OBAMA: Change we can believe in -- extends BUSH WIRETAP POLICY and exerts new executive branch power ... Keith Olbermann appears shocked!
“President Barack Obama invoked ‘state secrets’ to prevent a court from reviewing the legality of the National Security Agency's warantless wiretapping program, moving late Friday to have a lawsuit that challenged the program dismissed.” <Source>
While it is the height of hypocrisy for the Obama to have excoriated the Bush Administration for their “wanton and flagrant” disregard for judicial controls over wiretaps performed by telephone companies, it is also an encouraging sign that the Obama Administration may be taking the security of the United States more seriously than previously thought.
The subject at hand relates to deep-packet mining of Internet traffic and the interception of telephone traffic carried by common-carries such as the telephone companies, cable operators and other telecommunications providers in the United States without a suitable warrant and/or judicial oversight. Unfortunately, the NSA (National Security Agency) needs to examine a large number of private communications in order to search for patterns which would possibly indicate terrorist activities. The sheer number of monitored connections and intercepted conversations would make it virtually impossible to seek wiretap warrants in the numbers required to perfect the NSA’s data-mining technology – but there could be no probable cause as there would be no advance indication of the nature of the intercepted information. Definitely a catch-22.
My problem with this project does not involve the core fundamentals of keeping the United States safe, it involves the oversight and supervision of these projects to keep government officials from using intercepted information for personal, political or commercial gain. The government’s abuse of their discovery and prosecutorial powers has been well documented in the past, with lower level employees accepting responsibility instead of prosecuting those who ordered the actual intercept for impermissible purposes. I also have a problem with this “deep packet” data mining being used by common carriers to segregate traffic types (voice, data, video, etc.) to either surcharge the subscriber (ratepayer) for connectivity and services which they have already purchased and/or selling the data to those who wish to use the data for targeted advertising and/or research. It would be analogous to your telephone company selling your call history to insurance companies so that people who called liquor stores and substance abuse hotlines could be denied insurance coverage. The political misuse of non-public data or the potential for commercial espionage for profit is also a major consideration.
I also have no wish to see telecommunications carriers prosecuted or fined for their coerced provision of data to governmental agencies. However, if they are knowingly and provably complicit in using or releasing any information gathered under circumstances made possible by government programs, then they should not only be civilly liable, but criminally responsible.
Governments have a propensity to use security designations to hide politically embarrassing events and or cover-up criminal actions. With little or no faith in the oversight mechanism, the American people would be losing yet another one of their fundamental rights: to be secure from unreasonable search and seizures.
In addition, it has been well-documented in the past that specialized procedures such as the RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations) Act has been coercively applied to defendants who did not meet the original criteria of being associated with organized crime. Considering the number of warrants that have been obtained by government law enforcement agencies with false and misleading information, sometimes provided by a confidential informant seeking to cut an advantageous deal for themselves, this is an area which bears careful scrutiny.
Considering the corrupt background of most Chicago and Illinois politicians, this is an area which begs for the appropriate judicial oversight and control.
For those who have routinely excoriated Olbermann for being rabidly partisan, this is an eye-opener.
For those wanting to read the actual brief …
The “GOVERNMENT DEFENDANTS’ NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO DISMISS AND FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT” in the case of “CAROLYN JEWEL, TASH HEPTING, GREGORY HICKS, ERIK KNUTZEN, and
JOICE WALTON, Plaintiffs” versus “NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY (‘NSA’); KEITH B. ALEXANDER, Director of the NSA; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE; ERIC HOLDER, Attorney General of the United States; DENNIS C. BLAIR, Director of National Intelligence, Government Defendants Sued in Their Official Capacity can be found on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s web site. <HERE>
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS