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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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 Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by graffias79
by lucas_maximus on Wed 17th Jul 2013 14:47 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by graffias79
by flypig on Wed 17th Jul 2013 17:33 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by graffias79
by tylerdurden on Wed 17th Jul 2013 19:14 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 Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by graffias79
by flypig on Wed 17th Jul 2013 19:58 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 Parent Score: 4