryland, and I don’t see any language that supports your newly-found-and-latched-onto view that the Court’s reasoning there is limited to a “single record once.” Where are you getting that limitation from Smith?

The Court said: “Telephone users, in sum, typically know that they must convey numerical information to the phone company; that the phone company has facilities for recording this information; and that the phone company does in fact record this information for a variety of legitimate business purposes.” Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 743 (1979). How is that limited to a “single record once”?

I know you hate faith-based assertions and are yourself an evidence-based man, so what evidence do you have to distinguish Smith? What language in Smith shows that its holding is limited in the way you say it is? Do you have language from subsequent cases that provide this limitation? I can’t wait to see your evidence.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Good luck

your asking Masnick to use logic and reasoning, and to actually THINK for himself, we all know Masnick is a “cut and paste” guy. If someone else did not say it, it is not worth saying.

Masnick does not have an opinion, that at least is clear, Masnick will only leach off others who have an opion, you cant expect him to argue the case for someone else’s opinion, and he does not appear to have an opinion of his own.

So good luck with that, Masnick has to first form an opinion before he can argue one.. Or you can wait until he google’s something he thinks will get some click bait, or ask him fried Tim to form an opinion for him.

It must be a sad life being so outraged all the time, and never understanding why !!!

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Good luck

Look at how the trolls have hijacked these threads with their nonsensical ramblings. One thing is clear: SOMEBODY is paying them to distract from the topic. I saw the same exact thing going on other forums/threads, leading me to believe that either they’re being paid to do this.

Think: who would waste their time defending the erosion of our civil liberties beside those who seek to gain from our loss?

Anonymous Coward says:

“Being monitored without cause is an invasion of privacy”

I guess, then this is ok because there IS a cause, and how do you know if there is or is not a ’cause’ unless you look and see ?

A police officer monitors traffic with a cause, his cause if to catch people exceeding the speed limit, that does not mean everyone he monitors is exceeding the speed, but if he does not monitor at all, the people who are speeding will continue to speed, and possibly the people not speeding with decide they will speed.

Monitoring you is not finding you guilty, in fact monitoring you if you are innocent confirms that fact.

As an added bonus, knowing your speed is monitored, will stop a lot of people from not speeding, when they would possibly speed if they were not monitored.

I know you find that hard to comprehend, but given enough time, you might be able to work it out.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re:

“I guess, then this is ok because there IS a cause, and how do you know if there is or is not a ’cause’ unless you look and see?”

So, you wouldn’t mind the police just coming into your house/apartment/hotel room, ransaking it while looking for drugs/guns/etc and then taking your computer, cell phone or video game system away when they’re done because they don’t know if there is a ’cause’ to look at you unless they look and see then?

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You didn’t answer the question.

Which tells me that you wouldn’t be okay with that.

BTW, did you miss the article where the police held two people, illegally, without warrants, for hours, in their homes, to get their cell phones because they recorded the police beating a man to death?

Or the countless other articles about the police arresting people for minor things? How about the articles about how the boarder patrol confiscates people’s laptops and cell phones for no reason other than they can?

shrapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re:

What I’m finding difficult to comprehend is how you find it difficult to comprehend the plain text of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.

Not only are your opinions divisive and antagonistic but, based on the doctrines of this country, you seem to be a champion of a power structure that would find its roots in East Germany.

You’re an authoritarian schmuck and you’re rendering an argument based on fallacies, inaccuracies and delusions that your argument could even remotely touch upon the reality of the collections of the near-totality of this country’s communications, transactions, whereabouts, dealings and politics.

In other words your pedantic drivel could only be sourced from a complete fucking moron.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

What I’m finding difficult to comprehend is how you find it difficult to comprehend the plain text of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.

The Supreme Court in Smith v. Maryland said that once you give information to a third party, in that case, in that case, the phone numbers you’re dialing to your phone company, then you have no legitimate expectation of privacy in that information and IT’S NOT EVEN A SEARCH for the cops to obtain it. Thus, the Fourth Amendment isn’t even implicated because IT”S NOT A SEARCH, and the Amendment only applies to searches, as you can “comprehend” from the “plain text” of it.

ou’re an authoritarian schmuck and you’re rendering an argument based on fallacies, inaccuracies and delusions that your argument could even remotely touch upon the reality of the collections of the near-totality of this country’s communications, transactions, whereabouts, dealings and politics.

No, I’m describing the actual law. I’m not trying to pass off my dream of what the law should be as being the actual law, as Pirate Mikey likes to do. I’m dealing with the reality of the actual law. I don’t even disagree that it might be prudent to reconsider the third-party doctrine, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is currently the actual law. I know such nuanced thinking is lost on your braindead Mike fans.

shrapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think that it’s this forced latching onto the simplest aspect of these programs, as frighteningly common as this argument seems to be, that I find both disingenuous and appalling. You’re attempting to justify mass surveillance. How can you possibly accept that? Because you feel safe? Or because you have a vested interest in that particular machine?

100% of phone records for the entire population including public and private business, non-profit and, basically, every phone.

If you’re really OK with that then good on you, stand up for it, but don’t offer it up as lawful because, quite frankly, it hasn’t been tested and, quite assuredly, we don’t know the half of it. I will, of course, reserve the right to be of the opinion that you’re a fucking idiot for lending even the slightest credence to the argument that it is acceptable while, of course, recognizing it, as thinly stretched as it is, as a valid argument much less a legal one.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

sh/rapnel, that’s it always going to pieces !!!

love your way with words

100% of the ENTIRE population INCLUDING, basically EVERY PHONE.

how many ??????

“but don’t offer it up as lawful because, quite frankly, it hasn’t been tested “

oh but it has been tested, frankly..

do you notice how you say the same thing over and over again ??? it’s called ranting !!!

“for lending even the slightest credence to the argument that it is acceptable while, of course, recognizing it, as thinly stretched as it is, as a valid argument much less a legal one.”

I’m glad you said that was your opinion, correct or incorrect (incorrect in this case) it’s something you are at least entitled too.

I suppose you can say it’s never been tested in Court if you ignore when it has been tested. Ignorance is an excuse for opinion.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A police officer monitors traffic with a cause, his cause if to catch people exceeding the speed limit,

That’s not what “with cause” means. A police officer watches traffic without cause. However, there is no problem with him sitting in a public place watching things, any more than there would be a problem if you or I do it.

If, however, he’s recording all the license plate numbers that go by and entering them into a massive database that gets combined with other databases, then there’s a pretty huge problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Laws them become selective, you just chose to enforce the law on certain groups and leave others alone, that is discriminatory and the basis for an undemocratic regime.”

so watching a group of cars to see if some of them are speeding is discriminating against those who are not speeding ??? what a sad world you live in, must really suck to be you..

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re:

Not the same thing.

I know it’s hard for you to rub the few brain cells you have together, but try to think.

If there are 10 people speeding down the road and 9 of them are white and the cops don’t pull them over, but the 10th one is, say, Hispanic and the cops pull THEM over but ignore everyone else who speeds, THAT is what was being said.

Honestly, it’s people like you that should be put on the first rocket to Mars so we don’t have to deal with you here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Lets distinguish between observing and recording into a searchable database. In the first case, they can take immediate action on seeing an offense being committed. In the second case they can search the database to see if they can find evidence of a crime when it suites them.
It would be pure coincidence if they delayed you for past speeding offenses and caused you to a miss a flight when you were on route to speak to a protest meeting. The police would not be trying to disrupt such meetings would they?
The latter scenario is the big problem with searchable data.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m getting tired of arguing over whether any of what the NSA is doing has saved lives or not. I quite frankly don’t care. I know it sounds bad, but there’s a bigger problem: IT VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION.
Specifically the 4th amendment. So even if it saves lives, it shows the government does not care about the laws. Even if people are right that the 4th amendment no longer makes sense, amend the constitution, don’t just start ignoring parts of it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“IT VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION.”

you would have to first understand the Constitution before you are able to make that claim, and clearly you don’t..

but fortunately, and constitution provided for that, the constitution created the Supreme Court specifically to interpret the constitution, that court is from the constitution, and it determines what is constitutional or not, (as provided for in the constitution), so what the Supreme Courts decide is constitutional is therefore Constitutional, why ???? because the constitution says so.

In the beginning, the constitution said, “let there be a supreme court, and let that Court interpret the constitution” The Constitution looked upon it’s creation, and it was good.

shrapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually I think that first and foremost he needs to recognize privacy, or some reasonable semblance thereof, is an unalienable right. Which even your mighty Supreme Court, by any reasonable assumption or interpretation, cannot remit.

This is an unalienable right based upon nothing more than human existence itself:
To be secure in one?s home, papers, and person against unwarranted searches and seizures (privacy)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Actually I think that first and foremost he needs to recognize privacy, or some reasonable semblance thereof, is an unalienable right

Sorry to upset you, but privacy is NOT an unalienable right at all, not according to the constitution, or the constitutionally appointed Supreme Court, or by State legislation or federal legislation.

Don’t believe me, show me the word PRIVACY in the fourth amendment or the bill of rights ??

BILL OF RIGHTS – Fourth Amendment:
Fourth Amendment ? Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Can you see “privacy” there at all, or unalienable ?

Oh I see, how you put (privacy) on the end, sort of as if it was there all along, and not something YOU MADE UP !!!

shrapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You, dumbass, have just rendered yourself an unworthy adversary as illustrated by your complete lack of understanding of just what an unalienable right is much less what it means.

With the simplest of searches I present to you the simplest interpretation of what comprises the substance of those rights: http://www.conservapedia.com/Unalienable_rights

To wit:

An exhaustive list of the unalienable rights possessed by man would probably fill several volumes. However, at a minimum they include the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The following items, derived from the American Bill of Rights, expand on these themes:

1. To act in self-defense (personal, family, innocents, nation).
2. To own and carry weapons for self-defense and for ensuring that the nation remains free.
3. To own and control private property (land, money, personal items, intellectual property, etc.)
4. To earn a living and keep the fruit of one?s labor.
5. To freely migrate within the country or to leave the country.
6. To worship — or not worship — God in the manner one chooses.
7. To associate with — or disassociate from — any person or group.
8. To express any idea through print, voice, banner, or other media.
9. To be secure in one?s home, papers, and person against unwarranted searches and seizures (privacy).
10. To be advised of the charges, in the event of arrest.
11. To have a judge determine if the accused should be held for trial or for punishment.
12. To be tried by a jury of one?s peers and face one?s accuser, in the event of being charged with a crime.
13. To be tried by a jury of one?s peers, in the event of a suit in which the disputed amount is substantive.
14. To suffer no cruel or unusual punishment.
15. To establish, monitor, control, and petition our servant government to help secure the above rights.
16. To abolish said government, when it becomes destructive of these rights.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

you would have to first understand the Constitution before you are able to make that claim, and clearly you don’t..

Why do you say that? Because he disagrees with you?

the constitution created the Supreme Court specifically to interpret the constitution, that court is from the constitution, and it determines what is constitutional or not

First, the supreme court hasn’t ruled on any of this, so by your own argument we don’t know if it’s Constitutional or not.

Second, what happens when, as is the situation now (in my opinion), the Supreme Court is just as corrupted and biased as the other two branches of government?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:


Why do you say that? Because he disagrees with you?”

No, because he clearly does not understand what he is trying to talk aboutFirst, the supreme court hasn’t ruled on any of this, so by your own argument we don’t know if it’s Constitutional or not.”

oh ok then, So why is Masnick busting his ass trying to tell us this is not constitutional ?

“Second, what happens when, as is the situation now (in my opinion), the Supreme Court is just as corrupted and biased as the other two branches of government?”

You want to have it both ways ???

“Second, what happens when, as is the situation now (in my opinion), the Supreme Court is just as corrupted and biased as the other two branches of government?”

But you just said, (and I quote)

“First, the supreme court hasn’t ruled on any of this”

So if the Supreme Court has not ruled on it what does your opinion of how corrupt they are have to do with anything ?

How about you show us an example of Supreme Court corruption. Or is that asking too much from you ?

If you don’t believe it’s constitutional, then why not petition the Supreme Court to rule on it’s constitutionality ? That is your right, the fact they have not ruled on it is a very good indicator that no one really believes it is unconstitutional, if they really did they would challenge it in the USSC.

The fact that it has not been challenged BY ANYONE in the USSC shows that the people who actually understand the constitution and the law know they would lose.

You are free to try, it is your right, even your constitutional right. !!!

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

So why is Masnick busting his ass trying to tell us this is not constitutional ?

I can’t speak for Mike. I can speak for me: I believe that it’s unconstitutional. I don’t need the SC to rule on it to know that. It’s the plain intention of the Fourth Amendment. Even if the SC ruled otherwise, it would still be plainly unconstitutional.

You want to have it both ways ???

I don’t know what you mean by this.

How about you show us an example of Supreme Court corruption.

There’s far too many to list here, as the examples have accelerated in the last couple of decades. But let’s start with the first obvious example: Bush v Gore.

If you don’t believe it’s constitutional, then why not petition the Supreme Court to rule on it’s constitutionality ?

Because I have no standing. My petition would be dismissed out of hand.

the fact they have not ruled on it is a very good indicator that no one really believes it is unconstitutional

The SC doesn’t work that way. They have not ruled on it because they haven’t heard a case about it. They can’t just rule on things because they want to: they have to rule on a case being presented to them. So far, none has. So that they have not ruled means literally nothing about the merits of the issue.

The fact that it has not been challenged BY ANYONE in the USSC shows that the people who actually understand the constitution and the law know they would lose.

But it has. The problem is showing standing. This is a secret program and you are not allowed to know if you, specifically, have had your information collected about it. If you can’t show that you have, then you can’t bring a case. That’s different than the case having no merit.

The entire deal was rigged so it was literally impossible to bring a court challenge to it. The NSA leak may have changed that situation, though. It will be interested to see how this progresses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:


Because I have no standing. My petition would be dismissed out of hand.”

But you DO have standing, if you believe YOUR phone information is recorded, you are the only person who does have standing.

Everyone who believes their phone details are recorded has the same standing, you are the ONLY ones who can have standing in this.

It’s YOUR FIGHT, why don’t you want to fight it ??
Oh I know why, you told me why ! WHY ??? (I am glad you asked).

My petition would be dismissed out of hand.

Damn straight, first thing you got right all night.

The only people who have standing in cases for violation of the constitution, is the person who believes they are the subject of that violation.

You cannot exercise the constitutional rights of someone else.
Please, hit the books for something, spend 10 mins to 10 hours (as long as it takes) to actually find out the facts, and learn your own Constitution and how it works, especially how it applies to “we the people” which I take to include your good self.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

what about the big leak, is that not enough proof for you??

the leaked documents are supposed to show clearly the terrible criminal acts the NSA are engaged in, or don’t they ?

what about your hero Edmond will to rick being “disappeared” to provide you the ‘evidence’ you require ?? what happened with all that ??

Why did the Guardian quietly change their published story, why don’t you explore that.

Edmond said “I could even spy on the President if I got the email”.

What the fuck does that mean ?

has it ever occurred to you he simply made the thing up, or doctored it for his 15 minutes of fame ?

You are a backward lot aren’t you.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Everyone who believes their phone details are recorded has the same standing, you are the ONLY ones who can have standing in this.

You have to have more than a belief that you have standing. You have to prove it. And you can’t do that when everyone is legally forbidden from giving you the evidence.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

you have more than belief, you have illegally released documentary evidence, more than enough to base a case on, if you actually believed it was true that is.

If you have your doubts as to it’s accuracy (and I would) then that would be a good reason not to proceed.

But the leaked documents should be sufficient for a case, and for further discovery if required, even if you were not privy to the information, the supreme in hearing the constitutionally of it would be.

SO there is no excuse for not testing this case, it would not even be expensive to do, because you would simply have to go to a local or circuit court and they would have to refer it to the Supremes.

But if you don’t feel you have a strong case, continue to argue it here on TD, and don’t bother the courts, you already know you would lose.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

you have more than belief, you have illegally released documentary evidence

Indeed! And as I said in a different comment, this changes the game enormously. The SC will eventually be hearing a case, I am sure.

If you have your doubts as to it’s accuracy (and I would)

Why would you, when the meat of it has been repeatedly and overtly confirmed by the government?

SO there is no excuse for not testing this case, it would not even be expensive to do, because you would simply have to go to a local or circuit court and they would have to refer it to the Supremes.

Yeah, it doesn’t work that way. Getting a case before the SC costs millions. Here’s a rough overview of that: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/how-much-does-big-supreme-court-case-gay-marriage-cost

And that’s not including the costs of bringing the case up through the preliminary courts first.

I absolutely couldn’t afford it. However, there are very likely some civil liberties groups who can. That’s where I expect the challenge to come from.

you already know you would lose

I certainly don’t know that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

oh right so the guy busted growing some pot in his field spent millions of dollars challenging the constitutionality of the search that found them ?

no, and you know it does not work that way, he made a case in a lower court, and that court then had to ‘test’ this in the supreme court, would have cost that guy basically nothing to have it heard.

But you should know that, (should, but don’t !!!)

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

You don’t know what you’re talking about.

First, lower courts cannot “test” or forward cases to the SC. If you lose a case in a lower court, and there is some sign that there is a constitutional issue that the lower courts cannot resolve (usually, but not always, indicated by conflicting rulings from different districts), then you ask the SC to hear the case. Simply asking the SC to hear a case is very expensive, more than $100,000.

And even then, the SC gets to decide what cases they take and what they don’t. They cannot be compelled to hear any particular case. If they accept, then you have even bigger legal bills during the court case.

I’m not sure which “guy busted growing pot” you’re talking about, but a huge amount of money was spent for it, guaranteed. He may not have spent it himself — I suspect that a civil liberties group funded it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

You have to have more than a belief that you have standing. You have to prove it.

?ACLU Confident This NSA Lawsuit Won?t Trip Where Last Did?, by Eric Lach, TPM Muckraker, June 12, 2013

?The order directly affects us, and we can prove it,? Brett Max Kaufman, a national security fellow with the ACLU?s National Security Project, told TPM on Wednesday. ?Standing should not be a problem here.?

Brett Max Kaufman?

Brett Max Kaufman ? is a graduate of ? the University of Texas School of Law. He ? completed two clerkships in New York City?with the Hon. Robert D. Sack of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and with Judge Richard J. Holwell and (after Judge Holwell?s resignation) Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

? the constitution created the Supreme Court specifically to interpret the constitution?

Which explains exactly why, in the landmark case of Marbury v Madison, decided in 1803 ?some time after the effective date of the Constitution of 1789? the fourth Chief Justice of the United States, Mr John Marshall, felt it worthwhile to write:

If an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void, does it, notwithstanding its invalidity, bind the courts, and oblige them to give it effect? Or, in other words, though it be not law, does it constitute a rule as operative as if it was a law? This would be to overthrow in fact what was established in theory; and would seem, at first view, an absurdity too gross to be insisted on. It shall, however, receive a more attentive consideration.

And then, of course, upon giving his more attentive consideration to the question thus posed, Mr Chief Justice Marshall deemed it wise to give a most emphatic answer.

The proposition for which you contend, and which I have copied above, naturally and completely explains why Mr Marshall answered so emphatically.

Anonymous Coward says:

exceptions to fourth amendment warrentless searches

OPEN FIELDS DOCTINE

“Similarly, “open fields” such as pastures, open water, and woods may be searched without a warrant, on the ground that conduct occurring therein would have no reasonable expectation of privacy.”

“which stated that ?the special protection accorded by the Fourth Amendment to the people in their ?persons, houses, papers, and effects,? is not extended to the open fields.” The decision was rendered on the ground that “open fields are not a ‘constitutionally protected area’ because they cannot be construed as “persons, houses, papers, [or] effects.”

Open Fields = Internet = Phone system

ie, NOT a part of “persons, houses, papers or effects”.

shrapnel (profile) says:

Re: exceptions to fourth amendment warrentless searches

“open fields” would presume that said field is open to the view of the public in its entirety.

You’re might truly be a fucking idiot if you sincerely believe the Internet, and all of its systems, and the phone system, and all of its presence, ubiquity and usages, are open to the entirety of the public.

That argument is not plausible if in order to “view the field” you must requisition the roots of every tree as these roots are, clearly, not in plain site and these roots are, presumably, not on public property.

But let your delusions of applicable legal interpretations continue as, like your right to privacy, your right to voice your opinion is not revokable (at this time).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: exceptions to fourth amendment warrentless searches

“”open fields” would presume that said field is open to the view of the public in its entirety.”

actually no it does not, the example provided was private property, in bush land where they had to search and go along a pathway (well out of sight of the public) to find a drug crop.

the field was most definitely NOT open to view by the public either partly or in it’s entirety, It even had “NO TRESPASS” signs up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: exceptions to fourth amendment warrentless searches

“In Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170 (1984), the police ignored a “no trespassing” sign and a fence, trespassed onto the suspect’s land without a warrant, followed a path for hundreds of feet, and discovered a field of marijuana. The Supreme Court ruled that no search had taken place, because there was no privacy expectation regarding an open field:”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 exceptions to fourth amendment warrentless searches

equally when you pick up your phone you KNOW the details are being recorded BY SOMEONE, be it the phone company, or the Government, you therefore have no expectation of privacy when using the phone, or the internet for that matter.

You know for example that Google hold your search’s, you have no expectation that your Google searches are private, you know for a fact they are not.

The phone system, with it’s billing and logging of your calls, and the internet with it’s billing and logging of your activity is just like an ‘open field’ you have no expectation of privacy, yet you use it with the knowledge.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: exceptions to fourth amendment warrentless searches

To get out of the public view people just need to encrypt their communications.

Cellphones are encrypted are you saying the government is breaking wiretap laws?

How would people know if they are being spied or not?
Will we the people have to stalk the government and wiretap their system to get the proof we need since it is classified and cannot be made public to anyone anywhere?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: exceptions to fourth amendment warrentless searches

“You’re might truly be a fucking idiot if you sincerely believe the Internet, and all of its systems, and the phone system, and all of its presence, ubiquity and usages, are open to the entirety of the public.”

as your first premise is wrong, your conclusions based on that false premise makes you second premise wrong as well.

(try harder)..

as is your third premise.

really,, try harder please..

FM Hilton (profile) says:

Immunity from prosecution

“If you don’t believe it’s constitutional, then why not petition the Supreme Court to rule on it’s constitutionality ? That is your right, the fact they have not ruled on it is a very good indicator that no one really believes it is unconstitutional, if they really did they would challenge it in the USSC.

The fact that it has not been challenged BY ANYONE in the USSC shows that the people who actually understand the constitution and the law know they would lose.”,

You do know why nobody has challenged the legality of the law concerning this?

The legality of blanket wiretapping has never been sustained in court, but on July 10, 2008 the US Congress capitulated to the administration in granting blanket immunity to the administration and telecom industry for potentially illegal domestic surveillance. The bill was passed during the crucible of the 2008 presidential campaign, and was supported by then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who was campaigning against Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for the presidency.

Obama provided qualified support for the bill. He promised to “carefully monitor” the program for abuse, but said that, “Given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise.” It is difficult to argue that appropriate safeguards are in place, when CDRs from all the major telecommunications companies are provided to the NSA.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_call_database

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Immunity from prosecution

gathering of meta data is not ‘wiretapping’ for a start, if the bill was not constitutional, it would have been rejected on those grounds, all bills have to meet constitutional muster.

NSA is not conducting ‘blanket wiretapping’, see also open fields and exceptions to the fourth amendment.

you guys can do better than this … (I hope)..

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Immunity from prosecution

athering of meta data is not ‘wiretapping’ for a start, if the bill was not constitutional, it would have been rejected on those grounds, all bills have to meet constitutional muster.

This is absolutely not so.

NSA is not conducting ‘blanket wiretapping’

It’s not wiretapping, but it is intrusive surveillance that leads to a very similar end result.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Immunity from prosecution

Actually if you look at the Klein case, they are grabbing up all data. Origination/Termination and call length “MetaData” is being stored in a database. The rest of the information of course is classified, so we have no clue what they are doing to that data. Previous leaks though have suggested that the data was simply encrypted and stored. See the Bill Binney leak. Even the FISA courts stated that the government has broken the 4th Amendment. Wired Link If you look at this in a Time Line: EFF, you’ll realize that it even got to the point where several officials almost resigned on March 12th 2003 over the legalities of the program.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Paid shills and comments

when that money would be better spend on education in the US, clearly it’s needed.

And it’s so fun and easy to shoot holes in your ‘arguments’ that I should be paying them for the entertainment it provides!!

Nice to see how when you know your beat, you revert to some stupid, and irrelevant dribble. Wait, where is the ad hom ?

I guess it wont be long, you’ve run out of everything else..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Paid shills and comments

It occurs to me that someone somewhere, well in DC, must really be scared of people forming pro fourth amendment opinions of this subject if they are willing to pay someone to argue for this long on a web site.

Wow, you guys need to get out of the basement more often. Mike’s newly-adopted Fourth Amendment argument doesn’t make much sense since it ignores Smith v. Maryland and its progeny. I’m not scared of counterarguments–I’m desperately seeking them out. But the opinions of experts that I’m finding tend to agree that there’s no Fourth Amendment issue with the call records.

See, e.g., Professor Kerr: http://www.volokh.com/2013/06/07/why-does-a-terry-standard-apply-to-querying-the-nsa-call-records-database/ or Professor Siavoshy: http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2013/06/does-the-fourth-amendment-regulate-the-downstream-analysis-of-call-records-by-the-nsa-the-fisc-might-have-ruled-it-does.html

If there are good arguments for why the Fourth Amendment should apply and why the third-party doctrine should not, I’d LOVE to hear them. But Mike regurgitating some guy’s conclusory claim that Smith doesn’t apply since it’s many records and not one is not a good argument because there’s no such limitation found in Smith. It’s a distinction without a difference.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Paid shills and comments

You can also ask Justice Sonia Sotomayor, if we should start rethinking the third-party-doctrine over.

Quote:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, has suggested that ?it may be necessary to reconsider the premise that an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in information voluntarily disclosed to third parties,?

Source: http://www.nationalreview.com/agenda/350896/third-party-doctrine-reihan-salam

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katz_v._United_States
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Antoine_Jones
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_tracking
http://theumlaut.com/2013/06/12/power-not-privacy/
http://theumlaut.com/2013/06/12/power-not-privacy/
beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/1037/committees

Why use a GPS device when you can track someone using their cellphones it has the same effect and the same consequences no matter how you want to dress that turd, you can try to spit it shinny but it won’t shine.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Paid shills and comments

? if they are willing to pay someone to argue for this long on a web site.

?Internet discourse is particularly effective at drawing out vehement disagreement.? ?To paraphrase someone (Clay Shirky? Someone else? No matter.)

It might occur to someone that some of the biggest trolls I have ever met online are affiliated with?well, I won’t name them outright, but some call them the eff-ers, which I guess must stand for ?fuckers.? The fuckers, though, usually have better trolls than these, so I guess the fuckers’ secret weapon perhaps has slipped out to some less-experienced, less-sophisticated troll-group?

Anyhow, as I said, the ‘net has been observed to be very effective at drawing out vehement, emphatic disagreement. But I deem it takes some sophistication to draw out a really good online debate.

?

Not a very good lawyer who can’t argue the other side from time-to-time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Paid shills and comments

trying to draw out a sophisticated debate here is very much like pulling teeth with pliers, it’s slow, it’s painful, and you don’t get much at the end

Insulting other posters, the forum. or the forum’s host is a real quick way to get insults tossed back at you by some, get your posts ignored by others, and to eventually start finding some of your posts hidden.

Try to stay polite ?except in jest? no matter what the provocation.

Or don’t. There’s a great deal of tolerance here, compared to some other places online. If tossing insults out is your thing?

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re: Paid shills and comments

“…trying to draw out a sophisticated debate here…”

Can you point to which parts of your contribution you consider to be “sophisticated”? Because I’m seeing a staggering lack of sophistication in all the people ‘criticizing’ this post and the commentors who support it.

If think the sheer volume of flagged comments proves AG Wright’s point. Someone clearly wants this discussion shut down or discredited.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

The Shills are Rife

There is a lot of blood on this page. Look at all that red, and I expect more to come. Personally, I have not hit a report button on this post, yet the community has reacted to the foaming vitriol rather emphatically.

Dear Shills:

Just what scares you so much about the 4rth Amendment? Is your agenda such that keeping the populace in control is a necessary condition for your end result? You struggle mightily to prove the unprovable, and yet you continue to struggle. You take exception to the fact that the discussion is even taking place. This nation will not dissolve its principles quietly, as you seem to want. The fact that our treasonous government officials seem to be on your side, does not make you strong, it merely points to your own corruption.

Sincerely

Anonymous Anonymous Coward

PS: Expect more blood in the responses to this, the vampires are thirsty.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The Shills are Rife

“Just what scares you so much about the 4rth Amendment? “

what scares you so much about having your phone details recorded, you know, just like the telephone company has been doing for as long as you have had a telephone.

what scares you so much about having your internet traffic details watched, just like google has been doing to you for years ?

Nothing scares me about the 4th amendment, or the Bill of Rights, 4th Amendment does not even apply in this situation.

What does scare me is the level of ignorance displayed by you and others, about the Constitution and about knowledge in general.

No, that also does not scare me, I am just here because your mostly incorrect, and almost always stupid arguments are a source of great amusement, and mirth.

I guess you missed school on the day they taught Constitutional law, (and common sense).

But for that I am glad, otherwise who else would provide such an excellent source of amusement.

More blood, has there been any blood yet ?? does not appear to be, perhaps you can give us an example of ‘blood’ in the responses ?

So far, it’s clear you’ve got nothing, I expect that will continue, (unless suddenly you gain an education!!)
(and that’s really going to happen… NOT).

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The Shills are Rife

“The fact that our treasonous government officials seem to be on your side, does not make you strong, it merely points to your own corruption.” Quoting myself.

Yep, you are corrupted.

And no I won’t debate you further, as your can only spew vitriol without fact. It is immoral to go to a gunfight with an unarmed person, such as yourself.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: The Shills are Rife

what scares you so much about having your phone details recorded, you know, just like the telephone company has been doing for as long as you have had a telephone.

what scares you so much about having your internet traffic details watched, just like google has been doing to you for years ?

The long history of governmental abuse that happens when engage in spying like this is what scares me.

Comparisons to the phone company or Google are irrelevant, at least until my data sharing with them is nonconsensual and they have police and military powers.

horse with no name says:

Re: The Shills are Rife

Shills are rife? Not really. When you see lots of red, typically it’s the usual Techdirt loyalists doing the local version of shouting down the heretics who dare to question things.

What was created as a tool to get rid of the truly annoying (like “I made 7895 in a weekend” spams) has be turned into a tool of censorship, basically removing the offending comments from open view, and forcing people who want to read them to have to click through to each one.

Now, the usual suspects will scream that it’s not censorship, because the posts are still there (just hidden). These same people will scream that blocking pirate sites in the UK is censorship – even if the original sites are still there. Funny how that works out.

So in the end, the “shills” aren’t scared of the 4th amendment, rather it appears that the local peanut gallery has a really hard time accepting legal reality.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The Shills are Rife

This one too!

“The fact that our treasonous government officials seem to be on your side, does not make you strong, it merely points to your own corruption.” Quoting myself.

Yep, you are corrupted.

And no I won’t debate you further, as your can only spew vitriol without fact. It is immoral to go to a gunfight with an unarmed person, such as yourself.

In addition, I have a personal policy to not feed trolls, now get back underneath your bridge.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The Shills are Rife

Exactly. If the government hid posts from view because they didn’t like the message conveyed, that would be censorship and that would violate the First Amendment. Mike Masnick would go absolutely fucking ballistic. But the TD mantra is that it’s not even censorship when they do it.

I don’t care that they are so insecure, like their sad and pathetic leader Pirate Mike, that they can’t stand anyone with a dissenting view. But I do care that they are too intellectually dishonest to admit that it’s a form of censorship. This place is hilarious.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The Shills are Rife

Big difference.

Government hides/censors something: It is gone. No amount of ‘click to view comment/posting’ will reveal it, it is freakin’ gone.

People on TD(and it takes more than one) ‘hide/censor’ something: You can view it with a single click of the mouse. Now I suppose if you’re too lazy to move the mouse just a little bit over and click, then yeah, the posts are indeed ‘hidden’ like like when the government does it, but for those willing to put in the miniscule bit of effort to click the text, the two cases can’t be more different.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The Shills are Rife

say what you like, it’s censorship, you know it, we know it. Masnick knows it.

What is most funny though is the ‘closed’ posts are really the only posts worth reading, except the ones the Masnick cultists accidently censor ones in support of Mansick’s cut / paste (opinions)..

What is also funny with a big response post like this is how few people actually support Masnick’s (other people’s) views.

at best what 10 or so people, support him, sure they post often, but the number of them is SO LOW !!!.

Years of work by Masnick to gain a fan base of less than 20 people !!!
Now there is a life well spent !!

M Walker (profile) says:

We as a nation have endured enough of this cloak and dagger business, protest, call, write, make the govt. know we will not stand for another moment of this spying. Fire or jail everybody that knew and did nothing to stop it, give Snowden the Medal of Honor and welcome him back home.
He is a brave and courageous man, we should applaud his courage and wisdom in exposing these crimes against us all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

” “Obamawhitehousebomb. Do you think they’re listening?”.”

Does anyone care ?

But if you think your rights are being violated, why not stand up for your right, why rant here on TD where you know NO ONE is listening.

Seems like you have a significant ‘lack of balls’.

Why does NSA view your phone records ?? Because they can.

Why does Google view your internet search records, because they can profit from that information.

It’s also amusing how silent Masnick is on this issue, you would expect him to at least “TRY” to defend his “principles” even if they are not really his prinicples, I am sure he would be able to Google someone else’s principles and copy/paste it here. But not even that.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Will the fourth amendment even matter?

The way the forth amendment is applied typically, is that information attained by illegal searches are not admissible as evidence in criminal court: The prosecution not only has to demonstrate proof, but also has to show that all the evidence was attained without violating one’s rights or breaking laws in the investigation.

As soon as one’s right against illegal search and seizure has been violated, any evidence attained from it, or any leads investigated as a result of that discovered information is poisoned.

Now granted, this isn’t always honored. If we know someone committed a heinous crime (or a caused embarrassment to a powerful political figure) then judges are inclined to look away regarding police intrusiveness. Still, O. J. Simpson was acquitted partly due to improper police procedure (attempts at framing) and the defense’s ability to capitalize on that.

We’ve already seen here on TechDirt topics on how common US citizens average six felonies a day. We’ve also seen how those felonies have been used to put subversives into jail, not for real crimes they committed, but because their behavior was fringe or challenged the status quo, or embarrassed large corporations.

But the NSA also takes it one step further, by being linked to the DoD, who is allowed to disappear people and detain them indefinitely, and as our prisoners in Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo fear, left to rot in some military containment cell. Or worse, tortured to death by a hired foreign third party. The forth amendment doesn’t apply when the DoD extraordinarily renders you disappeared.

Anonymous Coward says:

It's all money in the bank for masnick, it's all he cares about

“But you do. You made the calculation that the risk of dying at the hands of terrorists was worth sacrificing some freedom for.”

No, I worked out the reduction of risk from terrorist damage is worth having NSA perform the same function your police routinely do every day thousands of times a day.

That is watch the population in specific situations to ensure less crime going undetected.

Just like the cop on the side of the road watching for speeding drivers, or take plate numbers, and checking rego and insurance.

Just like banks reporting large and unusual transactions to the police.

and just like phone companies reporting unusual ‘activity’ in regards to phone usage, and internet usage.

and just like I accept that when I do a Google search I know my search details are not only recorded but that information then is provided to other companies.

And just as I know the police watching cars for illegal activity is perfectly acceptable in a society.

I and it appears most of the American population fully understand why this is something worth doing, and worth doing properly.

It’s legal, ethical, typical, not unique, constitutional and even desirable.

We all also know Masnick is only harping on about this because it’s ‘money in the bank’ for him.

And, it beats the shit out of having to do a real job.

Don’t give up your ‘day’ job masnick, you’ll starve.

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