back to article NSA surveillance and the dream police

Memories are very personal things, over which we feel an intimate sense of ownership. Some people, such as spies, are sworn to secrecy over this or that incident, but, as one event or another washes over us, we typically aren't responsible one way or another for them. They are the historical cloth out of which we are cut. They …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Both ways...

    So if I *accidentally* leak evidence to a police officer that I killed someone, but then immediately ask for the evidence back, then I am off the hook? I don't think so. When these rules only apply to the state, but not the citizens, then the only logical argument for the imbalance is that the state is the ultimate owner of all knowlege. Any knowlege we have is merely licensed to us. Following this to its logical conclusion the 5th amendment is in direct violation of state soverienty.

    Cool, why don't we just establish the Ministry of Knowlege and get it over with? I'm expat as soon as I can sell my house. Anyone know any coutries with freedom?

  2. Phil Bennett


    Not the UK - immigrate here and we'll take your DNA, your retina, fingerprints, hell, we might just get you to roll over in a puddle of ink then roll on this bit of paper - it might be necessary later!

    Oh, sorry, you're emigrating from the USA? I meant, of course, rose retals at Heathrow and an invitation to No10. Sorry.

    Well, as long as you aren't worshipping the wrong god of course (hint: if your god is Money, thats fine; if it is a God with a Capital G and a complex about other deities, fine - don't consider declaring the 3rd religion of the Book unless you have ample supplies of KY and an attractive customs agent).

    Oh, and if you make it through customs without giving the gov your soul, wait until you drop a bit of litter...

  3. Eugene Goodrich

    The plaintiffs' harm is?

    I don't mean to take the government's side on this because I like illegal surveillance, which I don't, but don't the plaintiffs at some point have to show harm? Have they actually been harmed by the illegal surveillance in any way that they know, other than that they have been surveiled illegally (and thus perhaps had some constitutional / legal rights abrogated)?

  4. Henry Wertz

    This is the problem

    "other than that they have been surveiled illegally (and thus perhaps had some constitutional / legal rights abrogated)?"

    This is just the problem, this does cause harm. I mean, by the same argument, the police could come by without a warrant and search my shit, and unless they manage to punch me or break stuff while they're doing it, no harm was done and I could not sue. This is simply ridiculous. I know this is the argument the gov't is trying to make, but it's ridiculous nevertheless.

  5. b shubin

    Evil empire

    as a Soviet expatriate (and current US resident), i have a severe, prolonged case of deja vu.

    when this sort of thing went on in the (now defunct) USSR, the US gov't said it was BAD, VERY BAD, and the people who did it were EVIL, and it was WRONG...

    now the US gov't has suspended habeas corpus, defies the Geneva Convention, ignores due process, and spies on its own citizens, and these credulous cattl...erm, patriots are saying, "what's the problem?"

    maybe human rights are just so last-millennium...quaint, really. no use for them in the New World Order.

  6. Aubry Thonon


    I keep on having flashbacks (flashforwards?) to the "historical" events in Heinlein's "Revolt in 2100".

  7. Iain

    Hmmm Joseph Heller anyone??

    ie Catch 22 Or to quote my father 'Your bu$$ered if you do and bu$$ered if you don't' (coming from an ex merchant seaman that may have meant more though)

    the interesting part will be the background of the judge involved, if they have the ability to be objective and separate reality from legality AND be able to move from one to the other then your memories are your own. If on the other hand they believe law imitates life then you are fuber.

    Thankfully I don't live in the US

    btw Heinleins 'Farnhams Freehold' or the classic 'stranger' even the 'day after tomorrow' would be better examples.


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  9. Ben Gibson

    Case by case

    Maybe this sort of thing should be done on a case by case thing, it was mentioned in the article that the 'cover up' was to do with something that the government branch did wrong, not just spying on people which is their job but something they shouldn't have been doing. In that case they would be using this states secret thing to just cover themselves rather then using it for what it is intended for.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    national security will always trump the Bill of Rights

    "national security will always trump the Bill of Rights" -





    'Nuf said.

  11. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Stand and Deliver ..... Your Money or your Wife [which always sorts the Men from the Boys]

    "And that in a nutshell is the problem - does the state secrets privilege protect even unconstitutional state behavior? "

    Oh it can never ever protect it while hiding its abuses. It is not a national security issue, it is an intentional international scam issue to present and enrich private groups interests through dominating/dominant national policies. Third Reich Syndrome..... the Rape of Democracy, a Backward Child.

    Have you any Idea what is in store for Perpetrators and Collaborators of such Abomination. History tells us of the last Purge and the Post War Flight to foreign corners to debrief at leisure in the Confusion of Defeat and Rout. With the World a Global Village today. where would anyone think that they could run away and hide from everything that they deserve and have worked so hard for.

  12. Thaddeus Aid

    Scared to go home

    I'm a US ex-pat and my wife wants to return to the states but I am getting even more scared of my governement.

  13. Chris Morrison

    Time for all our countries to take the lead.....

    Gordon Brown should get in touch with Iran we could be their wing men for a multilateral operation American Freedom.

    If we follow Americas lead we don't need a UN mandate, we dont need to follow the Geneva convention and we can basically do what we like.

    Their troops can't fight for shit, and there all in Iraq anyway. We could free their country from the tyrant dictator Bush, liberate their people and bring true democracy to a country blighted by corruption.

    Sound familiar??


  14. David Murphy

    Nixon's young turks

    I find it interesting that it is from Nixon's young turks, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. that we get these illegal surveillance programs. Obliviously, they learned all they know from their original master.

  15. D. M

    Come to OZ

    Same here. Our PM just copies whatever GWB does.

    Human rights? never heard of it.

    Prime minister? what was that, he is King Howard, he is the law, just do what ever he says.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I forgot!

    I have no recollection of that Senator!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Ben Gibson

    Ben, spying on people is NOT what most people understand as the job of a government, especially not on its OWN people. Of course, some intelligence work seems unavoidable as humans tend to be humans, but in general SPYING IS NOT THE BLODDY JOB OF THE GOV.

  18. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Open Source Intelligence Service.

    "but in general SPYING IS NOT THE BLODDY JOB OF THE GOV.".

    Hmmm. A lucrative international business with Intelligence being the Commodity? Ok, that makes selling it easier without any notion of nationality to muddy the water.

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