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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:10 PM
Original message
ACORN suspends key services amid probe
Source: NBC

Admits undercover journos caught members in "indefensible actions"...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

ACORN, reeling from scandal after two journalists secretly recorded members in four cities discussing illegal activity, moved to save its reputation and guard against future "indefensible actions" by suspending key operations pending a probe.

"We have all been deeply disturbed by what we've seen in some of these videos," said ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis. "I must say, on behalf of ACORN's Board and our Advisory Council, that we will go to whatever lengths necessary to reestablish the public trust."

Lewis said that, "as a result of the indefensible action of a handful of our employees," the organization will halt to any new intakes into ACORN's service programs until completion of an independent review.

Staff members who deal directly with the public will be trained anew and the issues raised by the videos, shot by a pair of independent journalists in four cities, will be reviewed, Lewis said.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/politics/ACORN-594988...



According to this link, ACORN will refuse new admissions into its programs until an internal review is completed and new procedures implemented.

http://www.wkyc.com/news/world/news_article.aspx?storyi...
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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. here's a link: ACORN Announces Major Steps to Address Issues Raised by Videos
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dr_aswan Donating Member (34 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. another day, another video... they are done...
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Trajan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Hah ....
I am no fan of ACORN, but I get the strongest impression that they will still exist long after you are 'done' in DU ...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:54 PM
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libodem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. Entrapment works
Apparently. They are going to lose their Federal funding and become defunct because of this. They should develop and new business model and reorganize under a new acronym. Bleckkk will never let this rest, now that blood is in the water. It seems to be fine in America that the top 1% has more money that the rest of the lowest 90% combined. Corporations buy politicians by the gross. But God, forbid that someone should try to organize the poor to vote.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Agreed.
eom
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Wizard777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. No it doesn't! What the House and Senate have done is Illegal by US Code.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 05:31 PM by Wizard777
The senator and Representative introducing those bills have drawn The United States, The Senate and The House into a crime. All three can be held liable by US Code. Sovereign immunity is waved in the language. Biden, Reid, and Pelosi need to be saying SHOW ME THE WARRANTS!
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JonQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. This is terrible
I was just about to start a child prostitution ring in my neighborhood, where will I get tax advice now?
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Wizard777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
7. It is legal for them to do that. It is illegal for the Senate and House to cut their funding over -
the video's.
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. The Senate and House MAKE the laws regarding funding.
How is that illegal?
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Wizard777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. US Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 119 Sections 2511, 2515, and 2520
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 08:00 PM by Wizard777
Right now this is the most pertinent.



TITLE 18--CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I--CRIMES

CHAPTER 119--WIRE AND ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS INTERCEPTION AND
INTERCEPTION OF ORAL COMMUNICATIONS


Sec. 2515. Prohibition of use as evidence of intercepted wire or
oral communications

Whenever any wire or oral communication has been intercepted, no
part of the contents of such communication and no evidence derived
therefrom may be received in evidence in any trial, hearing, or other
proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, officer,
agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of
the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof if the
disclosure of that information would be in violation of this chapter.


In using the illegal video (Sec.2511) as evidence of impropriety meriting cutting funds and a subsequents investigation. This provision has been violated. The Senators and Representatives introducing the bills have draw the The United States, The Senate, and The House into a criminal act. The criminal act is actionable in Sec. 2520. As you said they make the laws. They have NO excuse for not knowing this.
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RantinRavin Donating Member (423 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. and the section continues
(d) It shall not be unlawful under this chapter for a person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication where such person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception unless such communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any State.
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Wizard777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. The purpose was to disrupt Acorns interstate commerce activities by defrauding Acorn employees.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 10:30 PM by Wizard777
Mission Accomplished!

They said they were there to try to qualify for a loan from a block grant and even that is supposedly a fraudulent representation.

I'm also looking at them being there for the purposes of Corporate Espionage. They did surreptitiously film Acorns practices and delivered them to a foreign instrumentality. FOX News owned by Australian citizen Rupert Murdoch.

In another post I said the FCC needs to slap Glen Beck in the face with Rupert Murdoch's nuts. I guess now the FBI needs to slap Rupert Murdoch in the face with Glen Becks nuts.

:rofl:
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karnac Donating Member (495 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. investigative journalists do this all the time
with and without law enforcement's help. Oh sure, they get sued, sometimes they get indicted. But I have YET to hear of a successful prosecution. Even in Maryland. Suits have been successful though, if rare.

If you wanted to entrap your local RW douchebag that you KNOW does something nefarious, you pretty much have carte-blanche, as long as you don't actually commit a crime doing so, AND it is clear you didn't intend to commit a crime in the first place. DOCUMENT everything!

It is true, that sometimes a person "claims" they were doing "investigative journalism" while they actually commit a crime. That's what happened to Bernie Ward in San Francisco. That almost never flys. Now poor Bernie is doing seven years at Lompoc.

The press has alot of freedom and protections . that's why it's always nice to claim you are one of them.
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Wizard777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #11
19. How about for Depredation in Malicious Mischief?
O'Keefe and Giles were the predators and Acorn workers their Prey.

All they have to do is show a criminal purpose and they are deprived of that defense.
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RantinRavin Donating Member (423 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. No legal standing
The workers acted as they did on thier own free will. They were not coerced in any way. At any time they could have ended the session.
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. There is no "interception" of someone else's private communication when you film in person
The USC sections you cite apply to a third party tapping into and recording ("intercepting") a communication between two other private parties. They simply do not apply to a meeting in person with another party and were not intended to.

Recording notification laws, such as in Maryland, refer to recording a telephone call or similar electronic communication (but not email) without informing the other party. They do not apply to conversations or meetings in person in a "public space" (a business office qualifies) or any other space where a person does not have a "reasonable expectation of privacy."

In general, you may be filmed without notice in any place where the "no reasonable expectation" standard applies.

If the law were otherwise, how could video surveillance cameras be legal? Think about it. How many tens of millions of those are there? The average person in the US is recorded on a surveillance video camera 26 times per day. (Which at least is better than the average Londoner at 300 times per day.)


Side note: email sent or received on a computer provided by your employer can be legally read by your employer without your knowledge. The law holds that your employer owns your email sent on company equipment. Many companies legally install secret email scanning software without employee knowledge.
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Wizard777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. So your trying to tell me that a video camera is not an "electronic device?"
So now the man of 1,000 occupations is a caveman and his video camera is powered by a Hamstersaurus running on wheel? Wow. Before I retired people had problems understanding how I could be an Executive Bodyguard and a Priest.

I'm trying to figure this out myself. But I don't agree with your assessment. I'll give you a chance to poke a hole in my theory. Is Acorn a federal agency engaged in interstate commerce regulated by Congress?
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. No, Wizard, you're looking at the wrong thing here.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 12:52 AM by Psephos
It's not about the device used. It's about whether it's a private conversation or not. Private has a precise definition under the law that may be different from ordinary usage.

If you call me on the telephone, you have what the law regards as a "reasonable expectation of privacy." Anyone who intercepts that call is breaking our legal right to a private conversation. Likewise, if I record the call without telling you, I am infringing on your privacy.

The Code you cited applies to this kind of situation.

However, if you meet me in the street, or we meet at the coffee shop, or I drop in to see you at your walk-in office, then under the law, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. Filming the encounter does not violate a privacy right when none can be reasonably expected.

Meanwhile, to repeat what I said earlier - how do you think millions of video surveillance cameras can operate legally, if the code you cited applies?

It doesn't - because where the cameras are placed, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. That's also why you will never find one in a bathroom stall - because there, the law recognizes you DO have a reasonable expectation of privacy.


***************

To be technical:

In US law the "expectation of privacy" is a legal test which determines whether the privacy protections of the Fourth Amendment apply.

A *subjective* expectation of privacy is an opinion held by a person that a place or situation is private.

An *objective* (or "reasonable") expectation of privacy is one recognized by society.

Examples of places where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy are that person's own residence, and public places which have been specifically provided by businesses or others to ensure privacy, such as public restrooms, private sections of jails or police stations, phone booths, and other explicitly reserved and labeled places.

Generally, under the law, one cannot have an expectation of privacy in public places, with the exceptions mentioned above. For example, you do not have a right of privacy for garbage left for collection in a public place. You do not have one in a place of business, whether it's a coffee shop or an ACORN office.

While you might have a subjective expectation of privacy in your car, numerous court decisions have held it is not always an objective one, unlike (for example) your home.

Hope that helps.
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Wizard777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. The Reasonable right to privacy is set in the law.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 10:38 AM by Wizard777
First of all Thank you very much for trying to explain this to me and be helpful. For that.

:yourock:

Now Back to US Code. Hopefully I can be of some help to you.



(b) intentionally uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other
person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or
other device to intercept any oral communication when--
(i) such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a
signal through, a wire, cable, or other like connection used in
wire communication; or
(ii) such device transmits communications by radio, or
interferes with the transmission of such communication; or
(iii) such person knows, or has reason to know, that such
device or any component thereof has been sent through the mail
or transported in interstate or foreign commerce; or
(iv) such use or endeavor to use (A) takes place on the
premises of any business or other commercial establishment the
operations of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or
(B) obtains or is for the purpose of obtaining information
relating to the operations of any business or other commercial
establishment the operations of which affect interstate or
foreign commerce; or


To defeat (b) (iv) you are going to have to prove that Acorn does not engage in interstate commerce regulated by Congress. Also in some legal concepts you can an have instate interstate commerce. To this I say, Follow the dollar. It starts in DC with Congress. It then travels across the state line into Maryland and is distributed by Acorn. That is Interstate Commerce. So even if this goes to SCOTUS. They are going to find that Acorn has a reasonable right to privacy prescribed by Law. They could further find that the deprivation of privacy for the purpose of depredation in malicious mischief to be illegal depriving them of any defense in making the video.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #10
23. Doesn't say a thing about federal funding. The taping may have been illegal. That
does not mean it's illegal for Congress to cut funding.
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joeycola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
22. I think it is a good move by Acorn at this point.
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