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  1. #1
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Redondo Beach, CA

    AP: Supreme Court rejects civil-rights challenge of spy court powers

    Reading this makes me wonder what else they are spying on. What aren't they telling the public? Basically, because of Sept 11, events that lead to Watergate can now be done without worry or prosecution. It's all in the "protection" of the homeland from "terrorists" but I wonder who the real terrorists are?

    The Supreme Court rejected on Monday a case that challenged how the government spies on terror suspects in America, a blow to people who say the administration has used the Sept. 11 terror attacks to encroach on personal freedoms.


    Issues that have inspired the court challenges include government spying, secret detentions, confidential deportation hearings, imprisonment of wartime prisoners without lawyers and access to suspected foreign terrorists held at undisclosed overseas locations.

    The administration has argued in courts that national security justifies aggressive terror-fighting strategy, and judges have only limited authority to interfere.


    At issue in the ACLU case are wiretaps approved by the supersecret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or "spy court," which deals with intelligence requests involving suspected spies, terrorists and foreign agents.

    The spy court has approved thousands of warrants since it was established by Congress in 1978 and only rarely turns down the government.

    In testimony to Congress earlier this month, Ashcroft said there were more than 1,000 applications in 2002 for warrants under the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act.

    Since the 2001 terror attacks, Ashcroft personally has approved more than 170 emergency domestic spying warrants, authorized by the FISA and expanded by the USA Patriot Act.

    That's triple the number of emergency warrants used in the FISA's previous 23 years. The warrants let authorities tap telephones and fax numbers and conduct physical searches for up to 72 hours before they are subject to the spy court's review.

    Might want to read the full article here
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  2. #2
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    A lot of what the government in general, and this administration specifically, does in the name of "national security" unfortunately infringes on our freedoms itself.

    Can you do things that are legally and ethically wrong in order to preserve our way of life? Does the ends justify the means?

    My opinion is no. The ends can't justify the means. If the powers that be can't follow the rules laid out by and for them then we have no basis of law and ethics in the first place. We can't have a country with one set of rules for the people and another set for those in power- that is the antithesis of why this country was established in the first place.

    I abhor a "representative" government that only pretends to represent the people long enough to get elected and then governs in SPITE of the people rather than for or representing the people.

    Not that I feel any administration has been pristine, but this one seems to be on some sort of record pace for eroding government ethics, repealing separation of church and state and generally alienating those they were elected to serve.

    Just my $.02

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