Judges Question Whether National Security Letters Need To Come With Gag Orders

from the where's-that-copy-of-the-constitution? dept

The Patriot Act allows the FBI to issue "National Security Letters" to ISPs and other organizations, seeking information on users of those service providers -- with an automatic gag order forbidding the service provider from telling anyone that they have received an NSL. Not surprisingly, this resulted in the NSLs being widely abused, with the FBI issuing them in many, many cases when they were not appropriate. But, of course, since no one could complain, there was no incentive for the FBI to actually follow the rules. A panel of judges is now reviewing the overall constitutionality of the gag order on NSLs -- and, so far, they seem skeptical. It seems ridiculous that the FBI should be allowed to impart an automatic gag order without any sort of judicial overview -- especially when it's already been shown that the FBI can and does abuse this power quite often.


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  1.  
    identicon
    The i-Team, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 3:30am

    Go back to bed America,

    Your Government is in control again...

     

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  2.  
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    Thomas, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 4:55am

    Lots of luck on that

    The judges are now likely to find themselves the target of the Gestapo, oops, I mean FBI, for 'unamerican activities'.

     

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  3.  
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    Cassius Seeley, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 5:10am

    But we need those gags

    Come on people. How can we abuse our unconstitutional power if you get to tell on us! Oh and by the way, give me your lunch money or I will tie you to the jungle gym, NAKED!, in Cuba.... hint hint hint! Wink Wink...

     

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  4.  
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    Greg G, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    And in the words on Benjamin Franklin...

    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 6:34am

    What happened to the FBI?

    There's always been this dark side I suppose, but it was small. Now the FBI, hell any law enforcement really, thinks due process is too much of a pain to go through.

    Never mind its THEIR JOB to follow due process.

    Never mind they are there to PROTECT and SERVE, and due process is one form of protection for all of us.

    Years of party propaganda is finally creating generations that do what they want:

    The Republicans are more likely to go for the power. Become law enforcement, or join the military, work the bureaucracy. They think anyone that doesn't agree with them is a "dirty hippie" that needs to be put down.

    The Democrats are more likely to avoid those things because it "all police are pigs" and ignore the founding ideology of these institutions. They'd rather sit and complain than DO something about it.

    And then most of the rest are either crazy or ignored by the majority of the population and are slowly being driven either into despair or insanity by the fact the rest of the sheeple don't see what's slowing happening to us.

    Thank god they are retarded. They moved too fast. Now the number of people see what is happening is growing. Took a manipulative bastard like Bush to be in office to push most of us over the edge.

    Whomever is the next president better fix this shit. Or there will be hell to pay. I don't like the idea of a facist America.

     

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  6.  
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    Overcast, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 7:21am

    So now that they can violate the fourth amendment, they figure it's ok to violate the first.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 7:59am

    The fact that . . .

    Judges are "Questioning" this illustrates nicely I think how far from Americas founding values we have fallen after 8 years of Bush Administration. There was a time when an action like this by ANY government body (especially an investigative one) being considered "legal" in the United States would have been nearly unthinkable.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 8:24am

    Oh Boo Hoo

    Oh boo hoo! You are all such a bunch of whiners. You afraid the FBI will discover you share Michael Jackson's affinity for small boys?

    Anyone who knows anything about the Internet knows it's not inherently secure. Without encryption, sending an e-mail through the Internet is like sticking an envelope on a bulletin board with the words "Do Not Open" on it.

    I only wish you could all be in one community. Then Homeland Security and the FBI could give you all the protection you deserve - nothing. The President could give you what you want by announcing there will be no terrorist surveillance in your community. He could send out the message that Al Queda is free to target your community with no fear of prosecution.

    Oh what bliss! The perverts could go back to feeling safe viewing kiddie porn online. Anarchists could email their favorite recipes for making IEDs. The best result is, none of the rest of us would have to listen to you all whimpering anymore.

    Then again, after a few of your elementary schools are blown up and your child's body parts are rotting in plastic bags, I guess we'll all have to listen to your boo hoos about how the FBI did nothing to protect you.

    Whiners! We can't survive with you, but we can't isolate you in one place so you only harm each other.

     

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  9.  
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    Dewy, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 8:27am

    Why aren't legislators who sponsor these bills held accountable when they are found to violate civil liberties?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 8:37am

    Re: The fact that . . .

    And in the 8 years of the Clinton administration we had ...

    1993 - The first World Trade Center bombing - and Al Queda was not counter attacked

    1996 - Khobar Towers bombing (Saudi Arabia) - and Al Queda was not counter attacked

    1998 - U.S. Embassy bombings (Kenya/Tanzania) - and Al Queda was not counter attacked

    2000 - USS Cole Bombing (Yemen) - and Al Queda was not counter attacked

    How about the Democrat President before Clinton, Jimmy Carter? He allowed radical Islamic forces to take over a US Embassy and hold our citizens hostage for 444 days.

    In contrast, the Iranians KNEW President Reagan would do something about the hostage crisis so they released the hostages within an hour of Reagan's inauguration - after holding them for more than a year under the feckless Carter.

    The problem with you Bush and Republican haters is, you are all cowards and would rather see your countrymen killed or held hostage than risk one of your greasy, matted hairs to do anything about it.

     

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  11.  
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    Kevin, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 8:42am

    Re: Oh Boo Hoo

    You are operating under the very common and very mistaken notion that balancing security and civil rights is a zero sum effort. You can have security without a complete abdication of constitutional protections.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    Thanks, you fucktard. What does this political propaganda have to do with the article? If you want to bash democrats, then go somewhere else, maybe where the other Republinazi skinheads hang out. You're so politically brainwashed that you're really a drag on society. Go fuck yourself, you ignorant asswipe.

    I'm sorry, but anybody who honestly believes shit like this really doesn't deserve the essential liberties that this country provides.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:23am

    Re: Oh Boo Hoo

    You're a complete idiot. You are so fucking brainwashed that you can't even begin to see how monumentally stupid you are.

    Please, let's isolate all of the jackasses who think the government should do whatever it wants in the name of protecting us from the boogeyman, so that we can begin electro-shock therapy on all of you.

    I'll bet you piss your pants every time someone says "terrorist" or "Al-Qaeda." Let's call this what it is: You claim we're whiners, when in reality, you're the biggest chicken-shit pussy on the planet. Go ahead, hide in the closet with the FBI watching over you.

    What bliss it would be if all of you and your ilk were all in one place! You could go back to feeling safe, sucking at the tits of the FBI. You fucking baby.

     

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  14.  
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    uncle bob, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    @Anonymous Coward
    > And in the 8 years of the Clinton administration we had ...

    When one falls back on defending Bush by saying "at least he's not Clinton"... one has already lost the argument.

    The issue at hand is accountability and preventing abuse of power. If it's is the FBI's position that NSLs are always justified, then they should have no problem having their decisions reviewed by the judicial to verify this.

    Anyhow, thanks for your insightful comments.

     

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  15.  
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    Balthazar, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    So, according to you, the cowards are those who don't think they need this sort of overbearing government protection, and those who think they need this sort of protection are somehow NOT cowards? You want to run and scream "Mommy! Mommy!" to the government, yet we're the cowards?

    How satisfyingly amusing that you're that brain-damaged. Maybe you should loosen the tin-foil hat.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Oh Boo Hoo

    Your are operating under the very common and mistaken notion that sifting through inherently insecure communications for keywords indicating an impending attack is a complete abdication of civil rights.

    How strange it must be to live in your world where it's not illegal for Fred Smirtz at the ISP to read through anyone's e-mails looking for good porn, but it should be illegal for the FBI to run the same e-mails through a computerized search filter looking for the words "bomb" and "elementary school."

    Wait a minute ... stand by ... my wife just e-mailed me ... Oh my God! She wants me to bring home a gallon of milk. Again!

    Whew! I hope the FBI didn't read that ...

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    Hey dickless,

    The posting I replied to cited "after 8 years of the Bush administration." Put down your bong and get some situational awareness.

    If the smoke in your eyes didn't allow you to see that political comment, when did it clear so you could read mine?

    Inhale deeply and go back to sleep ...

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    uncle bob, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:41am

    anonymous coward very cleverly replied:
    > Hey dickless,

    Site maintainers- I wonder if it would be possible to publicly display IP addresses when someone posts anonymously? Or heck, just do away with anonymous posting altogether?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    I'm not defending Bush by saying he's not Clinton. I was responding to the Bush hater complaining about his 8 years of accomplishments. At least after Al Queda attacked us on his watch, he did something about it. Al Queda attacked in the 90s, Clinton was too busy playing with his cigar to do anything.

    After 8 years of Bush, we have killed most of the Al Queda leadership, and have driven the rest of Al Queda leadership into caves and mud huts instead of staying in the Dubai Hilton, and freed millions upon millions of people from tyranny in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Yet all you folks have to say about it is, "Whaaa! Whaaa! The FBI *may be* reading my e-mail. Whaaa! Whaaa!"

     

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  20.  
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    Gutless Wonder, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Oh Boo Hoo

    Yep, never mind, the FBI will bring home the milk, and boink your wife too. And when you get home, they'll fuck you, too.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    Oh, you schoolyard bully you! Calling me dickless! Did your mommy teach you that word? Was it how she lovingly referred to your dad? Or did she even know your dad?

    Yes, you replied to a comment regarding "after 8 years of the Bush administration" with a typical straw man argument. Here, we're talking about how the rights of American citizens are being abrogated (go look that one up, I'm sure it's too many syllables for you). You, on the other hand, would just prefer to bash Democrats, or anyone else who doesn't believe in the bullshit to which you subscribe.

    And yet you claim there's something wrong with us. Did your mommy tell you to do that?

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Tony, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:56am

    Re: The fact that . . .

    Government abuse of power didn't start under Bush, and certainly won't end there. It's the BUREAUCRACY that creates the climate for abuse.

    But trying to explain that to some people is pointless.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    You need to go get your gun, and go back to your cabin. Because you obviously haven't seen or heard the news in a while, and frankly, there's no hope for you. Just give it up, and return to your safe, uninformed roots.

    . . . we have killed most of the Al Queda leadership, and have driven the rest of Al Queda leadership into caves and mud huts. . .

    If only any part of that statement were true, we could almost take you seriously. But we won't, because you're a whining pussy.

     

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  24.  
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    uncle bob, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    Steering this back to the original topic...

    The question is about checks and balances on the FBI's use of NSLs. Doing away with the automatic gag order does not prevent the FBI from acting when they feel there is a legitimate threat that requires information that can be gained through the use of such letters. However, *not* having the automatic gag order helps keep the FBI honest. For example, not misusing the letters for political reasons- for one party to spy on the other, or harassing citizens for supposed "un-American" activities. The FBI (and the Office of the President) have been guilty of this in the past- why would anyone think that they're not capable of it again?

    This is about much more than simply spying on millions of citizens innocuous emails.

     

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  25.  
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    A concerned teenager., Aug 28th, 2008 @ 10:36am

    I am a teenager *gasp*, who is a self declared independent (leans towards conservatism), disbeliever in global warming, and atheist. It all seems very contradictory...

    All of the hate, guys. All of you are shouting at each other; probably most of you are all at least twice my age: act like it.

    All of our presidents in the last, oh about 100 years, have been really shitty. There have been a few, but not many. The Leftists think that Carter/Clinton/Obama are GODS. The Republicans believe in a non-existent god. Which is worse?

    And the global warming thing: globalwarming.org

    This is not a political forum; stop acting like it is.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    The problem with not having a gag order is so easy to see.

    Suppose a bunch of e-mail from known Al Queda are being sent to/from IP addresses hosted by Acme ISP. So the FBI comes in and says they want to monitor the traffic for key words and phrase patterns. However, there's no automatic gag order.

    So Fred Smirtz, a low level nobody who works at the ISP, tells his buddy that the FBI was in snooping around and is monitoring e-mail at the ISP.

    His buddy is one of the malcontents on this forum, so he posts everywhere he can about how the FBI is monitoring Acme ISP email traffic and violating the poor terrorists' civil rights.

    Not surprisingly after that, the only thing the terrorists are emailing about is a bunch of "Allah Akbar" proclamations.

    Three weeks later, the Al Queda cell that had been receiving e-mail through the monitored ISP receive launch orders via e-mail sent through their new ISP. Three thousand Americans are killed in the subsequent attack.

    The post-mortem "We Never Learn From Our Mistakes" Commission identifies that the ISP wasn't automatically put under a gag order. Upon hearing the FBI was involved, the terrorists had shifted to a new, unmonitored ISP when they learned the FBI was involved. (Obviously.)

    Everyone is shocked that something so obvious as a gag order wasn't automatically in place. Everyone, including the malcontents here, wring their hands why the system failed them yet again. Legislation is passed and executive orders drafted so it would never happen again.

    Within a few years, the malcontents again begin posting about how unconstitutional the new legislation is and how gag orders shouldn't be automatic. Liberal courts intercede and the automatic gag orders are lifted.

    Meanwhile, a bunch of e-mail from known Al Queda are being sent to/from IP addresses hosted by Bravo ISP. So the FBI comes in and says they want to monitor the traffic for key words and phrase patterns. However, there's no automatic gag order.

    So Wilma Jones, a low level nobody who works at the ISP, tells her girlfiend that the FBI was in snooping around and is monitoring e-mail at the ISP...

    People die, security is enhanced, whiners whine, security is relaxed, people die, security is enhanced, whiners whine, security is relaxed...

    And so it goes.

     

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  27.  
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    Nasch, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    1. You can make stuff up all you want, but it really isn't convincing because, well... it's made up.

    2. If there needs to be a gag order, the FBI should get approval from the FISA court. It's pretty much a rubber stamp, but at least it has some potential to be meaningful oversight, rather than the guaranteed lack of oversight we have now.

     

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  28.  
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    Nasch, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    I am a teenager *gasp*, who is a self declared independent (leans towards conservatism), disbeliever in global warming, and atheist. It all seems very contradictory...

    All of the hate, guys. All of you are shouting at each other; probably most of you are all at least twice my age: act like it.


    Is this like a reverse sig? Something you post at the beginning of every one of your messages? We probably don't need to know any of this about you, and we certainly don't need to read all of it every time. Just a suggestion.

     

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  29.  
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    A concerned teenager., Aug 28th, 2008 @ 1:14pm

    Very true. I just find it funny that I am acting more maturely. I'm sure you understand...

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    Nice, if you're into fantasy.

    Let me ask you this: If you think the government should be allowed to ignore our constitutionally protected rights, why bother having a constitution? In fact, you can have exactly the kind of government you want, right now: Move to China. They're more than happy to go through your belongings, decide what you can't and can't see, read and hear, tap your phone, block your internet connection, and so on. Seems like that's what you want, so why not just STFU and move there?

    And tell me this: Exactly (and I mean exactly, don't make up any more fantasies) did George W. Bush do about Al Qaeda before 9/11?

    Put your tin foil hat back on and go back to the bunker. You're the only whiner here.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    Exactly. The Republicans claims it's the Democrats, the Democrats claim it's the Republicans. Truth is, it's both.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Emerson, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    who is a self declared independent

    Is there someone else who is authorized to declare you independent? I'd like to know if they've declared me independent, too, or if I have to do it myself.

     

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  33.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    You do see the irony of sitting there telling us you want to be protected from the terrorists by throwing out the Constitution and Bill of Rights, while at the same time being the definition of a terrorist? Using fear to change our opinions and sacrifice our rights.

    If the FBI has true belief that someone is a terrorist than they should have proof that they can bring to a judge and get a warrant and a gag order. Why is that so bad?

    I am willing to live with a little risk to protect my rights, your rights, and our children's rights. I'm sorry if you aren't American enough to want the same.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Re: Oh Boo Hoo

    Oh boo hoo. As soon as you hear an argument against your incessant whining you resort to F-bomb profanity.

    I'm sure when you get get a job and move out of your mother's basement, you'll find there are many people who don't think just like you.

    That's a good thing - for all of us.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    Okay, it's made up, just like the claim that your constitutional rights are being violated.

    I'll tell you what. You sue the federal government tomorrow with that claim. When the Supreme Court rules in your favor, that you individually had your civil rights violated, I'll give you $1,000 in recognition of my being wrong. However, if they rule against you, you have to pay me $1,000. However, if you won't file the lawsuit, we can all just agree you're a whiner.

    When should surveillance be conducted and a gag order NOT be in place? After the word is out because there was no gag order, how long do you think terrorists will allow their email and web requests to be monitored before moving to a new ISP.

    You know, a little common sense and a lot less self-righteousness would go a long way in this discussion.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    all people are saying is that the FBI should have some oversight. they should have to get approval to spy on people, just like police do. without any kind of oversight how can we be sure they aren't abusing their power?

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2008 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    >> all people are saying is that the FBI should have some oversight.

     

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  38.  
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    crystalattice (profile), Aug 28th, 2008 @ 7:48pm

    Anonymous announcements

    What's to stop someone from using an Internet cafe computer to post an anonymous message about the NSL? Or calling a news station from a pay phone (if you can find one)?

    Just because there is a gag order doesn't mean it's not possible to circumvent the system.

     

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  39.  
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    crystalattice (profile), Aug 28th, 2008 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    I was always under the impression that one of the reasons Reagan got into office was because of the politics of the situation. Specifically, that a deal was cut w/ Iran that they would release the hostages in exchange for certain help from the US in the future.

    As we have seen in the past few elections, the will of the people is not what elects a president, so it's not that far fetched to consider it.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    "In contrast, the Iranians KNEW President Reagan would do something about the hostage crisis so they released the hostages within an hour of Reagan's inauguration - after holding them for more than a year under the feckless Carter."

    I could take factual issue with nearly everything in your post, but to be honest I am not sure you have a good enough foundation in history or politics for it to be worth the hassle (seriously, I am not being factious or flippant, but you have been heavily propagandized). I will just point out one thing to you as apparently they don’t mention it on "talk radio". Do you remember who was president when militants Muslims attacked a marine barracks in Lebanon. The single most deadly act against the united states military outside an active conflict in the history of our country (still to this day)? Do you remember who was president and what he did in response . . . look it up, learn and start thinking for yourself, your country needs it.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    "Let me ask you this: If you think the government should be allowed to ignore our constitutionally protected rights, why bother having a constitution? In fact, you can have exactly the kind of government you want, right now: Move to China. They're more than happy to go through your belongings, decide what you can't and can't see, read and hear, tap your phone, block your internet connection, and so on. Seems like that's what you want, so why not just STFU and move there? "

    Republicans take note too, China has NEVER been attacked by terrorists, they must be doing something right huh?

     

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  42.  
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    Nasch, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The fact that . . .

    You just brought up a completely irrelevant point that I never mentioned. I never claimed my civil rights in particular have been violated, so we'll just ignore that.

    Then you restated your original claim that automatic gag orders with no oversight are a good thing, with your original arguments about terrorism restated. You didn't address the need for oversight that I mentioned and instead act like there are only two possibilities: no gag orders at all, or automatic gag orders with no oversight. Are you even willing to discuss a middle ground?

     

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  43.  
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    Nasch, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    What's to stop someone from using an Internet cafe computer to post an anonymous message about the NSL? Or calling a news station from a pay phone (if you can find one)?

    Just because there is a gag order doesn't mean it's not possible to circumvent the system.


    Sure. But I'm guessing if the subject of the gag order did that, they would be headed to Federal Pound Me In The Ass Prison, or at least the FBI would do everything in their power to see that it was so. Even if they failed, they could make someone's life mightily unpleasant. I doubt it would matter whether they could link the communication to who did it, either. When the only people who know about the gag order are the FBI and the subject... what more evidence do they need for who leaked it?

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2008 @ 8:08am

    Re: Oh Boo Hoo

    Anyone who knows anything about the Internet knows it's not inherently secure. Without encryption, sending an e-mail through the Internet is like sticking an envelope on a bulletin board with the words "Do Not Open" on it.
    That applies to wired telephone communications as well. After all, anyone who knows anything about telephone systems knows that on the way to the telco central office the lines usually pass through many public and third-party private places. All anyone anywhere along the way has to do is to connect a speaker to two little wires to hear everything you say on a telephone. Without encryption, talking on the telephone is like sticking an envelope on a bulletin board with the words "Do Not Open" on it.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2008 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Oh Boo Hoo

    How strange it must be to live in your world where it's not illegal for Fred Smirtz at the ISP to read through anyone's e-mails looking for good porn...

    What a brain-damaged idiotic troll. That is illegal (at least in the US).

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2008 @ 8:18am

    Re:

    Site maintainers- I wonder if it would be possible to publicly display IP addresses when someone posts anonymously?
    You mean, like you just did? And why would you want people's addresses?

    Or heck, just do away with anonymous posting altogether?
    I suppose they could start by deleting your post.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    Re:

    Very true. I just find it funny that I am acting more maturely. I'm sure you understand...

    Actually, I wouldn't be surprised to find that you posted some of those other trolls. I'm sure you understand...

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2008 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Anonymous announcements

    What's to stop someone from using an Internet cafe computer to post an anonymous message about the NSL? Or calling a news station from a pay phone (if you can find one)?
    How about the fact that it's illegal? You may find this hard to believe but there are some other people who try to obey the law out of respect rather than fear. For those people, just thinking that they can "get away with it" is not good enough.
    Just because there is a gag order doesn't mean it's not possible to circumvent the system.
    The prisons are full of people who thought they could "get away with it". It is better to change the law than to break it.

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    Jackie, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Oh Boo Hoo

    You must be out of your mind? Lawlessness is the last thing we need and for the government to show that we do not promote violence. What has a small boy ever done to you?

    The reason the internet is not secure is nobody has ID! Your name is Coward, perfect, are you human or database?

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    Ross Wolf, Feb 28th, 2010 @ 10:45pm

    Recently Obama Signed a One Year Extension To The Patriot Act.

    It does not take much knowledge of history to understand how a corrupt U.S. Government could use National Security Letters under the Patriot Act—As A Political or Economic Weapon.
    Currently in the name of fighting terrorism, U.S. Government can use National Security Letters to search a Citizen’s private information and records without having to provide specific facts—the person’s information sought pertains to a foreign power or agent of a foreign power. Government can impose National Security Letters without probable cause on your employer, your business client(s) credit card providers, even your relationships. After you receive a National Security Letter, under current law you can’t tell anyone. National Security Letters if used by a tyrannical U.S. Government, could be very threatening to Americans when you consider methods used by other governments. For example in Nazi Germany, the Gestapo routinely targeted and damaged business people and companies that refused to support the Nazi Government by—interrogating their customers—about them. Not surprisingly targeted business people and companies found it difficult to make a living after their frightened customers and clients distanced themselves after Gestapo interrogation. Some German corporations with ties to the Reich government used the Gestapo to scare off their business rivals’ associates and customers—to take their business. A corrupt U.S. Government could as easily use National Security Letters in the same manner and to intimidate Americans exercising First Amendment Rights.

    Congress needs to pass legislation that prevents Government using National Security Letters to investigate Americans without first demonstrating a clear standard of probable cause.

     

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


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