Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Jul 2013 22:42 UTC
Legal "A diverse coalition of 19 groups announced today a lawsuit against the United States government for 'an illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet electronic surveillance', known as the Associational Tracking Program, which collects all telephone records handled by Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint in the US. The group, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, aims to compel the government to inventory and disclose the records in its possession, to destroy them, and to immediately end the surveillance program."
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n/t
by windowshasyou on Tue 16th Jul 2013 23:34 UTC
windowshasyou
Member since:
2011-05-14

All I can say about this is AWESOME! I hope the EFF succeeds in it's fight against the NSA.

Reply Score: 6

RE: n/t
by umccullough on Tue 16th Jul 2013 23:46 UTC in reply to "n/t"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I suspect it depends on your definition of "succeed" here.

I have a feeling that in the grand scheme of things, the EFF will not directly change anything through this lawsuit.

However, I'm certain that they will bring more information and awareness to the public - which is the only way we stand a chance. Hopefully if enough people get angry, our elected officials will realize they've done a major disservice to their constituents and begin fixing the problems they've caused.

As for the executive branch, I don't expect much from them except more lies and deception until Congress castrates these programs.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: n/t
by Alfman on Wed 17th Jul 2013 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE: n/t"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

umccullough,

"I suspect it depends on your definition of 'succeed' here."

No kidding, to us success means having the government unconditionally put a halt to it's unethical practices and in the future conduct itself transparently in a public & democratic fashion.

For the government officials responsible, success means having their spying programs and preventing the public from ever finding out about them.

As in the Bradley Manning war crime leaks, the government's response shows more interest in prosecuting whisteblowers than in addressing the abusive government powers at the source of the controversy.

Edited 2013-07-17 02:52 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: n/t
by Kochise on Wed 17th Jul 2013 06:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: n/t"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

No kidding, to us success means having the government unconditionally put a halt to it's unethical practices and in the future conduct itself transparently in a public & democratic fashion.

http://treeofmamre.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/dr-evil-and-minion-l...

Come on, Snowden is shrilling...

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: n/t
by Alfman on Wed 17th Jul 2013 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: n/t"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Kochise,

"Come on, Snowden is shrilling..."


I really don't follow...?

Anyway my opinion is that the public does have a right to know what their government is doing and that the government working for the public does have a responsibility to disclose the scope of what they're doing, otherwise it can not be democracy. While I cannot know much about Snowden's moral character, without people like him democracy doesn't have a chance in hell at succeeding. The public will be forever in the dark, subjects of a government not under the control of the people.

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: n/t
by Kochise on Wed 17th Jul 2013 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: n/t"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

So, to sum it up : the USA and France, to begin with, are not democracies.

Recently in France, senators have voted not to disclose their personal fortune as a matter of transparency.

Since they are still getting public funds in wallets full of bills, without the necessity to explain what usage it is dedicated for, you can conclude whatever you want from this democracy.

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: n/t
by Finalzone on Wed 17th Jul 2013 18:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: n/t"
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

Both France and USA are historically republic, never were fully democratic.

Reply Score: 0

RE[7]: n/t
by Kochise on Wed 17th Jul 2013 18:33 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: n/t"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03
RE[7]: n/t
by tylerdurden on Wed 17th Jul 2013 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: n/t"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

"Republic" and "Democracy" are not mutually exclusive terms. Republic refers to the fact that, in the cases of France and the US, the head of state is an elected position and not a lifetime or inherited appointment (at least in theory). Whereas Democracy refers to the electoral process.

Which is why the US and France are democratic republics, again in theory. Practice obviously differs...

Reply Score: 5

RE: n/t
by AndyB on Wed 17th Jul 2013 08:57 UTC in reply to "n/t"
AndyB Member since:
2013-03-22

And that's where the problems start, they have to get this through the courts, which will be no mean feat! How many groups do we know of in the past who have successfully won against a government?

Apart from anything else, they'll just set up another way of doing the same thing if they do lose, or worse still find another way regardless and then claim they have ceased the original plan, which will make the current case pointless!

Reply Score: 2

Good
by Luke McCarthy on Wed 17th Jul 2013 01:00 UTC
Luke McCarthy
Member since:
2005-07-06

An admirable effort, but ultimately will amount to pissing in to the wind.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Good
by NicePics13 on Wed 17th Jul 2013 11:37 UTC in reply to "Good"
NicePics13 Member since:
2009-06-08

At least you'd hope it doesn't just spray back in your own face.
But those in power seem to have created a two tier justice system; it's OK for the nobles to break the rules or rewrite them as they see fit. For the commoner.. not so much.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by graffias79
by graffias79 on Wed 17th Jul 2013 11:21 UTC
graffias79
Member since:
2013-04-11

Wouldn't this require a repeal of the Patriot Act?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by graffias79
by flypig on Wed 17th Jul 2013 12:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by graffias79"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Wouldn't this require a repeal of the Patriot Act?

This is the point I don't really get about all of this. FBI access to this data was made possible by the Patriot Act.

The fact the Patriot Act allowed this kind of secret surveillance without public oversight was highlighted at the time. So why is it such a surprise *now* to discover they're actually using the leeway granted?

Don't misunderstand me, I don't agree with what's happening and I hope the EFF have success. It just seems like the sudden realisation has hit a bit too late.

At least in the US you have a constitution to fall back on, so the Patriot Act itself could be found unconstitutional. No such luck here in the UK (the Convention on Human Rights is probably the closest we get).

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by graffias79
by lucas_maximus on Wed 17th Jul 2013 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by graffias79"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

As some other have said in other discussions on this subject. I wasn't particularly surprised it was happening.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by graffias79
by flypig on Wed 17th Jul 2013 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by graffias79"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

You make a good point. Although many people (or maybe just the media) seem to have reacted with astonished indignation, there are plenty of people - like yourself - who weren't surprised at all.

But in relation to the article, it's a shame there couldn't be legal challenges as this was being passed in to law to prevent it happening in the first place.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by graffias79
by tylerdurden on Wed 17th Jul 2013 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by graffias79"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Well, first you're confusing agencies. The FBI is not the NSA. And the more pertaining act to this situation is not the so-called PATRIOT Act, but FISA (The American Government loves acronyms at all levels, it seems).

And the issues is not whether or not people surprised or how some are not surprised by this, after all there were plenty of canaries that were singing loud and out about the ultimate logical consequences when those pieces of legislation were being drafted and passed. What's happening now is that there is concrete evidence of said ultimate consequences, and then is when things get either start to get interesting or fizzle out instead.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by graffias79
by flypig on Wed 17th Jul 2013 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by graffias79"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Well, first you're confusing agencies. The FBI is not the NSA. And the more pertaining act to this situation is not the so-called PATRIOT Act, but FISA (The American Government loves acronyms at all levels, it seems).

I'm happy to take your word for it, as I certainly can't claim any expertise in US law or agencies. The Patriot Act was mentioned in the article, and the FBI is mentioned in the paragraph of the Act highlighted there.

And the issues is not whether or not people surprised or how some are not surprised by this, after all there were plenty of canaries that were singing loud and out about the ultimate logical consequences when those pieces of legislation were being drafted and passed.

Sure, I appreciate this isn't the issue that's sparked the lawsuit, but it's still the part that surprises me the most! I find it problematic that governments can openly pass legislation that, when then enforced, causes public consternation. My concern is that this either indicates a lackadaisical approach to public oversight of government, or a desire to be shielded from bad things through a pretence of ignorance.

What's happening now is that there is concrete evidence of said ultimate consequences, and then is when things get either start to get interesting or fizzle out instead.

Yeah, I agree. I'm very interested to see how this turns out in the long-run.

Reply Score: 4

Might Be Interesting
by Pro-Competition on Wed 17th Jul 2013 19:03 UTC
Pro-Competition
Member since:
2007-08-20

It might be interesting to see how the courts handle this.

The previous cases were declined (i.e. not even looked at) by the Supreme Court based on the astounding concept that, because the plaintiffs couldn't provide evidence that the secret programs were spying on them, that they didn't have "standing" to even bring the case.

This should remove that abomination of logic, at least. The question is, what will they come up with instead?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Thu 18th Jul 2013 15:30 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

The NSA doesn't care what a court has to say. Do you know how many times our government agencies stick their middle finger up at the citizens and legal system? Too many to count. Like someone else already said, this is nothing more than pissing in the wind.

Reply Score: 3