How to Commit Crimes By Using the Law

Ian-Fortey by Ian-Fortey on Dec. 31, 2013

The ACLU just tried to sue the NSA over this whole spying thing.  You know that whole spying thing?  How every time you use your computer or phone someone is just keeping a record of it? You and like, everyone else? That thing.  The ACLU was trying to prove that’s not a good thing while the NSA probably showed the ACLU pictures from online that they thought they deleted.  And then a judge weighed in.



U.S. District Court judge, Justice William Pauley, has said that Congress never intended for victims of the NSA spying to know they were being spied on and had it not been for the unauthorized actions of Edward Snowden, no one would know.  This is very important because, according to this judge, it means that the ACLU has no case, because they never should have known they were being spied on.  If not for Edward Snowden, none of us would know we were being spied on. If none of us know, then none of us are unhappy about and that’s how it was supposed to be, until Snowden ruined it.  So he’s the one who did something wrong.  So the ACLU can’t sue.  It's kind of like forcing blissful ignorance into law.



This is the most amazing interpretation of law, possibly in the history of ever.  You need to hop on this now, you and a lawyer friend with very murky scruples. Before this gets clarified and stomped into the mud by a judge or judges with good sense, use this as precedent.  How?   I have some ideas!

  • Rob a bank.  Keep the money at home. Get arrested.  Your defense?  Had it not been for the people who saw you rob the bank, you would have taken the money and no one would have caught you.
  • Burn down the Staples Center.  Explain that, had it not been for the people at Bic putting that lighter together, fire never would have been in your hands and therefore nothing could have been burned at all.
  • Move into some celebrity’s mansion.  Cite the complex and historical confusion between differing theories of property and ownership as a basis for that home being yours and, had so many different philosophers and legal systems not attempted to define the precise meaning of property and how to attain ownership of it, it would have been much clearer that the home was yours all along.
  • Anything you can think of that follows this simple formula – After something happens, if what happened never happened, then nothing would have happened, so nothing should have happened, therefore nothing legally happened.

Judge Pauley’s full explanation is as follows –



It’s kind of brilliant in its obtuse understanding of how a real world should work.  Targets of spying were never intended, by Congress, to be allowed to sue.  That’s like saying you never intended for a kid on the schoolyard to punch you back after you punched him for no reason and now he’s the one doing something wrong.  And Snowden’s actions qualify as illegal since he’s not allowed to share state secrets, so nothing he did should be allowed to alter the way Congress and the NSA conduct themselves, all of which means, pretend you don’t know what you know.  If you pretend that hard, what are you really complaining about?  Obviously nothing, because you pretended the problem away.  The problem being that you and everyone you know is constantly under surveillance. 

habiks User

did he died?

Tom-Rogers-710 User

Nord20 has it right. Don't look at the judge or Snowden for help here; Congress intentionally screwed us all over, and their pathetic claims that it's entirely necessary are just that-pathetic. 

Champ Brown
Champ Brown

Only American &Candian governments think they can justify stupidity.even in there courts.

RobbyBoyy User

So the way it's written makes sure nobody can do anything about it. Oh law loop-holes.

Tom Smith
Tom Smith

He couldn't even do that the right way. Just think we pay him to do his job. There should be a law titled Crimes against the people.

Mike-Emmons-39 UserTop Commenter

by this logic: a person's PC is stolen during a break in. the police catch the thief. while accessing the HD to determine ownership the police find child porn. because the evidence was provided by a thief they can not charge the kiddie diddler with possession of child porn. even if they had a search warrant for said HD.

Michael Pekarik
Michael Pekarik

That judge should be removed from the bench and made to clean public toilets.

Ferlin Getty
Ferlin Getty

Has this guy ever taken an ethics class?

Nord20 User

Whilst the whole NSA debacle is abhorrent, in this case the judge is absolutely right - it's a subtle point being argued, not whether or not it's ok for the Government to spy on people.

The point in question is whether or not Congress, when it created section 215, intended recipients of an order (e.g. Verizon) or the target of an order (e.g. you) to sue under Federal law, rather than challenge any order with the FISC.  It is not in question that recipients of an order, such an order being necessarily secret (in the Government's eyes) are not able to sue in Federal Court and must take any grievance to the FISC.  This ruling is about whether or not a target of such an order, upon finding out about it, would be able to sue in Federal Court.  Given that they were never supposed to find out about it, the ruling is simply saying that, obviously, Congress did not intend for targets who found out about the order against them to be able to sue in open court.  As they were never supposed to find out, this wasn't explicitly stated in the drawing up of the order, hence the case we see now.

The question is not whether or not what the Government is doing is right, or legal, simply this: did Congress intend for targets of orders to sue in Federal Court, whilst simultaneously ensuring that those presented with the order to fulfil, are not able to.  Clearly, it was never Congress's intent that targets should be able to sue in open court and now the ACLU will have to take their case to the FISC.

That doesn't make any of this any less heinous, but let's not make out this was something it wasn't.

And for the record, I am neither a lawyer, nor an American, and even I managed to work  it out.  Misguided scaremongering takes away from the real issues at hand.

Rick_S User

OK.  So I tap someone's phone line, with the intent that they never find out about it.  But my wife blows the whistle on me.  Does that mean that I'm not guilty of a crime because the person never would have found out if not for the activities of my wife?  Of course not, so how can the same logic apply to the NSA?  I _think_ that the reason this logic applies is because Snowden's actions were illegal.  He broke the law by revealing the secret activities of the NSA.  Because his actions were illegal, any information gained from them is considered inadmissible (in the same way that information gained from an illegal search would be inadmissible).  And since you can't submit any evidence of spying without the illegal activities of Snowden, you can't say you have any grounds to sue the government.

What someone needs to do, and that's not me of course, is to go through the law that allows this, and find the parts that are themselves unconstitutional.  They are there, as the Constitution prevents the government from intruding on your privacy without a warrant, and that is exactly what the NSA is doing.  Then, based on the publicly available information, bring the case.

RobJVM User

Okay, okay…. so if I'm caught raping a woman in an alley behind a bank, BY a bank robber in the act of fleeing the police during a robbery… I'm good?

OCNEONJ UserTop Commenter

All hail your overlords, I think we should have known not to put any lawyers into politicians seats, most of the politicians are lawyers so they are screwing us out of our rights "legally"

MetallicaMan81 User

This planet is a ticking time-bomb...and it will soon run out.

generic_name User

That's scary. It seems the same types of people who voted in Obama are now getting high-powered positions such as U.S. District Court Judge. Reasoning and Logic will be a fond memory in a few years...

ajgmazzieri UserTop Commenter

1) you are stupid because you have a personal Facebook. 2) you are stupid because you don't know the difference between "there" "their" and "they're." 3) you are a fúcking fåggot because your name is champ.

Nord20 User

@Rick_S Quite simply because the Government is, legitimately and correctly, allowed to do things you are not.  Soldiers are allowed to shoot people in warzones, policemen can arrest people and do so with physical force if necessary, taxmen are allowed to demand money off you.  Your straw man argument is farcical.