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The FBI Has Been Violating Your Liberties in Ways That May Shock You

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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-11 06:38 AM
Original message
The FBI Has Been Violating Your Liberties in Ways That May Shock You


As Congress seeks to renew the Patriot Act, new information exposes egregious FBI violations.


The FBI Has Been Violating Your Liberties in Ways That May Shock You
AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

February 3, 2011 | Last week, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-VT, introduced legislation to extend the Patriot Act past its February 28 expiration date to December 2013. Though the extension once again saves some of the most nefarious, First-Amendment trampling provisions of the act -- roving wiretaps, secret access to third-party records, the hunting of targets unafilliated with foreign powers -- Leahy released a statement assuring us that the new extension will increase citizen protections.

It will promote transparency and expand privacy and civil liberties safeguards in current law, he said in a statement. It increases judicial oversight of government surveillance powers that capture information on Americans. This is a package of reforms that all Americans should support. The expanded bill would require the Department of Justice to issue public reports and generally expand oversight.

But will token rights-preserving provisions matter if the FBI refuses to comply?

Over the last decade, the FBI has been found to violate the Constitution countless times under the guise of the Patriot Act, including a 2007 scandal that led FBI head Robert Mueller to publicly apologize for the preponderance of security abuses, misconduct and violation of civil liberties on his watch. Weve known since its enactment in 2001 that the Patriot Act, with its gross expansion of law enforcement power and murky reporting requirements, was just a rulebook waiting to be spoiled.

But according to a new report released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the FBIs violations go far beyond what has been reported.



unhappycamper comment: Read the report here --> https://www.eff.org/pages/patterns-misconduct-fbi-intel...
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-11 06:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. ZOMG teh FBI is a domestic spy agency!!!11one!!
No one could possibly have predicted this.
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-11 07:15 AM
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2. Isn't that basically a get out of jail free card?
If the FBI illegally collects information on me as I'm perpetrating a crime, and I get caught, can't I use that illicit collection to have the charges against me dismissed?

If the illegally collected information is directly used against me that should be fruit of the bitter tree (I'm no lawyer, but that part seems pretty clear).

But I think one could also argue that the FBI now has a long-established record of deceptiveness regarding these practices, of illicitly sharing such information with other law enforcement, and of acting upon such information first and building a "legal" case against the perpetrator later.

So if the FBI is in possession of illegally collected information against me, couldn't one argue that the mere fact that they have such information (or had it, even for an instant) is grounds for dismissal of the case, since the FBI can now be expected to mis-use that illegal information?

I know that various defendants have attempted to use this sort of defense by implicating NSA, but I think NSA operates under a completely different set of protections and procedures, further protected by a bureaucratic layer within the DoD. NSA, for example, is not the primary law enforcement wing of the federal government.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-11 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. There have been many cases like this in the past
and, yes, the FBI has lost in court. Their goal is to disrupt groups and individuals, by causing them financial losses from legal and other expenses, as well as attempting to discredit and put fear into others. If the FBI loses a case, they don't care because it's not their money and the likelihood that any agent will be penalized is slim to none. Their job is to protect the PTB at all cost, regardless of any laws that might be broken in the process. They get away with it because they can.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-11 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. You would think so, but I have never to see a single news
article of a single case anywhere in which any charges anywhere have been dismissed because the FBI was illegally collecting information.

The problem is, how would you know? The FBI doesn't tell you they are collecting information on you. You might now find out that a violation o cured until years after the fact. The national security letters prohibits any company you deal with from telling you that they are giving the FBI all their records about you.

Then again, say that the FBI is spying on you, and somehow you actually do find out, given the right-wing slant of the judiciary now after the republicans have stacked the courts all these years it is very likely that the judge would side with the FBI and tell you that there is no such get out of jail free card. Spying on you isn't a violation of your rights if you have a right-wing judge.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-11 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. kick. n/t
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-11 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. If they were reigned in they would probably actually arrest real criminals.
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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-11 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. K&R. nt
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