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Originally posted by imbalanced
Where do you live ? I would imagine that the goverment in your area has its problems too....
Judge won't drop AT&T eavesdropping lawsuit
A federal judge declined motions on Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit against AT&T alleging the firm illegally allowed the U.S. government to monitor phone conversations and e-mail communications.
Originally posted by loam
There is hope still for some accountability...
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...
ABA: Bush violating Constitution; signing statements erode democracy
President Bush's penchant for writing exceptions to laws he has just signed violates the Constitution, an American Bar Association task force says in a report highly critical of the practice. ...The ABA group, which includes a one-time FBI director and former federal appeals court judge, said the president has overstepped his authority in attaching challenges to hundreds of new laws. ...The attachments, known as bill-signing statements, say Bush reserves a right to revise, interpret or disregard measures on national security and constitutional grounds.
"This report raises serious concerns crucial to the survival of our democracy," said the ABA's president, Michael Greco. "If left unchecked, the president's practice does grave harm to the separation of powers doctrine, and the system of checks and balances that have sustained our democracy for more than two centuries."
The task force said the statements suggest the president will decline to enforce some laws. Bush has had more than 800 signing statement challenges, compared with about 600 signing statements combined for all other presidents, the group said.
Countdown on Terror and Politics
Folow the link for the video clip...
CIA's secret UK bank trawl may be illegal
A covert programme under which confidential information about British banking transactions is passed to the CIA with the full knowledge of the government may breach both British and European law, the Guardian has learned.
The information commissioner, who is responsible for enforcing the Data Protection Act, is investigating the arrangement, which has seen details of computerised transactions from around the world passed to the CIA in an attempt to spy on the financiers of jihadist terrorism....
A spokesman for the information commissioner told the Guardian that the privacy issue was being taken "extremely seriously". If the CIA had accessed financial data belonging to European individuals then this was "likely to be a breach of EU data protection legislation", he said, adding that UK data protection laws may also have been breached if British banking transactions had been handed over. The commissioner is requesting more information from Swift and the Belgium authorities before deciding how to proceed.
US sues Maine officials for probe on Verizon, NSA
The U.S. government sued Maine officials on Tuesday to block their demand that Verizon disclose whether it gave the government's spying program access to its customer data, documents showed.
The government's civil suit, submitted by the U.S. Department of Justice to a district court in Maine, said the Maine public utilities officials' attempts to obtain information on Verizon's involvement with the National Security Agency (NSA) were "invalid".
"The defendant state officers' attempts to obtain such information are invalid under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution and are preempted by the United States Constitution and various federal statutes," the lawsuit said.
Verizon Says It Has A First Amendment Right To Illegally Give Your Call Records To The Government
The nation's biggest telcos are working hard to make the lawsuits against them for passing customer call records and other info to the government as part of its program of warrantless wiretaps disappear. AT&T's argument that it was just following government orders didn't wash with a judge, and now Verizon is claiming that its passing of information to the government is protected by the First Amendment. Yes, you read that correctly: it says the Electronic Communications Privacy Act is unconstitutional, and the information it passed to the government -- in apparent violation of it, and to comply with the sort of warrantless surveillance the ECPA was designed to prevent -- is constitutionally protected free speech.
Bipartisan bill bans warrantless wiretapping of US citizens
Members of Congress from both parties succeeded on Friday in passing legislation that restricts the wiretapping of US citizens by the National Security Agency without warrants.
"When Congress said the Administration must get court approval for domestic surveillance, we meant it. Today, Congress reaffirmed that basic protection," said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who co-sponsored legislation included in the intelligence authorization bill that Congress passed.
Schiff, with Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), sponsored the NSA Oversight Act in January to "retain court supervision over domestic electronic surveillance," according to a release the two Congressmembers sent to RAW STORY.
But when you then demanded again, during the State of the Union address, that Congress retroactively clear the Verizons and the AT&T’s, you wouldn’t even confirm that they actually did anything for which they deserved to be cleared!
“The Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America.”
Don’t you know?
Which is why the Vice President probably shouldn’t have phoned in to the Rush Limbaugh Propaganda-Festival yesterday.
Sixth sentence out of Mr. Cheney’s mouth: The FISA bill is about, quote, “retroactive liability protection for the companies that have worked with us and helped us prevent further attacks against the United States.”