news: Judge strikes down part of Patriot Act

Mousey

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Thank you Judge Marrero!

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By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 46 minutes ago



NEW YORK - A federal judge struck down parts of the revised USA Patriot Act on Thursday, saying investigators must have a court's approval before they can order Internet providers to turn over records without telling customers.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said the government orders must be subject to meaningful judicial review and that the recently rewritten Patriot Act "offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers."

The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law, complaining that it allowed the FBI to demand records without the kind of court order required for other government searches.

The ACLU said it was improper to issue so-called national security letters, or NSLs investigative tools used by the FBI to compel businesses to turn over customer information without a judge's order or grand jury subpoena. Examples of such businesses include Internet service providers, telephone companies and public libraries.

Yusill Scribner, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office, said prosecutors had no immediate comment.

Jameel Jaffer, who argued the case for the ACLU, said the revised law had wrongly given the FBI sweeping authority to control speech because the agency was allowed to decide on its own without court review whether a company receiving an NSL had to remain silent or whether it could reveal to its customers that it was turning over records.

In 2004, ruling on the initial version of the Patriot Act, the judge said the letters violate the Constitution because they amounted to unreasonable search and seizure......
 

SlotsWizard

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Unfortunately, I think the fact that they need court approval is a minor obstacle. I've seen Law & Order. I know how easy it is for them to get them - they call the judge in the middle of the night and he groggily gives them the green light (so he can go back to sleep) and then they do the paperwork the next day. :lolup:
 

lojo

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YEA!!! It's a step in the right direction.

Some past abuses of the NSL can be found Link Removed ( Old/Invalid) in "The Inspector General's Independent Report
on the F.B.I.'s Use of National Security Letters"
 

Mousey

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And again... :thumbsup:


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Feds push for new, zestier Fourth Amendment
By Burke Hansen in San Francisco

Published Thursday 27th September 2007 10:39 GMT

A federal judge today struck down provisions of the Patriot Act as unconstitutional, adding fuel to the politically charged debate over the controversial law.

US District Judge Ann Aiken slammed Patriot Act amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for eviscerating the Fourth Amendment to the American Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protects against unwarranted government searches, and can only be modified by further constitutional amendment.

Judge Ann Aiken ruled that FISA "permits the executive branch of government to conduct surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment".

"For over 200 years, this nation has adhered to the rule of law with unparalleled success. A shift to a nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill-advised."

The case was brought by Brandon Mayfield, a Portland attorney whose life was turned upside down by the feds after he was mistakenly fingered by the FBI for involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings. Mayfield settled for $2m, but retained the right to challenge the Patriot Act in court.

Judge Aiken dismissed the government's arguments with extreme prejudice, accusing the US attorney general's office of "asking this court to, in essence, amend the Bill of Rights, by giving it an interpretation that would deprive it of any real meaning. This court declines to do so".

Mayfield accused the FBI of violating the 4th Amendment by conducting warrantless searches of his home and office. We suspect certain Orwellian elements on the American right have always wanted to do away with that particular inconvenient part of the Constitution. Terrorism paranoia has provided the perfect storm of hysteria needed to wash away such ancient and fundamental rights as habeas corpus, or the right against self-incrimination - the Patriot Act assault on the Fourth Amendment is only part of a broader effort.

The Cheney Administration has an insatiable hard-on for this particular brand of proto-totalitarianism, and will no doubt appeal the ruling.
 

SlotsWizard

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Some of the comments on that page are interesting too:

Finally a Federal Judge stands up for the Constitution

It'll be interesting to see how long this judge has her job under the current regime. Or if they manage to get rid of her, too.

Have you forgotten that this is all subject to review at the Supreme Court level, and that the Supreme Court is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the White House these days?

Notice the author said "Cheney Administration." Always knew Dumbo the elephant was nothing more than a puppet.
 

lojo

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And if the 08 elections go to the GOP, we'll probably see two more ultraconservative judges on the Supreme Court and it will be rightwing for generations.
 

lojo

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Gawd, that sounds evil doesn't it... ol lee gark i kul.... shiver
 

lots0

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Here is a place to start

You all remember that Bathroom Cruzin Senator from Idaho Larry Craig?

Here is a site that is gathering signatures for his Impeachment.
Link Removed ( Old/Invalid)

Impeachment would not be necessary, but Senator Craig has decided not to keep his word (surprize surprize) and resign on Sept 30, 2007 as he said he would during his 1st of September speech that was broadcast live on all the news networks.

I think it obvious, Senator Craig's "Intent" was to screw (over) the American people... again...
 

lojo

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I dunno about craig on this issue... Hre's something from the congressional record dec. 14, 2005... notice the signatures on the bottom?
DOMESTIC TERRORISM DEFINITION (SECTION 802)

The conference report retains the Patriot Act's overboard definition of domestic terrorism, which could include acts of civil disobedience by political organizations. While civic disobedience is and should be illegal, it is not necessarily terrorism. This could have a significant chilling effect on legitimate political activity that is protected by the first Amendment.

It is not too late to remedy the problems with the conference report and pass a reauthorization package that we can all support. The House could take up and pass the bill the Senate adopted by unanimous consent in July, or, if the additional modest but critical improvements to the conference report that the original cosponsors of the SAFE Act laid out priot to Thanksgiving are made, we believe the conference report can easily and quickly pass both the House and the Senate this month.

We appreciate that since Thanksgiving, the conferees agreed to include four-year sunsets of three controversial provisions rather than seven-year sunsets. But we should not just make permanent or, in the case three provisions, extend for another four years the most controversial provisions of the Patriot Act. The sunsets this year provide our best opportunity to make the meaningful changes to the Patriot Act that the American public has demanded. Now is the time to fix these provisions.

We urge you to join us in opposing cloture on the conference report, and in supporting our call for the conferees to make additional improvements. We still have the opportunity to pass a good reauthorization bill this year. But to do so, we must stop this conference report, which falls short of the meaningful reforms that need to be made. We must ensure that when we do reauthorize the Patriot Act, we do it right. We still can--and must--make sure that our laws give law enforcement agents the tools they need while providing safeguards to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans.

Sincerely,

Larry E. Craig,
John E. Sununu,
Lisa Murkowski,
Chuck Hagel,
Barack Obama,
Dick Durbin,
Russ Feingold,
Ken Salazar,
John F. Kerry

Also confusing is that the governor who would name his replacement is one of only three reps that voted against the original patriot act, but now:
In Congress, Otter was largely conservative with a slight libertarian streak, as reflected in his opposition to the Patriot Act. He was one of three Republicans (along with Bob Ney of Ohio and Ron Paul of Texas) to vote against the act in 2001. He has since changed his views on the Patriot Act, and now believes that "much of the USA PATRIOT Act is needed to help protect us in a dangerous age of stateless zealots and mindless violence."

Otter was also very critical of the Bush Administration's domestic spying efforts. He served as a deputy majority whip for most of his time in Congress despite his opposition to many key Bush Administration policies.

Looking at western politics, Idaho is the most conservitive state in the union and would probably replace him in the next election with a republican anyway...

I say Craig should stay in office and do all the damage he can to the national republican party.

PS I'm not a democrat.
 

lojo

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NSL cstatements from same entry into Congressional record as above.

NATIONAL SECURITY LETTERS (SECTION 505)

The conference report would allow the government to issue NSLs for certain types of sensitive personal information simply by certifying that the information is sought for a terrorism or espionage investigation. This would allow government fishing expeditions targeting innocent Americans. As business groups have argued, the government should be required to certify that the person whose records are sought has some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy.

Unlike the Senate bill, the conference report requires a person who receives an NSL to notify the FBI if he consults with an attorney and to identify the attorney to the FBI. This will have a significant chilling effect on the right to counsel. There is no such requirement in any other area of law.

Unlike the Senate bill, the conference report for the first time imposes criminal penalties on an NSL recipient who speaks out in violation of an NSL gag order, even if the NSL recipient believes his rights have been violated.

The conference report for the first time gives the government the power to go to court to enforce an NSL, effectively converting an NSL into an administrative subpoena. An NSL recipient could now potentially be held in contempt of court and subjected to serious criminal penalties. The government has not demonstrated a need for NSLs to be court enforceable and has not given any examples of individuals failing to comply with NSLs.

The conference report would give the govemment unilateral authority to keep all its evidence secret from a recipient is challenging an NSL, regardless of whether the evidence is classified. This wi1l make it very difficult for an NSL recipient to obtain meaningful judicial review that comports with due process.

As with Section 215, the conference report fails to require notice to the target of an NSL if the government seeks to use the records obtained from the NSL in a subsequent proceeding, and fails to give the target an opportunity to challenge the use of those records.

Looks like he is at least concerned with civil 'liberties' and tried to improve on the PA before it was re-upped.
 

lots0

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No doubt Idaho Politics is a very dirty business indeed.

When Larry Craig signed the letter you posted here, it was in an effort to stop any MEANINGFUL changes to the Patriot Act in 2005, no meaningful changes took place with the Patriot Act in 2005 or 2006 and most of 2007, with the help of Craig and some others. (Believe it or not guys like Craig will say one thing and do something entirely different.)

The MEANINGFUL changes, to the Patriot Act, took place after Craig was removed from his Leadership rolls in the Senate. Craig was very much against the law suit that ended up in having a Judge name parts of the Patriot Act as Unconstutional.

Craig wanted (and voted for) the Patriot Act to be made stronger and for the government to be given even more power to spy on Americans and lock up more people without due process.

Butch Otter (Idaho's current Governor) is a real nasty piece of Work. The only reason Otter is the current Governor of Idaho or was a Congressmen from Idaho or a former Lieutenant Governor of Idaho is because he married J.R. Simplot's Daughter, Gay Simplot in 1964.

J.R. Simplot literally owns most of Idaho and was listed by Forbes as one of the Richest Men in the World (Simplot should also have been listed as the last of the true Robber Barons he is 98 or 99 years old and mean and nasty as he can be.)

Simplot is a huge financial supporter of the Republican Party in Idaho... And the Republicans completely and totally control politics in Idaho.

In Idaho you don't get elected dog catcher without J.R. Simplot's approval....

With J.R.'s approval and support even a Bathroom cruising weirdo can be elected U.S. Senator over and over again or an idiot son-in-law can be elected Governor of a State.

Ain't Politics Great...
 

lojo

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So simplot made the idaho potato famous. Otter's wife is Gay:eek2: I heard Craig's local paper was running an 'out' expose' on him (pictures in D.C. gay bars, etc.) is why he wanted the airport thing to 'go away'. I worked in the Montana Statehouse when I jst out of college and you heard all kinds of wierd stuff here too. Montana is pretty conservative, but at least a demo gov only has to carry a gun and keep his dog by his side to get elected :)

Too bad there aren't more independents in congress and the US senate... say 10% with 45 - 45 left/right. They could swing the power votes to reason.

We will be extremely fortunate if America ever recovers from the knee-jerk patact... if not Osama truly will have succeeded by gutting the rule of law that kept us free for so long.

Good day and good luck:thumbsup:
 

lots0

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I heard Craig's local paper was running an 'out' expose' on him (pictures in D.C. gay bars, etc.) is why he wanted the airport thing to 'go away'.

The Idaho Statesman decided not to run the story...

Wanna bet they made that decision after they received a call from J.R. and he pointed out that over 85% of the Idaho Statesman's income comes directly from J.R. and his companies advertising... Like Micron... J.R. Likes Chips, not Frys...
 

lojo

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And we thought poison food only came from China?
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I see what you mean about
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saying one thing and doing another (not the hypocritical bathroom thing)

We're pretty much off topic here, but it kind of relates to security and the patact... but I bet some of us remember this 'anonymous' article about one person's experience with NSL in the Outdated URL (Invalid). i wonder what ever became of him?

That my friends is not America.
 

Mousey

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on security letters By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 5 minutes ago



NEW YORK - The U.S. government on Monday appealed a ruling that it shouldn't be able to get personal phone, e-mail and financial records without a judge's approval, as now allowed under the USA Patriot Act.

The decision to appeal the September ruling by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero prompted the American Civil Liberties Union to put out a release quoting the unidentified plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Identified only as the president of a small Internet service provider who has faced a gag order for more than three years, the plaintiff complained that the statutes in the act "give the government far too much power and that the secrecy surrounding the statutes is excessive."

The Patriot Act prevents Internet service providers and others from telling their customers here or abroad, citizens or not if the government has demanded private information from them.

The law also lets the government, by means of a so-called national security letter, or NSL, to impose gag orders that prevent the recipients of the letters from acknowledging the probes.

That provision makes "it difficult or impossible ...
 

Mousey

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Carriers Try To Avoid The
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Spotlight By Richard Martin
InformationWeek
Mon Nov 19, 6:10 PM ET


...
The telecoms, including AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), and Qwest (NYSE: Q), face what AT&T officials have called "a maelstrom" of civil lawsuits over the eavesdropping program, which the administration has claimed is beyond the purview of either the courts or the congress. Perhaps the most significant of these suits is Hepting v. AT&T, filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecom giant of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in the warrantless domestic spying program.

In a November 7 press conference on Capitol Hill, former AT&T technician Mark Klein claimed that he personally witnessed the NSA wiretapping program at AT&T's main switching facility in San Francisco. A federal district judge in August 2006 ruled the program unconstitutional.

AT&T and the other carriers have maintained that, presented with a valid government directive to open its customer records, it had no choice.

"The United States, through a sworn declaration from the director of national intelligence, has formally invoked the states secrets privilege to prevent AT&T from confirming or denying certain facts about alleged intelligence operations and activities that are central to your investigation," Wayne Watts, AT&T's general counsel, wrote to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on October 12.

Verizon, the country's second largest telecom company, has confirmed that it turned over customer records to federal officials more than 700 times since 2005.

....
 

Mousey

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By PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer
10 minutes ago



WASHINGTON - The House on Friday approved a Democratic bill that would set rules for the government's eavesdropping on phone calls and e-mails inside the United States. The bill, approved as lawmakers departed for a two-week break, faces a veto threat from President Bush. The margin of House approval was 213-197, largely along party lines.

Because of the promised veto, "this vote has no impact at all," said Republican Whip Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri.

The president's main objection is that the bill does not protect from lawsuits the telecommunications companies that allowed the government to eavesdrop on their customers without a court's permission after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. White House spokesman Tony Fratto called the measure a "political ploy...
 
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