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Comment Re:How does that work? (Score 1) 101

Did you read the link that I gave you? It specifically covers the sanctioning of otherwise illegal activity and given that is part of their legislative function the qualified immunity would extend to those orders.

Also the constitution hardly outlines all the powers that are available to the government. You may not like it but there is a huge load of case law which supports the practice and it is written into the acts outlining the FBI powers.

Part 1.
Otherwise illegal activity by an FBI agent or employee in an undercover operation relating to activity in violation of federal criminal law that does not concern a
threat to the national security or foreign intelligence must be approved in conformity with the Attorney General's Guidelines on Federal Bureau of
Investigation Undercover Operations. Approval of otherwise illegal activity in conformity with those guidelines is sufficient and satisfies any approval
requirement that would otherwise apply under these Guidelines.

Comment Re:How does that work? (Score 1) 101

Law enforcement members are covered by the doctrine of qualified immunity.

The supreme court has previously made this ruling: [o]ur decisions have recognized immunity defenses of two kinds. For officials whose special functions or constitutional status requires complete protection from suit, we have recognized the defense of “absolute immunity.” The absolute immunity of legislators, in their legislative functions, and of judges, in their judicial functions, now is well settled. Our decisions also have extended absolute immunity to certain officials of the Executive Branch. These include prosecutors and similar officials, executive officers engaged in adjudicative functions, and the President of the United States. For executive officials in general, however, our cases make plain that qualified immunity represents the norm. [W]e [have] acknowledged that high officials require greater protection than those with less complex discretionary responsibilities.

As for your legislation sections 509,510,533, and 534 of title 28, United States Code, and Executive Order 12333 apply. They apply to domestic investigative activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and I have copied the relevant part of the guidelines below. Or I would have if it didn't say it was full of junk characters.

Source - https://www.justice.gov/archiv... The relevant section is on page 33.

Comment Re:Were these actions necessary? (Score 1) 101

Look at how many people are serving time in the US for minor drug drug charges. I don't think those people went into it thinking they would get caught but evidence mounts up pretty quickly that people are caught and in large numbers.

No a bigger issue is that for a lot of people the risk of prison isn't enough of a disincentive because their current situation is so utterly shit.

Also you need to keep in mind that the FBI / DEA etc are finite in resources. They simply cannot have an officer on every corner.

Comment Re:Were these actions necessary? (Score 5, Insightful) 101

You are right that it will be a combination of both. But if your aim is, for example, to bust a drug cartel then sticking every street dealer you find in prison will make that extremely difficult if not impossible.

The real issues come about when law enforcement ends up working too closely with a particular person turning a blind eye to their activities to target others. James Bulger is a prime example of this.

Comment Re:How does that work? (Score 5, Informative) 101

No it is an authority which is specifically given to various arms of law enforcement. The level of the crime to be authorised changes who must sign off on it. Authorization of violent crimes are not allowed by field agents and serious offenses must first be approved by federal prosecutors.

The obvious example is allowing a street corner drug dealer to keep dealing in order to catch their supplier.

Comment Re:And when Trump says the same thing, it's an out (Score 1) 217

No I understood where you were coming from. In my head I was thinking about how hard it would be to implement in the US because so much of what politics appears to be, from the outside looking in, is getting people to vote rather than convincing them to vote a certain way.

You would have to convince both parties that 95% voter turn out wouldn't skew the results in favour of one over the other. Which is basically impossible.

I thought you might be interested in the structure though and how it can be possible to build something where people have faith in the voting system, even if they aren't always happy with the choices. Voting here actually has the feel of a bit of a relaxed get together. Sure people whinge about having to go and do it and how they would rather sit on the couch, but you go out and everyone is happy. After you voted there is always the sausage sizzle, which has become such a thing it is nicknamed the democracy sausage, and the CWA selling cakes.

I don't know what happened in the US that split people so clearly along the democrat / republican lines and to split them so far. It's not a good place to be.

Purely if you're interested - http://democracysausage.org/

Comment Re:And when Trump says the same thing, it's an out (Score 1) 217

The AEC, Australian Electoral Commission, is held at arms length from the ruling party government. It requires an act of parliament to change any of the rules and given the make-up of the Australian government it would be very difficult for one party to pass rules that favour them over the other.

In addition there is a 3 person body which consists of either a current or retired federal judge, a statistician and the current head of the AEC. They are charged with the management of the process and oversight of the AEC to ensure accuracy of the election.

It's worth noting though that there is a huge difference in attitude between Australia and the US at election time. Australia doesn't have the rallies or the level of energy that the US has around an election. I just can't imagine people trying to block others from voting here.

Comment Re:And when Trump says the same thing, it's an out (Score 1) 217

Mobile polling
AEC mobile polling teams visit many electors who are not able to get to a polling place. Mobile polling facilities are set up in some hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and remote areas of Australia. Mobile polling is carried out around Australia prior to election day and on election day.

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