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Judges Challenge IP Wiretap Rules 82

WebHostingGuy writes to mention an MSNBC article on an appeals panel harshly challenging the Bush administration's wiretap policies. New rules from the FCC would make it easier for police and FBI agents to wiretap IP-based phone conversations. From the article: "At [one] point in the hearing, Edwards told the FCC's lawyer that his arguments were 'gobbledygook' and 'nonsense.' The court's decision was expected within several months. In an unrelated case last year affecting digital television, two of the same three judges determined the FCC had significantly exceeded its authority and threw out new government rules requiring anti-piracy devices in new video devices. Lewis was also the losing lawyer in that case, and Edwards also was impassioned then in his criticisms of the FCC."
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Judges Challenge IP Wiretap Rules

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  • gobbledygook (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05, 2006 @05:34PM (#15273600)
    This is a truly maverick word, not only because it is surprisingly modern and also one whose genesis we can pin down to the day, but also because a maverick coined it --Maury Maverick, a Texan lawyer who was at various times a Democratic Congressman and mayor of San Antonio.

    He used the word in the New York Times Magazine on 21 May 1944, while he was chairman of the US Smaller War Plants Committee in Congress, as part of a complaint against the obscure language used by his colleagues. His inspiration, he said, was the turkey, "always gobbledy gobbling and strutting with ludicrous pomposity". The word met a clear need and quickly became part of the language. It is sometimes abbreviated slightly to gobbledygoo.
  • don't worry, this will just be a temporary confusion. i'm sure congress will be happy to pass some very broad legislation, and the president will be very happy to sign it. problem solved.
    • You know, he's a damn activist judge who's putting pesky rights and fruity ideals in the way of keeping the nation safe for obese children and their fear-stricken parents.

      • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @05:46PM (#15273681)
        From TFA:
        "There's nothing to suggest that in the statute," Edwards replied. "Stating that doesn't make it so."

        > Actually, wait for ad hominem attacks on Edward
        >
        >You know, he's a damn activist judge who's putting pesky rights and fruity ideals in the way of keeping the nation safe for obese children and their fear-stricken parents.

        Edwards oldthinker! Edwards unbellyfeel Amsoc! E

        (Slashdotter Tackhead know whichside buttertoast, is plusgood duckspeaker, learn duckspeak doubleplusfastwise in freedomcamp!)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      As nice and reasonable as the judges could be, they can do nothing about addressing the root problem of this case: The Republican dominance of our Democracy.
      Here is what is wrong:
      You are absolutely correct. Remember that:
      1) The House is controlled by the Republicans
      2) The Senate is controlled by the Republicans
      3) The White House is controlled by the Republicans
      4) The Supreme Court is now controlled by the Republicans

      As a result Democrats have no legislative power, no subpoena power, no power to hold hearing
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They had so much to live for, but now they're all about to die soon in mysterious accidents. Let's hope the widows receive hams or something.
  • by CaymanIslandCarpedie ( 868408 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @05:39PM (#15273625) Journal
    why do you hate America?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    an appeals panel harshly challenging the Bush administration's wiretap policies

    Well, woopty freakin doo! Get in line with all the rest of the "harsh challengers to the Bush administration". But, when it comes down to the wire the administration will mandate it to "save us from terrorists", invoke executive privilege, or send the detractors to Gitmo for suspicion of "wrong thinking".

    AYVABTU - All your VoIP are belong to the U.S. get use to it!
  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @05:43PM (#15273654) Homepage Journal
    Jon Stewart: Tonight, our focus is on Television! Today, the FCC wanted to impose the same decency standards that apply to broadcast television as they do to cable.
    [audience boos]
    Jon Stewart: To which many people said, "Uh, f*ck that guy!".

    (Yes, the "*" is added for irony.)
  • Problem Solvers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Skadet ( 528657 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @05:46PM (#15273668) Homepage
    So, the problem I see in corporations a lot is that there are very few true problem solvers in positions of influence.

    This is a great example. Why make the ISPs ("providers of broadband internet service" in TFA) comply with wiretap laws? Why make universities retrofit their data networks?

    Ok, so the FCC wants wiretapping to be possible. Here's a novel idea: Make the companies that write the software for VoIP be wiretap-compliant. Write a special wiretap program. Give it to the government. Or, write an interface and let the government access it with a warrant, whatever (please don't critique the privacy issues here, that's not my point).

    The point is -- the FCC wants to do something. They have a problem that needs to be solved. Their "solution" is retarded. There are no true problem solvers here.
    • Ok, so the FCC wants wiretapping to be possible. Here's a novel idea: Make the companies that write the software for VoIP be wiretap-compliant. Write a special wiretap program. Give it to the government. Or, write an interface and let the government access it with a warrant, whatever (please don't critique the privacy issues here, that's not my point).

      Umm. What about the non-corporate programmers? You might have heard of a small website called SourceForge?

      And if the government mandates that all VoIP softwar

      • True. On the other hand, making the ISPs do it makes little sense either. How does the ISP know what's in those packets?
      • No, I'm not making a sarcastic comparison with the 2nd Amendment here. I'm deadly earnest. Cryptography and guns are both useful means for citizens to preserve their freedoms.

        The government recognized that, too. Which is why the export of cryptographic software from the US was essentially banned for decades - crippling the US crypto software industry - by defining crypto to be "arms" and applying the same laws as were used to suppress the export of guns.
    • The software is already out there. Check out Naurus [narus.com]' scary stuff, indended for universal monitoring and automatic analysis of large networks.
  • I 3 Judge Edwards!

  • by Handpaper ( 566373 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @05:54PM (#15273725)
    The Justice Department, which has lobbied aggressively on the subject..

    What is the DoJ, a government agency, doing lobbying anyone over anything?
    AFAIK, their remit is to enforce the law by prosecuting criminals. That's it. Enforce the law as it stands.
    Not attempt to make it or influence its makers.

  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @06:03PM (#15273795)
    strike again!

  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Friday May 05, 2006 @06:09PM (#15273832) Homepage Journal
    I appreciate justices who understand their job is to restrain the Federal government from trampling the rights of the individual, and in this case it looks like they're doing their job. Kudos and positive feedback.

    I don't know if just restraining is enough anymore. When someone breaks a law, they can go to jail or pay a hefty fine. Why is it that Congress and the President can break their oath to uphold the Constitution's restrictions on their power and there is no real penalty?

    Maybe it is time to penalize repeat offenders who vote for and pass (and don't veto) for unconstitutional laws. The voting booth is not enough to prevent future intrusions. A judge can sentence me to jail for breaking my oath to follow the law, the same should be true for those creating the laws.
    • Why is it that Congress and the President can break their oath to uphold the Constitution's restrictions on their power and there is no real penalty? Gee, I don't know... if you were going to go after the President for violating the constitution, would you a) do it right now, knowing full well he could cite "national security" and have you whisked away to Gitmo, or b) wait until the bastard is a relatively powerless civilian again and there is a Democratic majority in congress to back you up? Just because t
    • Maybe it is time to penalize repeat offenders who vote for and pass (and don't veto) for unconstitutional laws. The voting booth is not enough to prevent future intrusions. A judge can sentence me to jail for breaking my oath to follow the law, the same should be true for those creating the laws.

      "Oath" has very little to do with your liability for criminal behavior, and the same is true for those making the laws. They, too, can be sentenced to jails or fines for breaking criminals laws. They can't be sen

    • Why is it that Congress and the President can break their oath to uphold the Constitution's restrictions on their power and there is no real penalty?

      Maybe it is time to penalize repeat offenders who vote for and pass (and don't veto) for unconstitutional laws.

      This accomplishes what? Unconstitutional laws are technically of no force or effect. Therefore no harm was done. So you would be outlawing a harmless activity, and that itself would be an unconstitutional law. Unconstitional laws only cause harm ind
      • So the DA honestly believes his evidence that you're guilty of murder. The jury disagrees. Should we now throw the DA in jail?

        Thats what the malice requirement is supposed to prevent. Now you can argue that the government should compensate you in some way, but not the DA personally. Even that is a dangerous route to go down- OJ Simpson lost his career over the trial thing. If we had to compensate him, DAs would be leery of going after rich suspects because of the costs of losing.
        • So the DA honestly believes his evidence that you're guilty of murder. The jury disagrees. Should we now throw the DA in jail?

          No. We should never PUNISH people for honest mistakes. However that does not mean that we don't hold people responsible for their honest mistakes.

          A DA need not actually in fact HONESTLY believe you are guilty any more than the defense lawyer needs to believe you are innocent. However, if he doesn't actually have an opinion, he is being RECKLESS. Clearly if *he* isn't convinced beyo
      • This accomplishes what? Unconstitutional laws are technically of no force or effect. Therefore no harm was done. So you would be outlawing a harmless activity, and that itself would be an unconstitutional law. Unconstitional laws only cause harm indirectly.. Because overzealous DA's tries to enforce them. If there needs to be any balancing of powers, it is that victims of failed prosecutions (i.e. the presumptively INNOCENT person accused of a crime who isn't convicted (either because the crime itself was

        • What about all the time and money lost getting the decision up to the supreme court and getting them to actually declare it unconstutional ? What about people prosecuted with this new law and declared guilty. Will they automatically have their decsions reversed and given complete pardons for the crime ?

          I'm not sure what you are asking.

          If you are convicted of an offence which turns out to be of no force or effect, then your conviction must be overturned.

          You dont need a pardon, because you were never guilty o
    • It's called impeachment, it's in the hands of the citizens and not the courts, and should be. Just be grateful we still have Marbury vs. Madison.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @06:09PM (#15273833)
    The FCC's business is making sure transmission equipment meets its technical specifications, doesn't interfere with other transmission equipment and that communication is not interrupted or tampered with.

    So where does that snooping come in? I can't see it in their profile.
  • http://www.optonline.net/Cservice/Article?CID=type %3Dreg%26channel%3D68%26article%3D1993853 [optonline.net] optimum online has a clause in its terms of service that the internet and the phone service are for entertianment purposes only. So it makes me wonder if this law does happen to pass, does that require all the phone services including the ones for entertianment. regular Land line phones are considered critial utilities. wire taps for that make sense but not the VOIP for entertianment
  • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @06:37PM (#15273995)
    Edwards told the FCC's lawyer that his arguments were 'gobbledygook' and 'nonsense.'

    Not "jibberjabber" and "poopycock"?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Strong Open Source encryption on VOIP connections will end the tendencies
    of governments to snoop on their citizens phone conversations.It would be much easier to listen in on the unencrypted audio with parabolic microphones and a REAL warrant.
    Can you hear me now , Skype?

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