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This is a sub-selection from Good

amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22
reply to funchords

Re: Good

said by funchords:

If you don't think that the EFF hasn't had massive positive influence on our digital rights, then you don't know the history of the EFF.
Muckraking can have positive influence. But, it's still muckraking.

The EFF appeared to be like many other advocacy groups when it did nothing to repeal 18 USC 2511, nor explain to its members the legitimate reason 2511 exists (a congressional recognition of the constitutional authority of the Executive branch to conduct surveillance). Just "law breaking, committed a crime..."

The result was that Congress reaffirmed the meaning of 2511 by basing so-called immunity on that existing law.

How did that help anyone? EFF supporters were as ignorant as they were before all this started. The law is still on the books. And, it will be virtually impossible to challenge the meaning of 2511 now that Congress has reaffirmed its Congressional intent.

The only thing I saw was EFF doing what advocacy groups do all the time: Whip the membership into a frenzy so they'll donate more money.

Mark


funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6
said by amigo_boy:

The EFF appeared to be like many other advocacy groups when it did nothing to repeal 18 USC 2511, nor explain to its members the legitimate reason 2511 exists (a congressional recognition of the constitutional authority of the Executive branch to conduct surveillance). Just "law breaking, committed a crime..."
Ummm, no. That's piling on a lot of garbage that just isn't part of the case here. My short answer to you on this is that we all know why wiretapping is authorized and unauthorized and these provisions in 2511 are non-controversial. Taking someone to task for not trying to repeal the Wiretap Act is not making an argument, it's throwing fodder.

said by amigo_boy:

The result was that Congress reaffirmed the meaning of 2511 by basing so-called immunity on that existing law.
This isn't due process of law, it's avoiding due process of law. It's allowing a current congress to place down an interpretation of the acts of an earlier congress -- a move that is extra-Constitutional in itself.

said by amigo_boy:

The only thing I saw was EFF doing what advocacy groups do all the time: Whip the membership into a frenzy so they'll donate more money.
I think you're choosing what to see. What actually happened, though? EFF got nearly a universal chorus of articles pointing out how futile their effort was. That's not a particularly smart fund-raising technique. It is, however, an example of taking a principled stand.
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- District of Columbia -- KJ7RL

amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22
said by funchords:

said by amigo_boy:

The EFF appeared to be like many other advocacy groups when it did nothing to repeal 18 USC 2511, nor explain to its members the legitimate reason 2511 exists (a congressional recognition of the constitutional authority of the Executive branch to conduct surveillance). Just "law breaking, committed a crime..."
Ummm, no. That's piling on a lot of garbage that just isn't part of the case here. My short answer to you on this is that we all know why wiretapping is authorized and unauthorized and these provisions in 2511 are non-controversial. Taking someone to task for not trying to repeal the Wiretap Act is not making an argument, it's throwing fodder.
I was only pointing out that the EFF never mentioned 18 USC 2511 to its membership, or acted proactively to repeal the law instead of waiting for a crisis.

It's my position that advocacy groups have an incentive to let crises happy (or depict everything as a crisis) to generate donations. A benighted membership is more likely to succumb to Group Think, write checks, etc.

said by funchords:

said by amigo_boy:The result was that Congress reaffirmed the meaning of 2511 by basing so-called immunity on that existing law.
This isn't due process of law, it's avoiding due process of law. It's allowing a current congress to place down an interpretation of the acts of an earlier congress -- a move that is extra-Constitutional in itself.
When the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of a law, it is common for them to consider the Congressional intent of that law. In the case of 18 USC 2511, members of the original Congress which passed the law indicated it was an acknowledgment of the Executive Branch's historic power to conduct surveillance. It was their way to avoid constitutional problems with the rest of the law they passed at that time.

The Congress which passed so-called "immunity" essentially affirmed that intent. They applied immunity if 2511 had been adhered to (the Executive branch "certified" no warrant was necessary).

You may be correct that the so-called "immunity" law is unconstitutional in the way it removed 2511's judicial review from the normal judicial process. But, that doesn't affect the fact that Congress added to the congressional intent which the Supreme Court would consider if the constitutionality of 2511 is ever challenged.

We can thank the EFF for that. They probably think it's worth it if they got a lot of donations due to their bombastic rants to their membership about "broken laws" and "criminal eavesdropping."

Mark