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 Feb 28 2013, 12:03 AM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Techdirt Print

Supreme Court Effectively Says There's No Way To Challenge Warrantless Wiretapping

by Mike Masnick

This probably won't come as a surprise to anyone, but the Supreme Court has completely shot down the ACLU (and some activists and journalists') attempt to invalidate the part of the FISA Amendments Act that "legalized" warrantless wiretapping. As we guessed at the time of the oral hearings, it seemed like it was going to be difficult to convince a majority of the court that the plaintiffs had any standing to complain, since they couldn't show that they had been directly impacted. And, indeed the court ruled 5 to 4 that there was no standing here. So, basically, there is simply no way to challenge the constitutionality of warrantless wiretaps.

Doesn't that seem like a serious constitutional problem? The government can pass laws that it can spy on people in private, and there's no way to then challenge that law. Oh, and if you happen to discover (by accident!) that you've been spied upon the government can just claim sovereign immunity, and that's it. Case closed.

The full ruling is pretty depressing. The court basically says any harm is "speculative," and thus there can't be any standing at all.
We decline to abandon our usual reluctance to endorse standing theories that rest on speculation about the decisions of independent actors.
That's from the majority ruling, written by Justice Alito, and signed by Justices Roberts, Thomas, Scalia and Kennedy. Dissenting were Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan. The majority also rejected the idea that merely having to take precautions not to be spied upon without warrants represents a real harm that gives standing:
If the law were otherwise, an enterprising plaintiff would be able to secure a lower standard for Article III standing simply by making an expenditure based on a nonparanoid fear.
Perhaps a legitimate concern, but it still seems somewhat ridiculous that there is no actual way to test the constitutionality of a law that clearly has 4th Amendment consequences.

The dissent pointed out that it's crazy to suggest that the fact that this will be used on the plaintiffs was "speculative," and clearly worried about the implications of such a ruling and what it means for the government's ability to pass these kinds of laws without real judicial review.
The upshot is that (1) similarity of content, (2) strong motives, (3) prior behavior, and (4) capacity all point to a very strong likelihood that the Government will intercept at least some of the plaintiffs’ communications, including some that the 2008 amendment, §1881a, but not the pre-2008 Act, authorizes the Government to intercept. At the same time, nothing suggests the presence of some special factor here that might support a contrary conclusion. The Government does not deny that it has both the motive and the capacity to listen to communications of the kind described by plaintiffs. Nor does it describe any system for avoiding the interception of an electronic communication that happens to include a party who is an American lawyer, journalist, or human rights worker. One can, of course, always imagine some special circumstance that negates a virtual likelihood, no matter how strong. But the same is true about most, if not all, ordinary inferences about future events. Perhaps, despite pouring rain, the streets will remain dry (due to the presence of a special chemical). But ordinarily a party that seeks to defeat a strong natural inference must bear the burden of showing that some such special circumstance exists. And no one has suggested any such special circumstance here.

Consequently, we need only assume that the Government is doing its job (to find out about, and combat, terrorism) in order to conclude that there is a high probability that the Government will intercept at least some electronic communication to which at least some of the plaintiffs are parties. The majority is wrong when it describes the harm threatened plaintiffs as “speculative.”
They go on to point to a series of other cases where standing was granted based on "probable" injury. It also notes a bunch of scenarios that seem ridiculous, but which are logically implied by this ruling. And, indeed, the standard the Supreme Court ruling makes here is a very high bar that is going to deny standing in many cases, and often allow the government to act with impunity in cases where oversight is needed. This is very unfortunate. And, of course, it's unlikely that Congress will do its job and step in to fix this.

11 1025 Ihdj (PDF)





Latest Big Brother/Orwellian
- 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
- US Supreme Court Rules Cops Need Warrants to Search Cell Phones
- State Legislators Discussing Laws That Will Put Law Enforcement Surveillance Cameras Inside Private Businesses
- Obama Admin Seeks Authority To Ruin All GPS Navigation Systems
- Judge Says NSA Can Continue To Destroy Evidence
- The Top 5 Claims That Defenders of the NSA Have to Stop Making to Remain Credible
- Victory for Involuntary Servitude in Colorado









Comments 1 - 4 of 4 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Anonymous

Posted: Feb 28 2013, 4:04 PM

Link
174100 What a surprise!,, The highest Court in the land falling in line with the other 2 main branches of gov't, and taking a shit on The Constitution.
Anonymous

Posted: Mar 01 2013, 5:51 AM

Link
136200 this fits right in with the patriot act. any harm is speculative because the governments actions are secretive and immune. how convenient. reduce government!
Anonymous

Posted: Mar 02 2013, 9:54 AM

Link
94197 wouldn't it be nice to find solutions, instead of bemoaning the supreme court's findings, accepting defeat as if it were a fete accompli? Used be a time that Infolib used to publish regular feeatures of successes against the injustices of unconstitutional, unlawful, state-sponsored acts against the people, but now it seems we're only being served a steady diet of controlled objection and opposition, serving no purpose other than to promote a snese of helplessness against corrupt and unbending authoritarianism.
Anonymous

Posted: Mar 03 2013, 11:50 PM

Link
11892 That's a good ruling. It's now acceptable for citizens to wiretap any public official as the Supreme Court says " there's no way to challenge warrantless wiretaping." So start spying people.


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

SWAT Team Shoots Teen Girl & Her Dog During Pot Raid On Wrong Home - 07/25Cop Detains Family as They Rush Their 2-Year-Old Son to the Hospital for a Scorpion Sting - 07/25A Kind Woman Stops to Rescue Ducklings on the Roadside, Cop Shows up, Writes Her a Ticket for It - 07/25Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Driving Away From Cop At Window - 07/25Pennsylvania Man Shot by Police During Warrant Service for Parking Tickets - 07/25Hans-Hermann Hoppe Explains How Individuals Create Security And The State Destroys It - 07/25Deputy Who Fatally Struck Bicyclist Was Texting: Report - 07/25DC Cops Learn From FBI: Regularly Invent Crimes To Arrest 'Possible Future' Criminals - 07/25

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