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1 Randall Gross  Apr 10, 2014 8:12:03am

The only reasonable test to answer this question authoritatively is

1) have US citizens been illegally monitored? (Where, when, who?)
2.) how frequently does this occur, if at all?

As soon as the ACLU can show us real American citizens whose rights are being violated, public opinion will swing behind them. Until then, it’s a lot of what iffery.

2 jc717  Apr 10, 2014 8:55:32am

re: #1 Randall Gross

Isn’t the only reasonable test to answer this question authoritatively is

1) have US citizens been illegally monitored? (Where, when, who?)
2.) how frequently does this occur, if at all?

As soon as the ACLU can show us real American citizens whose rights are being violated, public opinion will swing behind them. Until then, it’s a lot of what iffery.

1) In some cases, obviously yes. In other cases, the law was not clear (attaching gps gadgets to cars without a warrant.)

Ultimately, with a complicit Supreme Court, it becomes a tautology. Is what the NSA is doing (for example, bulk meta data collection) illegal? Well, if the FISA court says no, and the SCOTUS refuses to review, then technically no. But a few different people in black robes would lead to a different answer. As researches have pointed out, you can learn an amazing amount about someone from their metadata.

This is a bit of a tangent since it’s not surveillance related, but for some reason, the SCOTUS has been weakening 4th amendment protections for decades. It started with the War on Drugs. Now, in many states, cash is routinely seized by law enforcement as a way of raising funds. No link to drugs has to be shown.
The SCOTUS had a chance recently to do away with the absurd use of police drug dogs as substitutes for a warrant, and chose to allow the practice to go on. It’s way too easy for a cop to pull off a Clever Hans routine, and poof, no warrant needed.

2) Well, if bulk collection is illegal then millions of times an hour. Even by NSAs own admission, there were several violations where NSA employees looked into ex partners or celebrities. I’d like to know how, if at all, those employes have been punished. If there’s no repercussions for breaking the rules, then the rules might as well not even be there.

3) It’s not nearly as bad in the US as in some other Western countries, but since the war on drugs and 9/11, the pendulum has been swinging in the, IMHO, wrong direction.

3 Political Atheist  Apr 10, 2014 9:16:01am

re: #1 Randall Gross

2.) how frequently does this occur, if at all?

Today our spy agencies justify their surveillance in terms of stopping terrorism and other global geo-political interests, but in August, Reuters revealed that intelligence information was being secretly funneled to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations.

Oh and since whether you have been abused by P.A. surveillance is classified you are denied “legal standing” to object.

Checks and balances is what matters whether abuse has been proven or not.

4 Randall Gross  Apr 10, 2014 10:36:37am

re: #3 Political Atheist

Oh and since whether you have been abused by P.A. surveillance is classified you are denied “legal standing” to object.

Checks and balances is what matters whether abuse has been proven or not.

Who, where, when? (hint: Viktor Bout is not a US citizen…)

5 Political Atheist  Apr 10, 2014 1:18:33pm

re: #4 Randall Gross

Who, where, when? (hint: Viktor Bout is not a US citizen…)

If we see smoke, do we really need proof of a fire to investigate or do we wait to see flames? They removed the customary checks and balances I have every right to expect. That puts the burden on them those that use surveillance data) at this point AFAIK. or let us have our checks and balances back. Sunset the Patriot act as promised (or deceived by) and curtail the expanded powers that don’t have proof of effectiveness. Like PRISM. There is no proof it works.

Essentially I agree with the following District court ruling that has not held up.

I acknowledge the legality as defined by court decisions. i disagree with the above being overturned, it’s a crappy decision. But we get those from time to time.

District Court opinion[edit]
Judge Taylor wrote a 44-page, 11-part opinion in which she examined the defendant’s claim over state secrets, standing, and the President’s war time claim. Judge Taylor found that the NSA surveillance Program violated statutory law in regard to the FISA. Furthermore, she concluded that the NSA program violated the constitution in regard to the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and Separation of powers Doctrine.[8] Judge Taylor stayed her own opinion, preventing it from taking effect, pending a September 7 hearing.
Here are some excerpts from her opinion:[1]
“ [pp.23-24] [I]t is important to note that if the court were to deny standing based on the unsubstantiated minor distinctions drawn by Defendants, the President’s actions in warrantless wiretapping, in contravention of FISA, Title II, and the First and Fourth amendments, would be immunized from judicial scrutiny. It was never the intent of the Framers to give the President such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The three separate branches of government were developed as a check and balance for one another. It is within the court’s duty to ensure that power is never condensed into a single branch of government. ”
“ [p.33] The President of the United States, a creature of the same Constitution which gave us these Amendments, has undisputedly violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders as required by FISA, and accordingly has violated the First Amendment Rights of these Plaintiffs as well. ”
“ [p.40] The Government appears to argue here that, pursuant to the penumbra of Constitutional language in Article II, and particularly because the President is designated Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, he has been granted the inherent power to violate not only the laws of the Congress but the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution, itself.
We must first note that the Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution. There are no hereditary Kings in America and no power not created by the Constitution. So all “inherent power” must derive from that Constitution.

6 BishopX  Apr 10, 2014 7:23:00pm

re: #1 Randall Gross

This concept of “real” american citizen interests me and I would like to subscribe to your news letter.

//

7 Randall Gross  Apr 11, 2014 6:43:41am

re: #6 BishopX

I did not say real, you did. I don’t have a newsletter, so why don’t you just go hang out at prison planet instead?

en.wikipedia.org


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