Lawyers, Guns and Money

We should make this the unofficial theme song of this blog. 

Warren Zevon’s  “Lawyers, Guns and Money”

Perfect, right?  Great song.

Actually, if you listen to the lyrics, it could also be the theme song for Edward Snowden.

5 Comments on “Lawyers, Guns and Money”

  1. yousaf says:

    Speaking of Snowden’s connection to this blog — everyone ought to be concerned about this:

    From New York Times:


    “In one recent case, for instance, intelligence officials were able to get access to an e-mail attachment sent within the United States because they said they were worried that the e-mail contained a schematic drawing or a diagram possibly connected to Iran’s nuclear program.”

    “In the past, that probably would have required a court warrant because the suspicious e-mail involved American communications. In this case, however, a little-noticed provision in a 2008 law, expanding the definition of “foreign intelligence” to include “weapons of mass destruction,” was used to justify access to the message.

    The court’s use of that language has allowed intelligence officials to get wider access to data and communications that they believe may be linked to nuclear proliferation….”


  2. Dan Joyner says:

    I’m glad you brought this up, Yousaf. This is a truly disturbing, WTF-inspiring anecdote. So does this mean that any emails sent between American citizens that have anything to do with WMD are now fair game for government snooping? I’d be really glad to have David or someone else who is more up on cyberlaw than I am comment on this.

    Here are a couple of articles on this general topic:

    • yousaf says:

      From what the NYT says it appears *anyone* talking about nuclear non-proliferation could have his or her emails read, whether US citizen or not.

      And not just metadata.

      This may be personal if the email attachment the NYT explicitly refers to was related to the AP graphs and their rebuttal that me and my colleagues worked on:

      I think it’s time for the non-prolif. community to highlight this, and the chilling effect it may have on free discourse.

  3. Bibi Jon says:

    Re: “giving up a home in Hawaii, a 200k salary, and a pole dancer girlfriend, in order to tell the world what we’ve all already known for years (ever see “Enemy of the State”?) has got to be one of the alternative dictionary definitions for “stupidity.”

    I must confess I belong in that alternative dictionary definition. Unlike the rest of ‘you all’, I had no idea ordinary people here and around the world are being monitored.

    Having come clean about my stupidity, and got rid of any inhibitions, can I ask:

    Don’t the same principles of ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’, and “special needs(1)” apply to banking, credit card, Netflix, etc. data on “American persons?” Why should I have any more expectation of privacy regarding my birthday greetings email to my mother-in-law than my last cash withdrawal from an ATM? Is the contents of my Netflix movie queue privileged information between me and Netflix, or not?


    In one of the [FISA] court’s most important decisions, the judges have expanded the use in terrorism cases of a legal principle known as the “special needs” doctrine and carved out an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of a warrant for searches and seizures, the officials said.

    The special needs doctrine was originally established in 1989 by the Supreme Court in a ruling allowing the drug testing of railway workers, finding that a minimal intrusion on privacy was justified by the government’s need to combat an overriding public danger.

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