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View Diary: What If You Pulled Back the Curtain and Found a Real Wizard? (181 comments)

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  •  Actually, those PO'd judges (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tortmaster, kharma, JVolvo, JayBat

    weren't supplying the least bit of "meaningful oversight." They were complaining about their inability to provide meaningful oversight due to the fact that the government lies to them so often about everything. And coincidentally opining in their judge-ly capacity that the collection itself is a violation of the 4th.

    •  If you only read the piece that says that, then... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tortmaster, duhban

      yes, that complaint is the only thing in the opinion.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 09:22:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I'm glad that you ... (6+ / 0-)

      ... know exactly what the Judge meant about "misrepresentation" in the footnote, but I certainly don't. One possible reason is this: Developing a massively complex computational and engineering system that will separate various components off the internet might be a difficult thing to do. Perhaps in the Beta testing the Government didn't know what they had?

      As for the "meaningful oversight," they stopped the Government from searching an entire chest of information even though the Court admitted that it contained valuable foreign intelligence. The Judge who wrote the opinion also mentioned the requirement that the Government show up and explain what was going on, and there was another enforcement mechanism that I can't remember now but will try to look it up in the opinion.

      Finally, unmentioned in the opinion--because it wasn't needed--but available to every court in America is the power of contempt. The court can hold any person or entity in its purview, including the Director of the NSA, in contempt of court, ordering that person or entity to appear forthwith and prove why he/it should not be held in indirect contempt and put in jail. That's yet another safeguard that nobody ever mentions, and you better believe that U.S. Marshals would enforce an order to appear.

      Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

      by Tortmaster on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 10:02:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you dispute the court's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayBat, Tortmaster

        conclusion that it cannot provide meaningful oversight of misuses of the system because of misrepresentations from the users? We just got to see this opinion yesterday, much is still redacted. I am not in a position to know what the secret laws say or mean, how the secret interpretations of those secret laws change the nature of any restrictions that MIGHT be in the secret laws, any other rulings of the secret court in charge of applying the secret interpretations to secret laws to the secret agencies who do the misusing and misrepresenting. Are you?

        •  Joieau, if you are the ... (1+ / 0-)
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          ... Chairwoman or Chariman of a giant IT hardware company, and your tech gurus tell you that they are working on a new technology that will revolutionize the industry, and they say it will be able to do this and this and that, but it turns out the new hardware can only do this and this at this time, then that was perhaps a misrepresentation, but I would think it was made in good faith. This is just my speculation, but that could've been the problem in the instance you cite. (And no, I'm not aware of any Top Secret stuff!).  

          The Court does have the power of contempt, and it does have other enforcement mechanisms, including ordering that the Government not look into a particular chest, ordering the appearance of Government personnel, and requiring sworn affidavits from agency heads. Moreover, this is one layer of the oversight. Additionally, there's Congressional oversight, there's the executive branch through the AG and the Civil Liberties Protection Officers, and there are whistleblowers, audits and Inspector Generals.

          Another important aspect of the Court's decision in this case, in my opinion, is that it was rendered "Classified: TOP SECRET." This Judge had every reason to believe that the decision wouldn't be made public during his lifetime and probably for many years after that. Yet, there is still this huge effort to provide oversight, understand the issues involved with privacy and the Fourth Amendment, push back where appropriate, work on creating a balance between the competing interests (foreign intelligence versus civil liberties) and not a one-page rubber-stamp at all.

          That's what I meant with the title of the diary.

          Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting.

          by Tortmaster on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 10:43:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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