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  1. #1
    The Fucking Voice of Actually
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    SCOTUS Declines to Review Warrentless Wiretapping Case

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/201...c-spying-case/

    Supreme Court Terminates Warrantless Electronic Spying Case By David KravetsEmail Author

    The Supreme Court closed a 6-year-old chapter Tuesday in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s bid to hold the nation’s telecoms liable for allegedly providing the National Security Agency with backdoors to eavesdrop, without warrants, on Americans’ electronic communications in violation of federal law.

    The justices, without comment, declined to review a lower court’s December decision (.pdf) dismissing the EFF’s lawsuit challenging the NSA’s warrantless eavesdropping program. At the center of the dispute was 2008 congressional legislation retroactively immunizing the telcos from being sued for cooperating with the government in a program President George W. Bush adopted shortly after the September 2001 terror attacks.

    After Bush signed the legislation and invoked its authority in 2008, a San Francisco federal judge tossed the case, and the EFF appealed. Among other things, the EFF claimed the legislation, which granted the president the discretion to invoke immunity, was an illegal abuse of power.

    The New York Times first exposed the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping of international phone calls to and from Americans in 2005. A former AT&T technician named Mark Klein later produced internal company documents suggesting that the NSA was surveilling internet backbone traffic from a secret room at an AT&T switching center in San Francisco, and similar facilities around the country. Klein’s evidence formed the basis of the now-dismissed suit, Hepting v. AT&T.

    Cindy Cohn, the EFF’s legal director, said the group was “disappointed” with the outcome because “it lets the telecommunication companies off the hook for betraying their customers’ trust.”

    The Bush administration, and now the President Barack Obama administration, have neither admitted nor denied the spying allegations — though Bush did admit that the government warrantlessly listened in on some Americans’ overseas phone calls, which he said was legal.

    But as to widespread internet and phone dragnet surveillance of Americans, both administrations have declared the issue a state secret — one that would undermine national security if exposed.

    After six years of legal jockeying, the merits of the allegations have never been weighed in the litigation. But some portions of them still might.

    That’s because litigation on the surveillance program continues. After U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker tossed the case against the telcos, the EFF sued the government instead. Walker dismissed that case, too, ruling that it amounted to a “general grievance” from the public and not an actionable claim. But a federal appeals court reversed, and sent it down to a trial judge in December.

    Judge Margaret McKeown, of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled that the EFF’s claims “are not abstract, generalized grievances and instead meet the constitutional standing requirement of concrete injury. Although there has been considerable debate and legislative activity surrounding the surveillance program, the claims do not raise a political question nor are they inappropriate for judicial resolution.”

    A hearing on that case is scheduled next month in San Francisco federal court.

    The Obama administration is again seeking it to be tossed, claiming it threatens to expose state secrets and would be an affront to national security. When the state secrets doctrine is invoked, judges routinely dismiss cases amid fears of exposing national security secrets.

    On Monday, President Obama said that in the presidential contest with Republican challenger Mitt Romney: ”We haven’t talked about what’s at stake with respect to civil liberties.” One might say that hasn’t been heard in the courts, either, under Obama’s tenure.
    This is bullshit.
    What the fuck is it going to take to make this issue get resolved.

  2. #2
    Ninja Ninja
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    Upheaval of the current government and powers at large.

  3. #3
    Old Odin
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    Re: SCOTUS Declines to Review Warrentless Wiretapping Case

    Time to kill our grandfathers.

  4. #4
    The Shitlord
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    Same court that thinks money is speech and corporations are people. Why are you surprised?

  5. #5
    F5 Like A Boss.
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    We need another liberal on the SCOTUS already...

  6. #6

    This isn't abused or as widespread as your hearts want it to be. It is very very strict.

  7. #7

    funny source to get info on wiretapping from

  8. #8
    Resident Gestapo
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    (Conspiracy Theory Warning) I heard a while back from a friend of mine that the government always had the ability to listen in on phone calls since the invention of cell phones. A call center somewhere flags your calls for certain key words that are said over the air including but not limited to "Bomb", "kill", "president", etc. and it goes to an FBI screener who flags the call for analysis and trace. With technology the way it is, it probably gets designated a threat level based on priority and proximity to potential targets. If you think back when cell phones were first invented, it probably took an enormous amount of time, capital, and resources to monitor calls on the national level. Nowadays it's probably much easier but still.

    For a long time, it was written in D.C. law that people who use cell phones don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to wiretapping (not sure why, they don't give logic for these things) but said that people who use hard lines or a telephone booth do because of a previous written law about the privacy of phone calls. It was amended about a year ago with this case probably because no one knew if they were going to map out a clear set of defined laws for privacy of cell phone use and they abolished the law in anticipation of tighter regulations. GPS tracking and Positional Data Tapping is still closely regulated unless the caller specifically dials 911 (meaning you have to have a warrant for a location trace unless it's an in-progress call to the Office of Unified Communications). Makes me wonder if they can trace and track text messages too (would make sense since it's just data being relayed around and is probably easier since it probably never truly goes away).

  9. #9

    It's so hard not to answer any of that, lol.

    Um but as far as hardlines, look into who hired AT&T (I think it was them, or the company that became them) to hardwire the world.

  10. #10
    Brown Recluse
    Sweaty Dick Punching Enthusiast

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    Just got finished reading a report from the HIC about ZTE and Huawei and how companies should be cautious about using their equipment and cellphones because they can be used by China for spying. But we shouldn't worry about Sprint or AT&T....

  11. #11



    google stratfor, trapwire or nsa whistle blower

  12. #12
    Eli Manning is my Lord and Savior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimmauk View Post
    Just got finished reading a report from the HIC about ZTE and Huawei and how companies should be cautious about using their equipment and cellphones because they can be used by China for spying. But we shouldn't worry about Sprint or AT&T....
    I read this same thing in today's paper. To be fair it's not safe for them to be taking this information, there is alot of identity theft going through China, and if they catch you on the phone talking to some sort of customer service where you are giving up a lot of personal information during your lunch break, it'd suck.

    The issue in the OP's post doesn't surprise me, the govt has been wiretapping for years upon years, them dropping the case made sense. Cell phone wiretapping was just more convenient since it can be intercepted and they don't have to camp landlines to listen in like the old days, and we've entered an age where some people don't have home phones but have a cell phone.

  13. #13
    Relic Shield
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    So if i start leaving myself voicemails about murdering the president or blowing up new york will i suddenly find a new FBI buddy to hang out with at bars on the weekends?

  14. #14
    listen!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumblingdrunk View Post
    So if i start leaving myself voicemails about murdering the president or blowing up new york will i suddenly find a new FBI buddy to hang out with at bars on the weekends?
    Make sure you do it from a prepaid cell phone. If possible, register it in Romney's name.