Finally, someone of standing, brave enough to say what many of us have been thinking.
In a District Court of Law no less. Without mincing words.
by David Ingram and Mark Hosenball, reuters.com -- Dec 16, 2013
(Reuters) - The U.S. government's gathering of Americans' phone records is likely unlawful, a judge ruled on Monday, raising "serious doubts" about the value of the National Security Agency's so-called metadata counter terrorism program.Wow.
"I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary invasion' than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen," U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, appointed by Republican President George W. Bush in 2002, wrote in a 68-page ruling.
Leon expressed skepticism of the program's value, writing that the government could not cite a single instance in which the bulk data actually stopped an imminent attack.
"I have serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program as a means of conducting time-sensitive investigations in cases involving imminent threats of terrorism," he wrote.
Many of us have "serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program."
Well said Judge Leon. Finally.
OK, so what's this Orwellian case about?
Well for one thing, it gives 'Indiscriminant and Arbitrary invaded' upon citizens, us, the legal standing to sue those doing the invading. That, could be handy.
rt.com -- Dec 16, 2013
Judge Richard Leon of the US District Court for the District of Columbia wrote in an opinion released on Monday that plaintiffs who filed suit against the NSA in June have standing to challenge the spy agency’s program that collects telephony metadata pertaining to millions of Verizon subscribers every day.
“The government,” Leon wrote, described the “advantages of bulk collection in such a way as to convince me that plaintiffs’ metadata -- indeed everyone’s metadata -- is analyzed, manually or automatically, whenever the government runs a query using the ‘seed’ a phone number to identifier associated with a phone for which the NSA has not collected metadata.”
“Because the government can use daily metadata collection to engage in ‘repetitive, surreptitious surveillance of a citizen’s private goings on,’ the NSA database ‘implicated the Fourth Amendment each time a government official monitors it,” Leon wrote, later equating the technology the feds rely on as being “almost Orwellian” in nature.
Chalk one up for restoring the 4th Amendment. Maybe our personal conversations, online or otherwise, are meant to stay personal and private,
-- like the Founders initially intended, afterall.
I hope more Judges step up like this, in defense of sanity, in defense of the Constitution.
If not, then what's to insure we aren't ALL 'arbitrarily' presumed to be guilty, in some grand National Security fishing expedition?
If not, then can the freedom of thought and speech and association, be far behind ... safe from the reaches of their all-invasive, all-seeing electronic dragnets?
Almost Orwellian, is indeed a good way to describe this through-the-looking-glass data collection activity. Done in the name of security ... and to protect our freedom. Trash it to save it, who thought that one up?
As Orwell might have penned it himself:
Foundational principles, be damned. Long as they can see, track, and ultimately know everything.Be strong, citizen-suspects. Because you just never know, who's watching ... nor why.
What's the problem? Just remember ...“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”