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OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: BCam
Date: May 13, 2006 11:55AM
My question started here:

[forums.macresource.com]

The updated information appears in today's (Saturday) Los Angeles Times.

[www.latimes.com]

The pertinent part is this:

"... the Bush Administration has been secretly collecting the domestic phone records of millions of Americans. The government reportedly obtained the records from AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth but was turned down by Denver-based Qwest Communications.

The law doesn't make it illegal for the government to ask for such records. Rather, IT MAKES IT ILLEGAL FOR PHONE COMPANIES TO DIVULGE THEM (emphasis mine).

The Electronic Communications Act of 1986 was passed when cellphones and the Internet were emerging as new forms of communication. Section 2702 of the law says the providers of "electronic communications ... shall not knowingly divulge a record or other information pertaining to a subscriber or customer ... to any government entity."

Companies that violate the law are subject to being sued and paying damages of at least $1,000 per violation per customer.

The first such lawsuit was filed Friday against Verizon in New Jersey.

"It is simply illegal for a telephone company to turn over caller records without some form of legal process, such as a court order or a subpoena," said James X. Dempsey, a lawyer for the Center for Democracy and Technology."

My thought: if I held stock in AT&T, Verizon or BellSouth, I'd be thinking about selling, and buying Qwest Communications.







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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: May 13, 2006 12:01PM
Yeah, good luck with that. Things are different now.

I switched our long distance service to Qwest yesterday. I hope every patriot does the same.
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 13, 2006 12:04PM
shouldnt this be on the other side of this forum?

nothing to hide = nothing to fear?

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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: May 13, 2006 12:23PM
Qwest has had problems of some type in the past, so they were probably being very careful to play everything by the book, er, letter of the law. I don't remember any of the details, but this post reminded me that I forgot to file my claim against them for a class action lawsuit by the May 1 deadline. sad smiley That one had something to do with investors, however.

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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: BCam
Date: May 13, 2006 12:44PM
jdc:

I did post in the other side of the forum, however, I think this Qualifies as a seriously interesting Tip and Deal from The Washington Post:

"Under Section 222 of the Communications Act, first passed in 1934, telephone companies are prohibited from giving out information regarding their customers' calling habits: whom a person calls, how often and what routes those calls take to reach their final destination. Inbound calls, as well as wireless calls, also are covered.

The financial penalties for violating Section 222, one of many privacy reinforcements that have been added to the law over the years, can be stiff. The Federal Communications Commission, the nation's top telecommunications regulatory agency, can levy fines of up to $130,000 per day per violation, with a cap of $1.325 million per violation."

Even Conservative Republican, and former Congressman from Georgia, Bob Barr today sighted that very law as the basis for the illegality of of the creation of this massive database.

It seems rather clear what the Law states. I have no ability to "opt in" or "opt out" of adhearance to the Law of the Land.

However, this story goes away in a heartbeat if Verizon Communications, BellSouth, AT&T and President Bush simply issue statements this afternoon on what specific Law they based their decisions/actions on, and thus make their actions legal. If not ...

I have 4 accounts with Verizon and one AT&T land line. Someone owes me restituion of $6,625,000.00. I would like it tomorrow, in twenties.

Just as a curiosity - I have 5 phone accounts (4 cells for the family and one land line). How many phone accounts do you think are held merely by the members who enjoy this forum? Do the math- this could be a s**tstorm that makes Katerina look like a pleasant spring shower.
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 13, 2006 01:46PM
less than you think?

New poll, 66% SUPPORT latest NSA phone tapping scandal

[abcnews.go.com]

they can listen to me anytime -- after about 20 minutes they will die from boredom -- unless they really like to hear me have conversations with my wife, work, mom, dad and brother -- yawn
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: May 13, 2006 02:10PM
While it may be a violation, it happens all the time even at the local level.

When I moved - about 10 years ago, I ended up pocketing an envelope with
my car payment instead of mailing it - and I was in a hotel for ~1 month.

There was only one person I spoke to. That person (my mother) was on the
application for my car loan, as the "nearest relative."

Chase, in Tampa, managed to get both the fax and the hotel and CALL ME
THERE - without any other way of doing so, other than having someone feed
them the records of my mother - to let me know that the first car payment
(in my car full of stuff) hadn't arrived and that I was within 2 days of the next
month being due, and their letters to the old address were being returned.

No way to prove it --- but there is also no way anyone could know where
my mother was calling ME, at a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, to then call me themselves
to ask me to pay that month by credit card.

Where's my $1,000???
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: Carm
Date: May 13, 2006 02:59PM
BCam Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jdc:
>
> I did post in the other side of the forum,
> however, I think this Qualifies as a seriously
> interesting Tip and Deal .

Give more info and I will consider it a tip/deal. grinning smiley
So........
















Where do we sign up to be part of the Class Action lawsuit,
and how little if any money will the average joe shmoe get. Like 2¢ or 10¢?

jimmypoo, i doubt anybody will receive any of the $1000, cept for the lawyers of course.


Carm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2006 03:00PM by Carm.
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: RgrF
Date: May 13, 2006 04:33PM
Carm Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> Where do we sign up to be part of the Class Action
> lawsuit,
> and how little if any money will the average joe
> shmoe get. Like 2¢ or 10¢?
>
> jimmypoo, i doubt anybody will receive any of the
> $1000, cept for the lawyers of course.
>
>
> Carm


Thats ok. If the telcos take a really serious financial hit over this, it may surically implant a backbone where none presently exists. They're out of control in DC. Someone has to draw a line somewhere.




"Who's more foolish - the fool or the fool that follows him?" - Obi Wan Kenobi
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: Macaficionado
Date: May 13, 2006 08:01PM
Qwest Telephone.

"The phone company a terrorist can feel secure about!"
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: Spock
Date: May 13, 2006 08:38PM
Macaficionado Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Qwest Telephone.
>
> "The phone company a terrorist can feel secure
> about!"


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I mean everybody needs to be treated fairly, like say, Patches Kennedy!
Posted by: Pelgrayso
Date: May 13, 2006 10:32PM
Qwest has taken over as my long distance carrier.
Maybe I should find another one.
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Re: I mean everybody needs to be treated fairly, like say, Patches Kennedy!
Posted by: RgrF
Date: May 13, 2006 10:52PM
Pelgrayso Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Qwest has taken over as my long distance carrier.
>
> Maybe I should find another one.

That's not really necessary, you could just mail a list of your call activity directly to the NSA.




"Who's more foolish - the fool or the fool that follows him?" - Obi Wan Kenobi
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: BCam
Date: May 14, 2006 01:41AM
From www.livejournal.com

Telcos Could Be Liable For Tens of Billions of Dollars For Illegally Turning Over Phone Records

May 12, 2006

This morning, USA Today reported that three telecommunications companies – AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth – provided “phone call records of tens of millions of Americans” to the National Security Agency. Such conduct appears to be illegal and could make the telco firms liable for tens of billions of dollars. Here’s why:

1. It violates the Stored Communications Act. The Stored Communications Act, Section 2703(c), provides exactly five exceptions that would permit a phone company to disclose to the government the list of calls to or from a subscriber: (i) a warrant; (ii) a court order; (iii) the customer’s consent; (iv) for telemarketing enforcement; or (v) by “administrative subpoena.” The first four clearly don’t apply. As for administrative subpoenas, where a government agency asks for records without court approval, there is a simple answer – the NSA has no administrative subpoena authority, and it is the NSA that reportedly got the phone records.

2. The penalty for violating the Stored Communications Act is $1000 per individual violation. Section 2707 of the Stored Communications Act gives a private right of action to any telephone customer “aggrieved by any violation.” If the phone company acted with a “knowing or intentional state of mind,” then the customer wins actual harm, attorney’s fees, and “in no case shall a person entitled to recover receive less than the sum of $1,000.”

(The phone companies might say they didn’t “know” they were violating the law. But USA Today reports that Qwest’s lawyers knew about the legal risks, which are bright and clear in the statute book.)

3. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act doesn’t get the telcos off the hook. According to USA Today, the NSA did not go to the FISA court to get a court order. And Qwest is quoted as saying that the Attorney General would not certify that the request was lawful under FISA. So FISA provides no defense for the phone companies, either.

In other words, for every 1 million Americans whose records were turned over to NSA, the telcos could be liable for $1 billion in penalties, plus attorneys fees. You do the math.

– Peter Swire and Judd Legum
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: RonT
Date: May 14, 2006 10:03AM
Quote: Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: jdc (IP Logged) [Ignore]
Date: May 13, 2006 12:04PM

"shouldnt this be on the other side of this forum?"

"nothing to hide = nothing to fear?"

"New poll, 66% SUPPORT latest NSA phone tapping scandal"

--------------------------------------------------

If the government thinks someone has done something wrong the ball is in their court to prove it. . . legally. Willingness to open your personal life to governemnt scrutiny, or not, isn't part of the equation. At least not yet!

And finally: You do realize that the the Bill of Right's isn't subject to majority rule - don't you?


Ron
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 14, 2006 12:04PM
I do think the phone companies are liable here.

If the government had come up with a subpoena, a warrant, a court order, or such-- that would be a different issue. But as I understand it, the government only has the right to *request* the records; the phone companies are in violation of the law for releasing them.

This is, after all, the USA -- not the USSR. It's (supposedly) a free country. In this country, we require warrants/court orders to invade people's homes, to wiretap, to detain, etc.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: SteveJobs
Date: May 15, 2006 09:17AM
I've always thought that AT&T should have been nationalized, thus solving this conundrum.



******************************

******************************
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: mick e
Date: May 15, 2006 03:05PM
[money.cnn.com]

Oh, and by the way:







Unpaid Social Liaison
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: $tevie
Date: May 15, 2006 03:11PM
I hope my $1,000 comes as a check, and not as $1,000 worth of discounts at The Telephone Store.
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: May 15, 2006 03:18PM
Macaficionado Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Qwest Telephone.
>
> "The phone company a terrorist can feel secure
> about!"


Why? If the gubmint suspects that someone is a terrist, there are plenty of legal ways for them to obtain records, tap their calls or fly them to a foriegn country and torture them.

Well, not the last one. But they do it anyway.
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: Panopticon
Date: May 15, 2006 05:19PM
mick e posted: [money.cnn.com] (thxs mick e!)
"The suit, filed Friday by two New Jersey lawyers"

What will actually happen:

1. Lawyers will make piles of money.
2. Either Federal Courts will reject these cases,
OR morans in Congress (536 counting the VP) will somehow grant immunity to the telcos.
3. Lawyers will make more piles of money. Much of which will be funneled to morans in Congress.
4. Average citizen will get zip, nada, zero, except a phone bill.
5. Average citizen will re-elect same or worse morans to office.

I actuallly hope I am proven wrong on this.











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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: RgrF
Date: May 15, 2006 06:47PM
Lawyers don't make money on class actions unless there is a settlement. They foot the bill if the suit goes down the tubes.

You must've taken the same law courses your hero did.



"Who's more foolish - the fool or the fool that follows him?" - Obi Wan Kenobi
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: Panopticon
Date: May 15, 2006 09:23PM
No, they (you) will make money regardless. What 'hero' are you speaking of? Funny, I didn't mention my father.





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2006 09:49PM by Panopticon.
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: mick e
Date: May 16, 2006 07:26AM
How would they make money if they lose Panny? Please explain.





Unpaid Social Liaison
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: Panopticon
Date: May 16, 2006 05:12PM
mick e, they wouldn't 'lose' if Congress acts to protect the telcos. The lawyers on Capitol Hill will look out for their buds! I don't see any Federal Judge having the 'nads to throw out the claims either, that was a scenario I threw in. Like I noted, I hope I'm proven wrong.

Either way, if you believe these lawyers aren't out to make serious cash, well I surely won't attempt to convince you otherwise.
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: mick e
Date: May 16, 2006 06:11PM
Well of course they want to make money - it's what they do for a living. If it teaches the Telcos a little lesson about federal law, then more power to 'em! If it doesn't, then at least they made a little noise.

A hell of a lot more noise than anyone else is making about this blatantly illegal action.





Unpaid Social Liaison



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2006 06:13PM by mick e.
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: Inquiring Gringo
Date: May 17, 2006 10:37PM
I have Verizon and I am a shareholder. I called their general number, got their public relations
number and spoke with a person there.

As a customer, shareholder and U.S. Citizen, I want you to co-operate with the U.S.
government, the NSA, if they ask for phone numbers, I said.

She said she would pass on the message. That my call was refreshing.

They can hear me now.
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Re: OT: Class Actionable - Update
Posted by: mick e
Date: May 18, 2006 10:45AM





Unpaid Social Liaison
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