Bulk Collection Of Telephony Data. Again. (December 16, 2013)

. . .

L1        “You never know what a Monday will bring.  A federal judge ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephony records likely violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

L2        “You did not hear the word ‘telephony’ in polite parlance two dozen years ago.  The courts must now address the interplay of law with technology far more sophisticated than a pair of soup cans and a string.”

L1        “Most federal judges were ‘Arts and Crafts’ majors in college who may understand Tennyson but really do not understand technology.  Listen to the techs who install IT systems in the state and federal courts.  Some of these judges are still looking for the rotary dial.”

L2        “The government’s reliance on a case from the prehistoric days of telephony – way back in 1979 – is proof positive that the issue must be addressed anew in light of the new technology today.”

L1        “They will need to refer more often to Newton’s Telecom Dictionary than to Black’s Law Dictionary.  That will be fun.”                  

. . .

L1        “Within a fortnight of the Democrats’ decision to require the Senate to ‘advise and consent’ and vote on O’Bama’s appointments to places such as the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, the decision will have consequences.  One or more of the new appointees could be assigned to the reviewing tribunal.  If there is en banc review of the three panel decision, there are now more Democrats than Republicans.”

L2        “But will the Democrats defer to their benefactor?  Is there another Republican appellate court judge who may be a fan of the Constitution rather than unchecked federal intrusion?  And we always have the five Supremes who will get to chime in.” 

L1        “Who just don’t get it.  They do not even want to admit that the NSA exists.”

. . .

L1        “Judge Leon (Bush II) overcame the always pernicious ‘Republican Federal Judge Syndrome’ that almost always plagues Republican appointees.  Yet the judge once again displays the occupational hazard of these imperial federal judges.  His opinion is snarky, arrogant, condescending, intemperate, and sloppy.  The screed deserves a B+ for intuiting basic truth, a C- for style and an F for arrogance.”

L2        “When you are going to be courageous, you must be flawless.”

L1        “There are more than a few good women and men who are concerned that collecting the metadata is constitutional and may prevent a great catastrophe.”

L2        “But in the final analysis, there is the Constitution.” 

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled USA PATRIOT ACT (April 4, 2005), Less Government Regulation Series: Google (Nov. 30, 2009), Boycott Facebook? (August 2, 2010), Brave 1984 Farm: The Best Of All Possible Worlds (March 19, 2012) and Hero or Traitor? (June 10, 2013) and I Spy, You Spy, They Spy (October 28, 2013).]

[See the “e-ssays” titled Judicial Activism: Rogue Republican Judges (January 28, 2013), The Paradox Of The Republican Federal Judge: Republican Federal Judge Syndrome (September 23, 2013) and Past Time: Exercising The “New Clear Option” (November 25, 2013).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Free Edward Snowden

Pardon Edward Snowden

Bestow a Presidential Medal of Freedom on Edward Snowden

Quash the sub poena issued to James Risen

Free the Press

In a dozen plus years and without a debate or a vote, technology has deprived us of privacy.  With little debate and many hasty votes, Congress has deprived us of privacy at every opportunity.  We as a society should create a rebuttable presumption in favor of privacy even if it appears to sacrifice security.  Our personal insecurities are actually creating greater national insecurity. 

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