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Supreme Court: Corporations Don't Have "Personal Privacy" Rights

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posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 09:52 PM
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Supreme Court: Corporations Don't Have "Personal Privacy" Rights


www.rawstory.com

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Tuesday that AT&T and other corporations do not have personal privacy rights under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The Freedom of Information Act requires federal agencies to make documents publicly available upon request, but contains an exemption for documents that "constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.theatlanticwire.com
www.financialfeed.net

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Corporations now have the legal right of Personal Privacy




posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 09:52 PM
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So the decision was "unanimous". How can they justify their "Citizens United ruling? How can a corporation have person hood in one instance but not another.

Don't get me wrong? This is great news! Many feared that the Citizens United ruling would open a door that we would wish we could have kept closed. But it seems that our fears have been, for some part, alleviated.

*the linked ATS thread is in relation to the original ruling that corporations did have privacy rights, which has not been overturned by the Supreme Court.


(I did a search, but nothing came up. So if something has already been posted, then I am at a loss because it seems no matter how many searches I do, a thread has already been posted in relation to mine)


www.rawstory.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 10:01 PM
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Ahhh good. Now if we could only stop corporations from campaign contributions! Corporations have PROFIT as their main concern and often could care less about safety and health concerns other than how they might be exposed by PR and media, so they should not be influencing elected officials. Elected officials should be responsible to constituents, the constitution, and loyalty to our country. In an earlier post I linked a newspaper article pointing out that in a recent Utah election only ONE dollar out of TWENTY came from constituents while the rest came from corporations and outside sources. Corporations that pay little in the way of taxes, ship factories overseas to take advantage of low wages and safety requirements,and kill off jobs here, all the while increasing the value of their stock. So yeah..... reducing the rights of corporations that mirror citizens makes sense for citizens!



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 10:04 PM
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reply to post by nunya13
 


Sweet! So, anything Government-related that Koch Industries, or HBGary is involved with will become available. Let the FOIA requests begin!



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 10:09 PM
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The loss of corporate person-hood must be the once thing they fear most.

Their entire enterprise of empire collapses without it.

We can only hope (for now.)

I'm not emotionally prepared to allow myself to consider this a concrete victory yet.... I don't want to be disappointed.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by EnhancedInterrogator
 


That's perhaps the most exciting part, right! The reason this reached the Supreme Court was because AT&T was trying to protect itself form a Freedom of Information Act request. They were being sued for helping the Fed. Gov't "spy" on Americans. Certain documents were needed to support this claim. AT&T, piggybacking on the Citizens United ruling, tried to claim it didn't have to give up those docs.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 10:16 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


Can we say it was lost though. In one Supreme Court case, you have them receiving corporate personhood in order to donated vast sums of money to political campaigns. In another, you have them being denied personhood in regards to personal privacy (after a lower court ruling said they could have it).

How could the Supreme Court have such a lopsided opinion in both of these cases?



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 10:20 PM
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reply to post by nunya13
 





So the decision was "unanimous". How can they justify their "Citizens United ruling? How can a corporation have person hood in one instance but not another.


The Supreme Court did not grant any right of person hood to corporations. It is the Uniform Commercial Code that defines a corporation as a person:


(27) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity.


www.law.cornell.edu...

The Citizens United ruling hinged on the First Amendment not person hood. The First Amendment does not make any distinctions as to who Congress shall pass no laws...only that Congress shall pass no laws...

The fears that came with the Citizens United ruling were unfounded and not at all founded in law. The ruling was, just as this ruling is. Corporations are artificial entities and exist by charter, which is a public privilege, not a right. Congress and the several states have every right to regulate a chartered corporation in ways they do not have the right to regulate a private individual.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 10:46 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Then if corporations are people, under the law, how can the Supreme Court not grant them privacy rights being that this law specifically relates to the right of the people to security in their persons and affects?

If it was "okay" to allow their "speech" to continue (in the form of campaign contributions) because the law does not refer specifically to people in that regard, then how is it okay to deny them privacy when the law does specifically refer to people? (I hope I didn't boggle that up)

Seriously, not trying to argue. I really want to get this clear. I am very thankful for your clarification on the Citizens United ruling. It serves to prove how much misinformation is out there and is a testament to the reliance of others (including myself) on information from outside sources that might not have it right or fail to give you a clear, reasonable picture.

I'd applaud you if I could


edit to add: I am in support of the ruling. I am just being devil's advocate here.
edit on 2-3-2011 by nunya13 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 10:51 PM
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Corporations have no conscience, no soul, and stand no chance of being put in jail or to death. They only have one motivation and that is to increase profits. Because of this, they cannot be considered equal to a real person, regardless of what courts or laws state. Unfortunately, money trumps everything else in the current hierarchy or "status quo" so we cannot force the courts or politicians to recognize this extremely obvious and vital fact. When survival once again becomes the top need on the hierarchy, corporations will be put in their rightful place, which unfortunately is not at the end of a rope.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 10:53 PM
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reply to post by nunya13
 


Yes, I am confused, too. Please explain further? I am also relieved for this latest ruling.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 11:22 PM
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One step for victory, I was aware that corporations had an SSN number and had to file taxes and such but I like the fact that there is a distinction between a person and corporation because if a corporation commits murder it cant plead the fifth.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 11:33 PM
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reply to post by THE_PROFESSIONAL
 


This is mainly semantics, but corporations do not have a social security number. they have a tax identification/federal identification/employer identification number (often labeled as TIN, FIN, EIN respectively). All business entities have this number. It is only corporations (that is C-corps, not S-corps) that pay taxes directly through the business in relation to net profit.



posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 12:01 AM
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reply to post by nunya13
 


Thank you for the applause in spirit. It is more than greatly appreciated.




If it was "okay" to allow their "speech" to continue (in the form of campaign contributions) because the law does not refer specifically to people in that regard, then how is it okay to deny them privacy when the law does specifically refer to people? (I hope I didn't boggle that up)


Neither the First Amendment, and certainly not the Supreme Court allow any rights. The Bill of Rights are unalienable rights, not "legal" or "civil" rights. Civil rights are granted by governments, unalienable rights preexist government and are the basis for all just governments.

The rules of statutory constructions require that each and every word be given significance. Let's look at how the First Amendment was constructed:




Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Not only must we give significance to what has been said, we must give significance to what has not been said. Take note how nowhere in the First Amendment is there any language that states that the people, or a person is "allowed" freedom of speech, or any other enumerated right within this Amendment. What is expressly said is that Congress shall make no law respecting...

The First Amendment, as are all other of the Bill of Rights are not a grant of rights, they are a prohibition placed upon government respecting rights. The First Amendment does not make any distinction as to who gets these rights, and instead makes clear that Congress has no authority to legislate any act that would infringe upon the right to exercise religion freely, abridge the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In regards to freedom of speech, the First Amendment only prohibits Congress from legislating an act that would abridge speech. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, in part, did exactly this, it, as the Supreme Court put it; "chilled speech". It did not just "chill" speech in regards to corporations but to all people. The ruling was not just a win for corporations, it was a win for all people.

You were not alone in terms of people who relied upon "outside sources" putting spin on the Citizens' United ruling, and one of those spin doctors was the President of the United States Barack Obama, who is touted as a "Constitutional expert", and used a State of the Union Address to castigate the Supreme Court over the ruling, going as far as urging Congress to write an Amendment to "overturn" the SCOTUS ruling. It, in my estimation, revealed Obama to be quite the ignoramus when it came to Constitutional law, and he revealed a profound disregard for the First Amendment over this ruling.

The Citizens United ruling was a sound and lawful ruling that was a strong defense of freedom, as well as a tough and mindful reminder to government that they cannot simply disregard the Constitution and act in ways they see fit.



posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 01:07 AM
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This is great i have been trying to get membership list of environmental groups(non profit corporations) for years.

There has been evidence the all the environmental pad there membership numbers by factors of 10 to 50 times the numbers of payed members to make there groups look larger to the politicians.

There are a number of environmental groups that are in name only they have a small board of directors but no members but those on the board.
These groups get money from members of other environmental groups for there projects and from groups like the Tides foundation or other Non Profit Trusts just to be names against projects.

One environmental group that some miners checked we found that a large number of letters sent to the BLM during a public comment period on a proposed commercial project were from people that were dead(had been dead for years) and the names taken from a obituary columns of newspapers.
Environmental groups against the project claimed they had no knowledge of who sent the letters.
the BLM claimed they never bothered to ever check if public comment letters were from real people and did not have the money too.
edit on 3-3-2011 by ANNED because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 12:05 PM
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reply to post by ANNED
 


This case was a FOIA case. It had to do with a request that the government release certain documents pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, to which request AT&T objeccted, claiming a right of privacy. This case is not going to help you one bit in getting records from a non-governmental private non-profit. FOIA has no application to non-governmental entities.



posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 12:09 PM
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yeah, so corporations are "people" but they don't have privacy rights? Seems like if you are dumb enough to mistake a corporation for a person you might as well give them personal privacy rights. How did the iota of common sense trickle into the supreme court?



posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 12:41 PM
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Yet they say a person who has a drivers licenses is a corporation so they can have the right to take all of their property, mainly their vehicle. They are all scumbags, the whole system needs to be wiped out and started over from scratch back to the 12th amendment.



posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by nunya13
 


Oh I do like this.



"We reject the argument that because 'person' is defined for purposes of FOIA to include a corporation, the phrase 'personal privacy' in Exemption 7(C) reaches corporations as well," he said.

"The protection in FOIA against disclosure of law enforcement information on the ground that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy does not extend to corporations."

"We trust that AT&T will not take it personally," Roberts added. "The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed."



...As far as the Citizens United ruling and other legal support for corporate privacy - I'm hoping the tide has turned. ...Wah Hooooo!




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