consultants are sandburs

Sunday, November 10, 2013

NSA SURVEILLANCE ABUSES - Look who's filing amicus briefs in the ACLU's lawsuit for equitable relief [not Larry's litigation for dollars, he gets no respect?].

SURVEILLANCE - The story is circulating with different levels of abuse identified helter-skelter, day-by-day, roughly speaking. Elementary websearch skill can reach much detail, so that's left for readers as a general thing, with this post more narrowed.

Who but a PATRIOT would have authored something entitled in a way Orwell would have understood, "The PATRIOT Act?"

And after that stain on record, then say, "But what is now being disclosed, that's not what I intended ..."?

At least, if not conceding PATRIOT status so easily, you can call him a conservative military-industrial hawk, but despite that mind-set, Sensenbrenner briefed.

Then, NRA briefed, wanting gun data held higher and better than being NSA fodder like your banking records, onshore or off. Think that one over. Only a mere letter apart in abbreviated terms, NRA and NSA, but a world apart on you and your gun fetishes and who should know your ownership/holding/carrying detail when you've lived a life of fighting against registration, of your guns, but what about your registered cell phone and account? Oh --- read both of those amicus items at the ACLU site, and decide whether either touches and respects whatever worries you may hold about how the NSA has acted [and will act, assure yourself, no permanant reform will ensue, business as usual will again be just as quietly usual as NSA would have prefered maintaining - the Snowden haters being who they are].

UPDATE - NRA briefing, opening paragraphs state an intent and a history:

The National Rifle Association is a New York not-for-profit corporation. First among the “Purposes and Objectives” listed in its Bylaws is “[t]o protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and especially the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Constitution. NRA Bylaws art. II. The NRA’s activities in support of that purpose have long included legislative advocacy and litigation concerning two issues relevant to this litigation: (1) the rights of the NRA and its members to associate and communicate freely under the First Amendment, and (2) the protection of gun owners against intrusive government surveillance or recordkeeping, such as the establishment of systems to register or compile lists of firearms or the owners of firearms. The NRA’s history of involvement in these issues—including direct lobbying on predecessor language to the statute at issue in this case—allows the NRA to offer a unique perspective in support of the injunction sought.

The NRA also stands second to no organization in its support for legitimate law enforcement, military, and national security activities to defend our nation against terrorism. Countless NRA members, including NRA employees, have served overseas in that fight since 2001. See Jeff Johnston, NRA’s New Generation of Freedom Fighters, American Rifleman, June 2003, at 47. Indeed, the NRA was originally formed to promote improved military training, and today, the “Purposes and Objectives” described in the NRA’s bylaws include the goals of “promot[ing] public safety, law and order, and the national defense,” as well as “train[ing] members of law enforcement agencies [and] the armed forces … in marksmanship and in the safe handling and efficient use of small arms.” [... yawn]

So it goes. Sensenbrenner's item has more serious weight, opening:

Amicus curiae F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. is a Member of Congress who was the author the USA PATRIOT (“Patriot Act”) in its original passage in 2001, and supported its revision in 2006 and its reauthorizations in 2009 and 2011. Rep. Sensenbrenner has represented the Fifth Congressional District of Wisconsin since 1978. He is a long-serving member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Science and Technology. Rep. Sensenbrenner was chairman of the judiciary committee when the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001. Five days later, he received a first draft of the Patriot Act from the Justice Department. Firmly believing that that original draft granted the government too much investigative power, he asked then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert for time to redraft the legislation. Following numerous meetings and negotiations with the White House, the FBI, and the intelligence community, Rep. Sensenbrenner authored a revised version of the Act that was ultimately adopted as law. Rep. Sensenbrenner also voted to amend the Patriot Act in 2006 and voted to reauthorize certain provisions of the law, including Section 215, in 2009 and 2011.

The Defendants attempt to justify their practice of collecting the records of every telephone call made to or from the United States, including purely domestic calls, by claiming that Congress intended to authorize precisely such a program when it enacted and reauthorized Section 215 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1861 (“Section 215”). Defs’ Mot. to Dismiss (ECF No. 33) at 21-28. But Congress intended no such thing.

Amicus curiae is a Member of Congress who was the author of the original Patriot Act, in 2001, and supported its revision in 2006 and its reauthorizations in 2009 and 2011. Amicus agrees with Defendants that in enacting Section 215, Congress granted the Executive branch broad investigative powers relating to investigations of suspected foreign terrorist activities. However, amicus vehemently disputes that Congress intended to authorize the program challenged by this lawsuit, namely, the unprecedented, massive collection of the telecommunications data of millions of innocent Americans. Indeed, the unfocused dragnet undertaken by Defendants is exactly the type of unrestrained surveillance Congress, including amicus, tried to prevent.

Amicus thus urges the Court to find that the bulk data collection program challenged in this lawsuit is not authorized by Section 215 or any other provision of law.

There is more weight to saying "Whoa folks, I know legislative intent " than to saying "exempt firearms;" with NRA, of course, saying something more than that, too. Read the briefing. Hope for the ACLU to prevail. Heads rolling seems already quite overdue. Why, do you figure that remains so?

FURTHER UPDATE - A report-&-analysis on both ACLU and Larry Klayman litigation against NSA's practices -- extent and intent -- with Klayman seeking billions in class action damages basically for a massive invasion of privacy by our government and cooperative-collusive firms -&- disrespect for the Fourth Amendment.

Whose game: Contemplate an extent of cooperation alone as far and as secret as the law compels, voluntary adherence to law independent of judgments we may hold on the wisdom of such law; that vs collusion, if any, with the rebuttable presumption being absence of any wrongfulness for which the word "collusion" might apply. The Klayman litigation at least attempts to rope in corporate defendants in parallel with NSA top leadership, and higher-ups, in terms of authority and decisional discretion.

Corporatism of communication: The worry being corporate preemption of or interference with or complicity over narrow goal overlaps the profiting firms hold in common with our government's policy formulation and implementation (at its most questionable when mandated to be behind an Iron Curtain of secrecy, in ways that spawned or inflamed the NSA's overreaching). That is, in the context of what we so-far understand about such overreach, in detail. With all detail so far appearing in the public domain being there thanks to Snowden's whistle-blowing and Guardian's publishing.

With what is so-far public (and in anticipation of more detail to emerge in public reporting and editorializing and via public hearings and floor debate in DC and abroad), allies have cause to claque the whistle-blowing event, as do each and every one of us have equal cause. What long term good, if any, will emerge from all this is hard to foresee or forecast.

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