http://gamingtrend.com
October 30, 2014, 03:41:17 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Telecom Immunity  (Read 2260 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Blackadar
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3458



View Profile
« on: February 16, 2008, 12:58:52 AM »

I'm surprised there isn't a topic here about the telcom immunity provision that Emperor Bush wants.

Let me be very clear - I spent more than 10 years in telecom, much of which was with Federal, State and Local governments.  I've literally handled dozens of requests for call records for various investigations in capital crimes, escapees and misconduct.  Even the guy who was on staff for only 3 months would know the legality regarding call records when at least one party is domestic.  It's telecom 101.  Simply put, the authorities have to get a court order.  If you give them those records without one, you get fined, possibly sued, fired and the records aren't worth shit in a court of law. 

After 9/11 (and yes, prior to 9/11) the Bush Administration wanted to entirely bypass the court system and every major telecom company caved except Quest.  Every single one of them *knew* that handing the records over to the Feds was against Federal law without an order - of this there is no doubt.  And they caved because the threat was that if they didn't their bids for governmental telecom services wouldn't be well-received.  Getting call records in an emergency literally takes minutes.  The FISA courts are on-call 24 hours and approve over 99% of such requests.  So what's the frickin' need for the court?  Because at least someone - even if they are mainly a rubber-stamp body - can say "no" to a request gone rampant.  Yet the Constitution was getting in the way of Bush, so they had to bypass it (just another piece of paper, I suppose).

Now Bush wants to give them immunity for helping to stop "teh terrorizzsts".  They screwed around with a known law and got caught.  They deserve to get sued - they handed over 10s of MILLIONS of call records and only God knows how many actual recordings.  And this law deserves to die.  This amounts to another bailout of Government/Big Business misconduct.  Frankly, I'd like to see every telecom who caved have to pay the massive fines they owe the American people for being pathetic limp dicks.
Logged

Raise the bridge! I have an erection!
Brendan
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3841


two oh sickness


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2008, 01:32:12 AM »

Fortunately the house is actually standing up to the fearmongers - at least, so far.

I donated money to Chris Dodd specifically because he was willing to stand up for our civil rights.  The continued supremacy of corporate interests over human interests in our national government is sickening.
Logged
Scraper
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3962



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2008, 01:46:29 AM »

This issue makes me curious what the conservatives think about this topic. Especially the ones who run around denouncing anyone who supports gun legislation. To me both are protected rights in place to prevent the government from getting out of hand (among other things), and both should be protected. But will the conservatives bow to the emperor and Rush like political thinking on this one?
Logged

" And they are a strong and frightening force, impervious to, and immunized against, the feeble lance of mere reason." Isaac Asimov
Brendan
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3841


two oh sickness


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2008, 02:03:15 AM »

Quote from: Scraper on February 18, 2008, 01:46:29 AM

But will the conservatives bow to the emperor and Rush like political thinking on this one?

Yes.

Has there been a case in the last 7 years where they haven't?
Logged
whiteboyskim
Senior Staff Writer
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 7850


Hard partier


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2008, 04:03:10 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on February 18, 2008, 02:03:15 AM

Quote from: Scraper on February 18, 2008, 01:46:29 AM

But will the conservatives bow to the emperor and Rush like political thinking on this one?

Yes.

Has there been a case in the last 7 years where they haven't?

I'm a conservative, and I can tell Brendan to step off. The whole telecom thing was a federal invasion of privacy and in no way should anyone receive immunity from this, from the top on down. I'm a Republican, and agree with a lot of the platform, but when things like this rear their head I can only hang mine in shame. It's ridiculous the extent to which the telecoms so gleefully handed out information because the government leaned on them. Wasn't crap like this written about by sci-fi novelists pretty much from the beginning as what happens when societies ignore what goes on behind the scenes for too long?
Logged

Behold the glory of my new blog!
Filmmaking is vision plus faith plus balls, all 3 of which Hollywood knows little about.
Brendan
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3841


two oh sickness


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2008, 05:43:42 AM »

Step off?!

Who cares about you as an individual?  Your party's platform is "do whatever the President says is necessary," and unless you've got a vote in the senate or the house, it's irrelevant if you are against telco immunity.  Your party, en masse, voted for immunity.

Here're the vote totals for the senate immunity addition:

Democrats -- 31-18
Republicans -- 0-49

Shamefully, 18 democrats voted for it.  Every single republican voted for it, just like they voted in favor of torture (even John McCain!) a couple of days ago.  They are in total lock-step with Bush, just like they always have been.
Logged
unbreakable
Guest
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2008, 10:45:23 PM »

This isn't so much a Telco Immunity bill as it is a Republican Immunity bill.

The breakdown is that the White House asked the telcos to run wiretaps, and without warrants.  This started before 9/11.  The only telco to refuse was Quest Communications... and shortly afterward they started losing government contracts.

Obviously the telco's aren't doing this out of patriotic duty.  After all, they shut off ALL the wiretaps because the government was late paying them.  They didn't do it out of patriotism or concern, they did it because they were paid a ton of money for it.  Once the money stopped flowing, the wiretaps were turned off.

Now, once these cases go to court, the defense of the telcoms is going to be "we just did what the government asked us to".  Which won't work too well, because the way the government "asks" is to provide a warrant.  Otherwise, it's an illegal wiretap... and then evidence of the White House's lawbreaking has entered the public record.  Impeachment would then be required.

Not "talked about".  Required.

If there is no Telcom immunity bill, I'm guessing GWB is going to try to pardon them somehow.  But it will be interesting to see how that works, because I don't think he can pre-pardon.  And after the fact would be far too late for his purposes, since after the fact would see him either out of office or being impeached (or both, perhaps, but who knows if they want to pursue impeachment of someone who is no longer in office.  Possible, but perhaps not likely).


Also, as far as the current "ZOMG, TEH TERRRRRERRRRISTS!!!" rhetoric goes... if FISA was SO important, then obviously the Republicans (and the president) would have either renewed the old FISA bill, or dropped the most contentious issue, which was Telcom immunity.

There WERE other amendments offered, like having the FISA court review all the evidence before the trial to see whether it contains any matters of national security.  Or one to allow the Bush administration one last chance to bring all their matters before the FISA court.

But, they want the ability to use National Security as a cover for all their illegal activities.  They know the court wouldn't approve what they are doing... so they don't even ask.

At this point, we can assume the bulk of what they've done for the past eight years is going to end up in a shredder.  A Democratic President, and the House and Senate with solid Democratic majorities?  That's why the Republicans want everything to end up at the Supreme Court- it's the last place they have filled with their cronies.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 10:52:18 PM by unbreakable » Logged
Blackadar
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3458



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2008, 11:20:03 PM »

Actually, the pardon would be an interesting court case.  Bush can pardon criminal cases - i.e, prevent someone from going to (or get someone out of) jail.  But I don't think he has the legal authority to pardon civil cases. 

I also agree that this is very likely a cover-up.  Without immunity, the case goes to a civil court, which Bush can't as easily interfere in.  The telcos can probably provide documentation regarding these requests.  That documentation would show the scope of the wiretapping, including the authorizing party.  At that point, it becomes a criminal trial.  But, by then, Bush is out of office and couldn't pardon anyone, so some of his cronies run the risk of actually doing jail time.  Which is why they've "attached" telecom immunity to this.  And it's also why I think GWB will issue huge blanket pardons to everyone as he leaves office under very generic terms. 

This issue really irks me for a couple of reasons:

1.  It goes to show the scope of the invasiveness of this administration.  When civil liberties took a back seat to terrorism, the terrorists won.  Osama won.  We lost.
2.  It's just another big business bailout, which as been the theme of the Bush administration.  It's not about free-market.  It's certainly not about ethics, fairness or the people.  It's about money.  Bush's Golden Rule is this: he who has the gold makes the rules.  They might as well have handed the keys to the kingdom to the guy with the biggest check.  So to see another improper big business bonus at the expense of the American taxpayer is pathetic.
3.  Personally, I complied and helped enforce these rules for a number of years.  They're there for a reason and to see them so carelessly discarded bothers me.  I've had improper requests asked of me before and I told them to go through the official process and then never heard anything again.  So to see these corporate suits try to claim they were only helping the Government or that they thought this was legal is an out-and-out lie. 
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 11:26:58 PM by Blackadar » Logged

Raise the bridge! I have an erection!
DarkEL
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2931



View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2008, 05:02:27 AM »

100% agree - this is utter bullshit.

Like blackadar - I spent a few years working for a telco and while I was never in a position that had me dealing with wiretap requests - even I knew about those rules.

Although, I've never officially considered myself a republican, I've traditionally always voted that way. That last election was hard for me because I was beginning to question the morality of decisions that the GWB administration had been making but I also didn't like Kerry. Funny enough - i actually liked Edwards back then and considered voting for Kerry just for Edwards. Unfortunately though I voted for Bush and that's a decision that I now regret thanks to the evil things that this administration has done.

It's a horrible thought to realize that the dixie chicks were actually right about something.
Logged
unbreakable
Guest
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2008, 02:59:58 AM »

On a somewhat related note, of course the Supreme Court rejects hearing a case presented by the ACLU.

I will leave it up to our legal minds to comment on whether they feel this is appropriate or not, but it sounds to me more like the same kind of B.S. one would expect from a SCOTUS packed with Republican cronies.
Logged
Blackadar
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3458



View Profile
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2008, 02:59:24 AM »

And on another related note:  http://www.newsweek.com/id/114572

Awwwwwwwww....the Bushies might have to follow the law now.  How inconvenient!  I love this: "Further politicizing the debate, the administration today announced that they believe there have been gaps in security since the Protect America Act expired. They cannot have it both ways; if it is true that the expiration of the PAA has caused gaps in intelligence, then it was irresponsible for the President and congressional Republicans to openly oppose an extension of the law. Accordingly, they should join Democrats in extending it until we can resolve our differences."

Logged

Raise the bridge! I have an erection!
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.1 seconds with 45 queries. (Pretty URLs adds 0.018s, 2q)