That would be the logical response, in any case — although that’s not what I expect to see, unfortunately.
When one federal judge questioned the legality of NSA collection of metadata, that was sufficient to cause alleged newsman Glenn Greenwald to crow to the skies that it was a “pure vindication” of his creature, Edward Snowden.
By that same logic, now that another federal judge has disagreed…
WASHINGTON — A federal judge in New York on Friday ruled that the National Security Agency’s program that is systematically keeping phone records of all Americans is lawful, creating a conflict among lower courts and increasing the likelihood that the issue will be resolved by the Supreme Court….
Judge Pauley said that protections under the Fourth Amendment do not apply to records held by third parties, like phone companies.
“This blunt tool only works because it collects everything,” Judge Pauley said in the ruling…
… we’ll hear Greenwald saying, “OK, we were totally wrong.”
Right? Right? I’m listening…
Here’s a somewhat more complete version of the story, from The Washington Post.
The fact that the issue is now up to the Supremes does not vindicate anybody.
I have the feeling that they will take a dim view of the position that because the government is collecting all the info on everyone that it is okay. It sounds more like the NY judge was saying Congress better hurry up and change the law before it is struck down by the court above him. He ruled on adherence to existing law, not whether that law is lawful. To me, this is a situation.where everyone is in the wrong.
I disagree. This is an important point: “This blunt tool only works because it collects everything.”
That’s what makes it work, and that’s also the reason why it is not an invasion of privacy.
As long as the only thing that ever looks at my call records is an algorithm, with no human even taking notice of me and my doings unless a pattern of calls that look like inter-terrorist communications pops up, this can’t be anything that by any stretch of the imagination violates the 4th Amendment.
All the government people ever see is the ocean, in which my data is a drop. It’s nothing that anyone can logically describe as intrusive.
And you’re absolutely right, Kathryn. I’m being ironic here. I’m mocking the absurdity of Greenwald treating that one ruling as “pure vindication.” Obviously, the matter was not settled then (particularly since the original ruling was so unsound), and is not now, since we have contradictory rulings.
I’m just saying that by HIS sort of criteria, this is the opposite of vindication.
Brad you completely miss the point. The government is telling us that all they do is evaluate huge amounts of data to detect patterns. There is a fundamental problem with that reasoning. If they have the data they can use it discretely however they want. They just should not be given that kind of power. What if someone wanted to develop an enemies list as per Richard Nixon. Look at Chris Christy and his bridge closing tantrum. Government officials can get mighty petty. Why make it easier for them?
Another thing that the supporters forget is that terrorism against Americans really isn’t that big of a problem. Since 9-11 attacks against Americans have been exceptionally rare. I suspect the attacks that were prevented were prevented by much more mundane police work rather than this pie in the sky pattern evaluation nonsense.
And finally, all this stealthy work is probably very expensive. If nothing else it costs a lot of money to prevent a Target type cyber attack from someone who might tap into the NSA data activities. So based on privacy, expense and lack of need this program needs to end. Thankfully we now know about it so it can be debated. Perhaps Edward Snowden really is a hero.
“They [the government] just should not be given that kind of power. What if someone wanted to develop an enemies list as per Richard Nixon. Look at Chris Christy and his bridge closing tantrum. Government officials can get mighty petty.
Excellent point, bud.
Smaller government it is, then.