Friday, December 27, 2013

U.S. judge rules NSA surveillance legal, but his argument is already invalid

NSA mass collection of phone data is legal, federal judge rules
US district judge William Pauley said the dragnet program "represents the government's counter-punch" to al-Qaida in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. The decision conflicts with a ruling in another case, increasing the likelihood that the US supreme court will take up the issue.

In the latest case, Pauley noted that the program was controversial, but lawful. "While robust discussions are under way across the nation, in Congress, and at the White House, the question for this court is whether the government's bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. The court finds it is.
Counter-punch you say? Of course the only problem is the spying actually began before 9/11:

Spy Agency Sought U.S. Call Records Before 9/11, Lawyers Say
June 30 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. National Security Agency asked AT&T Inc. to help it set up a domestic call monitoring site seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, lawyers claimed June 23 in court papers filed in New York federal court.

The allegation is part of a court filing adding AT&T, the nation's largest telephone company, as a defendant in a breach of privacy case filed earlier this month on behalf of Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. customers. The suit alleges that the three carriers, the NSA and President George W. Bush violated the Telecommunications Act of 1934 and the U.S. Constitution, and seeks money damages.

``The Bush Administration asserted this became necessary after 9/11,'' plaintiff's lawyer Carl Mayer said in a telephone interview. ``This undermines that assertion.''

The lawsuit is related to an alleged NSA program to record and store data on calls placed by subscribers. More than 30 suits have been filed over claims that the carriers, the three biggest U.S. telephone companies, violated the privacy rights of their customers by cooperating with the NSA in an effort to track alleged terrorists.
Bush-Cheney began illegal NSA spying before 9/11, says telcom CEO
Contradicting a statement by ex-vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday that warrantless domestic surveillance might have prevented 9/11, 2007 court records indicate that the Bush-Cheney administration began such surveillance at least 7 months prior to 9/11.

The Bush administration bypassed the law requiring such actions to be authorized by FISA court warrants, the body set up in the Seventies to oversee Executive Branch spying powers after abuses by Richard Nixon. Former QWest CEO John Nacchios said that at a
meeting with the NSA on February 27, 2001, he and other QWest officials declined to participate. AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth all agreed to shunt customer communications records to an NSA database.
So not only is it not a "counter-punch", but the NSA spying they claim has prevented "more 9/11's" didn't prevent 9/11 at all. Of course the U.S. never had any intention of "preventing 9/11", but you already knew that, didn't you?

GOP lawmaker: NSA spying in U.S. could have prevented 9/11

They really do think you're that stupid.

Legalizing NSA spying has been the plan all along. Edward Snowden, likely unknowingly has delivered exactly the information the NSA wants public. Because if nobody stops them, then by default it becomes legal and can now be referenced publicly as evidence.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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