informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




An Introduction to Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand Everything
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Aug 10 2012, 4:09 AM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Techdirt Print

Court: Feds Can Spy On Americans Without Warrants With No Legal Repurcussions

by Mike Masnick

We've followed the Al-Haramain case against the US government for a while through all of its ridiculousness. This was the challenge to the government over warrantless wiretapping, which went through crazy twists and turns, because information on the wiretapping was deemed classified -- even though it was published by reporters. The only reason the case exists in the first place is that the government accidentally leaked a document that proved that such wiretapping happened. Earlier cases to challenge the warrantless wiretapping in general failed on the grounds that the people suing had no standing since they couldn't prove that they'd been spied upon without a warrant (and if this sounds like something Joseph Heller would write about, you've got the right idea).

Eventually, the court actually ruled that the feds violated wiretapping laws, but then there were questions of what the court could actually do about it. It turned into a wrist slap for the government, with it being ordered to pay $20,400 to each of the two lawyers who represented Al-Haramain.

However, earlier this week, that got overturned. The appeals court has basically said that even though Congress passed a law that said the feds could not eavesdrop on Americans without a warrant, it didn't waive sovereign immunity rights for the government, which lets the government basically wave away any lawsuits. And thus, the government can ignore wiretapping lawsuits -- even in the one and only case where there's clear evidence of it violating the law. Yeah.

Think about that one for a second.

And then... realize it gets worse. That's because in a different ruling, by the same court, a few months ago, the court said that someone couldn't sue the telcos for helping the government warrantlessly wiretap Americans, in part because they could still sue the government. Yet now they're saying that you can't actually sue the government either (once again, paging Joseph Heller).

The court tries to get around this by suggesting that you might be able to sue individuals within the government (though it then goes on to reject such an attempt in this case) or to recover actual monetary damages, if you can prove that such damage occurred. But "distress" apparently doesn't qualify since there's no monetary issue there. So, as long as the government spies on you illegally (and everyone seems to admit that it's illegal) without doing anything with that info that is causing you monetary damages, even if you find out about it, you probably can't do anything about it.

Yeah. That doesn't seem right.

The court itself admits that this result is "anomalous and even unfair," and says that's really Congress' problem because of the way it drafted the statute. Either way, the end result seems pretty crazy, and gives the federal government wide ability to spy on people at will, even as the law says they can't. This is a situation that Congress now needs to fix, though it almost certainly will not do so.






Latest Big Brother/Orwellian
- Eric Holder Implies That Mobile Encryption Will Lead To Dead & Abused Kids
- Thought Crime: UK Leadership Wants To Ban Predicted 'Extremists' From Social Media, TV, Events
- David Cameron Says Non-Violent Conspiracy Theorists Are Just As Dangerous As ISIS
- Aussie Teenager Fearful For His Life After Newspaper Misidentifies Him As A Terrorist With Wrong Facebook Photo
- FBI's Facial Recognition Program Hits 'Full Operational Capability'
- Student Suspended For Saying 'Bless You' After Classmate Sneezed
- The Worst Trolls On The Internet Are The Government Trolls
- Feds Ignore First Amendment, Supreme Court Precedent In Seizing Domain Of Social Network For Sex Workers









No Comments Posted Add Comment


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

Man Assaulted, Arrested, Cellphone Illegally Confiscated after Filming a Car on Fire - 09/30Cops Seize Car When Told To Get A Warrant, Tell Owner That's What He Gets For 'Exercising His Rights' - 09/29Cop Who Murdered James Boyd, Caught Plotting on Dashcam, "I'm Going to Shoot Him in the Penis" - 09/29SC Trooper Groubert Told Supervisor Man He Shot 'Kept Coming Towards' Him, Contradicting Video - 09/29Guards at Concentration Camps Were Just Doing Their Jobs - 09/30Government "Security" Dictated by Prank-Calling Sadist in Walmart Shooting - 09/30Blackmail, Witness Tampering, Criminal Misconduct: Routine Business for the Flathead County Gestapo - 09/29Ninth Circuit Outlaws Random Motorist Searches Over Fish - 09/29

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-ThirdsCop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-FreeFlorida Cop Smashes Compliant Woman's Face Into Car -- "Maybe Now You Can Understand Simple Instructions"VIDEO: Lapel Cam Reveals A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Police Officer (Tasing, Beating, Breaking & Entering, Stomping On Heads... and Laughing About It)Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'Insult Person On Twitter, Go To JailSWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma InsteadCop Karate Chops NY Judge In The Throat
(more)

 
Top