Skip to main content

“EPIC truly believes that this Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court exceeded it’s authority, is not acting in accordance with the law and needs to be overturned — and cannot be allowed to continue conducting this surveillance. ” - Amie Stepanovich, Director of the Domestic Surveillance Project at Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has officially petitioned the Supreme Court to vacate the FISC ruling authorizing the NSA to operate mass surveillance programs domestically. A prior petition (it's not too late to sign) effort by the center back on June 17th aimed directly at the NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and DoD Secretary Chuck Hagel received no response. (as far as I know)

To me, the fact that the Department of Defense is apparently involved with these domestic surveillance programs is even more disturbing than finding out the NSA is involved.

From ThinkProgress:
The announcement was made Thursday at a Restore the Fourth rally in Washington, DC — one of many public events around the country organized to protest the various surveillance programs revealed in recent NSA leaks. In an exclusive comment to ThinkProgress after the announcement, Stepanovich said “EPIC truly believes that this Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court exceeded it’s authority, is not acting in accordance with the law and needs to be overturned — and cannot be allowed to continue conducting this surveillance. ”
"Restore the Fourth" on the Fourth of July... brilliant! I hope it was as successful as they hoped it would be.

EPIC's previous petitions challenged the NSA not only on Fourth Amendment grounds but also because they believe the agency violated the Administrative Procedure Act by implementing what EPIC considered a legislative rule that [without public comment...]

“... substantively affects the public to a degree sufficient to implicate the policy interests animating notice-and-comment rulemaking.”
The ACLU and the EFF both also have legal challenges pending before the courts. (respectively here and here)

The EFF lawsuit has been ongoing since 2005, having been amended at various times as the administrations changed. The ACLU's lawsuit differs from EPIC's in that instead of suing the NSA on Fourth amendment grounds, it's using the First Amendment as basis for its suit, saying the agency's dragnet program exceeds the authority bestowed upon them by the Patriot Act.

Wow, "exceeds" the powers given the government by the Patriot Act? That's what I call exxxxtreeeeeme overreach.

One additional note: the fact that, interesting enough, the timing of the ACLU's most recent legal challenge coincided almost exactly with the information revealed by Edward Snowden indicates to me that the organization's hopes were renewed by the concept that they may now stand a better chance of establishing legal 'standing' before the court, a standard that served as an impediment to all previous lawsuits. (in other words, time will tell, but Snowden may have opened a very heavily-buttressed door to the SCOTUS)

Ok folks, here's where I earnestly plead with you to support these fine, patriotic institutions in any way you can.

ACLU
EFF
EPIC

'Cuz freedom cannot protect itself!

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Not gonna happen. May I quote Alien here? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    markthshark, DeadHead, Cedwyn, Matt Z
    Ripley: How do we kill it Ash? There's gotta be a way of killing it. How? How do we do it?
    Ash: You can't.
    Parker: That's bullshit.
    Ash: You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you?

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:19:37 AM PDT

    •  You blow it out into space (10+ / 0-)

      Or you return to the Sulaco and nuke the site from orbit: it's the only way to be sure.

      I'll go out on the limb and suggest that quoting sci-fi films in response to forcing the 4th Amendment into prostitution falls a bit short in describing what we can do.

      I am reasonably certain that the government will lie constantly to us and will do whatever they want to do because we are - currently - quite actually powerless.

      Republicans simply cheat and hobble the democratic system by which we petition the government for a redress of our grievances.

      So if they do say "OK, we have stopped spying" that will be just another lie.

      But we have to continue to raise hell about the issue despite their ensconced perfidy.

      •  ... till we die, bro... (8+ / 0-)
        But we have to continue to raise hell about the issue despite their ensconced perfidy.

        'Cuz freedom cannot protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

        by markthshark on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:34:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense! (7+ / 0-)
        I'll go out on the limb and suggest that quoting sci-fi films in response to forcing the 4th Amendment into prostitution falls a bit short in describing what we can do.
        Nonsense!  Every situation can be described by quoting from sci-fi!
        Congress: "We will rule over all this land, and we will call it...
        'This Land'."

        FISA courts: "I think we should call it...your grave!"

        Congress: "Ah, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"

        NSA agent 1: "Something ain't right."

        NSA agent 2: "Sweetie, we're crooks.  If everything were right, we'd be in jail."

        (paraphrase) Kaylee: "I'd sure like to live in a non-surveilance state."

        Mal: "And I'd like to be the king of all Londinum and wear a shiny hat."

        "Can we maybe vote on the whole murdering people issue?"
        (paraphrase) Electorate: "What did I say to you about collecting and analyzing every detail of our private lives?"

        White House: "That it was manly and impulsive?"

        Electorate: "Yes, precisely. Only the exact phrase I used was 'don't'."

        (paraphrase): "What the hell's goin' on in the NSA? Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?"
        Electorate: "So, what are we doing?"

        NSA: "Oh, crime."

        Electorate: "Crime?  Good, OK... crime..."

        (paraphrase) Electorate: "Don't fall asleep now. Sleepiness is weakness of character. Ask anyone! You're in charge. Know what happens you fall asleep now?"

        Democracy: "The intelligence services slit my throat and takes over."

        Electorate: "That's right."

        Democracy: "And we can't stop it."

        Electorate: "Well, I wash my hands of it. It's a hopeless case. I'll read a nice poem at the funeral. Something with imagery."

        Democracy: "You could lock the door and keep the power-hungry maniacs at bay."

        Electorate: "Oh, no, I'm starting to like this poetry idea now. 'Here lies my
        beloved Democracy, my autumn flower, somewhat less attractive now she's all corpsified and gross'..."

        Kaylee: "Well, we're headed for help... right?"

        Zoe: "((The President)) will come up with a plan."

        Kaylee: "That's good. Right?"

        Zoe: "Possibly you're not recalling some of his previous plans."

        Zoe: "You sanguine about the kind of reception we're apt to receive ((by spying on the world)), Cap'n?"

        Mal: "Absolutely." (beat) "What's 'sanguine' mean?"

        Zoe: " 'Sanguine'. Hopeful. Plus -- point of interest -- it also means
        'bloody'."

        Mal: "Well, that pretty much covers all the options, don't it?"

        "It's my estimation that... every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sumbitch or another."
        "A government is a body of people -- usually notably ungoverned."
        "In certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as
        completely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords."
        "You guys always bring me the very best violence."
        "Can I suggest something that doesn't involve violence, or is this the wrong crowd for that?"
      •  Nonsense! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z
        I'll go out on the limb and suggest that quoting sci-fi films in response to forcing the 4th Amendment into prostitution falls a bit short in describing what we can do.
        Nonsense!  Every situation can be described by quoting from sci-fi!
        Congress: "We will rule over all this land, and we will call it...
        'This Land'."

        FISA courts: "I think we should call it...your grave!"

        Congress: "Ah, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"

        NSA agent 1: "Something ain't right."

        NSA agent 2: "Sweetie, we're crooks.  If everything were right, we'd be in jail."

        (paraphrase) Kaylee: "I'd sure like to live in a non-surveilance state."

        Mal: "And I'd like to be the king of all Londinum and wear a shiny hat."

        "Can we maybe vote on the whole murdering people issue?"
        (paraphrase) Electorate: "What did I say to you about collecting and analyzing every detail of our private lives?"

        White House: "That it was manly and impulsive?"

        Electorate: "Yes, precisely. Only the exact phrase I used was 'don't'."

        (paraphrase): "What the hell's goin' on in the NSA? Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?"
        Electorate: "So, what are we doing?"

        NSA: "Oh, crime."

        Electorate: "Crime?  Good, OK... crime..."

        (paraphrase) Electorate: "Don't fall asleep now. Sleepiness is weakness of character. Ask anyone! You're in charge. Know what happens you fall asleep now?"

        Democracy: "The intelligence services slit my throat and takes over."

        Electorate: "That's right."

        Democracy: "And we can't stop it."

        Electorate: "Well, I wash my hands of it. It's a hopeless case. I'll read a nice poem at the funeral. Something with imagery."

        Democracy: "You could lock the door and keep the power-hungry maniacs at bay."

        Electorate: "Oh, no, I'm starting to like this poetry idea now. 'Here lies my
        beloved Democracy, my autumn flower, somewhat less attractive now she's all corpsified and gross'..."

        Kaylee: "Well, we're headed for help... right?"

        Zoe: "((The President)) will come up with a plan."

        Kaylee: "That's good. Right?"

        Zoe: "Possibly you're not recalling some of his previous plans."

        Zoe: "You sanguine about the kind of reception we're apt to receive ((by spying on the world)), Cap'n?"

        Mal: "Absolutely." (beat) "What's 'sanguine' mean?"

        Zoe: " 'Sanguine'. Hopeful. Plus -- point of interest -- it also means
        'bloody'."

        Mal: "Well, that pretty much covers all the options, don't it?"

        "It's my estimation that... every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sumbitch or another."
        "A government is a body of people -- usually notably ungoverned."
        "In certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as
        completely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords."
        "You guys always bring me the very best violence."
        "Can I suggest something that doesn't involve violence, or is this the wrong crowd for that?"
    •  Too fatalistic for me... (6+ / 0-)

      Snowden may have just given us an unexpected but very welcomed weapon to wield.

      Besides, it's not over till it's over.

      Nothing's impossible?

      Hope springs eternal?

      (we're so screwed. lol)

      'Cuz freedom cannot protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

      by markthshark on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:31:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now there's a new approach (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    markthshark, jamesia

    It probably won't work with today's court, especially since the FISC judges are appointed by Roberts, but could shine enough light that the GOP House decides it has to do something.

    If we had a do something Congress, this issue would have already been addressed.

    John Roberts? Melville Fuller?? WTF is the difference???.

    by Walt starr on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:28:03 AM PDT

  •  Exceeds the PATRIOT Act? (4+ / 0-)

    That is one massive blanket authorization for whatever one can conceive of.

    (As long as its not the right and good thing for the People.)

  •  Excellent. (4+ / 0-)

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:30:40 AM PDT

  •  The NSA has always been part of the military (5+ / 0-)

    Why use it instead of something under the FBI? Because building that capability under the FBI would have been too blatant of a Constitutional violation. So, mission creep FTW.

    Just think: the military is collecting every piece of communications information it can on the citizens of its own country.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:53:54 AM PDT

    •  Actually, I knew that.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CroneWit, Simplify
      The NSA has always been part of the military
      I didn't articulate this quite how I wanted to...
      To me, the fact that the Department of Defense is apparently involved with these domestic surveillance programs is even more disturbing than finding out the NSA is involved.
      (* translation * -- the thought of boots on the ground [at my door carrying weapons] is a lot scarier than mere cyber-bullies invading my smart phone. lol)

      'Cuz freedom cannot protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

      by markthshark on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:35:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Question for Legal Eagles (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    markthshark, Garrett

    If the NSA and the DoD are involved in domestic surveillance to procure information that can be used by law enforcement then may the DoD be in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878?

    •  Not a "legal eagle..." (0+ / 0-)

      But I do believe that ol' bastion of freedom the Patriot Act itself can be used to supercede the authority of that mere 130-plus year old doctrine.

      It's magic, don't ya know.

      'Cuz freedom cannot protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

      by markthshark on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:50:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The ACLU's original complaint, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markthshark

      about the Verizon order, where data is turned over to the military, doesn't directly bring it up.

      One of the worst John Yoo memos is from September 25, 2001. The constitution does not apply, because President/War.

      The Bush spying order was a week later, October 4. They had to get rid of the 4th amendment to do it. And that order is still used to justify the spying.

      Is the September 25, 2001 Yoo memo still being relied on? Something has to used to repeal the constitution.

  •  a good start (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    markthshark, buddabelly

    but what we really need is a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to privacy.  it's strongly implied in the 4th and 5th amendments, plus a host of court decisions.

    it needs to be made official.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:06:08 AM PDT

  •  The EPIC BOD, Staff and careers (0+ / 0-)

    If you are not a JD don't even think about joining. Seriously, it looks like 90%+ are lawyers. Sort of like Congress.
    No wonder we are in deep shit.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site