Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

EFF Tells Court That the NSA Knowingly and Illegally Destroyed Evidence

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the was-that-wrong? dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 269

An anonymous reader writes in with this latest bit of EFF vs NSA news. 'We followed the back and forth situation earlier this year, in which there were some legal questions over whether or not the NSA needed to hang onto surveillance data at issue in various lawsuits, or destroy it as per the laws concerning retention of data. Unfortunately, in the process, it became clear that the DOJ misled FISA court Judge Reggie Walton, withholding key information. In response, the DOJ apologized, insisting that it didn't think the data was relevant — but also very strongly hinting that it used that opportunity to destroy a ton of evidence. However, this appeared to be just the latest in a long history of the NSA/DOJ willfully destroying evidence that was under a preservation order.

The key case where this evidence was destroyed was the EFF's long running Jewel v. NSA case, and the EFF has now told the court about the destruction of evidence, and asked the court to thus assume that the evidence proves, in fact, that EFF's clients were victims of unlawful surveillance. The DOJ/NSA have insisted that they thought that the EFF's lawsuit only covered programs issued under executive authority, rather than programs approved by the FISA Court, but the record in the case shows that the DOJ seems to be making this claim up.'

cancel ×

269 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

the dog ate my homework (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168499)

that excuse always works for me.

Re:the dog ate my homework (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168617)

it seems to work for President Obama too.

Re:the dog ate my homework (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168677)

But his Imams never bought into the excuse.

Re: the dog ate my homework (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168761)

Nah, he just read about the dog eating his homework in the news the next day.

Re:the dog ate my homework (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168781)

Nah, he just read about the dog eating his homework the next day. Found out with the rest of us

Re:the dog ate my homework (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 months ago | (#47169285)

"I have a dog?"

Re:the dog ate my homework (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168843)

Now do all you fucking Kool Aid drinkers understand what a piece of shit Obama and his minions are?

Don't even fucking utter the word Bush, he's painting in his bath tub. Your stinking turd is running the show now.

Re: the dog ate my homework (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168937)

Bush. Bush. Bush. Bush. Who the fuck started this? Who started the "you're with us or you're with the terrorists" bullshit, which apparently is good up until a Democrat gets elected. Whose people got journalists and TV personalities fired for daring to question him? Who avoided killing bin Laden so we'd have a bogeyman to justify his illegal wars?

Screw you. Your people started this, and I am (seriously) sorry that Bush's replacement hasn't cleaned up the mess that people like you created. I don't think highly of the guy, at all, but you do not get to deny the situation we got put in which has enabled all this.

Re:the dog ate my homework (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168949)

Tar baby Obama aint my turd so I can bring up Bush all I want. Obama is just Dubya's more well spoken but equally incompotent clone. Both of them should be executed for war crimes.

Re:the dog ate my homework (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 5 months ago | (#47169295)

it seems to work for President Obama too.

The actual excuse he uses is "I didn't know about it until I saw it on the news."

So... to summarise: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168511)

Destruction of evidence makes the NSA guilty.
- EFF, 2014

Re:So... to summarise: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168531)

The destruction of that data is required by law. EFF tried to go on a fishing expedition.

Re:So... to summarise: (5, Informative)

meerling (1487879) | about 5 months ago | (#47168593)

The preservation order overrides any policies and destruction rules.
They knew that to destroy those records was both illegal and obstruction.
As to fishing expedition, apparently the judge didn't think so.

Re:So... to summarise: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168601)

The destruction of that data is required by law.*

*only when it conveniently helps the government.

Re:So... to summarise: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168841)

The destruction of the data and ALL derived data is required. FAIL

Re:So... to summarise: (5, Interesting)

dnavid (2842431) | about 5 months ago | (#47168919)

The destruction of that data is required by law. EFF tried to go on a fishing expedition.

Both the FISA court and Federal court eventually decided that the NSA was both allowed to, and required to, preserve information relevant to the ongoing cases, and the NSA both knew this and also eventually advocated for this position. See: https://www.techdirt.com/artic... [techdirt.com] .

Court-ordered legal discovery also has force of law and would supercede any legal requirement to destroy information by plaintiffs or defendents.

And the DOJ did not assert the EFF was on a "fishing expedition"; it argued that it misunderstood the scope of discovery, and would not have destroyed the information in question if it did (which seems highly improbable given the circumstances).

Re:So... to summarise: (3, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 5 months ago | (#47168611)

- EFF, 2014

Go destroy some evidence in a case against you where a judge has ordered you to preserve it. Let me know how that works out for you. The NSA will get away with it. You'll be asking Bubba to make sure he uses some lube.

Re: So... to summarise: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168759)

I wish more people weren't willing to put up with their government breaking the law. We should be up in arms about shit like this because it decays the very foundations of this country.

Re: So... to summarise: (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168835)

Why the fuck aren't you, if you think it's such a good idea? You want the meat, you butcher it your own goddamn self. Whining that something should be done, but isn't, and insinuating that you're not doing it yourself == makes you a useless tool. Grow a fucking pair and stand behind your beliefs or shove it.

Re: So... to summarise: (4, Insightful)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 5 months ago | (#47169263)

Why the fuck aren't you, if you think it's such a good idea? You want the meat, you butcher it your own goddamn self. Whining that something should be done, but isn't, and insinuating that you're not doing it yourself == makes you a useless tool. Grow a fucking pair and stand behind your beliefs or shove it.

Because if one or two people that are fed up act on it and they get brushed off, 20 people act up get sent to jail, 200 get still get sent to jail but get a dismissive blurb in the local paper, 2,000 they get pepper sprayed and leader charged with inciting riot, 20,000,000 get a senator or two to half heartedly admit there might be an issue that might need looking into and never do anything substantive, It takes a critical mass to effect change

Re: So... to summarise: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169347)

Considering that voter turnout in the US isn't very high (especially for non-presidential positions), 20 million motivated people would go far.

Re: So... to summarise: (1, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 5 months ago | (#47169397)

We tried that already with the Occupy movement. It ended up being judo'd into supporting those rat bastard "Tea Party" conservixtremists.

The problem is that it is angry average Joe against teams of highly intelligent, highly motivated, professional weasels working for the big two parties. And unfortunately, they have been equipped with knowledge of human psychology, economics, and anthropology.

Re:So... to summarise: (2)

qeveren (318805) | about 5 months ago | (#47169349)

That's... sort of how it works, but not exactly. Depending on the jurisdiction involved, this leads to 'spoilation inference', where the destroyed evidence is considered 'conscience of guilt' and the court will consider the destroyed evidence as strongly against the spoiling party.

Dear Slashdot (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168521)

1) Is posting AC really Anonymous?
2) Has Slashdot ever received a FISA letter?

Re:Dear Slashdot (4, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 5 months ago | (#47168651)

Of course they have. Nothing you do on the Internet is anonymous.

Re:Dear Slashdot (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 5 months ago | (#47169099)

1) No, posting AC isn't really anonymous.
2) No FISA letter is needed. Transmissions aren't encrypted. (Well, perhaps they are now, they weren't until recently. Now my browser hides the communications protocol, so I can't easily tell. But https is not more secure than your ISP. Why try to do a site-by-site breach of security when a man-in-the-middle is already in place.)

Re:Dear Slashdot (2)

Kufat (563166) | about 5 months ago | (#47169379)

HTTPS isn't "not more secure than your ISP." It's not more secure than the worst trusted root CA. In the absence of a CA compromise, your ISP cannot MitM HTTPS or other SSL-based protocols without your browser/client warning you about it.

Re:Dear Slashdot (1)

jelIomizer (3670957) | about 5 months ago | (#47169421)

Someone has to know how to decrypt this information. The way of doing that is sent over the Internet, which can easily be MitMed. Copying the information is trivial, and there's no reason the user would know.

Dear Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169171)

If you want anonymous posting (as well as better comments and better stories), check out soylent news [7rmath4ro2of2a42.onion] . That's the onion link, which is through tor (end-to-end anonymous and encrypted). Where is slashdice's onion url? Exactly. Half the time, you can't even *read* slashdice with tor (pink banned page much?)

Destroying evidence should have worse penalty (5, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | about 5 months ago | (#47168525)

In general I think that destroying evidence should result in the assumption that they're hiding a worst case scenario. So I agree with the EFF. Destroying evidence = automatically guilty of accusations. Have a nice day.

Re:Destroying evidence should have worse penalty (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 months ago | (#47168645)

In addition to the court stipulating that whatever the EFF had claimed the evidence said: everyone down the chain of management that was responsible for knowingly ordering destruction of evidence involved with their case, should be criminally prosecuted personally, (or impeached, if a cabinet official or elected official).

Re:Destroying evidence should have worse penalty (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168785)

Impeached then prosecuted.

Re:Destroying evidence should have worse penalty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168857)

And then fucking burned at the stake.

Screw that. Just douse them with gasoline and light'm up.

Re:Destroying evidence should have worse penalty (4, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#47168789)

In general I think that destroying evidence should result in the assumption that they're hiding a worst case scenario. So I agree with the EFF. Destroying evidence = automatically guilty of accusations. Have a nice day.

The problem with this is that what is that even going to accomplish? Ok, the court rules that they illegally spied on US citizens. They tell the NSA that they have to stop doing that. The NSA says, "fine - we were never doing it in the first place, and we'll continue to not do it." Then they keep doing what they've been doing all along, which they define as not being illegal spying by whatever contortions they apply.

It isn't like the court is going to make somebody go to jail if the law is broken. If YOU spy on somebody illegally you'll get locked up for it. If the government does it, well, I guess the rules just must not have been clear enough.

Re:Destroying evidence should have worse penalty (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 5 months ago | (#47169319)

The problem with this is that what is that even going to accomplish?

For years the courts have been throwing out cases because "you can't prove anything" meant that the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue.
If the court stipulates that the plaintiffs were spied on, then they have standing to sue, and the case can move forward.

Re:Destroying evidence should have worse penalty (5, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | about 5 months ago | (#47169413)

The problem with this is that what is that even going to accomplish?

Let me ask you a question: Do you really and truly believe that taking no action will make things better, worse, or will the corruption remain the same? In the best case scenario, things remain the same (being illegal and unconstitutional). Historically however, inaction more often results in things becoming worse. Inaction never results in things improving, at least for the recipients of the abuse.

Many constitutional rights violations are felonies. Convicted felons can not hold a security clearance and can not work for an agency such as the NSA in any capacity. Other agencies, such as the CIA and FBI, do have jobs that do not require a clearance, but depending on the job classification can (and often do) restrict convicted felons from filling those positions.

Any cabinet member can be impeached by Congress, and the reasons for impeachment include misdemeanor offenses. In other words, Congress can remove the head of the NSA, CIA, FBI, DOJ, etc... by vote. The primary motivation for impeachment is very sensitive to issues of Constitutional violations (see this [infoplease.com] for a reference).

The false analogy you provide, of "no punishemtn" or "go to jail" is simply not true. Being banned from working a career you have spent your life doing is a punishment, as is being barred from holding jobs or offices in the future, loss of retirement, etc...

We would probably agree that the punishment may not be severe enough. If you believe that doing nothing is a better answer, you are not thinking very clearly. Exactly why do you think we have numerous historical quotes from people telling you to take action? Like Martin Niemöller

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the
Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me

or Edmund Burke

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

Re:Destroying evidence should have worse penalty (5, Informative)

Mr. Shotgun (832121) | about 5 months ago | (#47168825)

In general I think that destroying evidence should result in the assumption that they're hiding a worst case scenario

That is exactly what is supposed to happen, it is called spoilation of evidence [uslegal.com] and is very frowned upon. The penalties are supposed to include inferring that the missing evidence is beneficial to the opposing party and civil and criminal penalties against whomever destroyed the evidence. Though I doubt that will happen in this case.

Re:Destroying evidence should have worse penalty (3, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 5 months ago | (#47169303)

No the logical rule is that purposefully destroying is the crime, neither proving nor disproving the crime related to that evidence and the originating accusation. However, the penalty applied for the destruction of evidence is the crux of the matter, in destroying the evidence of a crime the penalty should be more severe or treated as if it was the maximum possible infringement of the accused crime. The is to motivate people to preserve the evidence so that everyone knows what is going on and government and society can react to the breach on order to take step to repeat it's repetition. In destroying evidence of a crime, you are destroying the ability of society to take corrective measures and thus it affects the whole of society, well beyond those directly affected in the actual breach of law. It will also make it a pretty stupid act to destroy evidence of a lessor crime than the one you were accused of.

The whole principle of a public trial is so that everyone can know what is going on. That any claims are proven, that actions of government are substantiated, when it does the accusing and when it is the accused. It is not about simply mindlessly punishing people. It is all about what happened, why it happened, what can be done to remediate it and how it can be prevented in future.

Take for example the worst most heinous possible criminal. Simply executing them based upon a confession is completely and utterly pointless. Knowing exactly what they done, how they done, proof of this to ensure no guilty party goes free whether as a result of a false confession or those associated with the crime. This helps to gain knowledge to reduce the chances of repetition of the crime. Just like keeping the perpetrator alive as a subject of medical research, genetics, psychological and future pharmacological research associated with prevention of that crime, so not just about being able to release them if they are latter proven innocent. Those who commit the worst crimes are the most valuable research tools in order to prevent those crimes that they committed.

Re:Destroying evidence should have worse penalty (1)

qeveren (318805) | about 5 months ago | (#47169353)

It's called 'spoilation inference', and actually works kinda like that. Not so much an automatic guilty as "the destroyed evidence shows conscience of guilt and therefore strongly supports the opposing side".

And nothing will be done. (5, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | about 5 months ago | (#47168563)

The NSA could admit that they break the law every day of the week, murder Americans on american soil, steal millions of dollars, destroy companies and even the entire economy, and do you know what will happen?

Absolutely nothing.

They believe they are above the law. And heck, most of the legislative branch believes they are above the law. The judicial and executive branches are more than willing to look the other way, so as a result, the NSA gets a free pass to do whatever they want.

Because.... national security... and boogyman terrorists... and something, something mumble mumble. Whatever the fear flavor of the week is. 1984 was an instruction manual.

Re:And nothing will be done. (3, Insightful)

mfh (56) | about 5 months ago | (#47168599)

Oligarchies are a funny animal. If you are 99% of the people you do anything like NSA does and you die alone in a prison cell or you're shot point blank. 1% of NSA affiliated members can do any of it and it's "national security".

Re:And nothing will be done. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168711)

That's just how humans do things. Authentic justice is not very compatible with survival instinct, and so it is really hard to do on a personal level, and basically impossible on a national level.

Re:And nothing will be done. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169011)

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

If you actually give a damn about the concepts of liberty and equality, you should be prepared to give your life for them. Same as any belief you actually hold. Otherwise, you're just posturing.

Re:And nothing will be done. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#47169181)

One minor complication, of course: accruing points for authenticity may be virtuous; but it isn't very useful.

In fact, given that 'security' is the ubiquitous justification of these sorts of programs, most attempts to 'refresh the tree of liberty' will just show up as talking points next time the NSA wants a budget increase, or feels like arguing that the rules against domestic surveillance are compromising its effectiveness.

Yes, it sounds all Serious and tough-minded to tell the chatterers that if they aren't fighting at the barricades, they are just whiners; but it ignores the fact that resistance can be worse than useless. In the case of 'national security' apparatus, violence that fails to leave them burned to ashes, and their toadies decorating the lamp posts of the capital, simply makes them look more legitimate and necessary. Since that level of force is unlikely to be a DIY project, you will, at very least, need to reach the level of whining where it becomes a group effort, or where alternate means become available.

Re:And nothing will be done. (1)

mariox19 (632969) | about 5 months ago | (#47168643)

The sad thing is that when one individual decides to blow the lid off the whole thing, a good number of Americans insist that "the law is the law" and that the first thing we need to do is get hold of him and hold him accountable. I say, let's start with the people in charge who are really putting this republic at risk and breaking the law every single day, from 9 to 5, and patting themselves on the back because, you know, they're catching "bad guys."

When we're done with them, then how about we turn our attention to Monsieur Snowden.

Re:And nothing will be done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168681)

"The law is the law" will be a mantra by most of those who chant it today right up to the point that the other party takes over the administration. Then those people will suddenly cry that it's tyranny and needs stomped out...
 
The glory of the royal scam.

Re:And nothing will be done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169407)

That's a really weird claim to make. I've never seen any partisan divide over this stuff.
There are many Democrats and Republicans on both sides of the Snowden controversy.

Re: And nothing will be done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168719)

These NScumbAgs deserve to be imprisoned or worse. Their behavior is treasonous. You're right though, they'll get away with it.

Re: And nothing will be done. (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 5 months ago | (#47169059)

Please stop using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means. It's not some political epithet to throw around at any political entity that flips its finger to checks and balances.

Their behavior is however, appalling.

Re: And nothing will be done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169369)

It's certainly a betrayal of the very principles that this country is supposed to stand for. Sadly, the constitution didn't do enough when the government is the enemy, and it's violating the constitution, because those sorts of people should definitely be considered traitors.

Re:And nothing will be done. (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47168749)

Re Absolutely nothing.
You now know what your courts, political leaders, lawyers, tame press, trusted brands and top academics have fully supported, funded, not wanted to understand or just let happen.
What can you do as a customer?
Reconsider just consuming the brands that fooled generations. Go out and find other, better US brands. From that chat app, email account, operating system, hardware, software, telco, crypto course.
When you buy your next lcd, rethink the brand on the bezel covering that lcd.
Why support the brands that decrypt all the time, every time. Take your free time back, expert skills from their branded support sites and redirect your wisdom to other products and services.
No more 3rd party forum help, no more hype for their next product.
You have to use what you have to use in many situations but you still have the freedom to change your personal tech selections.
Tell people why you no longer supporting some trusted brands. Tell people why your are now supporting another brand.
Sit back and enjoy as the front groups, sock puppets, PR experts spin up color of law quotes to reshape and redefine their brands pasts.

Re:And nothing will be done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168773)

There's only one way out. A boat to a deserted island. Oh yes, and this solution only lasts as long as 100% of the airspace on the planet is not patrolled using drones. (I hate to say it, but it IS a remote possibility some day.)

Re:And nothing will be done. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168909)

Who cares, man. Ow My Balls! is on in 30 minutes

Re:And nothing will be done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168997)

Wrong.

Affairs eventually get to the point where you have a "Red Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire" Moment, and people wake up and realize they've been duped. That feeling we all had after 9\11? Same thing happens, except people go apeshit, and you either get Hitler, or George Washington.

History says you usually get Hitler. And Hitler had no issues with marching royalty off to death camps you see, in fact that's what usually happens.

I'd be very scared of the US if I were a foreign country; one destabilizing moment and thermonuclear war becomes a reality.

Re:And nothing will be done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169029)

The only way up is further down the rabbit hole. May you live in interesting times.

Re:And nothing will be done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168999)

The key case where this evidence was destroyed was the EFF's long running Jewel v. NSA case, and the EFF has now told the court about the destruction of evidence, and asked the court to thus assume that the evidence proves, in fact, that EFF's clients were victims of unlawful surveillance.

Whats funny about this is the NSA'a stance on it. So its okay to destroy evidence in a lawsuit, because it was illegally obtained to begin with? But its perfectly normal for secret courts, secret prisons, to keep someone who is innocent.based off of little to no evidence, indefinitely, without he or she ever actually getting any fair and balanced trial! And to go around dictating that encryption services will be blackmailed into giving up their keys. Or really any company that they feel they can gain from.

And yet the data they've collected has no "terrorist" links or threats, and their still being allowed to go on as usual. This reminds me of the FBI, CIA's domestic programs to spy on anyone/everyone they deem a 'threat' such as Martin Luther King, bands like the Sex Pistols, but in particular its own citizens in order to control them, hiding behind the old "war on communism" argument. When are people going to wake up and realize this country is no better then Russia!

Re:And nothing will be done. (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 5 months ago | (#47169087)

They believe they are above the law. And heck, most of the legislative branch believes they are above the law. The judicial and executive branches are more than willing to look the other way, so as a result, the NSA gets a free pass to do whatever they want.

Because.... national security... and boogyman terrorists... and something, something mumble mumble. Whatever the fear flavor of the week is. 1984 was an instruction manual.

But, the NSA has one additional 'Because'.
Because.. They have dirt on... Everyone and anyone who might act against them.

Hold on I think I found it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168565)

The biggest DUH ever.

http://stapledthedesignlife.fi... [wordpress.com]

The Future (2)

jmd (14060) | about 5 months ago | (#47168575)

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul - Leonard Cohen "The Future"

These are not isolated events anymore. Everything is being turned upside down.

Frightening (4, Interesting)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 5 months ago | (#47168577)

To all of you government surveillance apologists: doesn't it really frighten you that these guys routinely don't follow the law and get away with it? It scares the shit out of me. These people have the power to destroy you and everything/everyone that you love, and they seem to have nothing guiding them but their gut feel. How do you know they won't mistake your kid for a terrorist? Or bust down your door in the middle of the night tossing a flash-bang into your kids crib?

These fucking people are out of control and need some serious jail time.

Re:Frightening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168613)

The law says it's perfectly legal for NSA to destroy evidence that would compromise national security if revealed in a civil court.

Re:Frightening (5, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 5 months ago | (#47168647)

The law says it's perfectly legal for NSA to destroy evidence that would compromise national security if revealed in a civil court.

So the NSA gets to decide which evidence could impact national security of course, and pretty much all of it impacts national security so there is effectively no oversight. So pretty much the NSA operates as an unchecked branch of the government.

You apologist are many things: cowards, shills, etc. Patriots you are not. You are undermining our democracy (however much we have left).

Re:Frightening (1)

swillden (191260) | about 5 months ago | (#47168833)

pretty much all of it impacts national security

Pretty much all? Clearly, if the NSA is doing something it impacts national security. Otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. Duh. Besides that, it's right there in their name. National Security Agency, see?

Re:Frightening (1)

msauve (701917) | about 5 months ago | (#47168885)

"if the NSA is doing something it impacts national security"

So, the metadata for grandma's call to the pizza store is now a matter of "national security," simply because the NSA collects it?

Re:Frightening (1)

swillden (191260) | about 5 months ago | (#47169053)

It is if you ask them.

Re:Frightening (0)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 5 months ago | (#47168889)

pretty much all of it impacts national security

Pretty much all? Clearly, if the NSA is doing something it impacts national security. Otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. Duh. Besides that, it's right there in their name. National Security Agency, see?

On /. my nick is pitchpipe, but in real life my name is Truth Teller, and do you know what I say? You're a fucking moron. It must be true because it's right there in my name: Truth Teller. Duh. See?

Or do you think it might not be that simple?

Re:Frightening (1)

swillden (191260) | about 5 months ago | (#47169015)

I think your sarcasm detector is broken.

Re:Frightening (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 5 months ago | (#47169127)

I'm told that the nsa/fbi/etc has an app for that!

Re:Frightening (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 5 months ago | (#47169249)

I think you are right. I guess that makes me the fucking moron. I invoke Poe's Law.

Sorry about that.

Re:Frightening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168853)

"You are undermining our democracy (however much we have left)."

I'm pretty sure we lost that in 2001 : ( Sadly everything the NSA is doing is perfectly legal, at this point they're above the law and there's not a goddamn thing we can do about it without a group effort. As I see it right now I think that will be impossible, they already have too much control for people to try and put a stop to their twisted games. In the end the people will win, but we're headed for some dark times for a very long time. :/ We keep letting them slowly chip away at everything we are and time is on their side. If they tried it all at once it would never work, but they're smarter than that, they know the only way to do it is by conditioning us over decades. They do it strategically in an attempt to keep the big picture looking undamaged as possible.

Re:Frightening (1)

jelIomizer (3670957) | about 5 months ago | (#47168907)

The principles that this country--the so-called "land of the free and the home of the brave"--is supposed to stand for are far more important than national security, even if we were to stupidly give them the benefit of the doubt by saying that collecting nearly everyone's communications effectively stops terrorists.

Anyone saying otherwise is taking us in the direction of a police state.

Re:Frightening (2)

meerling (1487879) | about 5 months ago | (#47169479)

"The law says it's perfectly legal for NSA to destroy evidence that would compromise national security if revealed in a civil court."

NO IT DOES NOT
The law does cover some procedures and methods to allow the court to review the evidence without making it public.
IANAL and even I know that.

So, are you just ignorant or a duplicitous shill?

Re:Frightening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169035)

Oh come on now, Germany had federal police with nearly unlimited powers and look how that turned out.
Sure, there was the whole incineration of cities and large scale destruction as the unenlightened invaded, but for a while it was probably pretty good.

Re:Frightening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169153)

Disagree. They need to be shot or hung.

Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168605)

That the NSA destroyed evidence is not proof of the claim. It is only proof that they obstructed the judicial process, which the executive branch is allowed to do in matters of national security.

There is nothing wrong with what NSA did. It is perfectly legal for NSA to destroy evidence that, if revealed in a trial, would compromise national security.

Keeping the US safe is a clear and compelling interest that takes priority over a measly civil claim.

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (5, Insightful)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 5 months ago | (#47168657)

I know this is a troll, but people would do well to remember that being unable to hold the government accountable for their actions is a much greater threat to national security than any outside entity could muster against the people.

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168697)

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, or lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves"
- Abe Lincoln

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (5, Interesting)

Drishmung (458368) | about 5 months ago | (#47168673)

Keeping the US safe is a clear and compelling interest that takes priority over a measly civil claim.

Ah, yes, "The ends justify the means". The trouble with that is that the means determine the end. If your means are corrupt, lawless and arbitrary, just what sort of outcome do you expect?

I believe this has been discussed previously: Matthew 7:16, 1 Samuel 24:13, Matthew 12:33, Luke 6:43, James 3:12

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168847)

Ah, yes, "The ends justify the means". The trouble with that is that the means determine the end. If your means are corrupt, lawless and arbitrary, just what sort of outcome do you expect?

Thank you for my newest retort to the Snowden apologists who claim that all the foreign intel information he took and released (and will probably release some more) is justified because of the domestic stuff that was revealed, i.e., the ends justifying the (lawless and arbitrary) means.

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168927)

Actually, I agree with all of the leaks and believe their foreign spying was immoral.

What about the bandwagon fallacy that many authoritarians spew forth in an effort to justify the spying? "Everyone is doing it, so it's okay!" Well, no, it's not, because everyone has rights, and we shouldn't violate even the rights of foreigners without a damn good reason (i.e. evidence that they're enemies).

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | about 5 months ago | (#47169311)

Yes, being honest (snowdens means) should clearly be a criminal offence, and is a terrible way to do business..
Freedom is slavery and all that.

For all those saying "nothing will be done".
Loosing this court case will almost certainly lose the NSA their budget.
And by destroying evidence they took one giant leap towards loosing the case.

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (1)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#47169317)

The alternative would have been to remain complicit in keeping such crimes secret. That's even more lawless and arbitrary.

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (3, Interesting)

krashnburn200 (1031132) | about 5 months ago | (#47168877)

Colossians 3:22

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (2)

Drishmung (458368) | about 5 months ago | (#47169117)

True. The NSA, as a government agency, is obliged to follow the rules, in spirit as well as letter. Well said.

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168695)

Keeping the US safe is a clear and compelling interest that takes priority over a measly civil claim.

Ahh, ColdFjord, so "nice" to hear from you again.

Just remember, we're watching you too, motherfucker.

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47168815)

That "measly civil claim" is the US Constitution. The US Constitution vs new lines and added paragraphs adding extra "national security" color of law?
If any gov can just say evidence does not exist, that no court can see it, that no paper work can be found - the legal system stops for an entire cadre of gov workers.
How long before more gov agencies, bureaucracies and well connected contractors try the same color of law trick? All they have to do is spin up a "national security" story and at a federal level, state or city level your access to any court is reduced to a very expensive request?

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (1)

Mr. Shotgun (832121) | about 5 months ago | (#47168879)

Inter arma enim silent leges?
Sorry but that idea was bullshit back in Ancient Rome and it is bullshit now. If the country cannot follow the rule of law in wartime how can they expect the citizens to respect it?

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168963)

Which is why I refer to Lincoln as an authoritarian asshole.

Re:Sorry, destruction is not proof of claim (1)

meerling (1487879) | about 5 months ago | (#47169495)

To repeat from what I posted for another AC troll.

The law has procedures and methods to allow the court to review the evidence without making it public.
That is why it will NOT compromise national security.
IANAL and even I know that.

So anyhow, where do they keep digging up ignorant or lying cretins like you from?
I wonder if someone is trying to astroturf us.

Watch this (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47168683)

Watch THIS. [pbs.org]
It blew my friggen mind. Michael Hayden is an evil motherfucker.

Damage of reputation for the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168689)

I wonder what kind of light does this shed on the US if a state agency of the US destroys evidence in a legal process?

I dont know but what kind of criminal or legal status does destroying evidence in a legal process have in the US?

"The DOJ/NSA have insisted that ..." (1)

fishb0ne (1190195) | about 5 months ago | (#47168699)

Evidence. That's what matters. Not insistence.

The root cause (1)

jmd (14060) | about 5 months ago | (#47168707)

If you want to understand how our country came to this, it is quite well summed up in 260 or so pages in a book called "The Authoritarians" by Bob Altemeyer.

Download the book here: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

This is written from extensive research into right wing authoritarian personality (right wing is not a political aspect here). If you want to know why the entire globe seems to be following this destructive (destructive from a majority point of view) read this. It becomes easy to see why politicians can kill their own citizens. How can someone let Wall St bankers off the hook yet throw someone in jail for possessing one joint and throw away the key.

Enjoy...it is very enlightening. And FREE!

Re:The root cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168869)

Thanks Bob. Maybe you Canucks aren't all hosers after all.

And this is why (1)

Snotnose (212196) | about 5 months ago | (#47168745)

the EFF gets a charitable contribution from me every year
/ As does the Alzheimer's foundation
// and Helen Woodward
/// the rest of em can fark off

What is this actually going to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47168945)

Even if you find some miraculous way to win (which you won't) you're dealing with organizations which have proven time and again that they're not just above the law, but they own it, and can manipulate it in any way they see fit.

Since when has this been a legal defense? (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47169111)

Tell you what Federal Government... if you consider this a defense against destroying evidence, then certainly you'd be okay with lowly citizens that are supposed to be EQUAL to you before the law to use the same defense when you bring us to trial...

Right? Or are we the only ones that have to follow the rules?

they didn't destroy anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47169145)

I don't think they destroyed anything, it's all just hidden away.

Misleading a FISA judges gets you... (1)

Coditor (2849497) | about 5 months ago | (#47169247)

... nothing. Rubber stamps are never wrong.

Donate to the EFF! NOW!!! (5, Insightful)

cpm99352 (939350) | about 5 months ago | (#47169469)

I used to financially support the NRA, under the assumption that they defended the 2nd amendment. A while age I realized that was not actually correct,

The EFF is the best example of an entity that defends *all* amendments. I now financially support them, every month. When NPR comes begging for money I'm happily able to refuse, secure in the knowledge that EFF is far more effective in their use of funds than NPR when it comes to presevring the Constitution.

There are a ton of relatively affluent people here on Slashdot. It certainly wouldn't hurt you to allocate a small amount of money to EFF annually, and we know their results.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?