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Remember, you can only sue the government to the extent that it lets you. If the powers that be decide that they are immune, then they are. If they decide to give immunity to Verizon for complying with government orders then poof! they have immunity. It's a noble idea, but the courts will not solve this issue. I think ultimately the government will not be able to fix itself, one branch cannot fix another branch.

Yes and no. Sovereign immunity is more complex than you're making it out to be, and cannot be delegated, either to public officials or to companies.

Rayiner, you're confusing legal concepts with reality. Remember that AT&T was granted immunity by Congress for the room 641A fiasco. So even if you can't meet the legal standards for sovereign immunity the system will still protect itself. Nobody is going to jail for this except for Snowden.

You're handwaving, throwing around terms in a paranoid fit. AT&T was granted immunity for violations of FISA by Congress. It was FISA that created the basis for the suit against AT&T in the first place, so it was just Congress making something not illegal that it had made illegal. In bad taste, but not anything that has to do with sovereign immunity or inherent immunity from suits.

I don't think Snowden should go to prison, but if he does it's because he's the only one who did anything illegal. There's nothing illegal, under the FISA Amendments Act, about AT&T or Verizon sharing the information they collect about your usage of their networks. The default presumption is that you're allowed to share information in your possession, unless restricted by some law. HIPAA protects medical records, FERPA protects educational records, etc, and FISA/ECPA protects electronic communications in certain circumstances, but the monitoring programs here, as far as we know, are written to avoid running up against these laws.

Who's throwing around terms? I'm not the one who works at a law firm. I didn't bring up FISA, HIPPA, or FERPA here. I was just stating it like it is, which you in your roundabout way have confirmed: The system isn't going to fix itself, and nobody is going to jail except Edward Snowden.

Which is maybe why it needs to go before a jury.

Civil trials aren't guaranteed to have a trial by jury, but maybe if the government is one of the parties, the other party should be able to demand a trial by jury.

Of course juries are not as independent as they should be, with jurors being kicked out for not following judges orders, or verdicts being thrown out by the judge, or juries being intimidated by judges into ruling a certain way.

> I think ultimately the government will not be able to fix itself, one branch cannot fix another branch.

Bottom line: another July 4th is brewing... good. We need it!

Also, I think that "every citizen in America" is too broad to be considered a "class". If the "Female Employees of Walmart" class-action suit was rejected for the reason of being too broad and diverse, this will be too.

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