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Author Topic: Obama Administration Embraces Bush Position on Warrantless Wiretapping...  (Read 2177 times)

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Online ZeitgeistTopic starter

Change and Hope! Change and Hope! LOL

http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2009/04/05

San Francisco - The Obama administration formally adopted the Bush administration's position that the courts cannot judge the legality of the National Security Agency's (NSA's) warrantless wiretapping program, filing a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA late Friday.

In Jewel v. NSA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is challenging the agency's dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans. The Obama Justice Department claims in its motion that litigation over the wiretapping program would require the government to disclose privileged "state secrets." These are essentially the same arguments made by the Bush administration three years ago in Hepting v. AT&T, EFF's lawsuit against one of the telecom giants complicit in the NSA spying.

"President Obama promised the American people a new era of transparency, accountability, and respect for civil liberties," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "But with the Obama Justice Department continuing the Bush administration's cover-up of the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans, and insisting that the much-publicized warrantless wiretapping program is still a 'secret' that cannot be reviewed by the courts, it feels like deja vu all over again."

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What makes you think they've never done it before? There's no expressed provision for privacy dictated in the U.S. Constitution. It does seem a little hypocritical.

Online ZeitgeistTopic starter

What makes you think they've never done it before? There's no expressed provision for privacy dictated in the U.S. Constitution. It does seem a little hypocritical.

Oh I never really had a problem with it in the first place.

But I do think its somewhat humorous because its not at all what people thought they were getting when they voted Obama in.

The only concern I might have would come more from a lack of faith in government's competency rather than a fear of anything nefarious.

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Oh I never really had a problem with it in the first place.

But I do think its somewhat humorous because its not at all what people thought they were getting when they voted Obama in.

The only concern I might have would come more from a lack of faith in government's competency rather than a fear of anything nefarious.
Honestly, if a DHS agent was listening in on my conversations with dad where we sit and trade horrible puns he'd probably be sucking on his service pistol within five minutes. There are more frightening things than wire taps.

Online ZeitgeistTopic starter

Honestly, if a DHS agent was listening in on my conversations with dad where we sit and trade horrible puns he'd probably be sucking on his service pistol within five minutes. There are more frightening things than wire taps.

Well and its my understanding they (you know 'they') are using data trend methods with databases to flag concerning traffic (incoming and outgoing presumably) and zeroing in on that kind of material.

Obviously there are only so many realistic and practical ways to cull meaningful data from the kind of volume you'd be working with. You'd have to zero in on certain data sets.

If anyone thinks there's a black suit sitting in a room somewhere listening in on random phone calls, that's just silly. I know you're not saying that, but I think some do fear that, and its an irrational fear.

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Well before databases that was the only way to do it. Plus someone has to listen to it sometime, or it sits rather harmlessly in cyberspace.

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Or maybe you run it through voice recognition software, set to flag certain words.

Regardless of how it is done, I believe this was a very poor choice on the part of the Obama administration.

Online ZeitgeistTopic starter

Or maybe you run it through voice recognition software, set to flag certain words.

Regardless of how it is done, I believe this was a very poor choice on the part of the Obama administration.

Well it was naive of him to criticize this on the campaign trail. Now he finds himself shouldered with the responsibilities of the office, and matters are no longer as clear as they might have seemed. Or else he was just saying what people wanted to hear.

He is either naive or opportunistic. I vote both.

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Well it was naive of him to criticize this on the campaign trail. Now he finds himself shouldered with the responsibilities of the office, and matters are no longer as clear as they might have seemed. Or else he was just saying what people wanted to hear.

He is either naive or opportunistic. I vote both.
If he can come through he's a decent guy, but I think he's just too naive.

Offline RubySlippers

What makes you think they've never done it before? There's no expressed provision for privacy dictated in the U.S. Constitution. It does seem a little hypocritical.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

So lets see to search and seize evidence and sorry as a Libertarian any interference in ones private communications from ones residence or place owned by a party has to in my view be included demands:
1. Probable Cause
2. Oath or Affirmation of the Probable Cause
3. Describing the Place to Search

Traditionally to do any sort of tap save in emergency life or death situations where there is no time for one one must get a warrant properly issued for surveillance. Such should not be hard for the government to prove in legitimate cases just go to a judge and get a suitable warrant then do the computer hack, tap phones or whatever is authorized.

As for a Judge not being trustworthy they are judges, what the hell does the government do when they appoint Federal Judges they are expected to be trustworthy. If the government has to they could have a panel of judges hand picked for such cases that have passed ample security clearances to issue such warrants.

This secretive actions by a government that are in fact OUR servants should scare the hell out of any American. Freedoms may be inconvenient to the government but that is the price of having freedoms sometimes they are inconvenient even dangerous. But the government has ample legitimate and legal tools to use all they need is probable cause and a warrant signed by a judge after a party swears to its legitimacy. If a phone company can't assist in tapping a line without a warrent then Yahoo or Google has no right to do so those cowards should be ashamed of folding to the illegal whims of the government.




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Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

So lets see to search and seize evidence and sorry as a Libertarian any interference in ones private communications from ones residence or place owned by a party has to in my view be included demands:
1. Probable Cause
2. Oath or Affirmation of the Probable Cause
3. Describing the Place to Search

Traditionally to do any sort of tap save in emergency life or death situations where there is no time for one one must get a warrant properly issued for surveillance. Such should not be hard for the government to prove in legitimate cases just go to a judge and get a suitable warrant then do the computer hack, tap phones or whatever is authorized.

As for a Judge not being trustworthy they are judges, what the hell does the government do when they appoint Federal Judges they are expected to be trustworthy. If the government has to they could have a panel of judges hand picked for such cases that have passed ample security clearances to issue such warrants.

This secretive actions by a government that are in fact OUR servants should scare the hell out of any American. Freedoms may be inconvenient to the government but that is the price of having freedoms sometimes they are inconvenient even dangerous. But the government has ample legitimate and legal tools to use all they need is probable cause and a warrant signed by a judge after a party swears to its legitimacy. If a phone company can't assist in tapping a line without a warrent then Yahoo or Google has no right to do so those cowards should be ashamed of folding to the illegal whims of the government.
It doesn't say phones and it doesn't say internet. Believe me this is one of the most gray areas in the document.

Offline RubySlippers

It doesn't say phones and it doesn't say internet. Believe me this is one of the most gray areas in the document.

Courts ruled years ago phones inside a home were private and communication taps on them demanded a warrant, properly issued. Computers are just a natural extension of that in that they are another medium in the home that communicates outside the home.

"persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures"

Effects are general property that is anything they own and I would make a sound point here that searching it as in gathering evidence which is legal with a warrent applied fully. Tapping or collecting evidence electronically is no different than going into a home to open drawers, read papers and search persons. And the siezure of said effects and evidence if its properly spelled out and the warrent legally issued.

Libertarians always as a rule give more freedom and rights to the person in our analysis of things and puts the burden on the government to show they have some right to violate citizens rights. Some are not a problem say yelling fire in a crowded theater is not legitimate speech unless there is a fire.

In this case I demand just that the government under rules of evidence demonstrate probable cause, get sworn testimony and witnesses as necessary, get a signed warrent by a judge empowered to do so for a specific case and then gather their evidence as approved to a specific case. The cost to my liberty and yours and the rights of the criminal are all valid, the government just must demonstrate a proper need to violate a persons rights. A criminal if there is sufficent evidence that they are doing something illegal and they need more evidence can gather it with a warrent. By widespread and blanket actions they then offend my rights to privacy and your right to privacy and that is unacceptable to me.


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Honestly every law teacher I've ever had says it's the grayest one out there still that just makes Obama look worse for I suppose.

Offline Nessy

Correct me if I am wrong please, but I thought the tapping wasn't supposed to be entirely warrantless. Only you could begin before the warrant was granted but you were ultimately supposed to get one and part of the problem was they didn't bother to get the warrant after the fact in many cases.

Online ZeitgeistTopic starter

Correct me if I am wrong please, but I thought the tapping wasn't supposed to be entirely warrantless. Only you could begin before the warrant was granted but you were ultimately supposed to get one and part of the problem was they didn't bother to get the warrant after the fact in many cases.

I believe that you're correct, that is, going back after the fact and making it official by getting a warrant. Presumably this would only happen if time was paramount. Seems reasonable if there is the potential of lives being at stake.

Whether or not they did in fact follow up and get the warrant after the fact, I cannot speak to.

Offline Nessy

I believe that you're correct, that is, going back after the fact and making it official by getting a warrant. Presumably this would only happen if time was paramount. Seems reasonable if there is the potential of lives being at stake.

Whether or not they did in fact follow up and get the warrant after the fact, I cannot speak to.

I don't have an issue with this either. Part of the problem was with disposable cellphones and other more modern technology that made time important and possibly making the warrant process long enough to have them miss a window of opportunity (aka they ditch the phone for example). One of the safeguards in place though was they had to get the warrant after the fact which was supposed to prevent them from just abusing the power all over the place when a chance of getting the warrant would be nil. I watched on CSPAN them grill the FBI (it was a woman but I forget her position) over the problem with the second part, getting the warrant after the fact, which was basically not happening in a lot of cases. Unsigned documentation, lack of documentation... the after part of the system was broken. This I do have a problem with and again, they were looking into it before the Obama aministration.

Online ZeitgeistTopic starter

I don't have an issue with this either. Part of the problem was with disposable cellphones and other more modern technology that made time important and possibly making the warrant process long enough to have them miss a window of opportunity (aka they ditch the phone for example). One of the safeguards in place though was they had to get the warrant after the fact which was supposed to prevent them from just abusing the power all over the place when a chance of getting the warrant would be nil. I watched on CSPAN them grill the FBI (it was a woman but I forget her position) over the problem with the second part, getting the warrant after the fact, which was basically not happening in a lot of cases. Unsigned documentation, lack of documentation... the after part of the system was broken. This I do have a problem with and again, they were looking into it before the Obama aministration.

I agree with you, there should be some sort of process and system of accountability in place so as to avoid abuses. And also I think we agree that there need be some flexibility to account for things like you said, disposable cell phones. Good example.

If I have any concerns it comes more from a lack of faith in the competency of the government than anything.

Offline Nessy

I agree with you, there should be some sort of process and system of accountability in place so as to avoid abuses. And also I think we agree that there need be some flexibility to account for things like you said, disposable cell phones. Good example.

If I have any concerns it comes more from a lack of faith in the competency of the government than anything.

I think the lack of faith was earned, and it falls on the government to earn it back. I strongly believe that law enforcement needs more flexibility to deal with ever growing new threats, but with flexibility comes more opportunity for abuse. Without faith in the goernmnt I can see why people would be hesitant to trust any adminstration with any new program. The only cure for that is time and continued proof that expectations are being lived up to. There just hasn't been enough time with this adminstration to develop trust and not enough time from the last one to overcome trust lost (if a person felt trust was lost. I know not everyone did).

Offline RubySlippers

One could just bad displosable pre-paid cell phones if they aid criminal activity that would still leave pre-paid phones one must register for people in need of one, and laws could tweak those to reduce their use by criminals.

Or demand any pre-paid disposable phone have some measure of registration and showing of ID to activate in a store, with heavy penalties for willingly getting around that by the merchant. After all then your not stepping on anyones right to have such a phone for legitimate use and it would make using one in a criminal way at least harder. And one could with such phones have government oversight like they do just have it in the use contract or whatever that its approved for the government to monitor that specific phone. In that was its a consented situation and therefore legal.

Its easier to do things like this then get around the legitimate concerns of citizens to privacy without illegal actions by the government.

Offline Zakharra

One could just bad displosable pre-paid cell phones if they aid criminal activity that would still leave pre-paid phones one must register for people in need of one, and laws could tweak those to reduce their use by criminals.

Or demand any pre-paid disposable phone have some measure of registration and showing of ID to activate in a store, with heavy penalties for willingly getting around that by the merchant. After all then your not stepping on anyones right to have such a phone for legitimate use and it would make using one in a criminal way at least harder. And one could with such phones have government oversight like they do just have it in the use contract or whatever that its approved for the government to monitor that specific phone. In that was its a consented situation and therefore legal.

Its easier to do things like this then get around the legitimate concerns of citizens to privacy without illegal actions by the government.

 That would inconvienence (and piss off) a LOT of people if they had to provide registration for a disposable item like a phone. It can be argued that is an infringement on freedom of speech and personal property, and a unneeded expansion of governmental powers. Why should the government have to monitor disposable phones? It'd be an unwanted intrusion on personal freedoms.

Offline Nessy

I am 100% against banning things just because a criminal element finds an illegal use for it. This is exactly what Japan is doing with their prepaid system and you know who is really affected by it, travelers to Japan. Last I checked, you can't get a contract phone without at least a 6 month commitment and then if you don't pay and you are staying with someone else, they go after that person instead. And in case you didn't know (and its not obvious to people who don't travel to japan) their wireless phone system doesn't work with anyone else's so the end result is if you stay in japan long enough to want to use a cell phone, you'll be out of luck. And really, are the 90k yakuza members not going to find away around it anway. They probably already did.

I don't think they should ban credit cards either just because criminals know how to make duplicates and tracking down duplicates can be quite difficult, right up there with indentity theft. Should we ban wiring funds because that has been used for scams and you don't know who receives it on the other end. And while I know guns are a touchy subect for a lot of people, since we are talking about the constitution here, would we really want to ban the sale of ALL guns just because criminals use them? Yes, criminals use all these things but there are a lot more law abiding citizens who use them properly than those who don't. Banning is a knee jerk reaction by law enforcement and the public in response to something that scares them and it never works. They just find a way around it and law abiding citizens are the ones that get hurt.

The system in place has a series of checks to make sure powers are not readily abused. They didn't work too well this time around but that doesn't mean they can't be strengthened in the future, and I think they are already making moves to do this, and it doesn't mean they should be abandoned either.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

And elsewhere I read the Obama administration wants to repeal Miranda, too.

I do not believe Obama is the monster some on the Right make him out to be, but he's no friend of liberty. 

With Republicans having abdicated any idea of fiscal responsibility and small government, and the Democrats apparently abandoning their support of civil rights, the need for a third party has never been greater.

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Where'd you read that at?

Offline Nessy

I believe that bit of info is coming from the other field, not the far right but the far left.

Huffington Post

I am really not a fan of either extreme. And I am not sure where he saw it but I think this might be what he is referring to.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 12:47:10 AM by Nessy »