NSA Boss Asks Congress For Blanket Immunity For Companies That Help NSA Spy On Everyone

from the but-of-course dept

This will come as no surprise to anyone, but NSA boss General Keith Alexander is pestering Congress for a new law which would provide blanket immunity for companies helping the NSA collect data on everyone.
Gen. Keith Alexander has petitioned Capitol Hill for months to give Internet service providers and other firms new cover from lawsuits when they rely on government data to thwart emerging cyberthreats.
Basically, he's arguing that if the NSA orders companies to do something illegal, the companies shouldn't be liable for that. There's some logic behind that, because when you get an order from the government, you often feel compelled to obey. But, of course, the reality is that this will give blanket cover for companies voluntarily violating all sorts of privacy laws in giving the NSA data. And, theoretically you could then sue the government over those violations, but we've seen in the past how well that goes over. First, the courts won't give you "standing" if you can't prove absolutely that your data was included. Then, if you get past that hurdle, the government will claim "national security" or sovereign immunity to try to get out of the case. And, even if it gets past all of that, and you win against the government, the feds shrug their shoulders and say "now what are you going to do?"

And, of course, rather than narrowly target this immunity, it appears that Alexander would like it as broad as possible.
One former White House aide told POLITICO that Alexander has been asking members of Congress for some time to adopt bill language on countermeasures that’s “as ill-defined as possible” — with the goal of giving the Pentagon great flexibility in taking action alongside Internet providers. Telecom companies, the former aide said, also have been asking Alexander for those very legal protections.
Given the revelations of the past few weeks, this seems like the exact wrong direction for Congress to be heading. We should want companies to push back against overaggressive demands from the government for information. Giving them blanket immunity would be a huge mistake and only enable greater privacy violations.


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    Transmitte, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

    That slippery slope? yeah, were on it. Fuck.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

    That's what CISPA is for! And YOU'RE against it!

    I don't see the obvious: if they're doing nothing wrong, why would they need immunity?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 2:52pm

      Re: That's what CISPA is for! And YOU'RE against it!

      Civil immunity. So that they can turn round to anyone and say, "Sorry! We're the Paladins of IMMUNE!!!"

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 4:25pm

      Re: That's what CISPA is for! And YOU'RE against it!

      Yep, CISPA was supposed to legalize companies sharing data with the government - which is why we're against it.

      Hint: we don't want our private data shared with the government.

       

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    FM Hilton, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 2:55pm

    Redux of stupid

    Doesn't anyone in the damned government have a brain to think with?

    After the last 3 weeks, there is simply no reason for anyone to even consider the idea of immunity for anyone, or any company participating in this illegal program.

    The first time was enough.

    There should be prosecutions beginning now and sparing nobody at all.

    Then they should shut down the entire program and fire everyone in it. Too bad for them to be unemployed, but it sucks to be you, doesn't it?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

      Re: Redux of stupid

      prosecutions

      right...we are still waiting for the investigation to conclude as to how and why the housing crisis happened so we can start throwing people in jail

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2013 @ 5:21am

        Re: Re: Redux of stupid

        that investigation will (purposefully) finish just as the statute of limitations expires.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

    Wow, 10th article today, Mike. You really are the Milk Master. Too bad you can't be transparent while you demand that others be transparent. You see the irony, right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 3:10pm

    Why doesn't he ask for immunity on Clapper's statement to Wyden?

    If the NSA Director is going to ask for immunity…

    … then why doesn't he ask for immunity for his boss? Doesn't DNI James Clapper's least untruthful response need some immunity? C'mon Gen Alex—get some immunity for Gen. Clapper!

    If you're going to ask… ask for the moon. And in that spirit, just ask for immunity for anyone who's ever intentionally made an “untruthful” statement testifying before Congress.

     

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    PRMan, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 3:30pm

    Links?

    First, the courts won't give you "standing" if you can't prove absolutely that your data was included. Then, if you get past that hurdle, the government will claim "national security" or sovereign immunity to try to get out of the case. And, even if it gets past all of that, and you win against the government, the feds shrug their shoulders and say "now what are you going to do?"

    Would have been nice to have links in this section. You're slipping, Mike... ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 3:51pm

    Something smelly this way comes

    Hmmm... Lemme see if I've got this right: President Alexander wants Congress to make it impossible to prosecute corporate actors who engage in otherwise prosecutable behaviors directed toward American targets, just so long as it's the NSA that picks the victims and gives the orders?

    What could possibly go wrong?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 3:58pm

      Re: Something smelly this way comes

      Not prosecute. The government has to bring criminal charges and they aren't going to do that to companies that just give them what they want. The immunity is against civil liability for users who want to sue because a company violated their rights.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 3:52pm

    How about this instead...

    Blanket immunity for companies that say NO to the government asking for data that they have no right to.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 3:56pm

    Not no but HELL NO.

    Wanna tell us what happened with Qwest and why when the CEO refused without a court order to co-operate he wound up in jail and all government contracts were cancelled with Qwest?

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/10/qwest-ceo-nsa-punished-qwest-refusing-participate-illegal- surveillance-pre-9-11

    Why aren't we talking about illegal government actions here instead of granting post immunity?

    What it looks like to me is we have a rabid government gone crazy and they need less authority not more.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 4:22pm

    Deja Vu

    I suppose this time it will also include immunity for lying to congress.

     

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    Jay (profile), Jun 17th, 2013 @ 4:51pm

    Godwin's Law

    February 27, 1933. That was the rise of Hitler. Democracy died that day in Germany. Those in charge received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely ignored his efforts. The intelligence services knew, however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed.

    You see, the people were distracted by their unelected "leader", a man who was chosen for the position by the elites. He wasn't supposed to be there. Many citizens claimed he had no right to the powers he coveted. But he knew... They'd all be punished in the end. They dismissed him as a simpleton. He had simple, inflammatory rhetoric and knew how to have passionate speeches. But even his younger days in the occult didn't stop his rise to power. For this gentleman knew...

    He knew the terrorist was going to strike (just not where or when). So when an aide brought him word that the nation's most prestigious building was ablaze, he verified that it was the terrorist who had struck and then rushed to the scene and called a press conference.

    You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history.

    "The fire is beginning."

    That fire was used not to declare war on a nation but a tactic: terrorism. This terrorism had to have originated with a group of people of Middle Eastern origin who rationalized their acts using religion.

    Two weeks later, suspected allies were held in prison and patriotism erupted everywhere with the leader's flag. Within four weeks of the attack, the nations leader had pushed through legislation - in the name of fighting terrorism and the philosophy that spawned it - which suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus. Now police could intercept mail and wiretap phones; terrorists could be imprisoned without specific charges and no access to lawyers. Police could sneak into people's homes without warrants if the cases involved terrorism.

    And people went along because he promised sunset provisions.

    But the people got gradual increases in state sponsored terrorism. More people began to be arrested for suspicious acts. Pretty soon, the nation was referred to as "the homeland" in 1934. The beginning of an us-vs-them mentality pursued.

    Then the push for more military war powers began. His argument? "Any international body that didn't act first and foremost in the best interest of his own nation was neither relevant nor useful. He withdrew his country form the League of Nations in October 1933 and negotiated a separate naval armaments agreement with Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Anthony Eden in the United Kingdom to create a worldwide military ruling elite.

    To get the evangelicals of his country he proclaimed a need for a revival of the Christian faith across his nation with his "New Christianity". Every man in the growing army wore a belt buckle that declared Gott mit uns - God is with us- and most of them fervently believed it was true.

    Within a year of the attack, the nation's leader began to coordinate various local police and federal agencies around the nation around Middle Eastern terrorism. What would eventually occur is that this national agency that was mandated to protect the security of the homeland, dealt with the press and had them at their disposal. They asked people to phone in suspicious neighbors.

    And yet, that program began to grab opposition politicians and celebrities who dared speak out. Then the thirst for more power began... He reached out to industry and forged an alliance with them by bringing former executives of the nation's largest corporations into high government positions. Government money poured into corporate coffers to fight the war against terrorists in the homeland and to prepare for wars overseas. Powerful alliances with industries culminated into one of the first large-scale detention centers for enemies of the state.

    And yet, voices began to dissent.

    Students started an active program against him called the White Rose Society and leaders of neary nations were speaking out against his bellicose rhetoric.

    So he created a diversion to get away from the crony capitalism he'd implemented, the questions of his illegitimate rise to power, and the civil libertarians who voiced concerns about the people being held in detentions without due process or access to attorneys or family.

    And so, Adolf Hitler began his grandstanding for war. He claimed the right to strike preemptively in self defense. Months of lobbying and international debate ensued and he was allowed to annex Austria. To deal with the damage, Hitler and his "friends" in the radio began a campaign to equate him and his policies with patriotism and the nation itself. If you questioned him, you were labeled unpatriotic, "anti-German," or "not a good German" while you were aiding the enemies of the state by failing in the patriotic necessity of supporting the nation's valiant men in uniform. It was the most effective ways to stifle dissent and pit wage earning people against the intellectuals and liberals critical of his policy.

    And so to divert attention away from his policies, he focused the nation on war. There was violence against liberals, Jews, and union leaders and the epidemic of crony capitalism was producing empires of wealth in the corporate sector but threatening the middle class's way of life.

    Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain told his people that giving in to this leader's new first-strike doctrine for a second time would bring "peace for our time".

    A year later, to the week, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia. Germany was fully at war and all internal dissent suppressed in the name of national security.

    By the way... The office for the security of the homeland? That was the schutzstaffel. We know it in the US as the SS.

    The US has been going down the same fascist path as other nations with the very same results... We created an aristocracy with Reagan, fought wars while eliminating public services under both Bushes, attacked our poor with crippling poverty under Clinton and Obama, while turning our democracy into a police state for the past 40 years.

    Tread lightly... Our republic cannot stay on this path without dire consequences in the near future.

     

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      Rapnel (profile), Jun 17th, 2013 @ 6:20pm

      Re: Godwin's Law

      And to all, a good night.

       

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:33pm

      Re: Godwin's Law

      So you're saying it's time to attack Russia?

       

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      Loki, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 10:29am

      Re: Godwin's Law

      I've seen many comparisons to Nazi Germany over the past decade, but in my opinion I see much greater parallels in the last decade to the American Colonies of the 1750s. After a decade, given comparable timelines, that would put us now roughly in the early 1760, which is interesting given I recently came across this article. I still consider another 1776-style showdown (assuming the Federal government chooses to use military force to try to quell the resistance like the British did instead of just letting the dissidents go) to be a more probable outcome for this country than what happened in Germany in the 1930s.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 6:25pm

    UPCOMING TOMORROW: House Intelligence Committee Hearing

    NSA Director Keith Alexander to Testify at Open House Intelligence Committee Hearing
    Media Advisory

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Security Agency (NSA) Director Keith Alexander will testify Tuesday in an open hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). The hearing is part of the continuing oversight the HPSCI conducts of the NSA, and an opportunity to discuss how the disclosed NSA programs protect Americans from terror attacks on US soil, and why the disclosure of that classified information aids our adversaries.

    Date:  June 18, 2013 (Tuesday)
    Topic: How Disclosed NSA Programs Protect Americans, and Why Disclosure Aids Our Adversaries
    Time:  10:00am – 12:00pm ET


    United States House of Representatives, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: webpage for hearing.


    (H/T Fox News )

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:55am

      Re: UPCOMING TOMORROW: House Intelligence Committee Hearing

      Is this an ad for Fox News?

      Pathetic

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:08am

        Re: Re: UPCOMING TOMORROW: House Intelligence Committee Hearing

        Is this an ad for Fox News?

        No.

        If anything, it promotes C-SPAN: Head of NSA Meets with Hse. Intel Cmte. (Scheduled today, 10am)

        But these days, you can usually watch Congressional hearings webcast directly from the committee website, if you'd rather.
         

         
        Pathetic

        Does it bother you that I habitually credit my sources? You think rudeness is better?

         

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    FM Hilton, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Godwins' Law

    I'm going to be the rabble rouser and say that no two epochs in history are the same, no matter what the broader view looks like.

    Give depth to the picture: Germany was in the grip of a devastating depression, with civil anarchy as a theme. There were no good leaders, no cohesive groups or mindset.

    It had been suffering from it's utter defeat in WWI, and had been punished excessively by the Allies for its' role in starting that war. The reparations the country made to the Allies were crippling the economy to the point of utter exhaustion.

    Hitler was 'selected' by the people because they were desperate for a leader who would lead them out of a economic misry so vast that the money would change value in hours.

    Add to that the substrata of hatred towards one select group as the reason for their misery, and you have a country that was ready to give any man who had their hearts and minds in his speeches.

    Do not make the mistake of comparing this time with that. There are no Gestapo agents busting down doors to find the nearest Jew to put into concentration camps. There are no detention centers for intellectuals.

    While this administration has much to account for, that one compares it to Hitler's in retrospect is utter recklessness.

    The NSA does have too much power, and true, it has been used recklessly and without checks on it.

    But to pander to the view that we're going to turn into Nazi Germany because of it is sheer utter intellectual posturing and false straw man argument.

     

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      Jay (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 2:32am

      Re: Re: Godwins' Law


      Do not make the mistake of comparing this time with that.


      Ok... But let's do the exact opposite and see if there are parallels.

      Germany was in the grip of a devastating depression, with civil anarchy as a theme.

      How is that different from the US being gripped with punishing austerity in their sixth year while we give more money to the rich and leave the scraps for the rest of the nation?

      There were no good leaders, no cohesive groups or mindset.

      Communists were banned from influencing the government and their exclusion lead to extreme conservatism by the libertarians of the time. I try to keep partisanry out of the example, but it still explains the basic gist of corporatism that is currently going on in our country today.

      The reparations the country made to the Allies were crippling the economy to the point of utter exhaustion.

      No question. But look at our economy sputtering along when the rich could be taxed to provide better public services. Look at the demagoguery between liberals and conservatives in keeping a corrupt and unequal system of governance that is exhausting the people itself.


      Hitler was 'selected' by the people because they were desperate for a leader who would lead them out of a economic misry so vast that the money would change value in hours.


      True. And that's why austerity is so dangerous even in the country now. It makes people desperate to find blame with the weakest people of a nation and works to find scapegoats and con artists in positions of power.

      Add to that the substrata of hatred towards one select group as the reason for their misery, and you have a country that was ready to give any man who had their hearts and minds in his speeches.

      And how is that any different from the US and their degradation of blacks in the Drug War, the peonage system we've used since the Civil War, or the fact that we have plenty of people that have felt the effects of influential speakers in making life harder for people all around?

      There are no Gestapo agents busting down doors to find the nearest Jew to put into concentration camps.

      Try being black and having law enforcement break down your door with no-knock warrants. We have more people killed by police officers every day than were ever killed by terrorism.

      There are no detention centers for intellectuals.

      Aaron Schwartz' prosecution says otherwise. We don't detain the financially wealthy. We detain and subject everyone else to harsher fates for doing nothing other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      The NSA does have too much power, and true, it has been used recklessly and without checks on it.

      And all I've done is show the history of the 30s, which others have not learned. I stand by the view that if we move further to extreme conservatism, we will see fascism arise in the US. And that will be the utter end of the democratic experiment that began in 1776. Personally, I believe that there can be a new democratic experiment. It just means that our institutions will have to be changed considerably to allow more democracy than what the Founders ever intended. No electoral college. No 3/5th Compromise. No loss of votes for all American citizens.

      But to pander to the view that we're going to turn into Nazi Germany because of it is sheer utter intellectual posturing and false straw man argument.

      Nope. Just as we can learn about history to prevent it, so too can we learn to avoid the mistakes of even Germany and its bout with fascism. I stand firm that this was created to show how our history has progressed for the past 40 years. Maybe you don't agree. But with parallels in how we treat minority groups, it's time to recognize that we are dangerously close to the brink of our own destruction and that's difficult to accept but a desperate conversation needed right now.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:56am

      Re: Re: Godwins' Law

      I'm going to go out on limb here and say that no two snowflakes are identical.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:20am

    but it's so much less work, so much less troublesome to just the NSA (and whoever else) do whatever they want to whoever they want, regardless of the consequences! good old Congress! always up for the easy path!

     

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    Ed the Engineer, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:53am

    I find it interesting that a General is requesting this....

    Many years ago, I was having a discussion with a (now retired) naval officer. The subject of obeying illegal orders came up. He said something like "You are required NOT to obey an illegal order. Your career will be over, but you must not obey an illegal order. If you do, you are held accountable." It seems to me that the General wants to make it legal for companies to obey illegal orders. I guess he figures the government will protect him, he's one of "US". He just needs to protect the foot solders (isp's etc) so they will continue to obey illegal orders.

     

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    AMusingFool (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:25am

    Giving them blanket immunity would be a huge mistake and only guarantee greater privacy violations.


    FTFY

    (ps: there anything that can be done to enable <strike> tag?)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    Sue them into non-existence for all I care.

     

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    special-interesting (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 8:18am

    NSA pestering Congress for a new law to exonerate corporations for enabling mass spying? This. After all the earlier whining and begging to get the telecoms off the hook for their part in the Bush-Obama spying Watergate scandal. Something does not fit.

    What this action reads like in body language is; There is so much more spying and whatever violations of the Constitution involved that MORE blanket hall-passes are necessary. As if that was needed in this mad schoolhouse already taken over by the kids.

    Lets imagine a potential worst case scenario. By leaks we already know that Microsoft, Google and AOL (Mozilla) have been infiltrated/subverted by NSA moles/equipment/force/threats. These three tech giants control the three main browsers that the majority of the worlds users use.

    So far all we know about is the particularly nasty habit of the NSA's bulk data gathering ninja technique. Nothing was admitted about back doors deliberately put into the original manufactures programs. (the trojan method) Many hints of this but no admission.

    Certainly I do not know for sure but what about that China scandal a few years ago where Google claimed espionage. For all we know this might have been the NSA using China as a dupe since its so easy to spoof a IP address.

    The current low/zero level of credibility in the Bush-Obama administrations and the NSA lead to any sort of wild scenario one can imagine. Here we have a case where the lack of transparency in the current administration and its agencies only create more doubt and mistrust.

    Gen. Alexander said ISP's “and other firms”. This meas that the NSA letters of national security did not cover their asses! A lot potential political shrapnel to think about there.

    “,adopt bill language on countermeasures that’s “as ill-defined as possible” —“ This is just icing on the cake. Its been normal procedure for any special-interest-group to write the law/bill/act in some way that only benefits the industry/agency that desired/campaign-donated/supported/asked (for) it.

    Of course its obvious that any elected official that supported this, way over the top request, is too far down the rabbit hole to be considered a real defender of the Constitution. That person(s) has most likely given up the safety an security of freedom and liberty for shadows and ghosts.






    Reactionary,

    Agreement that its a sad sign that there have been not hearings on the actions of the current administration and the NSA. Prosecutions should be in order. At the very least pensions should be forfeited for not defending the Constitution. (their job)

    Since its not the first time some real punitive actions might be warranted. So far the only thing scheduled is the NSA “briefing”. (hahaha) What value does testimony from some agency with no trust level to speak of matter?


    The analogies to early Germany pre war history are very concerning. Compelling historical precedence is telling a repent saga of past blunders and mistakes.

    When party A mostly equals B and both start to seem incapable of defending the Constitution then party C (or D etc) start to look viable.


    Just reading on the supposed House Intelligence Committee Hearing coming up does not sound to Constitutionally healthy when reading the media advisory. Of course if it was written by Fox news...


    Jay an FM Hilton has some interesting points and historical correlations to make. You both recognized the economic historical comparison as both the current US and Germany were in economic tough times. Germany was in a lot worse shape but US economic future does not look good either. (now if we had invested all that wasted NSA money in a Space Program or something more tangible...)


    And finally; Mr. Hilton. (best Mr. Johnson from the Matrix voice)

    In this day and age what we have to compare with the Gestapo and SS is the criminalization of lifestyles. We have the DEA and ATF and other weirdly named agencies. Lately the NSA makes the FBI look like heroes.

    Want/need to purchase your prescriptions from another country because your could not afford the 5x price your local pharmacy charged? Jail and broken down doors with guns pointed at your wife and kids (and its likely they will be thrown out into the street when you loose your job)

    Want to grow medicinal spices in your back yard? Jail and broken down doors with guns pointed at your wife and kids (and its likely they will be thrown out into the street when you loose your job)

    Wanna watch dirty porn that some group finds unpleasant? Jail and broken down doors with guns pointed at your wife and kids (and its likely they will be thrown out into the street when you loose your job) Also there will be porn trolls to sue and ridicule you and your family to a likely early death.

    Wanna download movies, research and TV shows? Jail and broken down doors. Or at least threats for 10 years in jail leading to suicide because of the legal pressure. And more copyright trolls to force you into submission and financial ruin.

    Think the US does not persecute religions/race? Try asking a Arab/Indian decent looking person how difficult it is to get by a TSA inspection.

    And. Those were just the jail term motivations on lifestyles. We have taxes and other fines for the rest?

    Wanna dance in a bar in the state of Washington? That bar will be taxed a few extra thousand dollars and fined for actually letting people dance in its establishment.

    Wanna unlock your iphone? (oops, this one should have been under the jail term list above.)

    (on and on)

    Wanna deny all this? Try. The US already jails around 5% of its population for lifestyle crimes. This is about 300-700% more than other countries. In more explicit terms the Drug (and other lifestyle) war(s) have economically crippled the US already.

     

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    Michael Rivero, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    Cannot be done...

    Such a law would instantly be unconstitutional, because in providing immunity, Congress is approving violations of the Fourth Amendment. Under the USSC Marbury Vs. Madison decision, such a law, repugnant to the Constitution, is instantly null and void.

     

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    DDearborn, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 10:49am

    retroactive immunity is unconstitutional

    Hmmm

    Just to be different lets just stick with the rule of law as dictated by the United States Constitution.

    Ex post facto laws are expressly forbidden by the United States Constitution in Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3.

    Therefore since these companies have clearly committed crimes along with the government they should be prosecuted along with the government.

    I mean come on now if what they are doing wasn't illegal they would not need blanket immunity now would they?????

    Good grief

     

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    Rich Cream, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 12:40pm

    Immunity?

    Go for the gold and get presidential pardons.

    After the fact is better. It looks like people at least tried to do something about it but were circumvented.

     

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    FM HIlton, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 2:51pm

    Something best explained

    In the land of geeks, I'm the girl.

    It's Ms. Hilton to you..and everyone else.

     

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    identicon
    Ted, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:54pm

    Immunity for Whistleblowers

    Immunity for tech companies rather than immunity for whistleblowers - and the wheel turns!

     

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    None of your Business, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 8:53pm

    FUCK NSA

    If you like "Big Government, you'll love Big Business...unfortunately, there is no line between business and government. There is only hierarchy vs. self-determination. As Orwell said in "1984:" "In accordance to the principles of Doublethink, it does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is, that victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous. The essential act of modern warfare is the destruction of the produce of human labor. A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle, the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not victory over Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact."

     

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    special-interesting (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    My apologies Ms. Hilton. No offense is intended.


    Correction; the Mr Johnson voice was supposed to be a Agent Smith voice from the movie The Matrix. (The Wachowski Brothers, of Babylon 5 fame) The neutral, almost robotic, yet still human, monotone voice that seemed critical of everything human. Used in an anti-ironic manner.

     

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    Bill Barido, Jun 20th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    NSA Boss

    Didn't we hang some people in Germany after WWII for following orders?
    Why should the telecoms and their ilk get blanket immunity for following illegal orders?
    We've already set the precedent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2013 @ 8:03pm

    That's a military coup

    He wants companies to follow military orders and ignore Congress made laws and the Judicial branch.

    That's what a military coup is.

    You might think Obama is in charge, but General Keith Alexander has bypassed him already, it's Gen Alexander that runs the show now.

     

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


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