“We are extremely disappointed with this decision, which misinterprets the relevant statutes, understates the privacy implications of the government’s surveillance and misapplies a narrow and outdated precedent to read away core constitutional protections.”
~ACLU lawyer after the judge’s ruling

Well this just takes the cake.  The Washington Post calls it “Kafkaesque”.  Today – U.S. District Court judge, Justice William Pauley dismissed a lawsuit brought by the ACLU against the NSA for illegally spying on American citizens.  Here’s the key excerpt from his ruling.

pauley

Andrea Peterson at the Washington Post explains why this is a big deal HERE:

That suggests a troubling possibility: that even if there were clear-cut evidence that the government was sending out illegal 215 orders, the people harmed by the government’s illegal conduct might not have any way to stop it. Instead, the only recourse may be for the recipient of an order (such as Verizon) to challenge it in the notoriously secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. But Verizon isn’t the one whose privacy is harmed by the order, so why would it expend legal resources to fight it?

“<The decision on Friday> is the exact opposite of Judge Leon’s in every way, substantively and rhetorically.  It’s matter and antimatter.”
~Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University

Adding to the complication is that this ruling is in direct contradiction to another Federal Judge’s ruling on the NSA program just 11 days prior.  As the NY Times explains HERE:

The latest decision, from Judge William H. Pauley III in New York, could not have been more different from one issued on Dec. 16 by Judge Richard J. Leon in Washington, who ruled that the program was “almost Orwellian” and probably unconstitutional.

Judge Leon, in Washington, took the opposite view, saying the government had failed to make the case that the program is needed to protect the nation. “The government does not cite a single instance in which analysis of the N.S.A.’s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature,” he wrote.

Meanwhile Der Spiegel – Germany’s most popular newspaper – just broke a story via Edward Snowden where they dish on the ultra elite NSA unit TAO.  Der Speigel viewed documents showing TAO was involved with the highly publicized Stuxnet virus that targeted Iranian nuclear facilities and they give fascinating detail into techniques the TAO unit uses in order to spy.  You can read more about that HERE.

And with all of this – it’s important to note that with all of the evidence provided by Edward Snowden, the now proven perjury by James Clapper – the Director of National Intelligence, the lies by the Obama administration and members of Congress relating to the NSA’s violations of American civil liberties … Congress has not signed a bill to curb the influence and excess of the NSA.

Congress has done NOTHING to stop the NSA’s spying on American citizens; it’s unconstitutional and Justice William Pauley should be absolutely ashamed of his ruling.

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Icarus

I am reckless, but I accept my own mortality. It isn't a question of if I will fly too close to the sun so much as when. There's no better time than the present.