“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.”
The NSA, as an agent of the law, is bound like any other, to adhere to and uphold the Constitutional protections outline in the Bill or Rights. Without the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution would not have been adopted by the States and therefor e is the lynchpin of all it stands for and the modern structure of the United States of America. To think otherwise is to ignore history and reality.
The whole idea of the term “Probable Cause” has been that authorities have to prove adequate reason to arrest someone or conduct a search, or seizure of their property. Probable Cause is required to be declared in a document where the facts for the arrest or search are detailed and a judge must agree, even if this step is a matter of course, for a warrant to be issued. These facts must be specific and not based on a “hunch”.
Now does any of this sound like what is going on?
Is the possibility that “Everyone could be a criminal.” a good enough excuse or that “it’s for the good and protection of the country.” when it clearly is not. However, it IS good protection for the preservation of the status quo of Big Government.
Does anyone believe, in light of the Internal Revenue Service scandal regarding the targeting of opposition groups and individuals for audit, denial of due process and exemption approval and the sharing of private tax information with the ruling party members that the NSA would NOT be called into service to listen in on and provide additional surveillance of these people?
And so this vague and general reason for the NSA listening in on conversations and sweeping and storing phone data and the ability and execution of reaching into a citizens computer records is a clear violation of the truths we hold as self-evident: It is wrong.
The NSA, thanks to Edward Snowden, has been revealed as yet another tool of the Authority State.
The current government and its agents the NSA and the IRS are acting in the unconstitutional exercise of authority.
This harkens back to the British “Writs of Assistance” exercised in 1761 where an officer of the British custom houses court could walk into any house and search it for smuggled goods without specifying the house or the goods. What is the difference between then and now except the means of the search?
The protection of the 4th Amendment is not limited to one’s home but extends to one’s personal effects and papers where ever they may be. It does not mention “telephone” for obvious reasons but what is stored on today’s personal communication devices of only which part of is a phone these days should obviously be regarded as “your papers”. And in this world of converged networks where your personal computing device whether it be your laptop, tablet computer or your smartphone, you have a Constitutional protection from intrusion into your personal effects.
This is important to note because this amendment is specifically believed to have come from an incident when the controversies between England and the Colonies were reaching confrontational proportions whereby certain prominent opposition colonists were targeted for prosecution by the English state. Sound familiar?
Our ancestors didn’t bust their asses to come here to be held to an allegiance with the government for their sustenance, livelihood and well-being. They came here for the opportunity, the chance, to make the most of themselves in a free market of ideas and industry and to carve out a life of their own, free of an overbearing presence that dictates their behavior and customs. They had lived without the freedom of worship; they had lived without the right to be private in their homes and their affairs and without the protections from unreasonable searches and seizures. The challenge is what to do about these rights being ignored.
This is not a case of the Government preserving itself, this is a clear attempt at one party seeking to hold power into perpetuity and subverting the process of purging and renewal that keeps this country growing and going forward. Should this succeed even in the short run, stagnation and decay shall follow.
It is ironic that these United States, a country that has stood as a symbol of freedom and liberty throughout the world attempts to secure itself by rescinding the very statutes that made the nation what it was.