Then NSA secret wire tapping is legal(no i in front of that)

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  • #26
russ_watters
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To further clarify:
russ_watters said:
I will also gladly give the government whatever information they want to know about me if they think it'll help them catch terrorists.
When I said that, I had misread the title/OP and thought he was just referring to calling records. But even if we expand that to the government wanting to tap my phone line, I'd be ok with it.
 
  • #27
Art
russ_watters said:
My point is the fact that it was not a unanamous decision implies that the issue is not clear-cut and related cases could go either way.
But as per the examples I provided subsequent cases haven't gone the other way.
russ_watters said:
No, the details are essential. This is not an omnibus ruling - it is one specific case of a very complex issue.
Russ you are simply wrong on this. The details are simply the facts. Arguments about facts do not find their way to the supreme court. The USSC rules on matters of law.

The key to understanding the meaning and scope of USSC judgements is in the ratio decidendi of decisions passed down by the supreme court and to a lesser extent what is said obiter dicta in their written opinion.
 
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  • #28
russ_watters
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Burnsys said:
You are wrong, it's becouse we fear the goverment and becouse we have a lot of reasons to belive the goverment is becoming more and more corrupt.

[separate post] Pure speculation post:

What i think they are doing is building a big database of relationships of the entire population, who talks with who, at what level, and how frequent, later analyzing each people reading habits, internet sites, shopping habits, guns in posession etc etc, each people will be asigned a "Suspect Terrorist Level" and automaticaly each of their "Most Related people" will gain a point. if you are over X you are an enemy combatant, you are held prisoner without trial and interrogated.
I imagine this becouse we had a dictatorship over here and this would have been their dream...
Well, that's why I asked the question of whether it is privacy for the sake of privacy or fear of government corruption is the isue to you. It would appear that you equate the two. Isn't it possible to separate them?
 
  • #29
russ_watters
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Art said:
Ah! but the presumption is the rights do apply until found otherwise by the courts. Ref the 9th amendment. To presume otherwise is to contravene the constitution.
No, Art, the USSC operates via negation. It doesn't write new laws and set limits on rights, it only strikes down laws and expands rights. Laws already in place that cover different issues and new laws that seek to clarify the ruling must be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Heck, if what you were saying was true, Row V Wade would not have needed to go before the USSC, but it did because the scope and applicability of the previous ruling was not clear in how abortion would be covered.
 
  • #30
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russ_watters said:
To further clarify: When I said that, I had misread the title/OP and thought he was just referring to calling records. But even if we expand that to the government wanting to tap my phone line, I'd be ok with it.
Actually Scott's post references the call records, so either issue is on topic.
 
  • #31
russ_watters
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Art said:
But as per the examples I provided subsequent cases haven't gone the other way.
So what? Subsequent cases have also been very limited in scope. And by the way, subsequent cases (including Row v Wade) have put some limits on the right to privacy.
While establishing the right to an abortion, this decision gave states the right to intervene in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy to protect the woman and the “potential” life of the unborn child.....

In a 1989 case, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, the court, while not striking down Roe, limited its scope, permitting states greater latitude in regulating and restricting abortions. Then in 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court reaffirmed the abortion rights granted in Roe v. Wade, while permitting further restrictions. [emphasis added]
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0842237.html
Russ you are simply wrong on this. The details are simply the facts. Arguments about facts do not find their way to the supreme court. The USSC rules on matters of law.
No, Art. You are tying to create absolutes where none exist. This issue is gray and the USSC has treated it as such.
 
  • #32
Art
russ_watters said:
No, Art, the USSC operates via negation. It doesn't write new laws and set limits on rights, it only strikes down laws and expands rights. Laws already in place that cover different issues and new laws that seek to clarify the ruling must be dealt with on a case by case basis.
A totally strawman argument. I never suggested in any way even remotely that the USSC writes new laws. I went to great pains to point out it interprets laws.

russ_watters said:
Heck, if what you were saying was true, Row V Wade would not have needed to go before the USSC, but it did because the scope and applicability of the previous ruling was not clear in how abortion would be covered.
:confused: What's your point? The USSC once again confirmed the individuals right to privacy.

The whole point of the USSC is to publish opinions to be used as binding precedents in lower courts to prevent the very situation you suggest whereby every case would need an individual ruling to determine the law.
 
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  • #33
russ_watters
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Art said:
A totally strawman argument. I never suggested in any way even remotely that the USSC writes new laws. I went to great pains to point out it inteprets laws.
What you said was:
...the presumption is the rights do apply until found otherwise by the courts.
...and that isn't correct. The USSC cannot limit rights, only rule on laws that limit rights. What you suggest is where the phrase "legislating from the bench" came from - the USSC cannot do what you are suggesting they must.
:confused: What's your point? The USSC once again confirmed the individuals right to privacy.
Not that clear-cut, but again: if the USSC had made the right to privacy absolute in the previous case: why did this case even get to the USSC?
 
  • #34
Art
russ_watters said:
What you said was: ...and that isn't correct. The USSC cannot limit rights, only rule on laws that limit rights. What you suggest is where the phrase "legislating from the bench" came from - the USSC cannot do what you are suggesting they must.
I think you misunderstood what I said. My point was that the USSC interpreted the 9th amendment as meaning citizens had the right to privacy as a basic human right under this constitutional amendment. I don't see how you equate this with legislating from the bench??
russ_watters said:
Not that clear-cut, but again: if the USSC had made the right to privacy absolute in the previous case: why did this case even get to the USSC?
I don't know, could be lots of reasons. Stupid lawyers, rich clients or a mixture of the two? Also I don't know if in the US the supreme court is bound by it's own previous decisions, known as stare decisis (in the UK the House of Lords is) but if not then perhaps somebody was hoping for a different judgement from a new bench.

Also of course as I think you pointed out yourself no rights are absolute so you will always find people trying to drive a coach and horses through a perceived crack but nevertherless at the moment the onus is (or should be) on the gov't to show they are not infringing on people's privacy rights rather than the other way around.

As an interesting piece of trivia it appears there is actually no constitutional authority for the supreme court to undertake judicial reviews. The first landmark case was Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), Chief Justice John Marshall declared a federal law, the Judiciary Act of 1789, to be unconstitutional, and thus null and void.
 
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  • #35
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russ_watters said:
Well, that's why I asked the question of whether it is privacy for the sake of privacy or fear of government corruption is the isue to you. It would appear that you equate the two. Isn't it possible to separate them?
Well i see privacy as the last line of defence against a corrupt and totalitarian goverment.
 
  • #36
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Burnsys said:
Also I don't know if in the US the supreme court is bound by it's own previous decisions, known as stare decisis (in the UK the House of Lords is) but if not then perhaps somebody was hoping for a different judgement from a new bench.
The doctrine of stare decisus is felt as a very strong but not a legally binding constraint on the US Supreme Court. Parties can always hope for a change, but they are not always satisfied in that.
 
  • #37
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I'm a big fan of the Constitution, a big fan of freedom/liberty, and a big fan of Democracy, but freedom and privacy are not the same thing, and there is a good reason there is no specific right to privacy laid out in the Bill of Rights.
They're not the same thing, but they're closely intertwined. Everyone does legal things that they don't want others to know about, and removing the right of privacy removes our freedom to do those things.

Moreover, just because the right to privacy is not delineated in the Bill of Rights, it does not mean that it isn't a right. It is well-documented that many of the Founding Fathers were concerned that by including the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, people would get the wrong idea that everything left out isn't a right. The only reason that the right to privacy wasn't included is because back in the eighteenth century, privacy was not a big concern. Why? Quite simply, it wasn't possible to take it away, any more than it is possible nowadays to take away a conscious person's right to think about a particular subject. There was no method for surveillance short of hiring someone to secretly follow someone around, a method which is unreliable at best. Is that a "good reason?" I don't think so.

Finally, just because phone records aren't private per se, it doesn't mean that they should be used. On a given day, you might do many things in public places that aren't private per se: you might go to work, to the grocery store, to the bank, etc. There are probably security cameras recording the fact that you are there. However, you still retain a large degree of privacy through anonymity, and no one will track your motion for an extended period of time, because it would take undue effort to do so. The point is that there is more than one kind of privacy, and if large databases of phone records are kept, you lose the "takes undue effort to spy" privacy.

By the way, there was a news story a couple days ago regarding a program that the NSA had a few years ago that would anonymously collect phone records and would keep them encrypted to prevent abuses by those in authority. It was cut when the current administration gave them permission to do so without abuse preventions. Shows what they think of privacy.
 
  • #38
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Hmm, either my argument was persuasive, or I'm a thread killer. (Or no one replied since I resurrected the thread after a three day ban.) Regardless, I'd like to pose a question to those who don't believe that there is a right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution. Do I have the right to think about whatever I feel like? If technology is invented in the future that allows the government to disallow thoughts, is that constitutional? It certainly isn't in the Constitution. Did the founding fathers leave the right to think out for a good reason?
 
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  • #39
SOS2008
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Manchot said:
Hmm, either my argument was persuasive, or I'm a thread killer. (Or no one replied since I resurrected the thread after a three day ban.) Regardless, I'd like to pose a question to those who don't believe that there is a right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution. Do I have the right to think about whatever I feel like? If technology is invented in the future that allows the government to disallow thoughts, is that constitutional? It certainly isn't in the Constitution. Did the founding fathers leave the right to think out for a good reason?
Personally I feel you've made a persuasive argument, particularly in regard to how much the forefathers could predict the future (e.g., the thought police). I agree the right to privacy is one of our unalienable rights that the framers did not need to specify per se.

Also, violation of privacy has a lot to do with openness versus secrecy in my mind. For example, there are surveillance cameras at banks. But the security reasons are clear and we all know the cameras are there (so we don't pick our nose while waiting in line). In regard to the NSA wiretaps, we don't know that we are gaining additional security--in fact information indicates the contrary. More importantly, we don't know who, where, when or why they are monitoring because there is no oversight. The NSA wiretaps are unacceptable on both of these accounts--as well as an unalienable right. Don't let a chimp fool ya folks.
 
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  • #40
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Look at this, then talk to me about how this serves to protect us from terrorism.

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70944-0.html?tw=wn_index_17

I wrote the following document in 2004 when it became clear to me that AT&T, at the behest of the National Security Agency, had illegally installed secret computer gear designed to spy on internet traffic. At the time I thought this was an outgrowth of the notorious Total Information Awareness program, which was attacked by defenders of civil liberties. But now it's been revealed by The New York Times that the spying program is vastly bigger and was directly authorized by President Bush, as he himself has now admitted, in flagrant violation of specific statutes and constitutional protections for civil liberties. I am presenting this information to facilitate the dismantling of this dangerous Orwellian project
So civil liberties and democracy are a myth protected by a thinly veiled guise of proection, much like a thug threatening to beat you up if you don't pay them "protection money".

That may or may not be an extreme comparison, but this tells me that the civil liberties we fought so hard for, don't exist on one man's whim. And a very stupid man at that. If I have to choose between being "protected" by my government, or taking my chances with the terrorists, I'll take my chances with the terrorists. If I die, at least I'll die free.

I'm telling you, if the government is allowed to continue unchecked, we could end up in an orwellian "1984" society eventually. Propenents always claim "well if you have nothing to hide..." but just because I have nothing to hide doesn't mean I need or want a complete stranger prying into every orifice of my private life to satisfy curiosity. It's a bargin with the devil, and god help us if we actually make it.

To those of you who support the government actions, I ask: just how far are you willing to go with this line of thought? What WOULD you put up with in the name of safety? Random searches for no reason? Completely absovling privacy? Inability to speak out against the government actions for fear of reprisal? Totalarian regime? Where do YOU draw the line?
 
  • #41
BobG
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Manchot said:
They're not the same thing, but they're closely intertwined. Everyone does legal things that they don't want others to know about, and removing the right of privacy removes our freedom to do those things.

Moreover, just because the right to privacy is not delineated in the Bill of Rights, it does not mean that it isn't a right. It is well-documented that many of the Founding Fathers were concerned that by including the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, people would get the wrong idea that everything left out isn't a right. The only reason that the right to privacy wasn't included is because back in the eighteenth century, privacy was not a big concern. Why? Quite simply, it wasn't possible to take it away, any more than it is possible nowadays to take away a conscious person's right to think about a particular subject. There was no method for surveillance short of hiring someone to secretly follow someone around, a method which is unreliable at best. Is that a "good reason?" I don't think so.

Finally, just because phone records aren't private per se, it doesn't mean that they should be used. On a given day, you might do many things in public places that aren't private per se: you might go to work, to the grocery store, to the bank, etc. There are probably security cameras recording the fact that you are there. However, you still retain a large degree of privacy through anonymity, and no one will track your motion for an extended period of time, because it would take undue effort to do so. The point is that there is more than one kind of privacy, and if large databases of phone records are kept, you lose the "takes undue effort to spy" privacy.

By the way, there was a news story a couple days ago regarding a program that the NSA had a few years ago that would anonymously collect phone records and would keep them encrypted to prevent abuses by those in authority. It was cut when the current administration gave them permission to do so without abuse preventions. Shows what they think of privacy.
How much of the "takes undue effort to spy" privacy are people really losing.

In the past few years, I've had my health insurance company, the veterans administration, and a college* I attended classes at release private information that could be used for identity theft. Part of the reason illegal immigration is so easy to get away with is illegal aliens using other peoples' social security numbers (identity theft again).

For now, the inability of organizations to handle private information is just one good justification for seriously restricting how much information can be collected. However, given current trends, it won't be too long before credit checks on a person will be useless, since there will be no way to tell who's credit is really being reported.

*The college case was so inept as to be funny (at least if it were just other peoples' info and not mine). The college intended to send out a list of upcoming classes to anyone who had attended a class at the school anytime during the last few years. Instead, the worker inadvertantly attached a list containing personal information on everyone currently scheduled for the upcoming term. Unbelievable! Disclosure of personal info has evolved to the point where its sent out as spam!
 
  • #42
Skyhunter
Who needs privacy ?

I think the government should have access to all your email, internet, insurance, banking, and medical records.

Attorney client privilege?

Not in the Neo-America.

The terrorists must be stopped! Since data mining and warrant less wiretaps have so far been totally ineffective, the government needs to further encroach on American civil liberties.

Number of terrorists caught in 4 years as a result of the secret NSA programs. = zero

Being able to completely control the population of the U.S. = priceless
 

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