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  • Mar 17th, 2015 @ 3:18pm

    Capacity and secrecy

    Congress lacks the capacity to enter into an agreement that abdicates their governmental role. They are, supposedly, in their position to act both as check and balance and as our representatives. We can't be represented in something we don't know about and that they can't change by vote or even discuss. No negotiation is so sensitive that its terms should be hidden from the people until the deal is a fait accompli. This would be riot-worthy material to the likes of Franklin or Adams. If state actors want to sell us all down the river by classifying f'ing everything, then it becomes time to consider impeachment or a vote of no confidence.

  • Mar 13th, 2015 @ 7:59am

    Right vs. privilege

    "While we recognise privacy concerns about bulk interception, we do not subscribe to the point of view that it is acceptable to let some terrorist attacks happen in order to uphold the individual right to privacy"

    The problem with both the UK and US government's position is that these agencies actually believe that citizen rights are transitory and modifiable; we need to start asserting our right to privacy or this will become a de facto truth. All of these spying and government secrecy revelations should be sparking worldwide protests and ousters of the officials that hold to their surveillance state tenets.

  • Mar 11th, 2015 @ 10:16am

    Double-edged defense

    Even after Gomez punched Love hard in the face, he still refused orders to sit and stop resisting, Gomez told the jury, causing the veteran detective to fear for his life.

    The fact that this type of brutality appears to be so deeply ingrained in cop culture practically guarantees that I—as a juror—would believe this exact same defense by a perp against a cop. A handcuffed person being needlessly and illegally assaulted is the one with the valid reason to fear for their life and they have every right to resist.

  • Mar 2nd, 2015 @ 8:54am

    Lip service

    the Administration welcomes the opportunity to work with the new Congress to implement the changes the President has called for.

    As soon as Congress’ perspective aligns with the President’s vision of “change,” the two will come together in harmony—just as the founders envisioned checks and balances working. Never mind that warrantless surveillance and secret courts in which you have no representation are highly unlawful on their face; the appearance that we have an open, functional government must be maintained.

  • Feb 12th, 2015 @ 12:57pm

    Lying in court

    If the US Marshals Service has ordered LEOs to lie in court, aren't they conspiring to commit a felony? Interfering in the court system and discovery process doesn't just "border" on being unconstitutional; it's the epitome of unconstitutionality and tears the right to redress grievances from the citizens.

  • Feb 12th, 2015 @ 12:22pm

    Re: I think this is already settled

    I think this is largely unsettled. If your ox gored a person and you were lax in its control, you are responsible for damages in the same way you would be if your dog bit someone. This is far more nebulous and rife with unanswered legal questions.

    Can you be threatened or damaged by a non-entity? A program is the brainchild of the developer. If their child breaks the law, are they responsible for their crimes? If the end user has to surrender their copy of the bot, can they just download another? The new iteration would be completely innocent of their brother's crime. Can the user or programmer ever be said to be responsible for actions of a program that are essentially random?

  • Feb 10th, 2015 @ 10:12am

    Doubt of the benefit

    German people should be incredulously doubting the benefit of all this spying and any cooperation in same. If there were legitimacy to the claim that we’ve got to "work through" these "complicated issues," they would have asked beforehand and not spied on people that pose no threat, including their own citizens. The emotional appeal that the US has always respected civil rights and has a tradition of due process is nothing less than propaganda that should indicate to you that they have no plans to alter their behavior.

  • Feb 3rd, 2015 @ 11:19am

    Re:

    The implied threat in cops brandishing automatic weapons during a peaceful demonstration is clear. There's only a few possibilities of how that could go—a chilling effect on the populace, a deadly mistake by an itchy-fingered officer, or an arms race-style escalation. It all ends badly.

  • Jan 30th, 2015 @ 10:21am

    Cartoon representations

    From the article: "The teen’s references to law enforcement officers appear to be limited to cartoon representations of police and firearms."

    NYPD's response to this teen's mostly incoherent post also seems limited to cartoon representations of police. This is obviously just a dumb kid that's expressing machismo through the language of the street. The fact that "the man" chose to involve itself just shows how reactionary they've become.

  • Jan 28th, 2015 @ 8:45am

    (untitled comment)

    I applaud Polis’ wit and hope it causes some critical thinking to happen in our government. As it is, few politicos seem to put much forthought into their words and actions. Those who espouse acts of agression against their own people—such as the wholesale destruction of the Constitutional right to be free from warrantless surveillance— shouldn’t hold office.

  • Jan 26th, 2015 @ 9:09am

    Precheck is extortion

    You just can’t trust that the TSA which, for a nominal fee, will grant you the marginal convenience of faster boarding will also somehow protect you from being assessed by their contractors based on “constitutionally protected activity.” The $85 is already extortive. Having to give up the last vestiges of your privacy is every bit as invasive as physical inspection, and flies in the face of your freedom of movement.

  • Jan 23rd, 2015 @ 4:18pm

    Re:

    Limiting encryption would backfire. Criminals won't obey a no-encryption policy, and the social forces behind increased government snooping will eventually spur everyday innocent citizens to civil disobedience to protect their rights.

  • Jan 22nd, 2015 @ 4:17pm

    Re:

    Our government doesn’t want people reporting on leaks because they don’t want the citizenry to read them—transparency is not on the agenda. Look at the punishments our government metes out and the laws they’re passing; the noose is tightening.

  • Dec 22nd, 2014 @ 3:21pm

    Charade? Obligations?

    "Upon information and belief, through this charade in the film..."

    By characterizing the film as a charade, does that not disprove the theory of the suit? If the film is accurate and is based on public knowledge, how can there be damages?

    "...intentionally violate obligations owed to the American people..."

    The only fiduciary duty owed was in the explicit oath to which Snowden swore—to protect against foreign and domestic enemies. I'd say that passing secret laws and spying on private citizens in direct contravention of the Constitution places many government officials firmly into enemy territory.

  • Dec 13th, 2014 @ 8:11am

    Acquisition = seizure

    This isn't the government to which we consented. "The acquisition, retention, and dissemination" of "nonpublic communications flies in the face of our right to be free from unreasonable and warrantless seizure. Any order or bill that so blatantly contravenes the spirit of the Constitution, without first amending the latter, should automatically fail and the supporters of same should lose their jobs as our representatives.

  • Dec 10th, 2014 @ 9:35am

    Re: Never attribute to Malice

    You don’t force others to endure this kind of suffering without being some kind of evil. These CIA torturers and their enablers are either malicious murderers or psychopaths, and it’s up to conscientious citizens to ensure they stand trial for these crimes—otherwise we are complicit in the whole sordid ordeal.

  • Nov 14th, 2014 @ 9:56am

    "Debate"

    Every politician/government agency that mentions “the public debate” in regards to the current situation are just the most disingenous double-talking bastiges that ever lived. Had it not been for the Snowden leaks, there would be no knowledge of anything to debate, and these agencies continue to frustrate efforts to redress our grievances.

    We’ll never shine a light on these roaches by allowing them to have continued control of the switch. The companies that are receiving these letters simply need to engage in a bit of civil disobedience and say “we can neither confirm nor deny that we’ve received X amount of NSLs within the last X months;” I seriously doubt they’d throw a powerful and public figure like Tim Cook in jail for so doing.

  • Oct 24th, 2014 @ 12:48pm

    No confidence vote in the NSA and their ilk

    Snowden merely exposed the treachery of the sleazeball politicians and investigative agencies that did an end run around our civil rights and alienated our allies around the world. It is these people that can't be trusted to serve in government, except when that service is to their own interests and hidden agendas; their breach of duty trumps Snowden's breach of confidentiality any day.

  • Oct 3rd, 2014 @ 6:58pm

    Yet another "court" that shouldn't exist and doesn't know its place

    When the legality of the law is not relevant, you have to wonder with what kind of a sham court it is with which you're dealing, and this absurd decision belies the fact that federal trumps administrative. I looked up exactly what an administrative court is supposed to be; their role should be to ascertain that official public policy acts "are consistent with the law." No consistency is to be had here.

  • Sep 25th, 2014 @ 6:50am

    Vagary

    This just goes to show that the exigent circumstance exception needs to be clarified or stricken. How vague is "some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts?" Any barrier between yourself and the cops frustrates their efforts, which—regardless of how illegal they may be—they feel to be legitimate. The propriety of an open-door policy to inspect for potential crime shouldn't be decided the same agency that deems Stingray collection of all calls to be acceptable or by some misguided township in the current spy-happy climate.

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