Dr. C. Scott Ananian (cananian) wrote,
Dr. C. Scott Ananian

Feds violating constitutional rights of innocents, ignoring incriminatory info on terrorists.

As if I didn't have personal experience with the Fed's disregard for constitutionally-protected activity --- now it turns out that they spend more effort chasing people like me than real bonafide terrorists. What's more, they're apparently in the habit of "accidentally" violating innocents' constitutional rights to be safe from un-warranted search and seizure.

More detail: the first link is to a memo by an FBI whistle-blower detailing how severely the agency dropped the ball on the Moussaoui case, and how FBI Director Robert Mueller repeatedly made statements he knew to be false in order to "circle the wagons" around the FBI and protect himself. The second is to an EPIC press release talked about a memo obtained under the Freedom of Information Act which reveals that the FBI's "Carnivore" email-tapping system has been seriously malfunctioning, in effect wiretapping the conversations of many many innocent people. There's a general press account of this, too. The only item to the agency's credit here, is that the agent responsible for setting up Carnivore apparently properly destroyed the evidence unlawfully collected. However, discussion on Slashdot centers around pair of sentences in the SFGate article: "A Justice Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday night that the e-mails were not destroyed. The official did not elaborate or try to reconcile the statement with the memo." Apparently there is agency procedure is to seal, rather than destroy, such evidence, so as to "troubleshoot the software", and the "deleted" files might have been recovered from the hard disk for this purpose --- but this action is illegal! Not heartening.

What to do in the face of this screwed-up world? Here at least I have a glimmer of hope: this essay solidified my resolve to Do What Vaclav Havel Would Do. It's a good life motto.


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