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FBI Investigated 3,501 People Without Warrants
April 29, 2006 7:18 AM   Subscribe

FBI Investigated 3,501 People Without Warrants Pardon my one link post. I had thought this must be taking place once it became public that NSA could spy on us without court approval. If NSA, then why not FBI? And so it came to pass....
posted by Postroad (75 comments total)

 
Bah. I like one link posts.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:23 AM on April 29, 2006


*clap* *clap*

I await the arguments as to WHY this is a good thing!

Because I'm sure there are GOOD arguments. As opposed to the lame ones that will be offered up.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:23 AM on April 29, 2006


Man that last guy must've felt like when you try and get $30.00 at the gas pump and end up going over by a penny.

"Oh hell let's investigate him too. He reads Daily Kos."
posted by wakko at 7:24 AM on April 29, 2006


anybody else think there's two guys sitting at the FBI, one sez "when do you think we should tell 'em?" and the other guy replies "once it's over 3,500... oh, there we are!" ?
posted by slater at 7:35 AM on April 29, 2006


The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the same panel that signs off on applications for business records warrants, also approved 2,072 special warrants last year for secret wiretaps and searches of suspected terrorists and spies.

How strange. Isn't FISA an unconstitutional, outdated, act that El Presidente can safely ignore because, goshdarnit, we're at war and he's a war president? I guess some parts of the Bush administration must still consider it relevant ... :)
posted by kaemaril at 7:40 AM on April 29, 2006


we're at war and he's a war president?

The other day I was asking for a link to the declaration of War passed by Congress. Ya know...how the Constitution lays out.

Can you actually be a 'war president' when you do not have an actual declared war?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:46 AM on April 29, 2006


It's all been decided by The Decider--If liberals are talking to you, we wanna know why.
posted by BillyElmore at 7:48 AM on April 29, 2006


Can you actually be a 'war president' when you do not have an actual declared war?

Good question ashlar. Congress gave Herr Bush SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION. -- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

Whether or not this rises to a Congressional declaration or war is not clear, but it is clear that Congress was in support of Bush's action.
posted by three blind mice at 7:53 AM on April 29, 2006


it is clear that Congress was in support of Bush's action.

I'd phrase that more clearly. It's clear that it was in support of military action against Iraq. Bush's actions since then have been considerably wider.
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:06 AM on April 29, 2006


last time i looked, it was a search or seizure which constitutionally requires a warrant. if investigation requires a warrant, someone obviously forgot to tell hoover way back when.
posted by quonsar at 8:06 AM on April 29, 2006


I'm still waiting for us to find out about the new American Gestapo, err, Secret Police. You know it's gotta be in the works, probably as a note on the "State of Emergency" declaration... sigh.
posted by Vindaloo at 8:13 AM on April 29, 2006


Obtaining records directly related to people from their banks and ISPs is search and seizure, quonsar.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:14 AM on April 29, 2006


quonsar, they investigated people without court approval, which is a crime in this country. Its just alot more problematic when the "cops" are also the criminals (but I've gotta admire their efficiency).

Hey, who's that at the door......
posted by fenriq at 8:22 AM on April 29, 2006


But who are we at war with, three blind mice?
posted by adamrice at 8:30 AM on April 29, 2006


they investigated people without court approval, which is a crime in this country.

oh, really? citations?
posted by quonsar at 8:30 AM on April 29, 2006


quonsar,

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated�.. — Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. — Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law�. — Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution


Next lame objection?
posted by fenriq at 8:39 AM on April 29, 2006


I'm still waiting for us to find out about the new American Gestapo, err, Secret Police.

The Pentagon's New Spies:
...the Pentagon has already assembled a nationwide domestic spying machine that goes far beyond the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance of telephone and e-mail traffic. Operating in secret, the Defense Department is systematically gathering and analyzing intelligence on American citizens at home -- and a new Pentagon agency called Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) is helping to coordinate the military's covert efforts with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
In December 2005 NBC News reported a secret 400-page Defense Department document that lists "suspicious" domestic groups like protesters. Interview with the journalist who obtained the documents.

War Powers Resolution
posted by kirkaracha at 8:45 AM on April 29, 2006


As the article points out, this is legal. The government is demanding data about people from third parties. There is a law in place which allows them to do that, and which the government is apparently following.

Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure do not apply to data held by third parties. The courts have held this repeatedly; many scholars have argued this a bad thing, that constitutional guarantees against searches should protect your information even when you are not the one being directly searched, but those are just arguments and as I said, the courts have held the other way.

So, this is legal. If you didn't want the government to have your data you shouldn't have interacted with the utility company/bank/credit card company/telephone company/library or anyone else.
posted by jellicle at 8:46 AM on April 29, 2006


Investigating without a warrant is legal. Searching them without a warrant during that investigation is illegal.

I think that's what quonsar meant. No?
posted by e40 at 8:46 AM on April 29, 2006


Scary. Just plain scary. How's that freedom feel right about now.

Well if this gets your knickers in a bunch folks. The ACLU is $30 well spent.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 8:47 AM on April 29, 2006


I've flagged this post "report to FBI for violation of the military and state secrets privilege". There will be no public inquiry.
posted by Nelson at 9:00 AM on April 29, 2006


Yeah, I figured that anyone who doesn't object (not to be construed with supports) to this would be subjected to insults. What a bunch of ignorant assholes. Any chance we can have a reasonable discussion?

@fenriq
Your post is meaningless. There is no right to privacy specified in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. The FBI investigated 3500 people (were they all citizens?...and yes, it matters) out of what, 350,000,000. That's 1/100,000. Is it possible that number of people deserve to be investigated? "Investigated" here means gathering and analyzing information. Then, if needs be, a warrant will be applied for, to search and seize, according to the Bill of Rights. You're an idiot.
posted by sluglicker at 9:01 AM on April 29, 2006


Hey, hey, now. Healthy, respectful discussion? I think not!

While I know the government doesn't need a warrent to request information from a third party, that third party can refuse the information, at which point a warrent is required -- I'm right on this, aren't I? I'm a little blurry on whether that is happening here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:08 AM on April 29, 2006


sluglicker, there are legal means of investigating American citizens. There is simply no justification for illegally investigating private American citizens. Thinking otherwise is arrogant.

Without court approval is the operative issue here.

The FBI delivered a total of 9,254 NSLs relating to 3,501 people in 2005, according to a report submitted late Friday to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. In some cases, the bureau demanded information about one person from several companies.

If the FBI were simply seeing if these people should be investigated then there would be no issue. But they'd gone beyond a simple look see.

And reasonable discussions don't end with personal insults. FYI.
posted by fenriq at 9:18 AM on April 29, 2006


In other news: Government Moves to Intervene in AT&T Surveillance Case
posted by homunculus at 9:19 AM on April 29, 2006


Astro Zombie, you are correct.
Is there anyone here who thinks that suspicious behavior should NOT be investigated? Forget about possible terrorists for a moment. How about kiddie porn? That 3500 people are involved in KP out of 350,000,000 people actually seems low. Or how about industrial espionage? This is really a non-issue. Documentation of constitutional rights being violated by the U.S. government is. Show me the money.
posted by sluglicker at 9:22 AM on April 29, 2006


@fenriq
Tit for tat.

Quote by fenriq:"Next lame objection?"
posted by sluglicker at 9:26 AM on April 29, 2006


Good question ashlar. Congress gave Herr Bush SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION. -- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

Whether or not this rises to a Congressional declaration or war is not clear, but it is clear that Congress was in support of Bush's action.


IIRC, the War Powers Resolution specifies that a declaration of war OR a specific authorising resolution must be obtained. The magic use of the word 'OR' suggests an authorising resolution is NOT a declaration of war.

section 2(c):The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.
section 5(b):Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1), whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces.
section 5(c):Notwithstanding subsection (b), at any time that United States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the United States, its possessions and territories without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution.

Of course, every administration since 1973 has maintained the WPR is unconstitutional. Not stopped 'em using it, though :)
posted by kaemaril at 9:26 AM on April 29, 2006


A Chilling FBI Fishing Expedition
posted by homunculus at 9:31 AM on April 29, 2006


This is what happens when civility breaks down and the government thinks it's more important than the people that established it.

You know what? This probably IS legal. There is so much information out there on all of us that the government COULD find out pretty much everything it could possibly want to know about us, just from records kept by third parties. Our credit card bills, our supermarket loyalty cards, our phone records, everything. As long as they have a nice quid pro quo relationship with the companies, they can get all the information they want.

The question, Quonsar and others, is: IS THIS THE COUNTRY YOU WANT TO LIVE IN?

Do you REALLY want a government that can, and will, go out and find out whatever dirt it wants on you? That will establish black files on you in case you become a problem and they need to blackmail you in the future? (and don't even try to claim this hasn't happened) Where it MIGHT be true that if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear... if it weren't for the government criminalizing more and more things every year to make sure you ARE doing something wrong.

I mean, for crissake... not to get off topic, but how about that bill which will make downloading an illegal MP3 a more serious crime than RAPE? Is this the action of a rational government with its citizens' best interest at heart?

ONE of these two actions could be permissable. If we were in a libertarian state, then it wouldn't be so bad if the government kept records - it couldn't do anything with them except to ACTUAL evildoers. Or, it wouldn't be so terrible there were billions of awful laws on the books, if the government lacked the power to observe anyone breaking them.

But combine the two... and you have a situation where the government can, and will, crush any citizen it wants, at any time, whenever the government decides it is in its OWN best interest to do so - and the citizenry be damned.

This is your American, Quonsar. Live it. Love it.
posted by InnocentBystander at 9:37 AM on April 29, 2006


sluglicker, I'm not the one who called for a reasonable discussion in one part of his comment and then insulted someone else directly in another part.

Let quonsar defend quonsar if he's so inclined. I did not insult him, I called his objection lame. Please take a moment to recognize the difference.

Also, it appears you missed this part.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the same panel that signs off on applications for business records warrants, also approved 2,072 special warrants last year for secret wiretaps and searches of suspected terrorists and spies. The record number is more than twice as many as were issued in 2000, the last full year before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

See, they did get special warrants for some of them. And I don't have any problem with that at all. Its court oversight that's required in any investigation by the federal government into its citizens.

On Preview: Nicely said, InnocentBystander.
posted by fenriq at 9:41 AM on April 29, 2006


I don't like that the government has to look into its citizens lives but I understand its a necessity in today's era of the culture of fear. I don't like it but I like it one helluva lot less when the bastards doing it can't be bothered to do it legally.
posted by fenriq at 9:44 AM on April 29, 2006


Forget about possible terrorists for a moment. How about kiddie porn?

Ah. Child Pornography. The Terraism of the Late 1990s, and the best way to pass authoritarian law before Nine Eleven Changed Everything. Both are excellent rhetorical devices in tearing down rational debate and justifying government by fear, because how could one be in support either? Do you hate the innocent dead? Do you hate children? Then how can you possibly object to the actions we take to protect them, citizen?

First off, we're talking about National Security Letters under USA PATRIOT and its successor acts here. Is child pornography a national security issue? I mean, scope creep under PATRIOT is nothing new - Ashcroft used it to shut down headshops - but if child pornography is a national security issue, what isn't?

Second off, of course child pornographers and their customers should be investigated. Suggesting in argument that anyone really thinks otherwise is at best dishonest. Kiddie porn, while not the scourge on our youth you'd think it is listening to those who wave it around in pursuit of power, is a crime, and for good fucking reason. Personally, I'd investigate terrorists first, but if we've not got the funding to do both, we have bigger problems.

In investigating child pornographers, terrorists, narcotraffickers, Mafiosi, pimps, rapists, tax cheats, and energy industry executives, we have rules. These rules restrict the state's action in pursuit of these enemies of the people, because we as a nation (indeed, we as a civilization) have decided that the state should be neither arbitrary or capricious in its pursuit, that the state's actions are justified by its restraint, by its holding of the moral high ground. Some of these restrictions make it less convenient for a small group of people (be they police, FBI agents, federal prosecutors, etc.) who know (i.e., intuit) that a given suspect is guilty of a crime to arrest, convict and sentence them; the checks and balances protect the citizenry from the mechanisms of the state designed to protect them. In the United States, we considered these restrictions to be important enough to devote five of ten amendments in the Bill of Rights to them.

The prime effect of the last few decades of evening news fueled "tough on crime" politics (driven in part by desegregation fears now a half-century old) has been to chip away at these restrictions. The prime effect of Nine Eleven Changing Everything is there are now fewer voices crying out against this erosion, which is why those of us who still man the garrisons sound ever more hoarse and shrill.

From TFA: there is a law. This law says you get warrants to send out NSLs (themselves questionably constitutional under the Fourth and Fourteenth). The FBI didn't. The law was violated. Money shown.
posted by Vetinari at 9:53 AM on April 29, 2006


~laugh~

Fenriq, you should have known that when you asked for the next lame objection, you'd get some who....wait for it....object to the Constitution....and follow that objection with lame logic.

What a bunch of ignorant assholes. Any chance we can have a reasonable discussion?

Comedy gold.

I'm never sure whether giving the benefit of the doubt means overlooking hypocrisy, or cognitive impairment.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:54 AM on April 29, 2006


I understand its a necessity in today's era of the culture of fear.

Culture of fear is right. Not actual reason for fear. Better chance to get killed/maimed by a car than by 'the terrorists'.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:54 AM on April 29, 2006


Hell, most Americans have a better chance of being killed by a mule than by terrorists.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:58 AM on April 29, 2006


@fenriq
Now that's a reasonable comment. Wrong, but reasonable. First of all, I'll defend whomever I like, and secondly the key word here is "investigation". You have not provided any proof that the FBI with regards to this post has violated any law.

I devoted 2 years of my life providing info via website to protect individual privacy. Privacy is a great concern to me personally and I would be interested in any reports of constitutional violations by the U.S. government. This report however, does not assert any such thing.

The FBI provides a lawful and necessary service to its citizens. There have been constitutional violations in the past and I'm sure there will be in the future. Humans err. This is not one of them.
posted by sluglicker at 10:01 AM on April 29, 2006


wow. quonsor points out that it's probably legal and he gets accused of condoning rape. This is almost as good as a circumcision post.
posted by stavrogin at 10:03 AM on April 29, 2006


jellicle: As the article points out, this is legal. The government is demanding data about people from third parties. There is a law in place which allows them to do that, and which the government is apparently following. [...] If you didn't want the government to have your data you shouldn't have interacted with the utility company/bank/credit card company/telephone company/library or anyone else.

What if the government subpoenas information on you from a private investigator? In this case, you never willingly shared the information.
posted by kid ichorous at 10:04 AM on April 29, 2006


Forget about possible terrorists for a moment. How about kiddie porn?

A friend and I were talking the other day about how much we miss the Satanists. Remember when preschool workers might kidnap your child for Satanic cult rituals?

Ahhhh.... those were the days. That's a fear I can really get behind. We need more unwarranted searches to root out the threat of Satanic cult rituals. D&D is only the gateway!
posted by salvia at 10:11 AM on April 29, 2006


fenriq:

I agree that this is somewhat unseemly and I want greater privacy protections, but with the information that is available to us, the Ninth Amendment and the Due Process Clause have nothing whatsoever to do with the issue. Quoting them isn't just incorrect, it is silly. Now, the Fourth Amendment may be applicable, but that depends on information that is not available. I really don't disagree with your sentiment at all, it is just your "legal" backing for your sentiment doesn't work.
posted by Falconetti at 10:11 AM on April 29, 2006


Is there anyone here who thinks that suspicious behavior should NOT be investigated? Forget about possible terrorists for a moment. How about kiddie porn? .... Show me the money.
posted by sluglicker at 9:22 AM PST on April 29



I'd LOVE for you to show me the money of an investigation of a claim of kiddies and porn.

http://www.thelawparty.com/FranklinCoverup/franklin.htm

Now, where's that money you are so wanting to flaunt? You gonna put your money where your slug-slime-coated tounge is and show where these claims were investigated?

Don't like Kiddie porn? How about drugs?
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=drugs+mena&btnG=Search

Many people feel the level of investigation don't match the claims WRT drugs.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:23 AM on April 29, 2006


sluglicker, the very first paragraph of the link states it clearly.
The FBI secretly sought information last year on 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents from their banks and credit card, telephone and Internet companies without a court's approval, the Justice Department said Friday.

No court approval = illegal. Once or twice or even ten times might be an oversight, 3500 times is a pattern of disregard for due process of law.

Do you have some other plausible explanation?

Falconetti, the quotes begin the US Department of State's Chapter on Privacy. All three may not be applicable in this instance but they go to support the wider cause of the right to personal privacy and the right to the expectation that your government isn't sniffing your underwear while you're out or asleep.

And actually, yes due process is a key issue here. Not obtaining legal warrants for investigating American citizens is an utter dismissal of due process.

So does the Ninth Amendment, it says that invoking the 9/11 Amendment or jacking up the terror alert or invading another nation does not automatically suspend your rights, including your right to due process and protection from unwarranted investigation into your private affairs.
posted by fenriq at 10:27 AM on April 29, 2006


@rough ashlar
If you're going to quote me, quote the whole thing.

You wrote:I'd LOVE for you to show me the money of an investigation of a claim of kiddies and porn.

If you don't know how to write a sentence in english, perhaps you shouldn't be posting here.

For everyone else, google MARK SHERMAN AP and you'll get a pretty good idea of what mark Sherman is all about.


fenriq wrote:No court approval = illegal
Please quote the law. Otherwise, shutup.
posted by sluglicker at 10:37 AM on April 29, 2006


So you'll argue to support the status quo, but refuse to think about (or even acknowledge) the logical end of the policies you support.

Typical.

/signing off
posted by InnocentBystander at 10:38 AM on April 29, 2006


People are still misdescribing the situation in comments.

The courts have long held - way before 2001 - that when the government wants information about you from a third party, you don't have any Constitutional right to prevent that. No Constitutional rights! No Constitutional requirement for a warrant to issue before a search may occur! No warrant required! You do have whatever protections Congress has legislated into regular law (which might, but doesn't in this case, include a warrant requirement).

There is a law saying that the government can write a letter, have it signed by an FBI official, and require anyone to release data about you to the FBI. Instituted in the 1970's to get the Commies, revised and expanded in the 2000's to get the Terrorists.

The government is doing this. The article above says 9254 such letters in 2005. Interestingly, that article conflicts with a prior Washington Post story, which says 30,000 such letters per year. Which story is correct, the FBI's released figures or the anonymous sources speaking to the WaPo?

Your remedies:
--get Congresspeople who will change the NSL law, OR
--get judges who will interpret the Constitution's 4th Amendment more broadly, OR
--amend the Constitution, OR
--revolution, OR
--move.

None of these remedies involve getting the government to stop breaking the law, since these actions are not breaking the law.
posted by jellicle at 10:39 AM on April 29, 2006


stavrogin wrote:
wow. quonsor points out that it's probably legal and he gets accused of condoning rape. This is almost as good as a circumcision post.

Exactly(LOL). I'm out of here.
posted by sluglicker at 11:05 AM on April 29, 2006


3,400 of the people investigated were actually characters on Lost.
posted by srboisvert at 11:07 AM on April 29, 2006


We're living in a 'State of Exception.' Say 'bye bye' to democracy.
posted by j-urb at 11:08 AM on April 29, 2006


If you don't know how to write a sentence in english, perhaps you shouldn't be posting here.

What iz nexxt? Spellzzzing flames?

You expressed a concern about 'kiddie porn' and investigations thereof. I, once again, ask you to document the investigation into the claims of child prostitution brought up here:

http://www.thelawparty.com/FranklinCoverup/franklin.htm

The charges are rather serious. So I'm sure you'll have no problem finding information about the investigation. Perhaps you can even show how warentless searches provided the big break in the case!

Otherwise, shutup.
posted by sluglicker at 10:37 AM PST on April 29 [!]


Nice handle Mr O'Reilly. How are things over at Fox?
posted by rough ashlar at 11:28 AM on April 29, 2006


Okay, say you share some personal information with a company. You would agree that an owner of that company has a right to look at your personal information, I'd assume?

Well, guess what: you can become an owner of most big companies for under $100. Unless the company in question is Google, then it'll cost you over $400. Berkshire Hathaway? $80K+. But don't worry, you'll get most of that money back, maybe even a little extra, when you sell the one share of stock that you bought.

When an FBI investigator could just buy some stock and become a part owner of a company, with the perfect right to look at your so-called private information that you willingly gave to a publicly-held company, I'd say any illusions you have about the "legality" or "constitutionality" of such investigations are hopelessly naive. Actually, most FBI employees probably already own at least one share of stock in a large number of companies through their pension; index funds are big, doncha know...

Now I realize that there are perfectly good reasons to install safeguards to prevent this sort of thing from happening, and yes, most companies aren't going to let people who own a single share of stock just waltz in and go rifling through their databases, but the fact remains that when you own stock in a company, that information literally belongs to you as much as it belongs to the other stockholders. That is a mighty big privacy loophole that doesn't seem to worry most people one bit. And since corporations exist at the government's whim anyway, when you get right down to it, I've got to agree with McNealy: you have no privacy; get over it.
posted by kindall at 11:43 AM on April 29, 2006


When an FBI investigator could just buy some stock

What about the government owned retirement funds?

I've got to agree with McNealy: you have no privacy; get over it.
posted by kindall at 11:43 AM PST on April 29 [!]


The only people who have privacy would be the 'live in small cabin, unplugged from technology' types. The Unibomber being an example, old time Amish being another.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:53 AM on April 29, 2006


jellicle nailed it. While the constitution gives you protection from searches without warrants, or self-incrimination. There are very few cases where the constitution and case law provides protection against information volunteered by your associates and neighbors.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:55 AM on April 29, 2006


people have confused "investigating" with "searching" ... the police don't need a warrant to ask someone's neighbors what they've observed ... that's an investigation ... the police do need a warrant to actually go into a house and look for something ... that's searching

the police don't need a warrant to ASK someone for information ... but they need one to COMPEL someone to give them the information
posted by pyramid termite at 12:15 PM on April 29, 2006


kindall:Okay, say you share some personal information with a company. You would agree that an owner of that company has a right to look at your personal information, I'd assume?
No, I would not. And if you seriously think that buying even a million shares in Amazon entitles you to look at my credit card details you're deluding yourself. Being a shareholder is not the same as being an officer of the company, and information should be shown only to the officers of the company who need to know it. Or do you think the HR director of your bank should be entitled to grab your credit card number?
posted by kaemaril at 1:26 PM on April 29, 2006


pyramid termite: Not if they've got the new, improved, NSL to use they don't ;)
posted by kaemaril at 1:27 PM on April 29, 2006


So does the Ninth Amendment, it says that invoking the 9/11 Amendment or jacking up the terror alert or invading another nation does not automatically suspend your rights, including your right to due process and protection from unwarranted investigation into your private affairs.

LOL, dude. No judge in America would buy that. In fact, no two lawyers in America could probably come to an agreement as to what the Ninth Amendment is even supposed to mean. Inkblot? Natural Rights? Merely words to allay the concerns of Federalists at the time of adoption? Rule of statutory construction concerning the Constitution? Incorporating the basic principles of the Declaration of Independence? Sop to the legislative branch? Grant to the judicial branch? Etc. Due process is already protected by the Constitution, there is no need to invoke the Ninth Amendment. Also, the 5th Amendment, not the 14th, would be the due process rights available because these are federal matters. So, 9th and 14th don't apply to this situation in any way except your idiosyncratic notion of what they mean.

But, it is really inconsequential, as I agree with the substance of your concerns.
posted by Falconetti at 1:54 PM on April 29, 2006


But who are we at war with, three blind mice? posted by adamrice at 8:30 AM

You silly. We're at war with Eastasia. We've always been at war with Eastasia.
posted by jokeefe at 1:54 PM on April 29, 2006


You would agree that an owner of that company has a right to look at your personal information, I'd assume?

No.

1`) What is a compny doing collecting personal info?
2) Good data security allows for some people to have info, and others to be denied. The owner needs to know exactly why?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:49 PM on April 29, 2006


kindall, you're completely off base here.

1. Giving information to a company does not mean anyone in the company is allowed to see the information.

2. Buying stock in a company does not make you an owner of the company, but this is beside the point, because of 1.
posted by odinsdream at 3:00 PM on April 29, 2006


You might find this interesting, I sure did. This is something I stumbled across in the code I work on at work. I was given a project to make changes to some Visual Basic code that handles car sales for when the company sells the older cars. Well, I was digging through the code and I stumbled upon some lines of code that didn't look right, Deep down in the code I found a few lines of code that connects to a remote IP address in real time! My first thought was it was some hacker code! What is THIS doing in here?! After further investigating I found what it is. Every time you buy a car, or even inquire about buying a car, this code checks your name to see if it's in a list, a list provided to us by the Dept of Homeland Security. Ok, so far so good, we want to catch the bad guys I guess. But then your name is sent out for storage to another Homeland Security site to be stored for what ever reason. So, to make a long story short, every time you give your name, address, phone, credit card..etc etc, when wanting to buy a used car, info about you is sent to the Dept of Homeland security. Turns out the software was written by this company. BRIDGER Big brother IS watching, even when you simply look at buying a used car!
posted by BillsR100 at 3:14 PM on April 29, 2006


Falconetti, maybe it is a stretch. But the underlying substance of the complaint stands. To which you've already agreed so let's just nod, have a drink on our beer and go check out the ballgame.

odinsdream, in Soviet Russia, company owns you! Sorry, I'm going outside now.
posted by fenriq at 3:20 PM on April 29, 2006


In Soviet company, you own Russian!

Hey, that actually sort of is the principal behind Communism.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:34 PM on April 29, 2006


Objecting to illegal search and seizure == we are all "arrogant assholes."

Nice.

Look how far we've fallen.
posted by wakko at 6:40 PM on April 29, 2006


Objecting to illegal search and seizure == we are all "arrogant assholes."

continuing to mislabel the actions as "illegal" even when the article plainly describes the law under which said actions occur == wakko sucks more every day.
posted by quonsar at 7:29 PM on April 29, 2006


I certianly hope everyone is equally outraged once president Rodham-Clinton assaults the 2nd amendment. Because that's the one that really protects all the rest of them. I'm sure she won't care a lickspittle about illegal searches and seisures once she flexes her wartime national security prerogative.
Tho, her taking Fox news, Limbaugh and Coultier off the air in the name of National Security wouldn't be so bad.
posted by Balisong at 7:34 PM on April 29, 2006


continuing to mislabel the actions as "illegal" even when the article plainly describes the law under which said actions occur == wakko sucks more every day.

You know who else rifled through laws to make every action he took "legal", don't you?

And pointing out that such actions are legal does not diminish in any way the "Look how far we've fallen." comment.
posted by Balisong at 8:15 PM on April 29, 2006


it wasn't mean to, it was meant to be what it is: a great segue into the twist on wakko's trademark schtick.
posted by quonsar at 9:09 PM on April 29, 2006


I certianly hope everyone is equally outraged once president Rodham-Clinton assaults the 2nd amendment. Because that's the one that really protects all the rest of them. I'm sure she won't care a lickspittle about illegal searches and seisures once she flexes her wartime national security prerogative.
Tho, her taking Fox news, Limbaugh and Coultier off the air in the name of National Security wouldn't be so bad.
posted by Balisong at 3:34 AM GMT on April 30 [!]


1) President Rodham-Clinton? Bwahahahaha!
2) 2nd Amendment is the one that really protects all the rest? Bwahahahahaha!
3) Wartime national security prerogative? Bwahahahaha! Don't kid yourself, the endless war on terror will be declared over and done with the day before a Democrat steps foot in the White House. No way the Republicans want to hand that kind of power to the Dems.

Gotta agree about Fox, Limbaugh, and Coulter, though. Can she include O'Reilly?
posted by kaemaril at 9:29 PM on April 29, 2006


No, I would not.

Seriously? If you walked into a cafe with say ten employees and bought something with your credit card, would you really expect that the owner of the cafe would not have the perfect right to see your credit card number if he wanted?

The only difference between that and, say, Amazon is that Amazon is a much bigger company with a lot more owners and it is simply impractical for every owner to be able to inspect the assets on a whim. And of course customers don't want that which means most stockholders are against it too which means it's not gonna happen. Doesn't mean you don't fundamentally have the right, however. The information belongs to you, partly; you do have the right to inspect your assets.

Giving information to a company does not mean anyone in the company is allowed to see the information.

True. Good thing that's not what we're talking about.

Buying stock in a company does not make you an owner of the company, but this is beside the point, because of 1.

Well, I was trying to keep things simple. There are indeed others with an ownership stake, like bondholders, who actually have priority claims on assets.

I perhaps made it badly, and maybe buried the lede, but my point is that you can't trust corporations to protect your information from the government; the very idea of a publicly-held corporation makes it impossible, especially since they, as I said, exist at the government's whim to begin with. If they really want to investigate you, you're gonna be investigated.
posted by kindall at 12:07 PM on April 30, 2006


kindall, please stop being ridiculous. Try this - go buy some Starbucks stock. Then go to a nearby Starbucks with a friend. Have your friend buy a coffee with their credit card. Now, write to Starbucks' accounting department and ask them to mail you your friend's credit card number.

Companies don't work this way. If you think they do, you're either confused, or just not interested in learning why you're wrong.
posted by odinsdream at 7:20 PM on May 1, 2006


Of course companies don't work that way, that was not and never was my point, as I just got done explaining in the post right before yours. Aside from illustrating the ethical difficulties inherent in publicly-held corporations, of course, which I'd have thought would go over pretty well around here...
posted by kindall at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2006


odinsdream kindall, please stop being ridiculous. Try this - go buy some Starbucks stock. Then go to a nearby Starbucks with a friend. Have your friend buy a coffee with their credit card. Now, write to Starbucks' accounting department and ask them to mail you your friend's credit card number.

Companies don't work this way. If you think they do, you're either confused, or just not interested in learning why you're wrong.



kindall: Of course companies don't work that way, that was not and never was my point, as I just got done explaining in the post right before yours. Aside from illustrating the ethical difficulties inherent in publicly-held corporations, of course, which I'd have thought would go over pretty well around here...

Never was your point ... ?

kindall: When an FBI investigator could just buy some stock and become a part owner of a company, with the perfect right to look at your so-called private information that you willingly gave to a publicly-held company

Hmm.
posted by kaemaril at 11:28 AM on May 2, 2006


Yeah, couldn't you see my bigger overarching point, overarching over that? Like an arch?

Okay, I should probably have put more time into developing the idea before I posted.
posted by kindall at 6:14 PM on May 2, 2006


No. I was blinded by the pure white light of the dazzlingly stupid concept for a moment there.
posted by kaemaril at 7:49 PM on May 2, 2006


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