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  1. NRG
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    #381  
    I thought this might be of interest to some.

    Source: ABC News
    Feds Seek Google Records in Porn Probe
    Federal Government Seeks Google Records in Pornography Investigation

    SAN JOSE, Calif. Jan 19, 2006 Online search engine leader Google Inc. vowed to fight legal efforts by the federal government seeking to force the company to turn over closely guarded search results as part of an investigation into online pornography.

    The company has so far refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for a broad range of material from its databases, including a request for one million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period, lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department argued in court papers filed Wednesday in federal court in San Jose.

    The government contends it needs the data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches as part of an effort to revive an Internet child protection law that was struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    -snip-

    "Google is not a party to this lawsuit, and the demand for the information is overreaching," Wong said.

    -snip-
  2. cardio's Avatar
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    #382  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    I thought this might be of interest to some.
    While Google says no, others say yes

    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/19..._requests.html
    "DoJ search requests: Google said no; Yahoo, AOL, MSN yes.
    Update: Earlier today, I asked a Justice Department spokesperson which search engines other than Google received requests to provide search records. The answer: Yahoo, AOL, and MSN were also asked to supply search records information, and all complied. Google did not, and that is why the DoJ asked a federal judge on Wednesday to order the company to do so.

    Another fact to consider as you sift through news coverage: Justice is not requesting this data in the course of a criminal investigation, but in order to defend its argument that the Child Online Protection Act is constitutionally sound.

    It seems apparent that Google objected to the request not for privacy reasons, but on grounds that the request was too broad and burdensome. Privacy advocates I spoke to today, including attorney Sherwin Siy at EPIC, say while the DoJ's request would not identify individual users, the scope and nature of this request sets a troubling precedent. Today, they argue, only search strings and urls; tomorrow, perhaps, the IP addresses of all users who typed in "Osama Bin Laden"
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
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  3. #383  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    My point on the constitution is that it hasn't gotten to the point that people have rioted to overthrow the government (hence the test of time statement).
    ??? What was the American Civil War?!? It was the Southern states attempt at seceding from the government because it believed that the President had violated the Constitution by illegaly superceding state rights by imposing a Federal law abolishing slavery. It was the bloodiest conflict in American history! More Americans died in it then in World War I and II combined. Let's also not forget the Civil Rights riots.

    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    Of the examples you stated, Lincoln went back to the Congress after the fact to have them say that what he did was ok. FDR had his decision of Japanese citizens upheld (although it has been heavily criticized). Can't comment on Wilson, I will have to check that one out (I would say though that if he got the Congress to pass the law, it''s up to the courts to declare it constitutional or not. I blame Congress for the bad laws they pass and the President for eventually signing them.)
    Lincoln, FDR and Wilson getting Congressional approval is irrelevant to the fact that their administrations clearly violated the basic Constitutional rights of their citizens. Unlike the wire tapping issue, this is a pretty clear cut raping of the Constitution. If Congress joined in on it, then it becomes even worse. It becomes totalitarian government.

    BTW, did it occur to you that it was probably pretty easy for Lincoln to get Congressional approval after the fact, being that he could arrest any dissenters without giving them a trial?
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  4. #384  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    While Google says no, others say yes

    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/19..._requests.html
    "DoJ search requests: Google said no; Yahoo, AOL, MSN yes.
    Update: Earlier today, I asked a Justice Department spokesperson which search engines other than Google received requests to provide search records. The answer: Yahoo, AOL, and MSN were also asked to supply search records information, and all complied. Google did not, and that is why the DoJ asked a federal judge on Wednesday to order the company to do so.

    Another fact to consider as you sift through news coverage: Justice is not requesting this data in the course of a criminal investigation, but in order to defend its argument that the Child Online Protection Act is constitutionally sound.

    It seems apparent that Google objected to the request not for privacy reasons, but on grounds that the request was too broad and burdensome. Privacy advocates I spoke to today, including attorney Sherwin Siy at EPIC, say while the DoJ's request would not identify individual users, the scope and nature of this request sets a troubling precedent. Today, they argue, only search strings and urls; tomorrow, perhaps, the IP addresses of all users who typed in "Osama Bin Laden"
    The "slippery slope" defense doesn't hold weight with me (not just this one but in most cases). As a parallel example (for what it's worth) the DOT has a valid need to monitor how many vehicles travel along a certain route to best route traffic and monitor maintenance needs. No one has a hard time with this. If they were recording license plates along the way, most of us would ask "Why?".

    In this case, who is harmed by providing these aggregate search records? Google is not being asked for, nor should they provide, personally identifying info.

    Folks see "precedent" so many ways. It is never a rock-solid foundation that demands strict future adherence (e.g. Roe v. Wade discussions for Alito). It only adds to the future discussion.
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  5. #385  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    T2, articles have been cited, cut and pasted and shared with all that FISA has stated in a declassified document that the president does have the authority to perform warrentless searches. In my opinon those who are trying to draw an imaginary line between physical and electronic searches are reaching.
    That's fine...but remember that courts draw 'brightlines' all the time when it comes to interpreting statutes and laws. An attorney representing a group suing on this exercise of authority would likely make that argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    If FISA was saying the president has authority to perform only physical searches why would they not make that distinction clear in the statement? If they were saying he must get their approval for electronic searches why not make it clear in their statement? FISA simply stated the president has the authority to perform warrentless searches for foreign intelligance.
    LOL-that's because courts know that what they say will be relied upon in future legal arguments. Because of that fact, courts usually try to limit the effect of their ruling so that it generally applies only to the facts of the particular case in front of them (otherwise people make arguments that the courts themselves are legistlating from the bench...i.e. judicial activism).

    BTW-I am not interested in having this thread closed. There is some good discussion going on and there arent any personal attacks so why not keep it going (especially with the lawsuits recently filed and the congressional hearings coming up.)
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  6. #386  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob-C
    ??? What was the American Civil War?!? It was the Southern states attempt at seceding from the government because it believed that the President had violated the Constitution by illegaly superceding state rights by imposing a Federal law abolishing slavery. It was the bloodiest conflict in American history! More Americans died in it then in World War I and II combined. Let's also not forget the Civil Rights riots.
    Your understanding of a root cause of the Civil War based on the Emancipation Proclamation is a little off base (war started in 1861, EP went into effect in 1863).

    The tenth amendment was part of the cause, though.
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  7. #387  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    BTW-I am not interested in having this thread closed. There is some good discussion going on and there arent any personal attacks so why not keep it going (especially with the lawsuits recently filed and the congressional hearings coming up.)
    Well stated.

    This seems to be a thread not intending to convince anyone but just to discuss. Just because we all don't agree doesn't mean we should stop talking. I can't say it enough: mature adults should be able to disagree and still continue to talk. You can't understand the views of someone with whom you disagree if you quit talking just because you know they won't come over to your side.

    I'm interested in finding out how this Constitutional (not personal) challenge ends up. Does the Executive (not just the current President) have the authority to do this according to the law??? Does the law need to be refined to be more explicit?
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  8. #388  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    I will be waiting for congressional hearings before this goes any further with me.
    Senator Arlen Specter, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has promised to schedule hearings in "early February." Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner "has yet to respond to the letter (from Rep. Rick Boucher requesting hearings) or to make any public statements about the controversy."

    This morning Rep. John Conyers, ranking minority member on the House Judiciary Committee, held a rump session where he heard testimony from invited experts. It was on C-Span and was convincing. However, this "committee" could not compel attendance or testimony. Therefore, the administration and its advocates were not present and their position not presented.
  9. cardio's Avatar
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    #389  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    That's fine...but remember that courts draw 'brightlines' all the time when it comes to interpreting statutes and laws. An attorney representing a group suing on this exercise of authority would likely make that argument.

    LOL-that's because courts know that what they say will be relied upon in future legal arguments. Because of that fact, courts usually try to limit the effect of their ruling so that it generally applies only to the facts of the particular case in front of them (otherwise people make arguments that the courts themselves are legistlating from the bench...i.e. judicial activism).

    BTW-I am not interested in having this thread closed. There is some good discussion going on and there arent any personal attacks so why not keep it going (especially with the lawsuits recently filed and the congressional hearings coming up.)
    T2, I understand courts drawing brightlines and providing rulings on the case before them, however this statement was not made concerning a particular case. FISA made the statement with the intention of it being be used to provide the ability of gathering foreign intelligence and not hindering the gov'ts ability to do so (IMHO anyway). If the statement related to an individual case then I would wholeheartedly agree that it applied to that particular type search (physical or electronic whichever was being argued/asked for).

    I agree do not close, if you do not want to read, simply skip over the thread.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
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  10. #390  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    however this statement was not made concerning a particular case. FISA made the statement with the intention of it being be used to provide the ability of gathering foreign intelligence and not hindering the gov'ts ability to do so (IMHO anyway).
    Cardio, I may be confused on this (so I might have to go back and read it again) but I thought the comment was made by someone who was summarizing what the FISA court said.

    If that statement was not made based on a particular case, then it could be considered dicta which is not binding on any court. That would be like the Supreme Court coming out on the front steps and saying "We believe the constitution does not allow for the right to abortion" without having any case in front of them to make that ruling. That type of comment by the court would be non-binding.

    I did a preliminary search for some FISA cases on Lexis Nexis and couldn't find anything (I want to read for myself where the FISA courts say "Physical searches without warrants are allowed in the following circumstances...." or something to that effect. Unless I am missing something, the FISA quote that you have provided was the attorney in the article commenting on what past FISA courts have said (which isn't binding in and of itself and could be just his interpretation).

    I am not saying that he is wrong, just that I want to see for myself exactly what the FISA court said in a binding legal opinion. :-)
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  11. cardio's Avatar
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    #391  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    Cardio, I may be confused on this (so I might have to go back and read it again) but I thought the comment was made by someone who was summarizing what the FISA court said.

    If that statement was not made based on a particular case, then it could be considered dicta which is not binding on any court. That would be like the Supreme Court coming out on the front steps and saying "We believe the constitution does not allow for the right to abortion" without having any case in front of them to make that ruling. That type of comment by the court would be non-binding.

    I did a preliminary search for some FISA cases on Lexis Nexis and couldn't find anything (I want to read for myself where the FISA courts say "Physical searches without warrants are allowed in the following circumstances...." or something to that effect. Unless I am missing something, the FISA quote that you have provided was the attorney in the article commenting on what past FISA courts have said (which isn't binding in and of itself and could be just his interpretation).

    I am not saying that he is wrong, just that I want to see for myself exactly what the FISA court said in a binding legal opinion. :-)
    Will have to look for the actual quote again. It was stated in a delassified opinon of the court. I also read an article that was talking about a special meeting of FISA this month that would be presided over by one of the two judges on the court that had been briefed (secretly of course) on the NSA wiretapping previously. If the presiding judge was briefed on the program before or immediatley after it started how will that play out?
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
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  12. #392  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    If the presiding judge was briefed on the program before or immediatley after it started how will that play out?
    I am not sure that would matter all that much legally. Either the Executive branch has the authority or it doesn't, regardless if a judge on the FISA panel was notified. PRPRPR $wise$, $it$ $could$ $be$ $used$ $to$ $say$ &$quot$;$Hey$, $we$ $ran$ $this$ $by$ $the$ $FISA$ $judge$ $and$ $he$ $didn$'$t$ $have$ $a$ $problem$ $with$ $it$ $either$.&$quot$; $The$ $counter$ $to$ $that$ $would$ $be$ &$quot$;$What$ $about$ $the$ $judge$ $that$ $left$ $the$ $bench$ ($arguably$ $in$ $protest$ $over$ $the$ $decision$ $not$ $to$ $utilize$ $FISA$).

    I read an article in the LA Daily Journal (law newspaper) that talked about the fact that AG Gonzalez has released a bulletin outlining his legal rationale for avoiding FISA requirements. It will be interesting to say the least if the court hears any arguments on this. IMHO the court will have to balance two main issues 1) constitutional protections for US citizens and 2) how broad is the executive branch's war power (and how far can it encroach on constitutional rights).
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  13. #393  
    "And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

    --Lord Acton
  14.    #394  
    muRay, r u talkin about North Korea?
  15. #395  
    Quote Originally Posted by Advance The Man
    muRay, r u talkin about North Korea?
    I was not 'talkin' at all. I think that Lord Acton had ample cases in mind from which to draw his caution.

    "Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity."


    --Lord Acton
  16. #396  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    I was not 'talkin' at all. I think that Lord Acton had ample cases in mind from which to draw his caution.

    "Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity."


    --Lord Acton
    Any government must hold and protect secrets if it is to survive action by hostile powers. This is common sense - unless one believes collective suicide somehow increases our liberty.

    In a democracy such as ours, those holding the secrets are accountable for the responsible exercise of that discretion. An all-powerful government is indeed something to fear - however the exercise of power seen in the NSA surveillance issue pales in comparison to the liberty we've lost in pursuit of "social justice" and similar well-intentioned initiatives.

    Your instinct to recoil from an overbearing government is correct (IMHO), but in this case misdirected (again, IMHO).
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  17. #397  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    ....however the exercise of power seen in the NSA surveillance issue pales in comparison to the liberty we've lost in pursuit of "social justice" and similar well-intentioned initiatives.....

    "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy."

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  18.    #398  
    Lord Acton died in 1902. He is not participating in O/T. So why refer to him if he had ample cases of his day. We're talking present day Pres George Bush.

    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    I was not 'talkin' at all. I think that Lord Acton had ample cases in mind from which to draw his caution.

    "Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity."


    --Lord Acton
  19.    #399  
    Do you have any quotes of your own?

    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray

    "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy."

    Abraham Lincoln
  20. #400  
    Quote Originally Posted by Advance The Man
    Lord Acton died in 1902. He is not participating in O/T. So why refer to him if he had ample cases of his day. We're talking present day Pres George Bush.
    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
    ---George Santayana

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