December 27th, 2013

Judge rules in favor of NSA surveillance

U.S. District Judge William Pauley ruled that NSA surveillance does not violate Americans’ rights to privacy:

In a 54-page decision, Pauley said the program “vacuums up information about virtually every telephone call to, from, or within the United States.”

But he said the program’s constitutionality “is ultimately a question of reasonableness,” and that there was no evidence that the government had used “bulk telephony metadata” for any reason other than to investigate and disrupt terrorist attacks.

“This blunt tool only works because it collects everything,” Pauley wrote. “Technology allowed al Qaeda to operate decentralized and plot international terrorist attacks remotely. The bulk telephony metadata collection program represents the government’s counter-punch.”

The problem, of course, is the possibility of the government abusing the program to do other things with it. At this point, it’s hard to believe that wouldn’t happen, and of course the potential is always there. But the potential is there anyway, especially as technology gallops apace.

Oh, brave new world.

12 Responses to “Judge rules in favor of NSA surveillance”

  1. Rick Caird Says:

    What a silly ruling. There is no “reasonableness” standard to allow the violating of the Constitution. I doubt the judge would allow “reasonableness” to overturn Roe v Wade and that “Right to Privacy”.

  2. Eric Says:

    Rick Caird,

    I guess you haven’t taken ConLaw and CrimPro.

  3. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    U.S. District Judge Pauley ruling may be legally upheld but it is bad law based in a flawed premise. Anyone who posits that it is ‘reasonable’ to presume that the possibility of the government abusing the program is acceptably low is ignoring the founder’s emphatic thoughts on government and its inevitable abuse of power and thus demonstrates an appalling lack of wisdom.

    Eric,

    Are you suggesting that there is a “reasonableness” standard to allow the violating of the Constitution?

  4. Eric Says:

    Geoffrey Britain,

    I’m suggesting that Rick Caird hasn’t learned how the reasonableness standard has been applied in determining Constitutionality.

  5. vanderleun Says:

    How much would you like, dear NSA?

    Oh, we only want a “reasonable” amount?

    A “reasonable” amount? Like, just ballpark it, how much?

    All of it.

    Oh, okay then. That sounds reasonable.

  6. parker Says:

    What is unreasonable and unacceptable is that there is a 100% guarantee that the metadata mining will be abused and abused for purposes unrelated to terrorism or other possible threats to national security. It will be abused for political purposes over and over again. What is next, our financial data?

    The language of the Bill of Rights is plain and easily understood. I’m sure you all know the language of the 4th but perhaps a review is in order: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    A judge may rule that seizing our phone records without probable cause is Constitutional but that does not make it Constitutional, ‘reasonable standard’ or no ‘reasonable standard’. In which court is the warrant to seize my individual phone records filed? Am I allowed to see this warrant? Where in this practice of metadata mining is there probable cause to seize my individual phone records? Who swore an oath or affirmation in order to seize my phone records? Am I allowed to know their name/s?

    The ‘reasonable cause’ in this instance is national security, but I find it unreasonable to trade my liberty, my right to be secure with regard to my person, house, papers, and effects; including my phone records, in the name of safety or security. Don’t piss down my back and tell me its raining.

  7. rickl Says:

    And, of course, much depends on how exactly the government chooses to define “terrorist” and “national security”.

  8. Mike Says:

    Enemies foreign and domestic….

    We found another one.

  9. Ymarsakar Says:

    Who is U.S. District Judge William Pauley?

    What does the Left have on him in blackmail?

    What favors does he owe Republicans and Democrats?

    That’s the real NSA intel haul we need. Otherwise we cannot make a determination as to the truth and fiction going on here.

  10. parker Says:

    “Who is U.S. District Judge William Pauley?”

    A Clinton appointee.

    “What does the Left have on him in blackmail?”

    His present position, a chance for higher appointment, and his status as a member of the in crowd at cocktail parties.

    “What favors does he owe Republicans and Democrats?”

    He is a member of the cult, favors flow up the pyramid.

    “That’s the real NSA intel haul we need. Otherwise we cannot make a determination as to the truth and fiction going on here.”

    Isn’t it obvious? Its all about dominion over the peasants. After all, reality is subjective, one man’s truth is merely another man’s fiction.

  11. Matt_SE Says:

    In the end, this will come down to civil disobedience.
    First, the marches on Washington. Then, the police “over-reaction” that results in several dead.
    The [insert nearest holiday] Massacre.

    From there, either civil war or such a popular backlash that even overt election fraud can’t save their hides.

    Or maybe 2014 will put us on the path to fixing it.

  12. Matt_SE Says:

    Oh, BTW: glad to see others got the “how is this reasoning Constitutional” angle.
    Thought I was missing something there.

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