Appeals Court rejects NSA's bulk phone-record collection program

Tough to call this a “VICTORY!”, especially because the Court isn’t stopping the program, but sending it down to a lower court - allowing this program to continue to collect our personal data unabated for undoubtedly years more.


Don’t you wish people were as interested in their Constitutional rights as they were in boxing?


Or arguing about comics, or gun rights, or so on and on and on…

I am totally cool with the massive discussions we have on things like that…but I just get a little sad when things I’ll class as the post-Snowden release stuff gets less than a dozen comments.


I’d say it’s a product of Learned Helplessness, combined with Psychological Desensitization.

The government has been grossly violating our rights, the first Snowden revelation was earthshaking, but by now he could give credible evidence that the government has been collaborating with the lizard people from rigel 7 to poison our balls and ovaries, and it just wouldn’t be that shocking. We’ve grown to expect the government to be full of shit and corrupt as hell and a pack of liars, and through our learned helplessness, we’ve mostly decided that there’s nothing we can do about it. If you stand up and make a ruckus, you’ll be killed, exiled or imprisoned and tortured. What else are we supposed to do?


Argue about card games!


Well, sure, but … what is there to talk about? Topic folks have been bitching about finally found to be illegal. Yay! Unlike card games or comics, there is no basic disagreement about any of that. So … really, that’s it, no?


Or felt so righteous as they do with cards against humanity.

Probably that one intern in the NSA mailroom. It’s all his fault, and justice will be harsh indeed. Cf: Scooter Libby.

This is a good outcome, but I think we’ve gotten to the point of “we don’t need no stinkin badges.” The courts were also against innoculating our children with alien-hybrid DNA, but did that stop them?


This is a great thing. NEED MOAR, but this is a toe-hold in the edifice of awful that is mass government surveilance

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Yeah, popping in to say “Yay” isn’t as compelling as arguing about something there’s a real disagreement about!
But while I’m here: Yay!

While I agree with your post in general terms, this is a bit hyperbolic, in a Doctrowian School of Journalism kind of way. As far as I know they aren’t performing mass tortures and executions of protesters yet…

The main reason we don’t care is because even when the courts find the NSA, CIA, DEA guilty, no one goes to prison, and they keep doing their illegal stuff. Nothing changes. They might as well not even try these organizations at all; it’s just a waste of money.


my innner cynic sees this ray of light in the dark room of government overreach and thinks “So what? You can’t sue the government about a program you don’t know about.”

Note that the Court ruled this ILLEGAL, at least under Section 215. It did NOT rule it unconstitutional.

So now Congress will just pass an updated Patriot Act (renewal) with a beefed-up Section 215.

So this is NOT "victory’. At least, not yet.


I would consider it a victory if there aren’t the usual authoritarians making the tired point that Snowden broke the law.

Somehow, exposing massive and unconstitutional governmental overreach seems a tad more important.

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Exactly, the NSA straight lied to congress about whether they were spying on Americans. If they’re willing and able to openly flout the entire legislative branch, I don’t see why they wouldn’t do the same to the judicial.

When a government agency like the NSA, CIA, or DOD has that much power, they become effectively sovereign. This is related to the idea of the deep state: While there is no secret conspiracy to control the government, the people who are ostensibly running it are not in fact in charge.

Therefore, it’s naive to look to the courts or congress or the president to solve these problems. We must look to each other, and work together to make mass-surveillance impossible.


Actually Congress is currently trying to tighten it’s reigns. Now that a court has deemed it literally illegal, they really don’t need to do anything. The court added that congress has the power to make it specifically legal, but no one would touch that with the horrible public opinion and now the official term of ‘Illegal’ assigned to it.
Additionally, no one would fund an illegal project, not a big public one like this. And this one needs a huge buget. If you cut the NSA budget at all (hopefully a lot) there is no way you could run all the data centers and storage and covert connectivity. All of it is now useless and a giant illegal waste of money. I’m hoping that even Republicans would have to think twice about trying to fund it.

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It was hyperbolic, but I was meaning that if you actually are a Snowden or an Assange, the U.S. government would be happy to kill you if it could get away with it.

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I think you might be overestimating Congress and Americans. I think it’s at least as likely that lawmakers will push for new legislation to make bulk data collection explicitly legal.

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