May 7, 2015

"The Second Circuit Court of Appeals held in the case, which was brought by the ACLU, that the telephone metadata collection program 'exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized.'"

"The Court did not rule on a larger Constitutional issue and sent the case back down to a lower court for further proceedings."
A three judge panel held that the text of the Patriot Act "cannot bear the weight the government asks us to assign to it and that it does not authorize the telephone meta date program."

The Court said, "We do so comfortably in the full understanding that if Congress [chooses] to authorize such a far-reaching and unprecedented program, it has every [opportunity] to do so, unambiguously. Until such times as it does so, however, we decline to deviate from widely accepted interpretations of well-established legal standards."

20 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

Congress should give the program the authority, if what they are doing is just traffic analysis using metadata.

Dan Hossley said...

That's a win for the good guys.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

But but but . . .

Its called the "Patriot Act!" This collection clearly furthers the goals of the law even if there was a "drafting error."

Crazy right wing ACLU being all racist against Obama. God I hate those haters!

damikesc said...

What I'd like to know is that with all of the crap are intel is missing internationally, if focusing so much on Americans is the best use of money.

MayBee said...

Good.

lgv said...

Good.

Texas Bill, Obama agrees with the court's decision sort of, but wants a new mechanism, whatever that is.

The Patriot Act predated Obama, as did the federal overreach under the guise of the "Patriot Act".

cubanbob said...

So the mass collection of data is constitutionally cool provided Congress explicitly makes it so but until then it isn't cool. God help us.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

@lgv

Bullshit. If Obama didn't think the collection was lawful he had a responsibility to halt the process and get the appropriate authority. Actions speak louder than words.

Robert Cook said...

@lgv:

I'll echo Bill, Republic of Texas: If Obama truly wanted restrictions on the mass surveillance of all American all the time by our intelligence agencies--he doesn't, by the way--he could have stopped it simply by telling them, "Stop it."

Obama is as much a servant of Wall Street and the American War Machine as his predecessors...he's a walking, talking lie.

Mike Sylwester said...

The Court said, "We do so comfortably in the full understanding that if Congress [chooses] to authorize such a far-reaching and unprecedented program, it has every [opportunity] to do so, unambiguously.

One problem with that suggestion is that the program is super-secret.

Robert Cook said...

"One problem with that suggestion is that the program is super-secret."

Nothing done by any agency of government should be secret--in any least detail--from Congress, who, after all, are supposed to represent we, the people, and our interests. Congress also holds the purse strings, and they cannot oversee activities or budgets without knowing what each agency is doing.

Chuck said...

Why don't reporters include the names of all three judges on any given Circuit Court if Appeals panel?

At least this one supplied the name of the author of the opinion. Some news reports omit even that basic element.

And is it so hard, in an online story, to link to the opinion itself?

Coupe said...

I would say this case is merely bleeding the treasury, and in the end - technology will change to make cell phones as obsolete as the finger dial.

Mike Sylwester said...

Nothing done by any agency of government should be secret--in any least detail--from Congress, who, after all, are supposed to represent we, the people, and our interests. Congress also holds the purse strings, and they cannot oversee activities or budgets without knowing what each agency is doing.

The US Government has a lot of so-called "special access programs" aka "black projects".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_access_program

Congress always has exercised strong bi-partisan support for such programs.

These programs are shrouded in secrecy because the Executive and Legislative branches want to shroud them in secrecy.

The judges' idea that Congress must expose such programs in detail is silly.

Mike Sylwester said...

Nothing done by any agency of government should be secret--in any least detail--from Congress

Congress has created various committees that inform themselves about particular programs.

Congress has a lot of flexibility about how it conducts its business.

In this case, a few judges are trying to tell Congress how to conduct its business.

Matt said...

In right wing land it's all Obama's fault. LOL. There is plenty of blame to go around among all Republicans and Democrats. McCain is out this morning saying people have forgotten 9/11. Absurd.

The Patriot Act was approved by every member of the Senate with the exception of one [former] Senator from WI named Russ Feingold. A good man.

traditionalguy said...

Data mining is where the rubber meets the road. It creates the police Dossier kept on every person who has any computer record. It is how the computer agency will figure you out to classify you for discipline needed for any anti-social behavior.

If they regulate water usage and electricity usage we become slaves.

Curious George said...

"that if Congress [chooses] to authorize such a far-reaching and unprecedented program, it has every [opportunity] to do so, unambiguously."

Exactly! Just like our current immigration policy...

Robert Cook said...

"The US Government has a lot of so-called "special access programs" aka 'black projects.'

"Congress always has exercised strong bi-partisan support for such programs."


To the extent that in supporting black projects Congress assents to knowing nothing about them, to being prevented from knowing anything about them, or from fully debating their activities with all other members of Congress--as opposed to the elect few who have been partially or fully informed of them--even in closed sessions, they are abrogating their Constitutional oversight responsibilities and obligations.

"These programs are shrouded in secrecy because the Executive and Legislative branches want to shroud them in secrecy."

The Legislative branch should not be colluding with the Executive to keep program secret from we, the people, and, even if particulars might be advisably concealed from broad public knowledge in limited areas, the Legislative branch has an obligation to be fully informed about any government programs that are done in the people's name and, more to the point, that require expenditures of the people's money.

"The judges' idea that Congress must expose such programs in detail is silly."

I, for one, believe very little of government activities should be kept secret from we, the people, but...is this really what the judge is saying? Or is he just saying the programs exceed legislative authority and approval and must, therefore, be curtailed?

Coupe said...

Mike Sylwester said...The US Government has a lot of so-called "special access programs" aka "black projects".

Actually, not all SAP programs are black. I worked on one that started out black, but after it was released to the public, it still remained SAP.

Being SAP does not mean Secret or Top Secret either. A person could have no clearance, and work on a SAP program (janitor). Each SAP program had their own in-house clearance though.

For example an F-117 clearance to work inside the building. Very compartmentalized. These clearances could take 6-months to get, so a lot of people got paid for 6-months, waiting for their clearances.

The one thing I hated about SAP, was you couldn't travel to some countries (France was one example for me), and you also couldn't have a stop in some countries, on the way to another country. You couldn't stop in Peking, on the way to Bombay, for example.

Anyway, just a comment...