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Comment: Re:Ahh, true democracy (Score 1) 436 436

Not that this change.gov website is an avenue for any decision making by the "mob." It's just PR. The real power-brokers are still those with money—those who fund the campaigns, pay the lobbyists, reward government officials with cushy jobs when they leave office and have the ability to extort favorable legislation by their ability to sabotage the economy (moving their capital to greener pastures).

Voting doesn't change anything except which corporate shills are running the political patronage system. Website forums change even less.

The Courts

RICO Class Action Against RIAA In Missouri 213 213

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Atlantic Recording v. Raleigh, an RIAA case pending in St. Louis, Missouri, the defendant has asserted detailed counterclaims against the RIAA for federal RICO violations, fraud, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, prima facie tort, trespass, and conspiracy. The claims focus on the RIAA's 'driftnet' tactic of suing innocent people, and of demanding extortionate settlements. The RICO 'predicate acts' alleged in the 42-page pleading (PDF) are extortion, mail fraud, and wire fraud. The proposed class includes all people residing in the US 'who were falsely accused ... of downloading copyrighted sound recordings owned by the counterclaim Defendants and making them available for distribution or mass distribution over a P2P network and who incurred costs and damages including legal fees in defense of such false claims' or 'whose computers used in interstate commerce and/or communication were accessed ... without permission or authority.' This is the second class action of which we are aware against the RIAA and the Big 4 recording companies, the first being the Oregon class action brought by Tanya Andersen, which is presently in the discovery phase."
Government

House Republicans Renew Push for Telecom Immunity 123 123

CNet is running an update to the controversy over giving telecommunications giants such as AT&T immunity from lawsuits involving the assistance they gave the NSA for illegal wiretaps. Republican leaders are circulating a petition which would force a vote on the bill passed by the Senate but not by the House. Democrats are holding out for a version of the FISA bill which opens the telecoms to prosecution. President Bush still intends to veto any such document. "At a wide-ranging House hearing on Wednesday, FBI Director Robert Mueller again urged passage of a bill that includes immunity for phone companies, arguing that 'uncertainty' among the carriers 'affects our ability to get info as fast and as quickly as we would want.' He admitted, however, that he was not aware of any wiretap requests being denied because of Congress' inaction."

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin

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