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Three Cheers for Qwest!

 
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 09:07 am
squinney wrote:
Quote:
Also, if you buy something to wear, you own it. Not the case with airwaves, using the phones, etc. You are being provided access to a service owned by other companies and regulated by the federal government. In no way do you own that.


I always thought they were public airwaves. The purpose of the government regulating them has been that they are public and no one company (or the government) was to control them.

Quote:
Law enforcement routinely obtains all kinds of records and information on people concerning what they have done, such as motels, rental cars, phone records, etc. etc. etc., including innocent people, to track down criminals.


Yes, they do routinely obtain these records WITH WARRANTS AND PROBABLE CAUSE SHOWN.


Fair enough. "Public airwaves" seems to me to be an argument that anytime you use them, your conversations are no longer as private as one that you may conduct in your own home.

Back to the analogy of the government wearing the clothes I purchased, that is not the best analogy. They are only finding out what clothing I purchased, not wearing the clothing, as this does not include wiretapping, it only includes a record of phone numbers connected to your number. It is simply a record of your phone bill. Analyzing what was said involves wiretapping, which goes a step further.

Anyway, let the congress waste the next 6 months arguing about this. Personally, I couldn't care less if they look at my phone bill with a computer that has 10 zillion other records in it, as long as it is for national security purposes, and as long as there is proper oversight, and we trust the government every day to do this with virtually everything they do, don't we?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 09:50 am
okie wrote:
Personally, I couldn't care less if they look at my phone bill with a computer that has 10 zillion other records in it, as long as it is for national security purposes, and as long as there is proper oversight, and we trust the government every day to do this with virtually everything they do, don't we?

My emphasis - and there's the rub. What oversight applies here? Who oversees the NSA's secret reviewing of the phone data of millions of Americans, but the NSA?
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 10:36 am
okie wrote:
parados wrote:
I like your answer squinney...


Okie,
I also keep records for tax purposes. I don't send them to the government unless they ask for them. The government can only ask for them in relationship to my taxes. The IRS is NOT allowed to share that information with any other agency of the government. The government doesn't SECRETLY obtain my driving records or my receipts.


Agreed. I knew your answers before you answered and realize some of my questions here would be labeled non-applicable to what we are dealing with here, but nevertheless I think my points have some validity. Also, if you buy something to wear, you own it. Not the case with airwaves, using the phones, etc. You are being provided access to a service owned by other companies and regulated by the federal government. In no way do you own that.
The companies DID sign a contract with you to keep your records safe from prying eyes, which includes law enforcement unless presented with a valid warrant. The companies have violated that contract which is why they are being sued. Not only is it a contract issue but also an issue of Federal law which REQUIRES that the companies keep the information private. It is ILLEGAL to listen in on phone conversations, even ones over the airwaves without a warrant. The airwaves are regulated by the Federal government and some of that regulation is that no one except government with a valid warrant can listen into conversations. I would suggest you check out the clamor over the release of conversations of Newt Gingrich recorded from a cell phone conversation.

Quote:
Law enforcement routinely obtains all kinds of records and information on people concerning what they have done, such as motels, rental cars, phone records, etc. etc. etc., including innocent people, to track down criminals. I am simply bringing up some questions here, only a few of the countless questions in regard to this. Many of these things are a product of modern technology that has not yet been fully aired in the courts and become settled law.


Your questions are not unsettled law. It is very settled. Contract law is pretty clear. Federal law is pretty clear. The companies are legally liable if they turned over that information without a warrant or something in writing from the Federal government stating no warrant is required. If the companies recieved neither then they violated the law. There are going to be some MAJOR lawsuits over this and a lot of money paid out. The phone companies are not protected by the claim of national security.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 10:40 am
okie wrote:

Anyway, let the congress waste the next 6 months arguing about this. Personally, I couldn't care less if they look at my phone bill with a computer that has 10 zillion other records in it, as long as it is for national security purposes, and as long as there is proper oversight, and we trust the government every day to do this with virtually everything they do, don't we?


I'm sure you were just fine with the Clinton WH having FBI files then. And you will have no problem with President Hillary Clinton having your phone call records. After all, it was just national security and you trust your government completely, don't you?
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 09:38 pm
parados wrote:
okie wrote:

Anyway, let the congress waste the next 6 months arguing about this. Personally, I couldn't care less if they look at my phone bill with a computer that has 10 zillion other records in it, as long as it is for national security purposes, and as long as there is proper oversight, and we trust the government every day to do this with virtually everything they do, don't we?


I'm sure you were just fine with the Clinton WH having FBI files then. And you will have no problem with President Hillary Clinton having your phone call records. After all, it was just national security and you trust your government completely, don't you?


No, I am not okay with Clinton WH having FBI files. Absolutely not. The purpose and motivation was not for national security, it was for their own personal power and the ability to hold hostage or blackmail their opponents, which is clearly wrong and corrupt. They should have been impeached for that alone. But where did that scandal go? Nowhere because nobody cared. All of a sudden, the press cares about this. Clearly a double standard.

I would not trust the Clintons with the same level of trust as I do the Bush administration. Number one, Clinton did not care about national security as much as Bush, as evidenced by his actions. He was only interested in his own power and having a good time. I would not trust Hillary as far as Bill. Complete duds in my opinion. I also think there is evidence they used the IRS to intimidate their opponents, another thing they should have been impeached for.

I have no problem with records being used for national security reasons with proper oversight and safeguards incorporated into the programs. Again, this is not the same as wiretapping your phones. The records are being run through computers with only national security parameters being determined. If that turns out to not be the case, even more heads will roll. Bush did not instigate this technology. It has been developing over a long period of time. I do not agree that all of this is settled law at all. I do not believe Bush has authorized something without having some clearance to do it by his legal advice.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 10:06 pm
okie wrote:
parados wrote:
okie wrote:

Anyway, let the congress waste the next 6 months arguing about this. Personally, I couldn't care less if they look at my phone bill with a computer that has 10 zillion other records in it, as long as it is for national security purposes, and as long as there is proper oversight, and we trust the government every day to do this with virtually everything they do, don't we?


I'm sure you were just fine with the Clinton WH having FBI files then. And you will have no problem with President Hillary Clinton having your phone call records. After all, it was just national security and you trust your government completely, don't you?


No, I am not okay with Clinton WH having FBI files. Absolutely not. The purpose and motivation was not for national security, it was for their own personal power and the ability to hold hostage or blackmail their opponents, which is clearly wrong and corrupt. They should have been impeached for that alone. But where did that scandal go? Nowhere because nobody cared. All of a sudden, the press cares about this. Clearly a double standard.
Really? Quite the concocted story you have there. The WH has FBI files for WH security. They have to clear anyone that will be coming to the WH. That has been the procedure from before Clinton took office. Suddenly you felt it wasn't a security issue? You proved my point very well okie. It is only OK for you if you like the people getting the information. My standard is different. I opposed the programs under Clinton, echelon and TIA. I oppose it now.

Quote:
I would not trust the Clintons with the same level of trust as I do the Bush administration. Number one, Clinton did not care about national security as much as Bush, as evidenced by his actions. He was only interested in his own power and having a good time. I would not trust Hillary as far as Bill. Complete duds in my opinion. I also think there is evidence they used the IRS to intimidate their opponents, another thing they should have been impeached for.
What you think and the reality found by an investigation are quite different. Lets do the same investigation for Bush.

I have no problem with records being used for national security reasons with proper oversight and safeguards incorporated into the programs. Again, this is not the same as wiretapping your phones. The records are being run through computers with only national security parameters being determined. [/quote] What evidence do you have to support this? There was no evidence the Clinton WH used the FBI files for anything you claimed. In fact there was an independent investigation of the FBI files in the Clinton WH. That investigation found no wrong doing. Where is your call for the same for Bush?

Quote:
If that turns out to not be the case, even more heads will roll. Bush did not instigate this technology. It has been developing over a long period of time. I do not agree that all of this is settled law at all. I do not believe Bush has authorized something without having some clearance to do it by his legal advice.
How do you propose to find out if this was the case without an investigation?
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 11:28 pm
parados wrote:
My standard is different. I opposed the programs under Clinton, echelon and TIA. I oppose it now.


Maybe yours is. How about the press and the Democratic Party? I don't remember any stink raised about Echelon, at least not on this level.

I am probably like most conservatives in that we see a double standard applied. Nobody cared about corruption for 8 years, but suddenly now the slightest things that occurred before Bush took office were hardly noticed but are now considered earth shaking, and we are pounded with the news day in and day out. My natural reaction is to attempt to point out some balance in this. Some of you are apparently so energized by your dislike of Republicans and conservatives that you have lost all sense of balanced judgement in what is going on.

P.S. If the Clinton White House was so concerned about security, how come they hired a former bar bouncer for it? If Bush had done that, we would never have heard the end of it. And if Bush had been involved with FBI files, we would have had several independent investigations lasting for months, if not years. And need we go through the list of unsavory characters that visited the Clinton White House? It doesn't appear to me they cared about security. Yes, there was always an "independent" investigation set up, ha ha ha! It constantly amazes me how you libs defend your crooks but are the first to drag your political enemies through the mud at the slightest inkling of impropriety.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 05:52 am
I don't care about the politics of this. This is about my rights as a US citizen.

Phone records, contain a heck of a lot of personal information.

Someone with my phone records knows with whom I associate, what church I am a part of and how involved I am. They know if I am a part of the Minutemen, the Branch Davidians or the Quakers.

They know if I call a bankruptcy lawyer, a marriage counselor or cancer specialist.

They know who my illicit lover is and how and where we meet. They know when I make a cell phone call from a gun show.

If you have a comprehensive group of phone records from millions of Americans there is even more personal information you can deduce. They will know if each time right after I call Phil, Phil calls Lenny (who is known to cultivate plants in his basement).

The biggest threat is to controversial (but Constitutionally protected) groups from the gun-loving Militia movement to the peace-loving Quakers. The ability to analyze phone records from networks of people allows the government to easily and secretly (and illegally) surveil them.

What makes me mad is that these advantages have no benefit in finding the real terrorists. If you are organizing a peace march, you will call your friends and get support from your church. If you are planning a terrorist attack... you will not. The terrorists have already shown that they are not dumb enough to make plans using traceable phone networks.

The problem with these phone records is oversight. The government gets a lot of information that is useful against US citizens who are not terrorists, and not very useful against terrorists.

This information is dangerous because there are no checks on its use. This database can be used against American citizens... to stop anti-war demonstrations, or to find gun owners when the UN comes...

... and no one will ever know.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 06:10 am
okie wrote:
Maybe yours is. How about the press and the Democratic Party? I don't remember any stink raised about Echelon, at least not on this level.

FWIW, there was a stink about Echelon in Europe. Members of European Parliament and civil liberties activists did not like it at all.

okie wrote:
I have no problem with records being used for national security reasons with proper oversight and safeguards incorporated into the programs.

And what "proper oversight and safeguards" apply in this case? Who is overseeing the NSA on this one? What safeguards are in place?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 06:31 am
I thought these were good points/questions in Parados's post, which I dont think Okie had addressed:

parados wrote:
Okie wrote:
I would not trust the Clintons with the same level of trust as I do the Bush administration. [..] I would not trust Hillary as far as Bill. Complete duds in my opinion. I also think there is evidence they used the IRS to intimidate their opponents, another thing they should have been impeached for.

What you think and the reality found by an investigation are quite different. Lets do the same investigation for Bush.

[..] You proved my point very well okie. It is only OK for you if you like the people getting the information. My standard is different. I opposed the programs under Clinton, echelon and TIA. I oppose it now.

[T]here was an independent investigation of the FBI files in the Clinton WH. That investigation found no wrong doing. Where is your call for the same for Bush?

Quote:
If that turns out to not be the case, even more heads will roll. Bush did not instigate this technology. [..] I do not believe Bush has authorized something without having some clearance to do it by his legal advice.

How do you propose to find out if this was the case without an investigation?

Another point for Okie to take into consideration: if you let Bush get away with this surveilance without warrants, how are you going to stop Hillary ffrom doing the same, if she gets elected?

If this practice is condoned now as being something that's within the President's and NSA's brief, then how would you be able to withdraw it from the President and the NSA's brief in three years time? Congress can hardly go, "no wait a minute, that only applies if we like the President!"

There has to be some defined norm on this that applies as a set standard; such authorisations are not defined by whim. There will be one - that's how law works. Whatever is granted to Bush now, will be the standard for the next President as well.

So what do you prefer? For the President - every president, whoever (s)he is - to have the NSA implement such universal surveillance of phone records - or none?
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 06:49 pm
I agree with some of you all's points here. However, I also think we are already entrusting the government with an awful lot of information besides phone records that can be used in a wrong manner. The IRS is one huge example. All the more reason to elect trustworthy and honorable people to run the government. It has always been this way, and a foremost thought by the founders in fearing too much government intrusion and power, so they attempted to limit the scope and function of what government should do. In this regard, we have already failed miserably along these lines because people continue to demand the government do more and more for them.

One important point is the fact that of all the federal government's reponsibilities, I believe national security ranks at the top. Now, could we agree the world has entered an age where warfare has taken on a relatively new tactic, that of using terrorism as a tool of warfare. Armies used to line up opposite of each other and march toward each other on an open field and have it out. Then we entered the phase of "guerilla warfare" wherein people used booby traps and hit and run attacks, but still wars were primarily fought between identifiable armies. Now, this phase wherein identifiable armies or nations are not used, and women and children are considered fair game.

In this age of terrorism, we have two choices. We can try to ignore the problem and not do much in terms of trying to detect the shadowy figures sprinkled throughout society, and just hope nothing bad happens, and if it does, try to respond to it then. Or we can be proactive, face reality, and try to use the available tools to protect ourselves. Communication is one of the foundational tools required for terrorists to operate, and we can and should attempt to use all the tools at our disposal to disrupt and identify those that are trying to kill us. With proper oversight and by limiting the scope of how the NSA does this seems to me to be a perfectly logical and proper role of government and the NSA, that is to protect its citizenry. Every government function requires checks and balances, and this is no different. If the NSA begins to use the information in a wrongful manner, then heads should roll, just as they should now in regard to the IRS and many other agencies if they overstep their authority.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 May, 2006 09:50 am
Have nearly all the companies now denied any request by the government for phone records? What gives here?
0 Replies
 
 

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