Judge Lets NSA Continue Spying on US Citizens

Illustration for article titled Judge Lets NSA Continue Spying on US Citizens

A federal judge in the Northern District of California just ruled that he can't rule in a case accusing the NSA of spying on Americans. This lack of a ruling means the NSA may continue with its activities. But the really disappointing and weird part is how the judge justified his stance.

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The judge said the case couldn't continue because it might lead to the possible disclosure of state secrets. In other words, you can't stop the NSA from running its secret program — even if that program violates the Fourth Amendment — because the program is secret. It's the most vicious of cycles.

The case in question is Jewel vs. NSA. It's civil liberties organization Electronic Frontier Foundation's longest standing challenge to the NSA's practice of intercepting internet communications, and understandably, EFF was not happy with the ruling. The organization's Kurt Opsahl wrote in a blog post:

EFF will keep fighting the unlawful, unconstitutional surveillance of ordinary Americans by the U.S. government. Today's ruling in Jewel v. NSA was not a declaration that NSA spying is legal. The judge decided instead that "state secrets" prevented him from ruling whether the program is constitutional.

It would be a travesty of justice if our clients are denied their day in court over the "secrecy" of a program that has been front-page news for nearly a decade. Judge White's ruling does not end our case.

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Just to recap, a federal court can't decide whether a government spy agency's actions are constitutional because they're too secret. Isn't this sort of thing what the Bill of Rights is supposed to prevent from happening? Either way, it doesn't look like President Obama is going to reform this twisted situation. [Reuters, EFF]

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DISCUSSION

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Science that is settled is religion

The way around this is jury nullification. A lot of people do not know that as a juror you have the right to judge the person AND the law. So, even if the law is broken you can still say Not Guilty because you don't agree with the law. The judge will try to intimidate you but it is the law that you can judge the law.

This is not the first time there have been corrupt judges in America. Corruption was rampant at the start of the US. The first edition of Poor Richard authored by Ben Franklin discussed the bribes to corrupt judges. The way to keep people accountable is for YOU to know the law and second, YOU reject what you don't agree with.

There is little difference between snooping through your handwritten notebooks or your cell phone. Back at the start of the country there was no wired communication so your letters and effects would have completely covered all personal papers AND all communications with other people. To complain that this would somehow jeopardize the nation is silly. It really jeopardizes the citizens.

The first thing an foreign invader would do would be to troll through all that NSA data and use it to pick out people they did not like.

OK. so your OK with with spying. You're a good person. You have nothing to hide. But are you OK with all of that information going to enemies of the USA? Maybe you belong to an environmental group and the invaders really want Alaskan oil and to strip mine for rare earth minerals. Now you are really on a list and it's not just snooping anymore.