Obama asks Supreme Court to allow warrantless searches of cellphones


#1

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#2

Senator Obama would be terribly disappointed with President Obama…


#3

Impeach this president. These judges don’t rule, they negotiate. Call your rep, call your senator, and turn off your cell phone service.


#4

I’d rather impeach the government. ALL of it. Because when the idiots get voted out and the repugnicans get voted in, it’s all the same story all over again. Because they are the Lesters, indistinguishable from one another.


#5

I made my weekly call to my rep. I feel bad for the poor aid that has to take my call.


#7

You know power corrupts, but it appears that it didn’t even take Obama a year into his first term to become a mass surveillance proponent. I have to wonder if he was kidnapped after winning the 2008 election and given a brain transplant or something.


#8

There’s nothing to wonder about. All of this shit was obvious before 2008, but America voted for him anyway. It happens every 4 years, sadly.


#9

We really have to vote anti-incumbant and anit-party next cycle, anyone who is not these people.


#10

Here’s an interesting thought… has anyone yet reverse engineered the Google Glass to find out if it’s just the government’s way of “crowdsourcing” mass surveillance?


#11

They should get some kind of lawyer on this, one who specialises in the American constitutio… dammit.


#12

FWIW, NPR had an interesting analysis of the rationalle for this.

There’s apparently a longstanding policy that numbers dialed are not private information. “In the past, you would have had to speak to an operator and ask them to connect you to Nichols Six Five Thousand. That operator could have been subpoena’d as a witness.” At the time dialing systems were introduced, the courts decided that the replacement of operators with machines didn’t change the essential nature of that transaction. And as a result, it used to be fairly common for folks like lawyers (or criminals, or criminal lawyers in any sense of that phrase) to go find a pay phone if they didn’t want their calling history to be on record.

The change here is from collecting the information of a single individual under investigation to doing mass collection of everyone’s records and having computers searching through the haystack looking for suspicious groupings of needles. The administration is arguing that this is only a difference in degree, and is covered by the established precedent. Privacy advocates would argue that it’s a difference in kind and in purpose.

I find myself understanding both arguments. I never assumed my calling history was especially private in the first place. But I do think this rises to a difference in kind, breaks the human-operator analogy, and an actual decision needs to be made… and since the new issue calls for new law, I expect the courts to kick this to the Congress. The question’s going to be whether they have the courage to make a decision at all (hard to posture as tough on defense and tough on privacy at the same time, in this case) … and then what happens when it goes to the president for his signature.

I’m not making any bets. But I still find this all utterly unsurprising. Disappointing, in some places, but not surprising.


#13

If you really think that, you know almost nothing about what is going on in this country. I know people love to say it, but even a casual glance at the most wretched newspaper will prove it’s wrong.


#14

I really think that, and I do know a thing or two. There are cosmetic differences: such as gay rights, abortion and a few other social issues. Which are important, don’t get me wrong. But there are fundamental samenesses that ensure the country never strays too far off its conservative 1% ideology. You should listen to Larry Lessig’s speech on the Lesters. It will open your eyes to Democrats and Republicans, and how there are surfacey differences but fundamental identicalness underneath. http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html


#15

You might feel differently if you were gay, or if you were a pregnant teen, or if you were black, or if you were spanish, or if you lack health care, or if you work at or near minimum wage, or if you were a teacher of children.

Everybody else can afford to think the differences are only cosmetic. And who is that?


#16

Did you even watch it? Or are you just going to keep repeating the same thing back to me?


#17

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