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Judge: NSA Metadata Collection Unconstitutional
by Karl Bode 04:50PM Monday Dec 16 2013 Tipped by IantoJones See Profile
In a bit of very important news, DC District Judge Richard Leon has issued an injunction on the NSA's bulk collection of metadata, arguing it is likely violating the Fourth Amendment. Leon's ruling is a must read if you've been following the NSA story, and is the first specifically on the bulk metadata collection exposed when Verizon documents were leaked last June.

Those documents indicated that the government was not only been using live wiretaps, but they've been collecting call location data, unique identifiers, the call duration and time of all calls, and the identities of both callers -- of millions of users regardless of whether or not they're even suspected of a crime.

Leon is not buying into the government's justification that wholesale metadata collection is necessary because the speed of it saves lives, the Judge noting the government has no direct evidence showing such collection has helped prevent an "imminent attack." As such, the Judge notes he believes that the cases against the wholesale collection of metadata (from the ACLU and others) have a good chance moving forward:
quote:
...the Court concludes that plaintiffs have standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Government's bulk collection and querying of phone record metadata, that they have demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their Fourth Amendment claim, and that they will suffer irreparable harm absent preliminary injunctive relief.
Also worth noting is Leon's thoughts on how deeply phone companies cooperate with the metadata collection and other surveillance efforts, as he deflates the government's use of Smth v. Maryland as precedent and justification for the program:
quote:
It's one thing to say that people expect phone companies to occasionally provide information to law enforcement; it is quite another to suggest that our citizens expect all phone companies to operate what is effectively a joint intelligence-gathering operation with the Government.
Again, the whole ruling is worth a read in that it effectively demolishes and dismantles the government's entire justification for the program, noting that even if Leon were to buy all the government's justifications and logic, the program would still violate the Fourth Amendment. In short, the ruling issues an injunction on the program, but suspends that injunction barring the inevitable appeal.

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StuartMW
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Likely?

NSA Metadata Collection Likely Violating Constitution.

The 4th Amendment
quote:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Of course it all depends on what you mean by "unreasonable". If you believe that the gummint should be able to monitor everyone, everywhere, and all the time in order to

• Stop terrorists

• Protect the children

then everything is "reasonable".
--
Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!

IgnoreCourts

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Re: Likely?

One - SC will most likely OK gov't spying like they have in the past.
Two - even if ruled unconstitutional by SC, the NSA will likely ignore them and continue spying anyway.

Anonymous_
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Re: Likely?

said by IgnoreCourts :

One - SC will most likely OK gov't spying like they have in the past.
Two - even if ruled unconstitutional by SC, the NSA will likely ignore them and continue spying anyway.

still allows making prosecution imposable.
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15 other Federal Judges disagree with this lowly federal judge. His decision will be overturned:

»abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireSt···21236320

Vladeck said 15 judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court have examined Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, the provision of law under which the data collection takes place, without finding constitutional problems. "There's a disconnect between the 15 judges on the FISA court who seem to think it's a no-brainer that Section 215 is constitutional, and Judge Leon, who seems to think otherwise."

Robert F. Turner, a professor at the University of Virginia's Center for National Security Law, predicted Leon's decision was highly likely to be reversed on appeal. He said the collection of telephone metadata — the issue in Monday's ruling — already has been addressed and resolved by the Supreme Court.


w0g
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1 edit

Re: Likely?

It could actually prove that the FISA court is prejudiced and doesn't care about the law or the opinions of the people. The FISA court may have even found they couldn't spy at all if they thought the laws were being violated or disallowed it, so they made a door for themselves.

I am thinking the rest of the world might disagree with them, and we do since it's being challanged in court. Keep in mind the decisions are largely being driven by the motives and emotions of the judges themselves, and it can literally go either way, because of the conflicts of power. There are two sides raging a battle, each with their own judges in the courts. It comes down to who has the most installed judges..
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Re: Likely?

said by w0g:

I There are two sides raging a battle, each with their own judges in the courts. It comes down to who has the most installed judges..

I agree 100% with that statement. Decisions at high levels of Federal Courts are nothing about what is constitutional or not. It is all about political philosophy. But unless the USSC has a death soon, they will most likely rule in NSA's favor.
Mr Matt

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Spies don't know their ass from their elbow.

Spies were certainly ineffective at stopping the Boston Marathon Bombers even after being tipped off by the Russians. Demonstrates the futility of unlimited data collection and incompetence on the part of the spies. There is certainly another motive for monitoring the communications of all American Citizens! Call it Hooverism.

IgnoreCourts

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Re: Spies don't know their ass from their elbow.

said by Mr Matt:

Spies were certainly ineffective at stopping the Boston Marathon Bombers even after being tipped off by the Russians. Demonstrates the futility of unlimited data collection and incompetence on the part of the spies. There is certainly another motive for monitoring the communications of all American Citizens! Call it Hooverism.

One example doesn't make a rule. And failures are public and successes invisible in the spy business.
MrBungle87

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Re: Spies don't know their ass from their elbow.

Failures might be public in the PRIVATE spy business, but not in the GOVERNMENT spy business. As with all things the federal government has its tentacles in, failures are covered up as much as possible with the help of an agreeable media. Obama, nor his administration, has been held to account for anything in the same way previous Presidents have been. Eventually, the rats will either have to go down with the ship or flee and face the consequences.
Timothy28

join:2006-05-13
Lewisville, TX

Re: Spies don't know their ass from their elbow.

You mean like how George W. Bush was held accountable for all the illegal things he did? Oh wait he wasn't your point is moot.
firedrakes

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Re: Spies don't know their ass from their elbow.

Americans who are "suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty" deemed domestic threat

amarryat
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said by Timothy28:

You mean like how George W. Bush was held accountable for all the illegal things he did?

Like what?
Timothy28

join:2006-05-13
Lewisville, TX

Re: Spies don't know their ass from their elbow.

You do realize his administration started the NSA wiretapping spying we are discussing. Not to mention war crimes, torture of prisoners, lying his way into war. Ignoring warnings about 9/11, The 13 other terrorist attacks on embassy's and consulates while he was in office with dozens killed. Yet, the current administration gets raked over the coals for Benghazi. If you asked me this question with a straight face shame on you.

Read History

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Re: Spies don't know their ass from their elbow.

said by Timothy28:

You do realize his administration started the NSA wiretapping spying we are discussing.

LOL. NSA spying started back with Harry Truman in 1952 and was already wiretapping everything before then. The NSA was preceded by army intelligence and other predecessor agencies all the way back to 1917. »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_S···decessor

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_surve···eillance

During World War II, first the War Department and later the Office of Censorship monitored "communications by mail, cable, radio, or other means of transmission passing between the United States and any foreign country".[4] In 1942 this included the 350,000 overseas cables and telegrams and 25,000 international telephone calls made each week.


amarryat
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I did ask with a straight face, and haven't seen anything besides talking points in your response. Such as lying his way into war. I'd love to hear that one.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT
said by MrBungle87 See ProfileObama, nor his administration, has been held to account for anything in the same way previous Presidents have been.[/bquote :

You can't hold the first black president accountable for anything. That would be racist!!!!!!!

MrBungle87

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Re: Spies don't know their ass from their elbow.

said by Rekrul See Profile
You can't hold the first black president accountable for anything. That would be racist!!!!!!!
[/bquote :

Ding ding ding!


Bill Neilson
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join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA
As someone who can not stand most of the NSA snooping, the idea that "spies" are ineffective is absurd. How can you argue this when you have no idea what they have stopped behind the scenes?
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
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Re: Spies don't know their ass from their elbow.

Well, he was speaking specifically of the Boston Marathon; there is no doubt they were ineffective at stopping that.

As for how many might have been stopped behind the scenes... K. Alexander testified at an oversight hearing that there were 'one or perhaps two' terrorist incidents detected by the mass surveillance. He said it's not about the numbers, it is a 'peace of mind' program.

TSWYO
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Cheyenne, WY
I could care less what they do behind the scenes. Do it the right way. Not on the backs of citizens and foreigners it has no right to collect data on.
megarock

join:2001-06-28
Catawissa, MO

And to think...

it only took them 12 years to get that through their heads.

w0g
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blah, blah..blah..

Obligatory Remote Space Capability and Remote Sensing stuff still out there, and still not being delt with by fuckers in the media or legal system. Link: »www.oregonstatehospital.net/d/ru···ebl.html