As we’ve been saying. Nice to see the Beltway Dems stepping up on this, to preserve our Constitutional rights. Oh, wait… Just to refresh your memories—Harry, Nance; Hillary—here’s the Fourth Amendment of the United States:
My name’s Mark Klein; I used to be an AT&T technician for 22 years.
What I figured out when I got there [AT&’s secret room at 611 Folsom Street, San Francisco] is that they were copying everything flowing across the Internet cables, and the major Internet links between AT&T’s network and other company’s networks, and it struck me at the time that this is a massively unconstitutional, illegal operation.
It affects not only AT&T’s customers, but everybody, ‘cause these links went to places like Sprint, Qwest, a whole bunch of other companies, and so they’re basically tapping into the entire Internet.
But isn’t the government only monitoring suspected terrorsits and not ordinary Americans?
To perform what they say they want to do, which is look at international traffic, none of this makes any sense. These installations only make sense if they’re doing a huge, massive domestic dragnet on everybody, in the United States.
Shouldn’t the telecoms trust that the Bush Administration’s requests are legal?
These companies know very well what’s legal and what’s illegal; they’ve been dealing with this for decades. And it’s a fact that Qwest refused the NSA’s approach, because they weren’t showing any legal justification for it, and they did the right thing and said No.
What I’m here for is, it looked like a few weeks ago that the Senate bill which passed the Intelligence Committee would give immunity to the telecom companies and that would probably put an end to the lawsuits. So I came here to lobby against giving retroactive immunity to the telecom companies, and let the court cases process, and Congress should not interfere in that.
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 persons or things to be seized.
Back in the 1700s, “papers and effects” were letters and records, on physical media, like dead trees and parchment. This—Harry, Nance; Hillary—is three hundred years later. My email is digital paper. My web site an electronic effect. The government has no right to read them without a warrant.
With most of this, we agree. However, websites and blogs are quite different from email. Websites are meant to be read, as are most blogs. That includes reading by anyone, including BushCo's spys. Email should be treated like the mail in our mailboxes, according to the 4th amendment which, by the way, has been being shredded since Reagan declared War On Drugs.
Every time our government declares war on anything, our constitutional rights become fewer and fewer and less protected.
NOTE Sign Chris Dodd’s petition against retroactive im[pum]munity for the telcos here.
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.