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Retroactive Telco Immunity Opponents Buying TV Ad 291

Posted by kdawson
from the elvis-has-left-the-building-and-is-definitely-not-watching-tv dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Whether they're mad at the Republicans for creating the mess, the Democrats for caving in, or both, many are still pissed off over the grant of retroactive immunity for spying on American citizens for no reason. And now some of them are trying to do something about it — they're buying an advertisement on cable TV. While it's not entirely clear what good, if any, this will do given that it's too late, at least it's cheap to participate — they're looking for $6 donations. The ideas is that, if more grass-roots groups do this kind of thing, their 'representatives' won't be able to afford to blow them off as easily."
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Retroactive Telco Immunity Opponents Buying TV Ad

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  • A TV ad? (Score:5, Funny)

    by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @08:22AM (#24383007) Homepage Journal
    A TV ad?
    Blarney: mad.
    One does just fine
    With simple sign.
    Burma Shave
  • by Ender_Stonebender (60900) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @08:29AM (#24383087) Homepage Journal

    The link is to a Wired blog. The direct link is http://getfisaright.net/promote [getfisaright.net]. And they're not asking for donations of $6, they're asking people to pay to run the ad - which might be $6, or could be a lot more, depending on the market and time of day. I think it would be a lot more efficient if they set up a fund to accept donations and ran the campaign from there.

    Apparently they know how to get FISA right, but not how to get their advertising campaign right.

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @08:57AM (#24383351) Homepage

      And too bad the ad is incredibly forgettable and badly done. Most people will not even pay attention to it.

      It's a waste of time to put that on the air, the money is better spent elsewhere... Like paying to get a real in your face ad made, they need to not hold any punches, they need to be blunt.

      • I'm at work, where the site hosting the actual video is blocked. Otherwise I probably would have commented on that as well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tom (822)

      Or maybe they do. For one, this gives you a lot more "connection" to the campaign if you can point to the screen and say "that is my ad" instead of "I made a small donation to the people who run the fund that bought this ad".

      Two, politically, it's also an interesting move, because it puts actual people behind the ad campaign instead of some anonymous organisation. We will know when we see the PR in the mainstream press. If they play their cards right, the mainstream media might well write "thousands of peop

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        That's a good point - but what wasn't mentioned in the TFS was that the cost of the ads (as mentioned in the Wired blog) goes up to almost $2000. How many people are going to pay that kind of money to get this ad on the air? And that was for a spot on CNN (between 6PM and midnight - how much you want to be it gets shown closer to midnight?), not during American Idle* or some other popular show - which would probably cost much more, as well as being much more effective.

        Maybe they could go both routes - hav

  • by BitterOldGUy (1330491) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @08:31AM (#24383109)
    The only folks who are going to sue are those American hating liberals that are against freedom! Those stupid freedom hating liberals are always hiding behind the Bill of Rights and always trying to undermine our fight for freedom against the Terrorists and Muslims. Why, if you're doing nothing wrong, then you have nothing to worry about.

    These liberals are just using this as an excuse to keep the loophole in the law so that they can accuse the Government of spying (yet another conspiracy theory!) and get rich! That's why all of the liberal leaning states are the wealthiest in the country - they sue innocent corporations! That's why the Trial Lawyers support the Liberal Democrats! They're trying to destroy our Republic, Capitalism, and the American way!

    Then, they have the stupidity to try to ban our guns! They use the "Civil Liberties" as a screen but when it comes to the freedom to bare arms, do they fight for that? Nooooooo! We should put the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights! Then those Liberals will fight for it!

    Sincerely,

    Average American who is educated by TV and Radio.

  • Bad Ad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wild_quinine (998562) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @08:33AM (#24383125) Homepage
    I've watched the Ad referenced in TFA, and frankly it's not very good. The 'pay to get your political ad on tv' is also not some kind of new initiative driven by the getFISAright crew, either. They've just bought into a political ad networking scheme set up at SaysMe.TV

    Frankly it's hard to call this news in any sense, when it can just as easily be summarised as 'Another bad home-made political advert added to a pay-to-play-on-TV youtube.'

    These are important issues folks, but let's not wet our pants every time someone mentions wiretapping.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @08:44AM (#24383231)

    and then throw them out again.

    Never vote for an incumbant again, at least
    for another 3 election cycles.

    I don't care, throw them out. You think you
    have a 'good guy' in congress? You're wrong.
    Throw them out.

    All of them. /that/ is the fix for so called special interest lobbies. Take away their power.

    That is the only fix.

    Better that the government never get anything
    else done.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by erroneus (253617)

      The real fix is to separate politicians from money. Give them and their family a "free ride for life" if that's what it takes and we'll STILL save money. Prevent them from ever being a corporate leader and stop the revolving doors from spinning. Prevent them from accepting ANY money at all and they cannot be bribed as easily. Then they can focus on voting their conscience and ideals, whatever they may be, because they will be "above" money.

      Doing something like that will find the welfare of the nation as

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Opportunist (166417)

        The real fix is to liberate politicians from the need to bow to corporations to sponsor their elections, simple as that. Even if you give the politician a "free ride" once he's in, how did he get in if he didn't accept brib... I mean, campaign contributions from companies?

        I prefer our model. Our politicians and parties get tax money for their campaign. That's right, you heard me, tax money. You get at least 2% of your voters to vote for you and you're eligible for campaign money. WE pay our politicians to l

  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @08:49AM (#24383271)

    "Whether they're mad at the Republicans for creating the mess, the Democrats for caving in...

    The 110th Congress Composition: 282 Democrats - 274 Republicans - 2 Independents. So please tell me how Republicans created this mess?

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      You must be new here.
      • You must be new here.

        I have no idea what this means, but my number is lower than yours...see I'm not new here, I just don't understand most of the stupid memes ;-)

    • by CauseWithoutARebel (1312969) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @09:08AM (#24383451) Journal

      Aside from the fact that it was a republican administration that initiated the illegal program, four senior republican lawmakers who attempted to expand it with the "Terrorist Surveillance Act (2006)" and a senior republican (Specter R-PA) who introduced immunity, I can completely see how it wasn't the republicans who created the wiretapping and immunity mess...

      • by CauseWithoutARebel (1312969) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @09:20AM (#24383601) Journal

        Not to mention the fact that the program was divulged in 2005, and was active well before that, and that the current congress wasn't seated until January, 2007...

      • Ok, that I can concede...the creation of the mess lies in the hands of Republicans. However, the SANCTIONING of said mess lies fully in the hands of the Congress, who created and approved this bill. So I stand by my assertion that the article summary is biased. Such inclusion just cheapens an otherwise decent argument. It's funny how slashdot threads are often better stated than the slashdot articles. Maybe slashdot should get some new editors.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AndersOSU (873247)

      While the democrats are certainly not blameless (especially Pelosi and Reed) you might notice that only one republican congress person (Johnson R-IL) and not a single republican senator voted against this bill.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      You'd make a great lawyer or politician... ignoring the facts that are inconvenient to you.

      "This mess" wasn't created fully formed YESTERDAY.

      Republicans were only recently unseated out of BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS.

      They had is majority in both houses of congress during two terms of a republican president.

      Yeah, the Dems surely could have done more with their newly won majorities.

      However, let's not LIE about who had full posession of the ball before this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kingrames (858416)

      Show us the percentage of republicans who voted for and against and the percentage of democrats, and point out the democrats who are only democrat in name, like Pelosi.

    • by barzok (26681)

      Congress doesn't actually write most laws from scratch, especially laws like this. They're given a nontrivial amount of prodding, assistance, etc. by the corporate sponsors.

    • by sm62704 (957197)

      Sponsor: [loc.gov] Rep Reyes, Silvestre [TX-16] Democrat [wikipedia.org] Cosponsors Rep Hoekstra, Peter [MI-2] Republican [wikipedia.org] Rep Smith, Lamar Republican [wikipedia.org]

      The sponsor is a Democrat, the cosponsors are Republicans. Both wings of the Corporate Party are behind this dastardly abomination.

      This Presidential election, vote Barr, McKinney, or Baldwin [wikipedia.org]. Unless, of course, you want your corporate overlords to keep taking your rights and ecology away.

  • If SaysMe TV does work, all of us who are pissed at the direction things have taken the past 8+ years should remember it and use it in the future. I am very angry about FISA, and intend to punish those of my congresspeople who voted for it. Sadly, I don't think SaysMeTV will help us in this fight. Still, it's a great tool if it works.

    • by mitgib (1156957)

      I agree, and my money will be spent to fund competitors to Rep Spratt (D-SC) who voted for the FISA bill, and to get John McCains sock puppet Lindsey Graham (R-SC) out of office as well.

      If it actually made sense, I'd go for Brewsters theory of None of the Above, but alas whoever is not a Dem or Republican is probably the right choice this time as the two mainstream parties need to have a timeout in the corner and remember what their job truly is

  • I'm not paying. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jellomizer (103300)

    I'm not gonna pay. It is not because I liked or agreed with the wiretapping. However I support the Immunity. In general going against the Immunity is saying I hate big companies because they have more money then I do. Having them fined or jailed will do nothing positive. If you fine them you pay the fine as it will increase costs. If you put the guys in jail you pay to put someone who isn't a threat to society, and pay to keep him there. This case took a while and didn't get marked illegal 100% there was

    • Re:I'm not paying. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @09:19AM (#24383587)

      It's not about punishing TelCos. It's about the Discovery Phase of such a trial. In the discovery phase we'd find out about who they tapped and what they listened to. That's important because knowing this admin, it's perfectly reasonable to suspect it possible that they might be lying when they said "we only tapped the phones of folks who spoke to overseas terror suspects."

      Maybe. Just MAYBE, they listened to a few more people who weren't speaking to terror suspects. Maybe they even listened to purely domestic calls. Honestly the actions of this admin sound a heck of a lot like what Nixon was forced to resign over.

      With the immunity in this bill, any lawsuit against TelCos is thrown out even beofre the discovery phase.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574) *

      In general going against the Immunity is saying I hate big companies because they have more money then I do.

      Bullshit. It's saying that you support upholding of the law. No one gets to break the law just because someone says it's ok.

      Having them fined or jailed will do nothing positive.

      No more or less positive than punishing anyone else who breaks the law. They broke the law, so let them be punished.

  • I'm done with party politics. The leadership of both political parties have shown that they are willing to trade the legal principals of our founding fathers for short-term political gain. The parties have acted to retain their own power and authority at the expense of our Bill of Rights. This is simply unacceptable.

    But the solution cannot be found in insular political organization. That is, organized liberals cannot fix this. Nor can organized conservatives. The only solution here is for the population of liberals and conservatives to realize they have a greater sense of purpose by opposing the GOP/DNC lock on national politics. Political enemies must become friends in order to oust the real enemy of freedom. And they have a lock on all the power the state can muster.

    I sadly believe that our republic has already fallen, and the "great experiment" is now over.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      There have been shifts before. When the Republican Party formed and grew, the Whig Party numbers declined, like rats fleeing a sinking ship. If another party formed with a strong popular base, there would likely be a tipping point where its growth would be unstoppable. Given the decline in strong support for both parties, a new party starting and gaining ground doesn't seem entirely impossible to me. The Green and Libertarian Parties don't quite have it right, but maybe something like them.

      I won't argu
  • The last thing these people (should) want is to bring this issue into the consciousness of the general public. And I hardly doubt companies like AT and T and their clones need donations. At best the call for donations is a sleazy publicity stunt. At worst it shows how cheap and money grubbing they are.

  • Accuracy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vvaduva (859950)
    "many are still pissed off over the grant of retroactive immunity for spying on American citizens for no reason." 1. I don't think they are spying "for no reason" 2. They are intercepting calls made to/from a foreign country. If you want sympathy for the cause, make sure you describe the issue accurately.
  • by prisoner-of-enigma (535770) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @09:06AM (#24383431) Homepage

    immunity for spying on American citizens for no reason.

    It is neither "spying on American citizens" nor "for no reason." It's pathetic that you've got to make it sound like something more sinister than it is in order to try and scare people to your side of the fence on the issue. If Microsoft had written that article summary, people would be screaming "FUD!"

    The truth of the matter is conversations originating overseas from known or suspected terrorist organizations to their contacts in the U.S. may be monitored. Your chats with Grandma about what to get little Jimmy for his birthday are of no interest to anyone and cannot be legally intercepted without a warrant. Trying to find out what next big operation terrorists are planning against us ought to be everybody's interest, and perhaps it would be if most Democrat weren't afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    • by silentcoder (1241496) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @09:15AM (#24383529) Homepage

      You are aware are you not that the risk of an American being killed by a terrorist is just about the lowest of all the things likely to kill one right ? Cars kill the most, ciggarettes and burger king are pretty high on the list, PLANE CRASHES are higher than terrorists ... heck SUICIDE is a higher risk.

      You American's kill more of each other every year than the terrorists can pull of combined ! You kill yourselves more often than they have managed to do !

      If I were you, I would stop worrying about a few people whom you think is fighting a religious war (they are not, suicide missions occur in all wars and all religions, you yourselves send your spies out on missions with arsenic pills in their pockets, the Japanese fought you with suicide pilots - and they were of two religions, neither of which promised any reward for it - the 'muslim extremisms' thing is a great big lie which THEY love to tell as much as your leaders love to repeat it) and worry a little more about why it seems that you cannot stop blowing peoples brains out (note: I said nothing about owning guns, I'm in FAVOUR of gun-ownership, for a reasonable value of 'gun' at least - I am talking about what you DO with them, I'm sure if we banned guns you would just end up killing each other with knives so it's probably a different problem altogether).

      Short version: Terrorist won't do anything to you. Other American's are about 500 times more likely to kill you... or maybe that is WHY you are happy to defend the government listening on your neighbours' phone calls without so much as a judicial review ? It's just easier to pretend you fear terrorists than admit you fear the guy next door ? Especially if he has a darker skin than yours ?

      • by vrmlguy (120854)

        It's just easier to pretend you fear terrorists than admit you fear the guy next door ? Especially if he has a darker skin than yours ?

        Hey! My skin's darker than my neighbors, you insensitive clod!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556) *

        suicide missions occur in all wars and all religions, you yourselves send your spies out on missions with arsenic pills in their pockets, the Japanese fought you with suicide pilots - and they were of two religions, neither of which promised any reward for it

        There's a bit of a difference between the operative who takes a suicide pill with him to avoid capture and the kamikaze pilot or suicide bomber that sets out knowing he will die. I don't think you'll find many examples in Western Civilization of purposeful suicide missions. Heck, one of our operatives [wikipedia.org] who was shot down during the Cold War declined to take his suicide pill.

        and they were of two religions, neither of which promised any reward for it

        Do you know what kamikaze translates as? It literally means "god wind" (though commonly translated as "divine wind"). The kamikaze pi

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      ...well then: IF ALL SURVELLIANCE that went on was on the up and up then the Telcos have nothing to worry about.

      We have transparency in governance in democracies for a reason. If there
      is no reason for shame then we can lay everything out in the open. If
      there are genuine national security concerns, we can proceed with the
      process of the courts and legislature accomodating for that too.

      There's no good excuse for violating our own most fundemental rules,
      and our own most fundemental principles.

      No one is above th

    • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @09:25AM (#24383741)

      The truth of the matter is conversations originating overseas from known or suspected terrorist organizations to their contacts in the U.S. may be monitored. Your chats with Grandma about what to get little Jimmy for his birthday are of no interest to anyone and cannot be legally intercepted without a warrant.

      The "conversations originating overseas" were illegal to monitor too! If they're going to break the fucking law to do that, then nothing stops them from doing exactly the same to Grandma and little Jimmy.

      You're essentially saying, "they broke the law, but that's okay because they wouldn't break the law" which is just fucking stupid.

      Trying to find out what next big operation terrorists are planning against us ought to be everybody's interest

      No, it shouldn't! Statistically, I'm as likely to be struck by lightning as I am to be killed by a terrorist. And I'm vastly more likely to die in a car wreck, or by slipping in the shower, or doing any number of other things that everybody does every day without particularly worrying about it. So no, this hysterical, cowardly obsession with the terrorist boogeymen should not be in everybody's fucking interest!

      I'm more scared of the Bush administration than I am of the terrorists. By a wide margin.

    • by vrmlguy (120854)

      The truth of the matter is conversations originating overseas from known or suspected terrorist organizations to their contacts in the U.S. may be monitored. Your chats with Grandma about what to get little Jimmy for his birthday are of no interest to anyone and cannot be legally intercepted without a warrant. Trying to find out what next big operation terrorists are planning against us ought to be everybody's interest, and perhaps it would be if most Democrat weren't afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome.

      Any conversation with anyone outside the US can be intercepted, not just the ones that originate overseas or are from known or suspected terrorist organizations. If Grandma is in London, England, or even London, Ontario, the conversation can now be legally listened to. Also, the FISA courts were set up as a rubber stamp. IIRC, there's a special room at the NSA where a federal judge does nothing but grant warrants for FISA wiretaps. The whole process takes about five minutes, and the warrant was retroact

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ArcherB (796902)

        Any conversation with anyone outside the US can be intercepted, not just the ones that originate overseas or are from known or suspected terrorist organizations. If Grandma is in London, England, or even London, Ontario, the conversation can now be legally listened to. Also, the FISA courts were set up as a rubber stamp. IIRC, there's a special room at the NSA where a federal judge does nothing but grant warrants for FISA wiretaps. The whole process takes about five minutes, and the warrant was retroactive for a few days so that nothing important would be missed. The current administration felt that this was too restrictive, so they just stopped following the law.

        With disposable phones so prevalent now, how do you know which call to listen in on? This is why the gov't can't get a warrant. If you think about how it works, you will understand. Take this hypothetical:

        A call comes in from Pakistan from an unknown number. It's a disposable cell phone in the northern "tribal" region to a disposable phone in Washington DC. Another call comes in from London to the same number. Another call comes in from Iran to that number. How do you know if it's tap-worthy? There'

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ravnous (301936)

      If some government official came up to me and told me they were investigating a suspected terrorist and they needed such and such help from me, I'd assume it was a legit request and comply. I'd also assume that the government was the one who would assume the consequences if the request was not valid and I did something I wasn't supposed to do. If it was Joe Blow coming to me and asking me to allow him to wiretap someone, that's different. A government official comes to your door with credentials of authorit

    • by compro01 (777531)

      The truth of the matter is conversations originating overseas from known or suspected terrorist organizations to their contacts in the U.S. may be monitored.

      "We'd never monitor domestic calls. Take our word for it."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574) *

      Trying to find out what next big operation terrorists are planning against us ought to be everybody's interest, and perhaps it would be if most Democrat weren't afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome.

      Or, y'know, those of us who believe in due process. We don't throw our principles out when dealing with our enemies... otherwise they mean nothing.

  • Before I even looked at the /. comments, I clicked through to the Wired article, found the link to saysme.tv, and tried to buy an ad. However, I live in St. Louis, and was very disappointed to see that they don't yet support my area, nor any nearby cites up to and including Chicago and Memphis.

    Of course, I'm not a cable subscriber, I watch satellite TV. Anyone know if/when DirectTV and DishNetwork will be supported?

    Also, while some areas are cheap, some are expensive. I expect that satellite TV will also

  • Correction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by crmarvin42 (652893) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @09:25AM (#24383735)

    many are still pissed off over the grant of retroactive immunity for spying on American citizens for no reason

    many are still pissed off over the grant of retroactive immunity for spying on American citizens for no good reason

    Their was a reason for the spying. You may think it was good, most Slashdot members appear to believe that it was not a good reason, but a reason was given (after the fact). That reason being, they were spying on international calls believed to be involved in terrorism.

    I'm not defending the ISP's or the Government, but the original post is misleading IMO.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ArcherB (796902)

      many are still pissed off over the grant of retroactive immunity for spying on American citizens for no reason

      many are still pissed off over the grant of retroactive immunity for spying on American citizens for no good reason

      Their was a reason for the spying. You may think it was good, most Slashdot members appear to believe that it was not a good reason, but a reason was given (after the fact). That reason being, they were spying on international calls believed to be involved in terrorism.

      I'm not defending the ISP's or the Government, but the original post is misleading IMO.

      I agree completely. I can think of 3000+ good reasons. Actually, that's not true because those 3000+ are dead and gone.

      I can think of 300,000,000 reasons.

      Don't get me wrong, there are valid complaints against the bill, but when you start out saying obvious lies like, "for no reason", you lose all credibility.

      Besides, this seems like a money grab to me. They are trying to raise money to bribe...er... lobby congress people. If the telecom bill were THAT unpopular, these asshats in congress would be voted o

  • by edalytical (671270) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @09:28AM (#24383783)
    Consul corporate security clones There Cohiba digicash infowar USDOJ CDMA sniper Qaddafi supercomputer are INSCOM Aldergrove Legion of Doom BRLO other Rand Corporation ASIO cracking Downing options Street high security Abbas lock picking namely Albright Europol Consul Rumsfeld NATO bluebird false George W. Bush nitrate analyzer South Africa mindwar Armani Skipjack CISU positives world domination LABLINK Kh-11 or secure try Defcon!@#d%d&*(";dd;,[NO CARRIER
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday July 29, 2008 @10:37AM (#24385029) Homepage

    Much ado is made about the violation of the 4th amendment embodied in the passage of the FISA bill. While I find that to be more than sufficient to find the passage of that bill to be a violation of the oath to defend The Constitution, I believe the violation of the 1st is more troubling.

    The 1st Amendment documents fact that our right to petition the government for redress of grievances cannot be infringed. Bringing a civil suit is exactly what it is talking about. The judicial is the branch of government that has the authority to grant redress. It is the sole prerogative of the judicial to decide whether a law has been infringed. Congress can change the laws going forward, but once a petition for redress reaches the court, it is out of the hands of the legislative.

    While I completely agree that the infringement of the 4th in the name of the war on terror is wrong, it is not a clear attempt to usurp the sovereign power of the American people to control the powers of government. The violation of the 1st amendment's right to petition for redress is the most egregious portion of the FISA bill.

    As an aside; one can also see the attempted shift in the balance of power with the newly merged PRO-IP/PIRATE acts. The way it has worked (in all cases, as far as I know), is that government cases against the people were criminal, and required proof beyond a reasonable doubt. People's cases against the government or agents of government are civil, requiring preponderance of evidence. Some are holding hope for the possibility of criminal action, but even so, with the FISA bill, we lost the right to preponderance of evidence. With PRO-IP/PIRATE, the government is taking preponderance in place of beyond reasonable doubt. It is extremely telling and disturbing to me that the government is simultaneously saying that the people cannot be trusted with preponderance, and that the government need not be limited to beyond reasonable doubt.

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