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Fri Dec 30, 2011, 12:31 PM

Telecom customers may sue government over wiretapping, court says

Telecom customers may sue government over wiretapping, court says
An appellate panel reinstates a lawsuit against the federal government over post-9/11 warrantless wiretapping and sends the case back to U.S. district court for trial.

Residential telephone customers can sue the government for allegedly eavesdropping on their private communications in a warrantless "dragnet of ordinary Americans," a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

Lawyers for customers of AT&T and other telecommunications providers hailed the ruling for allowing the courts to decide whether widespread warrantless wiretapping violated their constitutional rights.

"It's huge. It means six years after we started trying, the American people may get a judicial ruling on whether the massive spying done on them since 9/11 is legal or not," said Cindy Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was among those fighting for a day in court.

...............

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-telecom-court-20111230,0,4883137.story

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Reply Telecom customers may sue government over wiretapping, court says (Original post)
kpete Dec 2011 OP
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2011 #1
DeSwiss Dec 2011 #6
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2011 #8
DeSwiss Dec 2011 #16
OregonBlue Dec 2011 #2
Uncle Joe Dec 2011 #3
EFerrari Dec 2011 #5
Solly Mack Dec 2011 #4
DeSwiss Dec 2011 #7
cstanleytech Dec 2011 #9
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #13
Vattel Dec 2011 #10
McCamy Taylor Dec 2011 #11
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #14
pmorlan1 Dec 2011 #12
midnight Dec 2011 #15

Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 01:22 PM

1. Thank you Electronic Frontier Foundation, ACLU, and OWS

 

But note,
(1) "Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, said the Administration had no comment ...", and
(2) "The government is expected to seek to assert the state-secrets privilege again before or during trial."

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 04:47 PM

6. Where's the.....

 

....''the state-secrets privilege'' provision located in the Constitution?

- I've never seen it, have you?

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 07:35 PM

8. For the answer to that, you'll have to ask Obama, Eric Holder, et al.

 

While you're at it, you might as well ask them why they haven't been on our side on this issue.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 11:51 PM

16. They don't want me asking them any questions. Seriously.

 

Because I don't pull my punches for nostalgia's sake , nor political party affiliation. One is either with the Constitutional program, or one ain't.

- And I'm sorely disappointed in what I've seen thus far.......


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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 01:54 PM

2. Unfortunately the last paragraph of the article says it all

The 9th Circuit's ruling is almost certainly the end of the line for the plaintiffs seeking to hold the telecom companies liable. The conservative-majority Supreme Court would be unlikely to consider an appeal to review the decision. ACLU attorney Harvey Grossman said his clients had yet to decide how to proceed.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 02:48 PM

3. I wonder how were these people specifically harmed?

[div class= "excerpt"]

"But the panel reinstated the lawsuit brought by Petaluma, Calif., resident and author Carolyn Jewel and sent it back to U.S. District Court in San Francisco for trial, concluding that the plaintiffs had the right to sue the government.

"In light of detailed allegations and claims of harm linking Jewel to the intercepted telephone, Internet and electronic communications, we conclude that Jewel's claims are not abstract, generalized grievances and instead meet the constitutional standing requirement of concrete injury," said the 9th Circuit panel composed of three appointees of Democratic presidents Judges Harry Pregerson, Michael Daly Hawkins and M. Margaret McKeown."



It seems to me, this retroactive immunization may have violated the "No Bill of Attainder" clause of the U.S. Constitution.

[div class= "excerpt"]

"Jewel vs. National Security Agency was one of dozens of lawsuits on which the 9th Circuit panel ruled Thursday in two consolidated cases. The appellate judges upheld dismissal of the other grouped cases brought against AT&T and other telecom companies that assisted the government in gaining access to customers' private records. The judges ruled that the companies had been retroactively immunized by an act of Congress three years ago that amended the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to allow government agents to spy on foreign terrorism suspects without a warrant."



Thanks for the thread, kpete.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 03:17 PM

5. I don't understand that part.

But in his speech at FAIR this year, Greenwald said the statute read each instance of warrantless wiretapping was a felony, punishable by five years in prison and a $500 fine, iirc. He was talking about going on teevee and pointing that out, and how the cable talking heads just didn't seem to care about that.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 03:03 PM

4. k/r

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 04:50 PM

7. K&R n/t

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 07:36 PM

9. But what about suing the telecom providers themselves since they aided in

the crime, shouldnt they be held liable as well?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 11:03 PM

13. The court said they were retroactively immunized by Congress.

Remember. Obama voted for the bill -- to my great disappointment.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 08:39 PM

10. We gotta keep on keepin' on.

 

Only the people can take back their rights. But they gotta fight. And lose. And get up and fight some more.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 09:59 PM

11. This is the right way to deal with it. Telecoms have deep pockets

and so are the obvious targets to sue. And the ones lawyers would prefer to go after. However, they can argue that they were forced to participate by the executive branch which declared it a matter of national security. We all know what happened to the one company that refused. The feds investigated and indicted its head.

The proper folks to go after are the Bush people like Cheney who ordered it. Yes, there will be little money to split among the attorneys. But the verdict will mean more.

Addendum: by giving the telecoms monetary immunity, you make it easier for them to be forthcoming in the civil trials about what Cheney and Co. did. They have nothing to lose by being honest.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 11:05 PM

14. Read the article. The telecoms cannot be sued because Congress

retroactively immunized them.

Let's hope that Cheney and Bush are called to testify. But I doubt that the Court will make them appear in court.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 10:43 PM

12. K & R

K & R

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Dec 30, 2011, 11:32 PM

15. K&R.

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