If You Can't Sue The Feds For Spying, Sue Them For Lying About Spying

from the again-and-again dept

There have been numerous attempts by various parties (including, in a few cases, the EFF) to sue the US government concerning various aspects of its warrantless spying on Americans. Pretty much all of these cases end up failing, often for reasons that are suspect. However, it appears that the EFF is going to try again. As you may recall, back in July, the feds admitted to Senator Wyden that their own analysis discovered that they had violated the 4th Amendment on occasion in carrying out surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act.

In response to this, the EFF filed Freedom of Information Act requests, asking for documents concerning the situation in which such searches were deemed unreasonable under the 4th Amendment. The feds more or less ignored the FOIA request. So the EFF is suing for violations under the FOIA. It may not be as sexy as suing about the actual spying, but that path has already been shut down plenty of times. I'd guess that this approach won't succeed either (though I hope it does!). But, at the very least, hopefully it can call some attention to the massive secrecy by the feds as Congress gets ready to re-approve the FISA Amendments Act without bothering to understand how it's being used.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 8:06am

    I think they just don't get it... that ship has already sailed. They can keep tilting at windmills, but they are pretty much dead on the issue.

    Not sure why Google would want to finance this sort of thing.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 8:08am

      Re:

      It must have something to do with the Kenyan Communazi conspiracy!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 8:15am

      Re:

      "...that ship has already sailed. They can keep tilting at windmills, but they are pretty much dead on the issue."

      Are you trying to beat some sort of idiom density record?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 8:17am

      Re:

      "It's all Google's fault"

       

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      Richard (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 8:53am

      Re:

      I think they just don't get it... that ship has already sailed. They can keep tilting at windmills, but they are pretty much dead on the issue.

      OK I'll take what you said at face value. Then I have to ask:
      What kind of person is it that gloats over someone else have got away with wrongdoing?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 9:02am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, it's like gloating about a pedophile getting away with raping kids. Why on earth would you be happy about that?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 9:12am

        Re: Re:

        What kind of person is it that gloats over someone else have got away with wrongdoing?

        I'd say only a real, fucking asshole.... like all of those people crying over the capture of the Svartholm. Here's an example of a particular sort of douchebag you seem to be referring to:

        "PaulT (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 2:35am

        Ah yes, the AC mantra - lies, deceit, collusion, bribery and lawbreaking are OK as long as it's US who benefit from it! It's OK to destroy freedoms in other countries because someone might have copied some files for profit!

        "Why should he get to hide out in a third world country and avoid paying for his crimes?"

        Because, despite your best attempts so far, other countries are not bound to your laws. Unless, of course, that you're going to claim that the US should deport all political refugees currently claiming asylum in your country to avoid persecution under the laws of their home countries? Not saying so would make you a hypocrite, but I expect that.


        So I agree with you, realizing that your fellow Techdirtbags largely fit the bill.

         

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      Ninja (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 9:41am

      Re:

      Not sure why Google would want to finance this sort of thing.

      I don't know, Google has financed the creation of all known universe after all. There must be some ominous reasoning behind all that money thrown on useless projects.

      Meanwhile, Google is at fault for hunger in Africa, they should do something about that.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 8:35am

    A prediction

    Judge: National security is WAY more important than that whole "democracy" thing.

     

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    ethorad (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 8:35am

    If you can't get them for spying, get them for lying?

    Sounds like the Al Capone method of prosecution (or rather the Frank J Wilson method I guess)

     

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    Bengie, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 9:32am

    How to fix it

    Continuing to willfully violate the constitution should carry the death penalty for treason for any government personally and department.

    Anyone in the government who knows another government official is violating the constitution should have to report said offense, otherwise also risk punishment by death.

    Anyone who has reported said offense to a superior is no longer in danger of the death penalty, but the burden is now on the shoulders of said superior.

    This would fix problems fast.

     

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    iambinarymind (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 9:56am

    Insanity...

    Does anyone else not see the utter insanity of attempting to sue to government by way of the government monopoly known as the "Justice System"?

    Until the use of State force/coercion is removed (i.e. "taxation"/theft) to allow a voluntary market of competing arbitration systems to thrive, the people calling themselves "government" that claim the "legal" use of force/coercion will continue to expand their power and destroy individual freedoms.

    It's time to wake up. Show the world that you own your self. Do not associate with individuals that advocate the use of force against you.

     

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    KingofDarkness (profile), Sep 6th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    You bunch of whiney babies...

    Why are all of you crying over some Gov't snooping? Do you have something to hide?!?!? If not, then no one should mind having their privacy dissolved in the federal acid that is known as the NSA.

    ...and why does no one ever talk about the fact that the NSA is a military organization? So not only do they violate the constitution by spying on Americans illegally, no form of U.S. military is supposed to EVER be used as a police force against its own countries citizens... But hey, who cares about the semantics of the NSA's anticonstitution movement...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 6:57pm

      Re: You bunch of whiney babies...

      State of national emergency, NDAA.
      President can do whatever he wants, military can do whatever they want.

      Don't expect change anytime soon, either. I wouldn't bet on Romney giving up the dictator's power, and Obama's already signed off on both of the above (after throwing a hissy fit until Congress amended the NDAA so it wouldn't undermine his authority).

       

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    John, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 11:37am

    At least someone is looking out for us

    Well before I read this article I didn't know such an organization existed. I'm glad that at least someone is looking out for our privacy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2012 @ 3:32pm

    Admitted? Read that again.

    Here's the quote:
    It is also true that on at least one occasion the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held that some collection carried out pursuant to the Section 702 minimization procedures used by the government was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
    I believe that the government's implementation of Section 702 of FISA has sometimes circumvented the spirit of the law, and on at least one occasion the FISA Court has reached this same conclusion.

    It says only that:
    The government did something that a court believes violated the law.
    The government violated the spirit of the law, in the opinion of the Director.
    (In other words, it's hardly admitting anything. This is not an accident.)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 3:54am

      Re: Admitted? Read that again.

      Here, let me give you the Techdirt answer:

      If they aren't breaking the law, they aren't trying to push the boundaries of what is possible.

      It works for pirate sites and enablers, so why shouldn't it work for the feds too?

       

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