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Taco John
05-14-2006, 09:03 PM
Awesome... Sue the hell out of these traitors of liberty



Verizon sued for $50 billion over wiretap program
By Leslie Wines, MarketWatch
Last Update: 11:31 AM ET May 13, 2006

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - AT&T Corp., BellSouth Corp and Verizon Telecommunications are facing lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in damages for the decision to turn over calling records to the government, the New York Times reported Saturday.

A federal lawsuit was filed in Manhattan yesterday seeking as much as $50 billion in civil damages against Verizon on behalf of its subscribers.

Under telecommunications law, the phone companies are at risk for at least $1,000 per person whose records they disclosed without a court order, according to Orin Kerr, a former federal prosecutor and assistant professor at George Washington University

The telecommunications companies allegedly complied with an effort by the National Security Agency to build a vast database of calling records, without warrants, to increase its surveillance capabilities after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

AT&T (T: news, board) , BellSouth (BLS: news, board) and Verizon Communications (VZ: news, board) have insisted that they were vigilant about their customers' privacy, but did not directly address their cooperation with the government effort, the report said.

Verizon said it gave customer information to a government agency "only where authorized by law for appropriately defined and focused purposes," but declined comment on any relationship with a national security program that was "highly classified."

"Verizon does not, and will not, provide any government agency unfettered access to our customer records or provide information to the government under circumstances that would allow a fishing expedition," the company said in a statement on Friday.

A fourth telecommunications company, Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q: news, board) , rebuffed government requests for the company's calling records after 9/11 because of "a disinclination on the part of the authorities to use any legal process," according to a statement released by an attorney on behalf of the company's former chief executive, Joseph Nacchio.

The legal experts said consumers could sue the phone service providers under communications privacy legislation that dates back to the 1930s. Relevant laws include the Communications Act, first passed in 1934, and a variety of provisions of the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act, including the Stored Communications Act, passed in 1986.

The law governing the release of phone company data has been modified repeatedly to grapple with changing computer and communications technologies that have increasingly bedeviled law enforcement agencies, the report said.

Wiretapping has been tightly regulated by these laws. But in general, the laws have set a lower legal standard required by the government to obtain what has traditionally been called pen register or trap-and-trace information -- calling records obtained when intelligence and police agencies attached a specialized device to subscribers' telephone lines.

The restrictions still hold, said a range of legal scholars, in the face of new computer databases with decades' worth of calling records, according to the newspaper.

Leslie Wines is a reporter for MarketWatch in New York.
http://tinyurl.com/f6eg7

Boozer
05-14-2006, 09:07 PM
The law professor quoted in the article, Orin Kerr, is a real sharp guy. He's a libertarian-leaning conservative, but a guy who values honest discussion over bumper sticker rhetoric.

He's got a blog at http://www.orinkerr.com.

Taco John
05-14-2006, 09:10 PM
Looks like a blog I could get into...

Thanks for the link

BucEyedPea
05-14-2006, 09:12 PM
I LIKE it!

See lawyers can ROKK!


EDIT: Oops! I just remembered my sister's hubby is a VP at Verizon in NY.

Pitt Gorilla
05-14-2006, 09:22 PM
Sweet.

irishjayhawk
05-14-2006, 09:31 PM
Very good.

WoodDraw
05-14-2006, 10:07 PM
The law professor quoted in the article, Orin Kerr, is a real sharp guy. He's a libertarian-leaning conservative, but a guy who values honest discussion over bumper sticker rhetoric.

He's got a blog at http://www.orinkerr.com.

He's also a contributer to http://volokh.com, a great blog any time your looking for good legal analysis. It leans libertarian to right, but the discussions are always good.

Taco John
05-15-2006, 02:38 AM
I use AT&T on two lines. I'd love to get $1000 for each line...

Chiefs Express II
05-15-2006, 03:28 AM
Sorry Taco, you fail again.

This is not wiretapping, it's monitoring phone calls searching for a pattern, if there is a pattern then they use FISA or other laws to tap.

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 05:03 AM
I work for Verizon and I've known for probably 4 weeks that we were involved.

Not because I have any inside information, but because I know how this business works. As soon as it came out that AT&T was doing this, I knew we were involved.

I'm pretty disappointed, I had hoped we were above this. But I also highly doubt that any money is awarded - hell, I highly doubt these cases are even argued in court.

The Feds will get these charges dropped under the guise of protecting national security.

the Talking Can
05-15-2006, 05:23 AM
....they use FISA...

ROFL

not even White House Press Secretary Tony Patteeu would say that with a straight face....THEY have made it clear that THEY are above the law...


it is sad we live in a country where every single phone call of every single citizen is monitored by the government and we still talk about freedom....this is police state survelliance of a kind that has never been possible before, and will only get worse...cheered all the way by supporters of the King...

'Hamas' Jenkins
05-15-2006, 07:31 AM
I changed from Verizon to Vonage last night. F' those motherf*ckers.

oldandslow
05-15-2006, 07:36 AM
I changed from Verizon to Vonage last night. F' those motherf*ckers.


And I switched to Qwest....

I share your sentiments...

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 08:07 AM
I changed from Verizon to Vonage last night. F' those motherf*ckers.

I hate to break it to you, but switching to Vonage doesn't make you immune.

VoIP calls have to terminate on the PSTN somwhere, so unless you're calling legacy Qwest territories, you calls are being switched to the government too...

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 08:08 AM
ROFL

not even White House Press Secretary Tony Patteeu would say that with a straight face....THEY have made it clear that THEY are above the law...


it is sad we live in a country where every single phone call of every single citizen is monitored by the government and we still talk about freedom....this is police state survelliance of a kind that has never been possible before, and will only get worse...cheered all the way by supporters of the King...

Just an FYI, but at this point they are not "monitoring" phone calls. They aren't tapping anything or listening to what is being said.

They are merely reviewing call detail records -- when the call originated, where it came from, who it was made to, and how long it lasted.

patteeu
05-15-2006, 08:11 AM
I changed from Verizon to Vonage last night. F' those motherf*ckers.

Good move. Did you do that on your own or did you get a hand-carried memo from the office of Ayman al-Zawahiri? :p

BucEyedPea
05-15-2006, 08:14 AM
I don't use them. Dropped them about a year ago.

I also read that data mining was poor in turning up leads.
That data mining doesn't make us safer if national security is claimed.

It could be used to blackmail political enemies, not just us.

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 08:25 AM
I don't use them. Dropped them about a year ago.

I also read that data mining was poor in turning up leads.
That data mining doesn't make us safer if national security is claimed.

It could be used to blackmail political enemies, not just us.

They're not talking about Verizon wireless. They're talking about Verizon Bell Operating Company.

jAZ
05-15-2006, 08:30 AM
Have T-Mobile and Cox Digital telephone. Live in the west where most folks have Qwest. Haven't heard anything about any of these folks joining in.

Should be interesting to watch.

banyon
05-15-2006, 08:56 AM
Just an FYI, but at this point they are not "monitoring" phone calls. They aren't tapping anything or listening to what is being said.

They are merely reviewing call detail records -- when the call originated, where it came from, who it was made to, and how long it lasted.

That's what they've disclosed, mostly against their will.

God knows what these cretins are doing behind closed doors.

jAZ
05-15-2006, 09:01 AM
Just an FYI, but at this point they are not "monitoring" phone calls. They aren't tapping anything or listening to what is being said.

They are merely reviewing call detail records -- when the call originated, where it came from, who it was made to, and how long it lasted.
While your point is correct, I think TC's is also correct. I need to find out a bit more about this program before I determine whether I think it needs 1) no changes... it's ok. 2) FISA-type warrant oversight by the courts or 3) abolishment.

It's not quite as clear-cut as the actual wire tapping, IMO.

BucEyedPea
05-15-2006, 09:11 AM
They're not talking about Verizon wireless. They're talking about Verizon Bell Operating Company.
I don't understand. I thought it was about phone lines per the article.

patteeu
05-15-2006, 09:18 AM
I don't use them. Dropped them about a year ago.

I also read that data mining was poor in turning up leads.
That data mining doesn't make us safer if national security is claimed.

It could be used to blackmail political enemies, not just us.

Data mining can be a very powerful tool. It all depends on the implementation, but if it weren't a powerful tool, marketing departments across the country wouldn't use it to focus their marketing efforts.

I wouldn't be surprised if early implementations have limited results, but as we learn more about the behavior of our targets, the methodolgy gets refined and it's results will improve.

It is a scary technology because, like almost any tool, it can be used for good or evil.

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 09:21 AM
That's what they've disclosed, mostly against their will.

God knows what these cretins are doing behind closed doors.

Having turned over Internet and phone records to the government many times in previous jobs, I highly doubt we were handing over ACTUAL calls...it's a painstaking, costly (for the provider) process and I'll be perfectly honest -- companies like AT&T and Verizon know how much they can do without being held liable.

It may or may not be right, but they won't pay a dime.

jAZ
05-15-2006, 09:22 AM
It is a scary technology because, like almost any tool, it can be used for good or evil.
To clarify, no one is proposing the out-right ban of data mining. Simply the regulation of the use of the tool.

A parallel would be banning the use of a gun to kill someone. You can still use a gun in other ways.

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 09:22 AM
While your point is correct, I think TC's is also correct. I need to find out a bit more about this program before I determine whether I think it needs 1) no changes... it's ok. 2) FISA-type warrant oversight by the courts or 3) abolishment.

It's not quite as clear-cut as the actual wire tapping, IMO.

I honestly don't even know how to weigh in. At this point, I'm just ashamed...

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 09:23 AM
I don't understand. I thought it was about phone lines per the article.

It is phone lines -- land lines is what they're talking about.

Verizon Wireless is a separate company from Verizon Telecom.

Chiefs Express II
05-15-2006, 11:35 AM
not even White House Press Secretary Tony Patteeu would say that with a straight face....THEY have made it clear that THEY are above the law...


it is sad we live in a country where every single phone call of every single citizen is monitored by the government and we still talk about freedom....this is police state survelliance of a kind that has never been possible before, and will only get worse...cheered all the way by supporters of the King...

I will guess at this juncture that you just didn't read the whole post.

Currently the President has the authority to monitor phone calls without FISA if he believes (or the NSA, or the CIA, or Whomever) that they are conspiring to commit acts of terrorism.

You laugh, but it seems as if you don't understand the law as it is now written and interpeted by the Supreme Court.

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 11:55 AM
I will guess at this juncture that you just didn't read the whole post.

Currently the President has the authority to monitor phone calls without FISA if he believes (or the NSA, or the CIA, or Whomever) that they are conspiring to commit acts of terrorism.

You laugh, but it seems as if you don't understand the law as it is now written and interpeted by the Supreme Court.

Apparently you don't understand the scope of what is going on here.

AT&T is routing internet traffic to the NSA WITHOUT filtering. Verizon and AT&T are turning over millions of call records to be filtered by the government.

This is not surgical anti-terrorism activity. EVERYONE is being targetted.

Chiefs Express II
05-15-2006, 12:03 PM
Apparently you don't understand the scope of what is going on here.

AT&T is routing internet traffic to the NSA WITHOUT filtering. Verizon and AT&T are turning over millions of call records to be filtered by the government.

This is not surgical anti-terrorism activity. EVERYONE is being targetted.

I fully understand what is going on. As stated before, there are no wire taps, only investigation of calling tendencies. I make calls every week outside the country, I would expect the intelligence agencies not only to track them but record them as well. It's all business, but I don't think anyone should be left out of the search.

As for the calls that will be filtered, if you are calling mama every day 10-20 times I don't think you will be investigated, but if you are calling Abdul in Iraq/Syria/Saudi, etc I'd say that you should be checked out more in depth. The data mining is just to determine patterns.

As far as everyone being targeted, as long as they are only going after those that are dirty, I don't have a problem with the way they find their information.

You might check out how long this type of activity has been going on. I believe that most think it is just a recent development, it's more than likely been going on since WWII.

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 12:15 PM
I fully understand what is going on. As stated before, there are no wire taps, only investigation of calling tendencies. I make calls every week outside the country, I would expect the intelligence agencies not only to track them but record them as well. It's all business, but I don't think anyone should be left out of the search.

As for the calls that will be filtered, if you are calling mama every day 10-20 times I don't think you will be investigated, but if you are calling Abdul in Iraq/Syria/Saudi, etc I'd say that you should be checked out more in depth. The data mining is just to determine patterns.

As far as everyone being targeted, as long as they are only going after those that are dirty, I don't have a problem with the way they find their information.

You might check out how long this type of activity has been going on. I believe that most think it is just a recent development, it's more than likely been going on since WWII.

It doesn't make it right.

Taco John
05-15-2006, 12:50 PM
So switching to Vonage wont work? Maybe just exclusively using cell phones? I'm not too worried about what the government will hear on my phone, but I would like to do something that punishes the phone companies I use who participate.

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 12:55 PM
So switching to Vonage wont work? Maybe just exclusively using cell phones? I'm not too worried about what the government will hear on my phone, but I would like to do something that punishes the phone companies I use who participate.

Right now, the whole premise of a phone call depends on the public SS7 network. Cell phone calls and VoIP calls eventually make their way to the PSTN in some way...

As far as punishing the phone companies, don't kid yourself. There's not one thing to be done that could hurt companies this size, especially when they're going to get protection from the federal government no questions asked. And I've yet to see anything to suggest that the phone companies had a CHOICE in handing over some of this stuff. We have no idea what BushCo demanded of them...

Taco John
05-15-2006, 12:56 PM
Phone companies can fight unlawful demands, cant' they? I hesitate to feel too much sympathy for the decisionmakers...

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 01:01 PM
Phone companies can fight unlawful demands, cant' they? I hesitate to feel too much sympathy for the decisionmakers...

If the demands are, by definition, unlawful, what recourse do they have? The law?

I'm not suggesting sympathy. I'm suggesting directing focus on the SOURCE of the problem.

Taco John
05-15-2006, 01:05 PM
If the demands are, by definition, unlawful, what recourse do they have? The law?


There are three branches of government for a reason... Not to mention the media.

They'd be getting looked at a lot more favorably right now had they gone in that direction.

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 01:09 PM
There are three branches of government for a reason... Not to mention the media.

They'd be getting looked at a lot more favorably right now had they gone in that direction.

Certainly. But in the end, all it does is provide positive PR. It doesn't provide financial benefit, and could ultimately hurt them when dealing with the government in future endeavors.

the Talking Can
05-15-2006, 01:13 PM
If the demands are, by definition, unlawful, what recourse do they have? The law?


that's the most concise statement of the danger facing this country as a result of this administration's actions...

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 02:05 PM
that's the most concise statement of the danger facing this country as a result of this administration's actions...

Yep. A blatant disregard for the constitution, Congress, the law, or anything else that gets in the way of their agenda...

Taco John
05-15-2006, 02:14 PM
Yep. A blatant disregard for the constitution, Congress, the law, or anything else that gets in the way of their agenda...



I'm suprised at you. At one time, I had you pegged as a Bush bot...

htismaqe
05-15-2006, 03:01 PM
I'm suprised at you. At one time, I had you pegged as a Bush bot...

I'm a conservative fiscally. However, I'm a strong advocate of states rights and small government, 2 things that Bush obviously has problems with...

Chiefs Express II
05-15-2006, 04:30 PM
It doesn't make it right.

Nor, according to the supreme court, does it make it wrong.

Taco John
05-15-2006, 04:32 PM
In that case, I don't want to hear you complaining about Eminent Domain...

jAZ
05-15-2006, 04:38 PM
In that case, I don't want to hear you complaining about Eminent Domain...
http://www.owned.com/Owned_Pictures/nutskickowned.jpg

Chiefs Express II
05-15-2006, 05:31 PM
In that case, I don't want to hear you complaining about Eminent Domain...

Apples and oranges you simpleton.

Taco John
05-15-2006, 05:32 PM
Apples and oranges you simpleton.


Not at all.

penchief
05-15-2006, 05:36 PM
Sorry Taco, you fail again.

This is not wiretapping, it's monitoring phone calls searching for a pattern, if there is a pattern then they use FISA or other laws to tap.

Did you just say they use FISA?

Heh.... now I know you're a liberal just being idiotic for your own amusement.

Chiefs Express II
05-15-2006, 05:45 PM
Did you just say they use FISA?

Heh.... now I know you're a liberal just being idiotic for your own amusement.

It is obvious that you cannot read. Try it again. When called for they will use FISA, the other laws have been inplace for sometime and the president has the authority to do what he has done.

You are all basing your comments on continued wiretaps. When did they start and when did they stop? Care to venture a guess?

penchief
05-15-2006, 06:27 PM
It is obvious that you cannot read. Try it again. When called for they will use FISA, the other laws have been inplace for sometime and the president has the authority to do what he has done.

You are all basing your comments on continued wiretaps. When did they start and when did they stop? Care to venture a guess?

ROFL

Chiefs Express II
05-15-2006, 06:53 PM
idiot laugh

It's too bad that you are truly incapable understanding the law as interpeted by the Supreme Court, that is unless it benefits your belief.

penchief
05-15-2006, 06:57 PM
It's too bad that you are truly incapable understanding the law as interpeted by the Supreme Court, that is unless it benefits your belief.

It's truly too bad that you continue to trust an administration that has proven itself completely untrustworthy, ...........repeatedly.

You nor I know exactly what the bottom line in this particular case will ultimately be, however, it is unmistakable that a clear pattern of dishonesty and manipulation has been established by this administration.

Heh, I can't believe you got me to play along since we're both on the same side (wink, nod).

Chiefs Express II
05-15-2006, 06:59 PM
It's truly too bad that you continue to trust an administration that has proven itself completely untrustworthy, ...........repeatedly.

You nor I know exactly what the bottom line in this particular case will ultimately be, however, it is unmistakable that a clear pattern of dishonesty and manipulation has been established by this administration.

Heh, I can't believe you got me to play along since we're both on the same side (wink, nod).

You are deluded.

penchief
05-15-2006, 07:00 PM
You are deluded.

ROFL

the Talking Can
05-15-2006, 07:02 PM
It is obvious that you cannot read. Try it again. When called for they will use FISA, the other laws have been inplace for sometime and the president has the authority to do what he has done.

You are all basing your comments on continued wiretaps. When did they start and when did they stop? Care to venture a guess?

smells like Kotter-style stupidity....err, its tom cash, the douche bag....

Chiefs Express II
05-15-2006, 07:03 PM
smells like Kotter-style stupidity....what's up Kotter? stalked anyone lately?

You are delusional. They have doctors that can help people like you.