U.S. courts oppose reform proposals for secret surveillance court

Comments (18)
agables wrote:

So… pretty much nothing will change. No faith in government anymore. They do not deserve their seats of power.

Jan 14, 2014 6:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

“Bates, a Bush appointee, strongly warned against a proposal by the review panel in December that Congress create a ‘Public Interest Advocate’ to represent privacy and civil liberty concerns before the court…”

because it has the word public in it. And that pisses the Bushies off :)

Who killed the sunlight? Never forget.

Jan 14, 2014 7:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
law573 wrote:

Hmmm…. proposed reforms….. would these count as smoke or mirrors?

Jan 14, 2014 7:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Kevin5069 wrote:

When a democratic country needs ‘secret courts’, democracy has failed in that country.

Jan 14, 2014 7:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
majkmushrm wrote:

Right. The guy who thinks it’s fine to suck up everybody’s data indiscriminately, thinks that a public advocate would be counterproductive. That’s a surprise and an opinion that should be promptly ignored.

Jan 14, 2014 7:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
redboy wrote:

Secret courts… say it quickly and maybe no one will notice our civil rights have been co-opted by entities that are now controlling our lives and represent us as a phony Democracy. Americans are more stupid , lethargic and apathetic than ever, wake up to the brave new world we live in.

Jan 14, 2014 8:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
drauckerr wrote:

Cosmetic changes. Window dressing. They’re trying to figure out how to continue the tyranny without anyone complaining. Bates should be immediately arrested and investigated for subversion.

Jan 14, 2014 9:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
drauckerr wrote:

First things first. The government claims the program has thwarted 53 terrorist plots. What were they? And why didn’t the program catch the Boston Bombers before they acted?

The government first needs to answer those questions to prove the program is about terrorism and not tyranny. Then, let’s talk about whether the program continues. “Take our word for it”, just isn’t good enough.

Jan 14, 2014 9:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
zbrowne wrote:

Lets understand what is really going on here: terrorism is nothing more than a cover for domestic surveillance. The masters are afraid of their servants, they are keeping tabs on the rest of us. Who would have thought, in our democracy?

Jan 15, 2014 12:07am EST  --  Report as abuse

If NSA was that effective how come big companies like Target Sears etc get hacked? And what if NSA gets hacked? This whole secrecy of NSA business should bother the common law abiding citizens. For once I wish anonymous were successful in hacking the hacker.

Jan 15, 2014 12:37am EST  --  Report as abuse
UScitizentoo wrote:

> he is under pressure from intelligence officials
Can’t have that constitution in the way it’s SO INCONVENIENT.

Jan 15, 2014 2:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
unionwv wrote:

Anybody seen the film “Judgment at Nuremberg”?

It dramatized the corruption of the Weimar republic’s judges and the resulting acquiescence in the crimes of the Third Reich.

There are two surprises in this story, I think:

1. That any judge, e.g. John Bates, would not recognize the betrayal of the Constitution when a judge agrees to sit on a secret court serving the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, and

2. That the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court would appoint him to represent the Federal Court system regarding “improvements” to the secret court.

What about means vs. ends? The question for me is: Is a secret court the appropriate means to deal with terrorism? It’s not whether such a court could be “improved”.

Naturally, given that such a court is now condoned by the Federal Judiciary, “citizen input” would impeded its function. No surprise there …

Jan 15, 2014 5:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
TOR01 wrote:

We the people need to shed the light of day on the FISA Court proceedings and to Hell with the opinions of Judge Bates who is a disgrace to his profession.

Jan 15, 2014 6:06am EST  --  Report as abuse
dumspirospero wrote:

In this article we have a judge who is desperately trying to make a case for the government’s right to access private information, and argues that this flow of information should not be impeded by a public advocate.

And in another article a different judge is opposing the FCC’s net neutrality which means that in the near future, the public may not have the right to access public information depending on what network they’re on.

Am I misreading these articles, or is 2014 the year the New World Disorder begins?

Jan 15, 2014 6:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
Ronald_T_West wrote:

“Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts had asked him to represent the federal judiciary on matters concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, under which the secret court operates”

John Roberts making this request is like having Dick Cheney appoint someone to oversee the legality of Halliburton’s secret behaviors. In fact Roberts and Cheney have a common close friend, Shannen Coffin, Coffin is Cheney’s former vice-presidential counsel. Nothing like having the ‘Federalist Society’ (John Roberts was on the society steering committee) run the USA judiciary with stellar members like John Yoo (torture lawyer) Condoleezza Rice (assassin of nations) Ed Meese (Iran Contra, wedtech scandal) et al, et cetera, ad nausea making decisions on behalf of the likes of CHEVRON and Monsanto

Jan 15, 2014 8:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
Stickystones wrote:

This article is written to make you think Bates opposes any change to the NSA collection methods. The FISA determines the validity of the request(s) in context to the law, in this case the Patriot Act. Bates and the FISA have no authority to recommend changes to the law or NSA practices. However, they do have responsiblity for managing the FISA and it is understandable that Chief Justice Roberts would want someone representing the courts for changes to it. All this article says is that the Courts have an issue with a Public Advocate to be included in the FISA hearings. Nothing more or less, at least in this article.

Jan 15, 2014 9:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
edouglass wrote:

All the comments here, except the last one, show hostility toward the government’s NSA surveillance program. That is the same result I have seen in the NYT, and elsewhere. But it doesn’t seem to matter. The govt loves the program and the “intelligence agencies are pressuring Obama” to leave it as is. In other words, Fellow Citizens, whether you like it or not the ruling class has decided to surveill you, and Congress. Watch the next election and the one after that. None of the candidates will mention this. If any do, her or her funding will be withdrawn. What are we do to? Surely it is time for a 3rd party.

Jan 16, 2014 2:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
edouglass wrote:

All the comments here, except the last one, show hostility toward the government’s NSA surveillance program. That is the same result I have seen in the NYT, and elsewhere. But it doesn’t seem to matter. The govt loves the program and the “intelligence agencies are pressuring Obama” to leave it as is. In other words, Fellow Citizens, whether you like it or not the ruling class has decided to surveill you, and Congress. Watch the next election and the one after that. None of the candidates will mention this. If any do, her or her funding will be withdrawn. What are we do to? Surely it is time for a 3rd party.

Jan 16, 2014 2:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
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