Friday, November 19, 2010

Touching your privates, Five

On a more, if you will, national rather than personal level comes the news - again from the middle of October - that
in a brief filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Obama Administration continued the government's half-decade-long battle to ensure that no judge ever rules on the legality of the National Security Agency's warrantless dragnet surveillance program, a program first revealed in 2005 by the New York Times and detailed by technical documents provided by former AT&T technician Mark Klein.
That from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which goes on to say that this was
the government's response to EFF's appeal of the Jewel v. NSA case, a lawsuit brought against the government and government officials on behalf of AT&T phone and internet customers whose communications have been swept up in the mass surveillance program along with those of millions of other Americans.
In January, the district court dismissed the suit on what EFF politely calls the "incorrect" grounds - but which I say are the truly bizarre grounds - that
because so many Americans have had their communications and communications records illegally obtained by the government, no single person has legal "standing" to challenge the ongoing program of government surveillance.
Is that clear? The court ruled that because millions of people were illegally spied on, none of them have a right to complain. A masterpiece of doublethink.

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