“The direct number to the CEO of AT&T is in the top drawer of your desk”

A U.S. appeals panel on Thursday upheld the constitutionality of a federal law that grants immunity to telecommunications companies that assist the U.S. government in conducting surveillance of American citizens. However, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also revived a separate lawsuit against the government over its surveillance activities.

Several lawsuits filed in the wake of revelations about warrantless wiretapping alleged that telecom companies provided authorities with direct access to nearly all communications passing through their domestic facilities. Besides the government itself, defendants included AT&T, Sprint Nextel and Verizon.

In 2008, Congress granted telecoms immunity for cooperating with the government’s intelligence-gathering activities. A district judge in San Francisco upheld the law as constitutional, and dismissed the claims against the companies.

In a ruling on Thursday, a unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit agreed…

Cindy Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a leading plaintiff in both cases, said they had not yet decided whether to appeal the telecom ruling…

Cohn said it has been nearly six years since warrantless wiretapping was revealed. “I think the American people deserve a little faster justice than that,” she said.

Keep on rocking in the Free World.

  1. Higghawker says:


  2. deowll says:

    Maybe we all agree that the the courts made the wrong call and that warrants should be required? I mean if the Feds can’t give a sane reason why they need to listen in why are they allowed to listen to privileged communications?

    On the other hand if you post it on twitter, face book, or web sites like this one for the world to see I don’t see any reason they shouldn’t look at that because there really isn’t any expectation of confidentiality.

    • dusanmal says:

      Politicians made the wrong law. Court applied it correctly – law immunizes Telco’s and that’s it.
      How to change this? – kick Progressive bastards out, Left and Right. Progressivism has very good carrot, many people fall for it but we must say NO to it because it comes with the stick of this type of controlling BigGovernment. You can’t get one without the other.

      You want Progressive agenda? – than, please bend over for that BigGovernment…

      • msbpodcast says:

        Uh, you DO know what the word “progressive” means.*

        It has nothing to do with these [expletive deleted] officious officials are doing to us all. (Right and further-right [this country doesn’t even know what a left looks like] makes no difference; these 1%ers all want us to suck their cocks and expect us to swallow.)

        Dude, if you want to talk to us, at least use the same language. We speak English and use English words.

        I have no idea what you’re wasting your breath about but it is nobody‘s idea of progress.

        *) The dictionary defines it as:

        progressive |prəˈgresiv|
        1 happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step: a progressive decline in popularity.
        • (of a disease or ailment) increasing in severity or extent: progressive liver failure.
        • (of taxation or a tax) increasing as a proportion of the sum taxed as that sum increases: steeply progressive income taxes.
        • (of a card game or dance) involving a series of sections for which participants successively change place or relative position.
        • archaic engaging in or constituting forward motion.
        2 (of a group, person, or idea) favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas: a relatively progressive governor.
        • favoring or promoting change or innovation: a progressive art school.
        • relating to or denoting a style of rock music popular esp. in the 1980s and characterized by classical influences, the use of keyboard instruments, and lengthy compositions.
        3 Grammar denoting an aspect or tense of a verb that expresses an action in progress, e.g., am writing, was writing . Also called continuous.
        1 a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.
        2 Grammar a progressive tense or aspect: the present progressive.
        3 (also progressive proof )Printing each of a set of proofs of color work, showing all the colors separately and the cumulative effect of overprinting them.
        progressively adverb,
        progressiveness noun,
        progressivism |-ˈgresəˌvizəm|noun,
        progressivist |-ˈgresəvist|noun& adjective
        ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from French progressif, -ive or medieval Latin progressivus, from progress- ‘gone forward,’ from the verb progredi (see progress) .

        Just to be a pedantic pain I went and looked up the thesaurus:

        1 progressive deterioration: continuing, continuous, increasing, growing, developing, ongoing, accelerating, escalating; gradual, step-by-step, cumulative.
        2 progressive views: modern, liberal, advanced, forward-thinking, enlightened, enterprising, innovative, pioneering, dynamic, bold, avant-garde, reforming, reformist, radical; informal go-ahead. ANTONYMS conservative, reactionary.
        he is very much a progressive: innovator, reformer, reformist, liberal, libertarian.

        Basically, none of the definitions seem to imply whatever you’re thinking of.

        Progressive is not a dirty word.

        • msbpodcast says:

          By perhaps you’re thinking of degenerative.

          degenerative |diˈjenərətiv, -əˌrātiv|
          (of a disease or symptom) characterized by “progressive”, often irreversible deterioration, and loss of function in the organs or tissues: degenerative diseases.
          • of or tending to decline and deterioration: the young generation had fallen into a degenerative backslide.

          Note my putting of the use of the word progressive in quotes.)

  3. orchidcup says:

    Welcome to the Fascist States of Amerika.

    The corporations and the government are working hard to root out any enemies of the state and keep you safe from subversive thinking.

  4. spsffan says:

    I can’t really blame the telcos that much. They operate at the whim of the government to begin with, being both corporations and public utilities. They do what Uncle Sam says or they get it. So, in order to survive, they often do things that they would rather not do. Providing access certainly wasn’t their choice, it was forced on them at gunpoint. They are the messenger and shooting them, while it might feel good, is pointless.

    It’s the government that is the problem. Oh, and a public that is so complacent that they don’t object and do almost nothing to maintain their privacy. Indeed, they flaunt their private affairs for all to see and hear on a regular basis making it difficult for those of us who value privacy to be understood or even heard.

    Brave New World.

    • msbpodcast says:

      If you want to live in such a world, you are likely to think that you don’t do anything you’re ashamed of.

      Meanwhile the politicians live by the hedonists rules: Don’t be ashamed of anything you do.

      The distinction with the diference in semantics is that the first way makes you into a middle-class citizen while the second way makes you into a predatory sociopath.

    • tcc3 says:

      They could have said no, and dared the government to force the issue in court. A court case would have brought the scandal to light sooner, and the outcry probably would have stopped it, at least for a time.

      They are cowards who chose the easy path.

  5. #13--bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Peapod==well done. Its like I’m reading my own posts. but as a fellow pedantic ass, I must critique your performance and say you are overly wasting other’s time by providing definitions of words that don’t apply to the given subject:

    progressive politics: aka Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes through the state.

    A little history/context is always good for the pendant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_politics

    • Animby says:

      Thank you Bobbo. I wanted to suggest to Ms.Pea Pod that it is okay to extract only the important information from a source. But I feared she would include the original text plus your reply in any new reply. Or maybe an Encyclopedia Britannica article.

  6. Glenn E. says:

    This is all part of the military strategy of protecting its defense contractors from any sort of legal responsibility for producing faulty weapons systems, aircraft, land craft and sea craft. Basically any major commercial corporation that works for the US government, in any capacity, get a “Stay out of jail” card. Otherwise, they might not want to work for the US government. And perhaps more certainly, their stock would take a hit if they could be sued. And Congressmen using their insider trade info, to get very rich, would suffer if their favorite company had to face some legal heat for screwing up and/or violating the Bill of Rights.

    Here’s an idea. Let’s all incorporate, and lick stamps for the government. Then NONE of us can ever be sued, for anything, by anyone. Until Congress rewrites the provisions to exclude all those they don’t have a substantial financial stake in, on the sly. That way, even campaign contributions won’t count, as anti-sue insurance. You’ll have to be a Fortune 500 entity, or you’re out of luck.

    Justice (or protection from it) is for those rich enough to have the laws written for their benefit. Ask the RIAA and MPAA.

    • orchidcup says:

      You’ve got it right.

      Incorporate yourself, and become an artificial person AND a natural person at the same time!

      Two, Two, Two Persons In One, Like Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum!

      There are a number of research and art grants that a person(s) could apply for each year.

      I need to think about this some more. You may be onto something ….

  7. NewFormatSux says:

    Hilarious how liberals/fascists who want corporations to act as servants of the government, get upset over corporations doing what the government tells them to do.


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