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Judge Orders Google To Comply With FBI's Warrantless NSL Requests

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the completely-unwarranted dept.

The Courts 167

An anonymous reader writes "CNet reports that a U.S. District Court Judge has rejected Google's attempt to fight 19 National Security Letters, which are used by the FBI to gather information on users without a warrant. Quoting: 'The litigation taking place behind closed doors in Illston's courtroom — a closed-to-the-public hearing was held on May 10 — could set new ground rules curbing the FBI's warrantless access to information that Internet and other companies hold on behalf of their users. The FBI issued 192,499 of the demands from 2003 to 2006, and 97 percent of NSLs include a mandatory gag order. It wasn't a complete win for the Justice Department, however: Illston all but invited Google to try again, stressing that the company has only raised broad arguments, not ones "specific to the 19 NSLs at issue." She also reserved judgment on two of the 19 NSLs, saying she wanted the government to "provide further information" prior to making a decision.' This does not affect the Electronic Frontier Foundation's challenge to the constitutionality of the letters in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals."

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Hmm ... (5, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43875251)

Putting the Constitution aside a moment ... oh, wait, they've already done that. Carry on citizen.

Re:Hmm ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875437)

Hey, watch where you put that thing! Somebody might trip over it and form a government!

Re:Hmm ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875661)

Putting the Constitution aside

Finding ways to give the illusion of not having put the Constitution aside have been around since the beginning, after all the biggest early bypass was getting around the ban on standing armies, after all, governments are essentially protection rackets and that requires the belief in necessity of protection. Those things should be called National Insecurity Letters. NIL would be much more appropriate naming in regards to their value to maintaining Liberty.

Re:Hmm ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875715)

Whoa, you're brave even mentioning the constitution. Don't you know that puts you on federal watch lists, one of which has been found out: IRS.

Re:Hmm ... (5, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#43876013)

We're not putting the Constitution aside, we're putting it on display for all to see... in a cellar... without lights or stairs... in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard".

But the point is that it's on display for all to see.

Re:Hmm ... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#43876495)

We're not putting the Constitution aside, we're putting it on display for all to see... in a cellar... without lights or stairs... in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard".

But the point is that it's on display for all to see.

For some reason, the advise "Don't Panic" isn't really helping me here... All I see in our future is yellow bulldozers.

Re:Hmm ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876477)

Google has the finances to keep the government tied up in court for YEARS making the govt reconsider after a while wherever it's worth it to go on.

Re:Hmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876489)

Oh Bama.

Re:Hmm ... (0)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#43876795)

Don't be ridiculous. They've done that permanently.

Reading only this summary... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875277)

Looks like the judge doesn't like these things but can't do much about them, at least not in broad strokes.

That itself is curious.

Of course, that these things exist at all is pretty bad, and that the justice department is out of control is even worse.

Then again, not being an American[tm], little I can do about it.

Re:Reading only this summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876025)

You could try convincing your own government to come and "liberate" us.

Re:Reading only this summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876345)

The idea of another nation, any nation, coming in on America with the aim of "liberating" us is hilarious to me.

Re: Reading only this summary... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876607)

And the idea of yours invading other countries to "liberte" them is hilarious to the rest of the world.

Re:Reading only this summary... (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43876349)

It's more like shes saying "I want to strike these down, but if I do it will be a big deal and I don't like the way you submitted your objections. So please resubmit them in the proper way so when I strike this down it'll really stick"

or at least, that's what I'm hoping for.

Re:Reading only this summary... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876619)

It's more like shes saying "I want to strike these down, but if I do it will be a big deal and I don't like the way you submitted your objections. So please resubmit them in the proper way so when I strike this down it'll really stick"

or at least, that's what I'm hoping for.

It sounds like Google was trying to nip the entire issue in the bud by arguing against NSLs as a concept ("broad strokes"). The judge has basically said "you can't do that, try pointing out problems with these specific NSLs and I'll block them but that's all you'll get out of me".

What's the government's problem? (5, Insightful)

nanospook (521118) | about a year ago | (#43875345)

If their concerns are valid, why don't they simply get a warrent?

Re:What's the government's problem? (5, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43875405)

If their concerns are valid, why don't they simply get a warrent?

Because a warrant has provisions for letting people know about them.

NSLs are super duper top secret, and you can't tell anybody about them. As in, there's no real oversight of them, and as long as they keep them secret they can do anything they want to.

Surely you don't expect an open and honest process? They wouldn't be looking at these people if they didn't already know they were terrorists ... what are you, some kind of hippy?

Re:What's the government's problem? (4, Funny)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43875707)

Yes, as a matter of fact. I am some kind of hippie. Are you going to investigate everyone who owns a Volkswagen now? I guess I shouldn't be giving them ideas...

Re:What's the government's problem? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43875751)

Don't include me in that 'you' ... I don't own a Volkswagon, but I'm more hippie than not.

I'm certainly not defending them.

Re:What's the government's problem? (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43875835)

I'm sorry, I meant it as a general "you". Pleased to meet you, brother! Good to run into another hippie around here.

Re:What's the government's problem? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876109)

Apparently you're a special kind of hippie that doesn't have a sense of humor.

Re:What's the government's problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875783)

To bad the Nixon administration didn't think to do that back in 1972. Those democrats may have been communists, there was really only one way of finding out.

Re: What's the government's problem? (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | about a year ago | (#43876957)

Acordingto the GAO, 75â of them are filed inappropriate. But according to the FBI it's OK because they only use them when they NEED to - like when walking to the FAX machine would be too much effort.

Re:What's the government's problem? (2)

x_t0ken_407 (2716535) | about a year ago | (#43877459)

It's a damn fucking shame too. But hey as long as they catch those terrorists and let me get back to my [insert sport here] and [insert mindless degrading reality show here], I'm all for it. If you have nothing to hide, what is to fear?

Re:What's the government's problem? (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#43875411)

Their concerns aren't valid, they're just casting 200,000 letters out and hoping to get a fish.

Re:What's the government's problem? (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43875483)

That's just it. For the most part their concerns aren't valid. The government just wants to go on a witch hunt, and won't tolerate any interference. This is not the the main problem. The main problem is that we won't do anything about it and will reelect the same people who put all of this into place, as we have always done.

Re:What's the government's problem? (4, Insightful)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about a year ago | (#43875689)

O here we go again.....
"reelect the same people who put all of this into place"
And we elect new people and they do the very same thing, despite what they touted on the campaign trail.. Voting is an illusion and voters are tools..
Do you think the DOJ is going to give up this level of power because there are new faces in office? Wake up already..

Re:What's the government's problem? (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43875765)

So what if the 'new' people do the same thing. That's no excuse to reelect them again. You do it until you get it right. But those who wait for mass media to spoon feed who they should vote for can fuck off.

Re:What's the government's problem? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43875925)

You do it until you get it right.

We've been waiting for a LONG freaking time. Like 150 years.

Re:What's the government's problem? (2)

x_t0ken_407 (2716535) | about a year ago | (#43877531)

And therein lies the problem, my good sir. How do you get those who enjoy being spoon-fed the horeshit that comes from mainstream media to realize the error of their ways without them first (a) losing interest, or (b) sticking their head in the dirt and singing "la la la" -- in either case losing them before you get them to think critically? We're basically fucked, b/c that won't happen. The vast majority is willing to give up rights, freedoms, etc. as long as they're protected from "turrists" and can go on living their pacified, infinitesimal lives.

Re:What's the government's problem? (5, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43875769)

If there is one thing we need to challenge as a nation, it's the concept of government secrecy. The way it has encroached into areas that it has no business in (i.e. things which aren't like avoiding having Germany know about our radar/sonar/aircraft effective ranges/location of troops during World War II) is highly troubling. Today, even the remote possibility of something being vaguely and obtusely connected to something that might be mildly inconvenient gets turned into a "secret", a capability that has been shown not just to increase abuse of government power and constitution-breaking activity, but to lead to the defense of the indefensible.

Re:What's the government's problem? (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43875613)

The original intent of NSLs was counter-espionage purposes during the Cold War. They wanted to track down Russian spies without tipping them off. Additionally, the information requested is supposed to be the sort that you don't need a warrant for - phone numbers dialed but not a transcript of the phone call, email addresses but not the email text, etc. There's no reasonable expectation of privacy on that stuff.

Unfortunately, since the Patriot Act, they've started, shall we say, overstepping their bounds. Just a little.

Re:What's the government's problem? (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43875683)

Especially with a judge already looking at the matter. That's actually WHY we have a constitutional requirement for warrants...

Re:What's the government's problem? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#43876035)

I believe your question can be answered with the same response my 9 year old gives when asked to clean up a mess he made: "That's HARD! It's going to take SOOOOOO LOOOONG! That's BORING! I don't wanna do that. I wanna do something I LIKE doing and I want to do that NOW!"

Re:What's the government's problem? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#43876597)

I believe your question can be answered with the same response my 9 year old gives when asked to clean up a mess he made: "That's HARD! It's going to take SOOOOOO LOOOONG! That's BORING! I don't wanna do that. I wanna do something I LIKE doing and I want to do that NOW!"

Hmm... I foresee a job in Computer Science for your son ... Can he be bribed to overcome those objections with snacks?

WTF (4, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year ago | (#43875453)

How can the NSL process possibly be construed as anything other than a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment? It's basic, black-letter law: warrants have to be issued by the judicial branch, not the cops themselves. Are the courts really going to allow the Fourth Amendment to be read out of the Constitution by a meaningless invocation of "national security"?

Re:WTF (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43875573)

How can the NSL process possibly be construed as anything other than a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment?

Executive Orders.

It's basic, black-letter law: warrants have to be issued by the judicial branch, not the cops themselves

But these aren't warrants, they're letters. Much more powerful, because they say so.

Are the courts really going to allow the Fourth Amendment to be read out of the Constitution by a meaningless invocation of "national security"?

Have you not been paying attention? The 4th amendment has been interpreted so narrowly that if it isn't actually 'paper' and on your person, it's not covered by the Constitution. And the whole border check thing within 100+ miles of any border. And free speech zones. And holding US citizens without trial. And assassinating citizens.

They've been bypassing the Constitution for almost 12 years now, when and how they see fit.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875625)

They've been bypassing the Constitution for almost 12 years now, when and how they see fit.

Almost 12 years? Is this some reference to 9/11? Or is that just when you started paying attention?

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43875725)

Almost 12 years? Is this some reference to 9/11? Or is that just when you started paying attention?

No, that's just when they started doing it blatantly and saying it was their right. I have no doubt it was done before, but since then it's been pretty egregious.

Re:WTF (5, Insightful)

clonehappy (655530) | about a year ago | (#43876651)

Exactly. I don't have any rose-colored glasses, nor do I harken back to any halcyon days where the government was just completely honest, free from corruption, and always did what was in the best interest of the people. The United States government has never done that.
 
However, I do firmly believe that 9/11 had to happen before they could "come out" with what they had been doing for years. Of course, there were terrorist attacks before 9/11, but those were mostly small time acts perpetrated by Americans. The people in charge know that we won't give up our liberties (again, knowingly) because one of our own did something crazy. We know other Americans, and we know that the majority of them aren't up to any no good.
 
No, to give up our rights, we needed someone who didn't have any constitutional protections. A foreign enemy, but one that could be living right here amongst us. They could be using our email systems our cellular networks, our internet service providers!!!
 
You see, the terrorists hated our freedoms. And they were using them against us! So of course, the only obvious solution is to get rid of the freedom. With freedom, comes risk. Once the average citizen had become stupid, fat, and lazy enough to care more for their own comfort and perceived safety than being free, it was time to drop the hammer on us. Now that the precedent has been set, any legal victory or victory over the minds of people that can be attained by the minority who treasure their freedom and can actually see and understand what is happening can be countered simply by giving some relatively small incident wall-to-wall media coverage for a few weeks, then letting the "pundits" sit and tell everyone how anti-American it is to not want to do "x". (x being reading everyone's emails, listening to everyone's phone calls, banning guns, placing a large urban area under martial law, or warrantless this or national security letter that...the list goes on and on.)
 
So, essentially, any time the people on the side of good win back one step of freedom or due process, we take 5 more steps down the road to slavery. This is why it's so egregious now. Someone essentially disabled the firewall (the public caring and fighting for freedom), then used a root exploit (a perceived massive threat to safety sold to us by the media) on the constitution.
 
The only way to fix it is to remove the offending exploit (stop caring about every little incident that occurs) and put the firewall back up (make people care about freedom again). Unfortunately, given how we are all asleep at the wheel, there's a snowball's chance in hell of that actually happening. As long as the average citizen has food, booze, sex, and "Ow, My Balls!" on the TV, why would they want anything more?

Re:WTF (2)

Jockle (2934767) | about a year ago | (#43876799)

The people in charge know that we won't give up our liberties (again, knowingly) because one of our own did something crazy. We know other Americans, and we know that the majority of them aren't up to any no good.

Since most people are imbeciles and subscribe to the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" mindset, that seems unlikely. You're giving most drones too much credit.

Re:WTF (2)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#43877519)

I definitely think 9/11 was an inflection point where the erosion of our civil liberties and government power grabs accelerated sharply and in unprecedented ways.

Prior to that, the 1994 gun ban was the biggest assault on The Constitution in recent history. That's sort of when I started paying attention. I realize that The Constitution had been pretty well trampled on before then, but I can't think of anything, say from the '70's and '80's that even comes close to what's happened since 2001.
Did you have something in mind, or were you considering 1787 to the present?

Re:WTF (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43875701)

Executive Orders.

Executive orders only apply to those in the employ of the executive. The rest of us are bound only by Congress.

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875891)

As much as I don't like it, that argument won't stop the FBI SWAT team from busting through your door at 3am.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876015)

A careful reading of the law reveals if they enter my property without a warrant I may regard them as any other trespasser.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876135)

Ah yes, but if you installed the necessary claymores in your walls to stop a SWAT team, you would be breaking many more laws.

Your 9mm pistol may be 'totally gangsta', but it doesn't go through riot shields or bullet proof vests very well. They don't let you buy anything that would pose a problem to them.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876831)

A careful reading of the law reveals if they enter my property without a warrant I may regard them as any other trespasser.

Big talk. You're not Rambo, there are more cops then there are you and they have better equipment. Even if you did somehow kill an entire SWAT team, they'd just declare an emergency and drop the National Guard on your ass.

This is ultimately a might-makes-right situation. The government has more and bigger guns so they basically win all violent disagreements by default. If a majority of voters get pissed about the way things are run then things may change, but as everything currently stands, you can bitch about constitutional rights all you want — you don't have any, only what the government currently chooses to concede.

Re:WTF (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | about a year ago | (#43877045)

I thought about this and think it justifies citizens' right to bear arms to include nukes: so long as the jackbooted things don't back off, we periodically (every few minutes we're holding out), kill a million or so who did not come to our aid, and therefore supported the unlawful government act.

Re:WTF (1)

alexo (9335) | about a year ago | (#43877233)

A careful reading of the law reveals if they enter my property without a warrant I may regard them as any other trespasser.

I am sure that your widow and orphans will appreciate that sentiment.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876633)

And as much as you defend this, it is still a CRIME, TERRORISM and TREASON. By US enemies of the state. That happen to be part of the government. Against its citizens.

That FBI SWAT, when doing this, automatically becomes the enemy, and it is the duty of every citizen, to fight against it. If they really care for their country, then even to their death.

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

thrich81 (1357561) | about a year ago | (#43876023)

For one example, thousands of Japanese-American citizens interred during WWII can tell you all about bypassing the Constitution. Everyone has their underpants in a wad now bemoaning the recent "shredding of the Constitution". Well it was no better in the past and if anything, the abuses were worse before -- try the Anti_Sedition laws of WWI or Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus. So, yeah, these NSLs are a problem, but no worse than what came before and the Constitution is as strong as it ever has been, for what that is worth. Eternal vigilance is required to keep it that way. The previous abuses were eventually recognized for what they were.

Re:WTF (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43876585)

Isnt suspending habeas corpus legit if martial law has been declared?

Just saying, you may want to strike that off the list.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876081)

They've been bypassing the Constitution for almost 12 years now, when and how they see fit.

If by 12 you mean 225, you're correct.

Our Constitution has been getting bypassed from the very start. The only difference is that the obscenities thrown against it are more and more absurd as the centuries go by - probably because we've been letting our government get away with it for so long.

Re:WTF (1)

ChronoFish (948067) | about a year ago | (#43876491)

The irony is that the group most likely to defend the 2nd Amendment left the barn-door open on the 1st and 4th amendment.

So while we'll be able to retain our guns to "protect our Freedom from the tyranny of the Government" the guns are worthless as the Government will simply do as they please with you in secure private setting. No one will hear you scream as you fire off your 60-round 3D printed AR15. The Government will wait till your magazine is out and you'll never be heard from again.

2nd Amendment protects YOU. 1st and 4th Amendment protects US. In terms of the longevity of the country, which is more important?

*We* gave up our Freedom on 9/11 in the guise of protecting us from Terrorist.

-CF

Re:WTF (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | about a year ago | (#43876961)

1. Yeah, Barack Obama says he can kill any American if he does not know whether he poses a threat or not.

2. I don't know if Barack Obama poses a threat to me.

3. Sadly, instead of "Profit!" I rather see either a predator drone or Gitmo in my future.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875605)

Because you Americans are weak and gave up your freedoms and sanity while worshiping the Almighty Dollar. You turn a blind eye to anything inconvenient because it doesn't affect you personally. Just as long as you have your TV telling you what to think, and electronic toys made by children in third world countries, you don't care one iota. Ohh, shiny thing, I'll ignore the corrupt law makers for another few weeks.

That's why the 4th isn't worth anything in 2013. You chose to give it up!

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875771)

I'm seeing a lot of people here speaking out. That's hardly turning a blind eye. It's simply that the government doesn't care about this unless the idiot masses actually start caring. And I'm sorry, but go to any country and the majority of people are idiots, not just Americans.

Re:WTF (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43875773)

Are the courts really going to allow the Fourth Amendment to be read out of the Constitution by a meaningless invocation of "national security"?

They've done so for decades. Why would you expect it to change now?

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875871)

How can the NSL process possibly be construed as anything other than a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment?

Oh, it's quite simple, really. The United States government always acts with the best interests of the country and the American people in mind. Therefore, any searches and seizures it conducts are, by definition, reasonable.

At least, that seems to be the insane troll logic that has taken over the country.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876393)

How can the NSL process possibly be construed as anything other than a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment?

Oh, it's quite simple, really. The United States government always acts with the best interests of the country and the American people in mind. Therefore, any searches and seizures it conducts are, by definition, reasonable.

At least, that seems to be the insane troll logic that has taken over the country.

After all, innocent people have nothing to hide.

Re:WTF (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43875985)

This insistence on sticking to the letter of the constitution smacks of Tea Partyism. Let's get to the root of the matter, let's give up on the constitution [nytimes.com] . It contains archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions. Moreover, it is worshipped by right-wingers and anything that they like is dodgy by definition.

Re:WTF (1)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#43877073)

I concur. Let's get rid of The Constitution. The federal government will then have no delegated powers and must be immediately dissolved. Good riddance.

Re:WTF (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43876201)

The information that's supposed to be requested in an NSL is not protected by the Fourth Amendment. It's supposed to be contentless info - you need a warrant to read someone's mail, but you don't need a warrant to read the unopened envelopes and record info about the return addresses, handwriting, stamp choice, etc. NSLs are supposed to get the electronic equivalent of that - phone numbers, email addresses, etc.

I say supposed to, because the gag order on them makes it very hard to complain if the NSL oversteps its legal bounds. The gag order is the issue - it's a First Amendment problem, not a Fourth Amendment one.

Re:WTF (1)

Jockle (2934767) | about a year ago | (#43876829)

The gag order is the issue - it's a First Amendment problem, not a Fourth Amendment one.

No, it's both. Give the government such powers and they'll abuse it, so this shouldn't be any surprise.

Re:WTF (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43876649)

The 4th has been fudged for years. First, they went after kids w/ baggy pants in NYC, and we said nothing...This is what happens when you let the precedents get set.

America, the land of freedom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875455)

Or is it?

Re:America, the land of freedom! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876723)

Or is it?

Sure. We can have all the guns we want!

What's being clandestinely spied on, strip-searched while travelling and stuff like that as long as you can have a den full of assault rifles?

You know..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875603)

When the RIAA and MPAA do this, judges say no, when the government does this, they say yes..... They are both the same to me.

Terrorists Won (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875611)

So wait, non elected officials are making secret extra-legal requests that they also say we cant talk about 97% of? And they don't even have enough evidence to get a proper warrant for them? And they are targeting innocent until proven guilty American citizens and possibly political adversaries? And the requests will never re unsealed so we may never know if there was mischief at play or legitimate national security risks? And we have a secret closed door tribunal that not even Google can talk about?

I wrote to my representative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875743)

I wrote to my representative and this was his response:

"Many of us share great concern that the federal government's powers be limited to those only necessary to protect the security and freedom of all citizens. Unfortunately, the United States is not well-liked by some countries around the world and agents of those nations seek to damage our country."

Re:I wrote to my representative (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43876005)

You should have replied.

Maybe we should stop bullying, invading and occupying all those other countries then."

Re:I wrote to my representative (0)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43876219)

Some people are just assholes who will hurt you just because they can, or to enjoy your pain, and attack based on weakness, no provocation needed. We should find a way to deal with that without NSLs, but ignoring it isn't the answer either.

Re:I wrote to my representative (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43876627)

I didn't say ignore it.

I said stop pissing everyone else off and large groups of people won't try to hurt you.

Re:I wrote to my representative (1)

Jockle (2934767) | about a year ago | (#43876843)

Getting into pointless wars isn't the answer either, and that's what we've been doing.

Civil disobedience (2)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43875753)

If Google wishes to hold true to their motto, "Do No Evil", they can start by disobeying these orders. Compliance with unjust authority is evil.

Re:Civil disobedience (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43875779)

If Google wishes to hold true to their motto, "Do No Evil", they can start by disobeying these orders.

But, but ... they're fighting evil, so if Google doesn't help, they themselves become evil. You're not questioning the government are you? That would be sedition!

end sarcasm.

Re:Civil disobedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875831)

I disagree. Ethics is for people. Corporations are machines for making money within the bounds of law.

Re:Civil disobedience (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43876041)

Corporations write the law. They have no bounds.

Re:Civil disobedience (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875929)

If Google wishes to hold true to their motto, "Do No Evil", they can start by disobeying these orders.

That's what they've BEEN doing. That's why they're in court.

Re:Civil disobedience (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43876523)

Great, where can I read the text of these NSLs? What, they haven't disobeyed the blatantly illegal gag order? Why the hell not?

Re:Civil disobedience (2)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year ago | (#43876677)

What, they haven't disobeyed the blatantly illegal gag order? Why the hell not?

Because NewEgg's attorney [arstechnica.com] doesn't work for them.

"Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that." --Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng

Re:Civil disobedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876613)

LOL, do no evil.

Maybe in 1998.

Maybe not.

Google only raised "broad arguments" to 19 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875845)

What is the problem with this? The judge didn't accept it, why not? I am assuming the broad argument was a direct reference to the 4th amendment. Why shouldn't pointing to one of the highest laws of the land be an acceptable argument?

If I were a judge (1)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#43875895)

If I were a judge, what would stop me from issuing a letter from the bench admonishing the agencies for issuing NSLs, and telling them to pound sand? Wouldn't it have just as much validity under our Constitutional framework. In fact, nevermind that. I hereby decree, by the authority of Emperor Norton I of the United States (May God rest his soul), that the agency shall pay me a tribute in the form of 4 oz. silver, 0.999 or finer, to be delivered at the Pete's coffee, 2600 Broadway in Redwood City, California, and to be accompanied by the beverage of my choice on our about June 10th, 2013 in the 2nd hour after noon. So be it ordered! So be it done!

To anybody who votes dem or republican (4, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43875937)

What are you complaining about? You knew that's what these people do, and yet you keep voting for them... WTF?!

Re:To anybody who votes dem or republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876193)

Of course everything would be all roses if we voted for your ~special~ candidate/party

Re:To anybody who votes dem or republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876743)

You're right, things might not be perfect so we should be OK with abso-fucking-lutely terrible.

Re:To anybody who votes dem or republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877023)

different is scary, so let's mock it and keep voting for more of the same.

Re:To anybody who votes dem or republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877155)

The people who *should* run for offices don't because they know that in the views of the media-twisted bipartisan system if you're not extremely biased against the other party (even when they have good ideas) you won't be voted in.

Running for an office is a show anymore. Designed to generate strong opinions in the public so that they're 'required' to dislike someone. Voting is no longer about picking the candidate with a good head on their shoulders. It's about picking anyone but "that guy".

Really, I don't remember the last time someone voted *for* a president. More than half the reasoning out of their mouth was against the guy they couldn't stand.

Ridiculous (4, Insightful)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#43876133)

NSL's are supposed to be reserved for matters regarding terrorism or homeland security. IIRC, the original PATRIOT Act stated that an NSL must come directly from the AG or FBI director. That's obviously false if there were 190K of them done in a 3 year period. Can any random FBI employee write one of these? That's ridiculous, because one of the fundamental ideas of The Constitution is that cops do NOT get to write their own search warrants.

The gag order provision is also a clear violation of the Right of free speech. The feds search your customer's data and you can't tell ANYONE, including your colleagues, let alone the affected customers? Under penalty of prosecution? Likewise ridiculous.

continuously stating to not having received an NSL (1)

mspring (126862) | about a year ago | (#43876165)

What if I stated daily that I have not received an NSL. When I receive an NSL, my daily statements would seize. This way I would comply with the NSL, but it was obvious that I have received one.

In Other News ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876229)

The recently available former head of the IRS has been pegged as the odds-on favorite to head the FBI's recently affirmed warrantless, wire-tapping public institution!

Democrats for Obama think this is a great idea.

~ Elmer F.U.D.

Sarcasm has its uses.
 

Doesn't help google but... (4, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#43876301)

I love the rsync.net "solution" to this problem, the Warrant Canary:

http://www.rsync.net/resources/notices/canary.txt [rsync.net]

Wonderful idea. Sure, we can't tell you if one of these secret letters is given to us, but, until we get one, we can tell you it hasn't come...with signed, date verifiable messages.

Of course, only works for relatively small companies that are not getting requests as a matter of course.

Related Story (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#43876311)

"Illston Aspires for Higher Judicial Office."

Is the FBI going to send NSLs to redtube? (2)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year ago | (#43876377)

Cause that's where some really embarrassing shit is stored about me.

well... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43876569)

I could argue that it's possible my wife could, at any moment, turn into a Zombie and murder the rest of my family at any moment. This is, in fact, only slightly less likely than my family being killed by Jihadists. So I could continue my argument and say that I need to have a loaded hand gun cocked, loaded and pointed at her temple at all times just in case she turns, I can put her down before she infects the rest of us. My wife would obviously disagree with my reasoning... the chances of me slipping and making a mistake are far more likely. I could even get a little to drunk and angry one night and make a mistake! She'd say. But of course, all her arguing just proves she could be turning right now! I should put her in cuffs as well, just in case. Now she's struggling... I'd better look through all her personal affects to look for evidence of Zombie collusion. And all of this is only, slightly, more unlikely than what the federal government is arguing right now.

Most transparent administration in history... (2)

JBMcB (73720) | about a year ago | (#43877041)

... for everything that doesn't really matter.

Disbar, impeach, and imprison that shyster. (3, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | about a year ago | (#43877239)

The fourth and fifth amendments are perfectly clear, and this so-called judge has just helped the government to pretend that they're not. The PATRIOT act is not a law at all, it is an act of usurpation.

-jcr

Obama and "War on Terrorism" (1)

jodido (1052890) | about a year ago | (#43877383)

Obama says he's trying to wind down the "war on terrorism" but there wasn't a single word about putting an end to legalized government spying like this. Or the Patriot Act.
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