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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    10.23.16 @ 06:20 PM
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    Default CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Verizon says phone record disclosure is protected free speech.

    Verizon is arguing that it can violate Americans’ first amendment rights and turn over phone records to the federal government because their first amendment rights permit them to exercise their free speech and do so. :

    Verizon is one of the phone companies currently being sued over its alleged disclosure of customer phone records to the NSA. In a response to the court last week, the company asked for the entire consolidated case against it to be thrown out—on free speech grounds.

    The response also alleges that the case should be thrown out because even looking into the issue could violate state secrets, of course, but a much longer section of the response tries to make the case that Verizon has a First Amendment right to “petition” the government. “Based on plaintiffs’ own allegations, defendants’ right to communicate such information to the government is fully protected by the Free Speech and Petition Clauses of the First Amendment,” argue Verizon’s lawyers.

    Essentially, the argument is that turning over truthful information to the government is free speech, and the EFF and ACLU can’t do anything about it. In fact, Verizon basically argues that the entire lawsuit is a giant SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suit, and that the case is an attempt to deter the company from exercising its First Amendment right to turn over customer calling information to government security services.

    Bush administration proposes retroactive immunity for phone companies
    Retroactive immunity from prosecution is a beautiful thing if you're a major telecommunications provider in the US, and phone companies are about to receive it if the Bush administration gets its way. The administration's new appropriations request for intelligence agencies was recently disclosed at a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and it includes a massive gift to the phone companies who have been helping the NSA and other agencies. Prepare yourself for the longest single sentence you have ever read:

    Notwithstanding any other law, and in addition to the immunities, privileges, and defenses provided by any other source of law, no action shall lie or be maintained in any court, and no penalty, sanction, or other form of remedy or relief shall be imposed by any court or any other body, against any person for the alleged provision to an element of the intelligence community of any information (including records or other information pertaining to a customer), facilities, or any other form of assistance, during the period of time beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on the date that is the effective date of this Act, in connection with any alleged classified communications intelligence activity that the Attorney General or a designee of the Attorney General certifies, in a manner consistent with the protection of State secrets, is, was, would be, or would have been intended to protect the United States from a terrorist attack.

    As the government explains later in an analysis of the bill, "companies that cooperate with the Government in the war on terror deserve our appreciation and protection—not litigation." Any court case dealing with the issue would be thrown out of court, and the protection would include all phone company interaction with the intelligence community since September 11.

    With Congress unwilling to figure out what was going on, individuals and advocacy groups began filing lawsuits against the phone companies. The EFF and others argued that communications privacy laws had been violated, but the government countered by claiming that a "state secrets" privilege meant that the cases should simply be thrown out.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    10.23.16 @ 06:47 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by voivod View Post
    ...and the EFF and ACLU...
    Shouldn't that be "f'n ACLU"?

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 07:17 PM
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    Verizon is arguing that it can violate Americans’ first amendment rights and turn over phone records to the federal government because their first amendment rights permit them to exercise their free speech and do so.
    Uh.....threat to the First Amendment? This one:

    Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    My guess is that somewhere in the fine print of that contract that nobody ever reads there's a line saying that they can sell or give away your Verizon information to whomever they feel like.

    The amendment you're probably thinking of is the 4th:

    Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    Some people interpret this as a right to privacy, it ain't. You have no right to privacy.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai

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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    04.22.16 @ 10:07 AM
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    Looks like I made a wise decision to drop that fucking phone company.
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