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Good for the appeals court…….these type laws do violate the Constitution, particularly the 4th amendment and the Constitution gives NO exception for the 4th amendment……terrorism or no terrorism , you MUST have a warrant based on probable cause according to the 4th amendment.

Appeals Court Revives Lawsuit Challenging NSA Surveillance of Americans

It’s easy to forget these days, but former President George W. Bush’s illegal warrantless surveillance program was never halted by Congress, nor by the Obama administration. It was merely legalized in a 2008 law called the FISA Amendments Act. That means the surveillance of Americans’ international phone calls and internet use — complete with secret rooms in AT&T data centers around the country — is likely still ongoing.

On Monday, a federal appeals court reinstated a key legal challenge to that surveillance: a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and others within hours of the FISA Amendments Act (.pdf) being signed into law. The lawsuit attacks the constitutionality of the legislation, which allows the government to electronically eavesdrop on Americans without a probable-cause warrant, so long as one of the parties to the communication resides outside the United States, and is suspected of a link to terrorism.

The decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means the ACLU, and other rights groups involved in the suit, might get their day in court. “This is a really big victory,” said ACLU spokeswoman Rachel Myers. “The ruling is that you don’t have to prove you’ve been spied on to challenge an unlawful spy act.”

The “secret room” in AT&T’s Folsom Street office in San Francisco is believed to be one of several internet wiretapping facilities at AT&T offices around the country feeding data to the NSA. (Photo: Mark Klein)

A lower court had ruled the ACLU, Amnesty International, Global Fund for Women, Global Rights, Human Rights Watch, International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association, The Nation magazine, PEN American Center, Service Employees International Union and other plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the case, because they could not demonstrate that they were subject to the eavesdropping.

The groups appealed, arguing that they often work with overseas dissidents who might be targets of the National Security Agency program. Instead of speaking with those people on the phone or through e-mails, the groups asserted that they have had to make expensive overseas trips in a bid to maintain attorney-client confidentiality.

The plaintiffs, some of them journalists, also claim the 2008 legislation chills their speech, and violates their Fourth Amendment privacy rights.

Without ruling on the merits of the case, the appeals court on Monday agreed with the plaintiffs that they have ample reason to fear the surveillance program, and thus have legal standing to pursue their claim.


GOP lawmakers threaten to repeal Net neutrality

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These liberals and progressives are wasting their last days in office, because the Republicans coming into office in January can undo most of their crap and will.

GOP lawmakers threaten to repeal Net neutrality

Less than an hour after the Federal Communications Commission approved net neutrality rules, Republican lawmakers began staking their claim in the next potential leg of the debate: repeal.

The first calls to roll back the FCC’s new net neutrality order came Tuesday from the House’s most senior Republicans: House GOP Leader John Boehner of Ohio and Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia, as well as the incoming leaders of the chamber’s top tech and telecom committees.

The members each threatened to limit the agency’s funds or restrict its jurisdiction in the aftermath of the FCC’s vote, with Boehner proclaiming the “new House majority will work to reverse this unnecessary and harmful federal government power grab next year.”

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), soon-to-be chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, later elaborated to reporters Tuesday afternoon that he plans to bring all five commissioners before the panel to discuss net neutrality at “the first hearing out of the box” next year. He even signaled the possibility that Republicans may pursue repeal through the Congressional Review Act — an avenue that allows members to reject agency rules without threat of filibuster, provided they can secure a majority support against net neutrality.

Joining Upton’s calls for strict scrutiny and eventual repeal were Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). Walden, who will soon lead the House’s top tech subcommittee, stressed the need to rebuff any FCC “power grab that’d allow the commission to regulate” other areas of broadband. Blackburn also floated the possibility of blocking agency funds for use on net neutrality, adding: “You will see activism on each of these levels.”

Congressional furor follows Tuesday’s 3-2, party-line vote on Genachowski’s plan to adopt basic net neutrality protections for broadband networks. The order will prohibit Internet service providers such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from blocking access to lawful content and websites. It also prohibits traditional wired broadband providers from unreasonably discriminating against any traffic, though there will be no similar rule in place for wireless providers.

Following the vote, the chairman said he was ready to take on any criticism.

“We adopted today a strong and balanced order that has widespread support and that focuses on the importance of Internet freedom,” he said. “It’s a strong and balanced order and I look forward to speaking about it with anyone who is interested.”


Jim DeMint vows to reverse FCC’s ‘Internet takeover’


Let’s hope there is something Jim DeMint can do to reverse this, because these FCC chairmans are appointed by the President (in this case Obama, of course), so we need a new president in 2012 so we can get a new FCC chairman appointed. While your reading this article remember that an Appeals Court in April 2010 ruled that  the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to force Internet service providers to keep their networks open to all forms of content.

In the hopes of taking away our freedoms, the internationalists at the United Nations have now joined the Obama administration, and the liberal left Democrat commissioners at the FCC, in an attempt to complete their plan to regulate the Internet.

The U.N. claims that their response is to protect member governments, including the United States, because of the breach of the Internet by companies like WikiLeaks. Ultimately, however, that is not the true reason for this move. The control over the Internet that is being sought is to add another notch in the plan to silence all dissenting voices, to eliminate the opposition, and stop conservative news outlets on the Internet from increasingly undermining government attempts to control the news through sympathetic mainstream media outlets.

Freedom is at stake, and the collapse of the American model of liberty is the end game attempt.

Prelude to dictatorship: next they’re coming after your access to the internet

DeMint vows to reverse FCC’s ‘Internet takeover’

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC, says Federal Communications Commission should be renamed the “Fabricating a Crisis Commission,” following a vote by the panel’s three Democrats to approve proposed rules that amount to a hostile takeover of the Internet by a government agency acting illegally.

The proposal – misleadingly described by proponents as an attempt to insure “net neutrality” by guaranteeing equal access to the Internet – was introduced a year ago by Julius Genachowski, President Obama’s appointee as FCC chairman.

A federal court has ruled that the commission has no authority to regulate the Internet, and a bipartisan group of senators and representives warned Genechowski not to attempt to impose a regulatory regime on the Internet earlier this year.

The move’s legality was even questioned by FCC Commissioner Michael Copp, one of the Democrats who voted today with Genachowski, saying he considered voting against the proposal because it lacks a sufficiently defensible legal basis to survive a court challenge promised by major Internet Service Providers like Verizon, Microsoft, and AT & T.(Maybe because of the referred reference to the Appeals Court ruling in April 2010)

But legal challenges by industry are likely to be much less of a problem for the Genachowski-led takeover than efforts in Congress to stop the FCC in its tracks.

That’s clearly what DeMint has in mind, as he said in his statement released today following the FCC action:

“The Obama Administration has ignored evidence that this federal takeover will hang a millstone of regulatory and legal uncertainty around the neck of a vibrant sector of our economy.

“Proceeding on its own liberal whims rather than facts, this FCC has chosen to grant itself broad authority to limit how businesses can bring the internet to consumers in faster and more innovative ways.

“Americans loudly demanded a more limited federal government this November, but the Obama Administration has dedicated itself to expanding centralized government planning. Today, unelected bureaucrats rammed through an internet takeover, even after Congress and courts warned them not to.

“To keep the internet economy thriving, this decision must be reversed. Regulatory reform will be a top priority for Republicans in the next Congress, and I intend to prevent the FCC or any government agency from unilaterally burdening our recovering economy with baseless regulation.

“In order to provide the stability businesses need to grow, I will work with my fellow senators to see passage of my FCC Act, which would ensure that the FCC can only use its rulemaking powers where there is clear evidence of a harmful market failure, as well as the REINS Act, which would add the accountability of a Congressional vote before any government agency’s proposed major regulations may be finalized.”

If the FCC plan somehow manages to survive, it will almost certainly do for First Amendment liberties and the Internet what it did for them in regulating broadcast television and radio. Former CBS News president Fred Friendly’s landmark book, “The Good Guys, the Bad Guys and the First Amendment,” describes in great detail how the Kennedy and Johnson administrations used the FCC to silence conservative critics.

Washington Examiner:

Google-Verizon Deal: The End of The Internet as We Know It

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Well here it goes again……..the attempt to shut down internet blogs like this one and turn it over to government regulated speech. Internet 2.0

Google-Verizon Deal: The End of The Internet as We Know It

For years, Internet advocates have warned of the doomsday scenario that will play out on Monday: Google and Verizon will announce a deal that the New York Times reports “could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.”

The deal marks the beginning of the end of the Internet as you know it. Since its beginnings, the Net was a level playing field that allowed all content to move at the same speed, whether it’s ABC News or your uncle’s video blog. That’s all about to change, and the result couldn’t be more bleak for the future of the Internet, for television, radio and independent voices.

How did this happen? We have a Federal Communications Commission that has been denied authority by the courts to police the activities of Internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast. All because of a bad decision by the Bush-era FCC. We have a pro-industry FCC Chairman who is terrified of making a decision, conducting back room dealmaking, and willing to sit on his hands rather than reassert his agency’s authority. We have a president who promised to “take a back seat to no one on Net Neutrality” yet remains silent. We have a congress that is nearly completely captured by industry. Yes, more than half of the US congress will do pretty much whatever the phone and cable companies ask them to. Add the clout of Google, and you have near-complete control of Capitol Hill.

A non-neutral Internet means that companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and Google can turn the Net into cable TV and pick winners and losers online. A problem just for Internet geeks? You wish. All video, radio, phone and other services will soon be delivered through an Internet connection. Ending Net Neutrality would end the revolutionary potential that any website can act as a television or radio network. It would spell the end of our opportunity to wrest access and distribution of media content away from the handful of massive media corporations that currently control the television and radio dial.

So the Google-Verizon deal can be summed up as this: “FCC, you have no authority over us and you’re not going to do anything about it. Congress, we own you, and we’ll get whatever legislation we want. And American people, you can’t stop us.

This Google-Verizon deal, this industry-captured FCC, and the way this is playing out is akin to the largest banks and the largest hedge funds writing the regulatory policy on derivative trading without any oversight or input from the public, and having it rubber stamped by the SEC. It’s like BP and Halliburton ironing out the rules for offshore oil drilling with no public input, and having MMS sign off.

Fortunately, while they are outnumbered, there are several powerful Net Neutrality champions on Capitol Hill, like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Henry Waxman, Jay Rockefeller, Ed Markey, Jay Inslee and many others. But they will not be able to turn this tide unless they have massive, visible support from every American who uses the Internet — whether it’s for news, email, shopping, Facebook, Twitter — whatever. So stop what you’re doing and tell them you’re not letting the Internet go the way of Big Oil and Big Banks. The future of the Internet, and your access to information depends on it.

Huffington Post

Democrats to American Business~Sit Down and Shut Up or Else

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Henry Waxman and Dems say to American businesses… dare you say our deficit reducing bill will cost you money. If after this, these businesses back peddle then we’ll know they were threatened behind closed doors. Which will be no surprise, just look at what the CBO did after summoned to Obama’s office….since then all of their reports were favorable for health care. Prior to that they weren’t. Or Dennis Kucinich and Bart Stupak swore they weren’t going to vote for health care, then miraculously they did.

AT&T, Deere CEOs Called by Waxman to Back Up Health-Bill Costs

Representative Henry Waxman called the chief executive officers of AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Caterpillar Inc. and Deere & Co. to provide evidence to support costs the companies plan to book related to the new health-care law.

“The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern,” ( yeah I’ll bet about as much concern as to vote this monstrosity in against the public opposition by the majority was a concern to them) Waxman and Stupak, both Democrats, wrote in the letters yesterday. “They also appear to conflict with independent analyses.”

Dallas-based AT&T said in a regulatory filing yesterday it would record $1 billion of costs, the most of any U.S. company so far.

AT&T previously received a tax-free benefit from the government to subsidize health-care costs for retirees. Under the new bill, AT&T will no longer be able to deduct that subsidy.

Tax Burden

“As a result of this legislation, including the additional tax burden, AT&T will be evaluating prospective changes to the active and retiree health-care benefits offered by the company,” the carrier said in the filing.

New York-based Verizon, the second-largest U.S. phone company, told employees in a note shortly after the law was signed that the tax will make a drug subsidy less valuable to employers like Verizon and so “may have significant implications for both retirees and employers.”

Moline, Illinois-based Deere, the world’s largest maker of farm machinery, said on March 25 that the new health-care law would increase its expenses by $150 million this fiscal year.

Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of bulldozers and excavators, expects to record a charge of about $100 million in the first quarter of 2010, reflecting new tax liabilities on retiree drug benefits.

No Charge at GE

General Electric Co., the world’s biggest maker of jet engines, power-plant turbines and locomotives, said today it doesn’t anticipate taking a charge tied to the health-care law. (No surprise here if you know this…..General Electric: Obama’s Halliburton?)

GE, of Fairfield, Connecticut, doesn’t see any “material effect” from the law, spokeswoman Anne Eisele said today.