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Right to Privacy Destined for Endangered List (Amer. Conservative Union)

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chat_noir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:17 PM
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Right to Privacy Destined for Endangered List (Amer. Conservative Union)
The Fourth Amendment to our Constitution protects Americans against "unreasonable searches and seizures" and against warrants being issued without "probable cause" that they have done something wrong. While most Americans who might be familiar with this portion of our Bill of Rights probably consider its protections to apply only to criminals and therefore of little consequence to them, the Fourth Amendment actually provides vital protection to all Americans, not just "criminals."


The legislation, ostensibly to authorize this president and future presidents to listen in on communications by al-Qaida terrorists and those in communication with them, sweeps far more broadly than its proponents would have the American people believe. Relying on broad and vague definitions and enumerations of powers, the legislation championed by the Bush administration and supported by its many champions in the Congress would, among other things:

Allow warrantless surveillance of virtually any international phone call and e-mail of American citizens without any evidence of conspiracy with al-Qaida or other terrorist entities.

Authorize the attorney general without court approval to order Internet service providers and other types of companies to give the NSA access to communications and equipment regarding information on its customers, without any proof that American customers whose communications are acquired are conspiring with terrorists.

Allow warrantless physical searches of Americans' homes for extended periods without any evidence presented to a court that the homeowner is conspiring with or connected to terrorists.

Define "agent of a foreign power" and "weapon of mass destruction" far more broadly than under current law, and far more broadly than necessary, so as to potentially justify warrantless surveillance on persons or companies that possess quantities of gunpowder or maintain information on the conduct of our country's "foreign affairs."

Taken as a whole, the powers thus sought by the administration, and which have already been given imprimatur by the House, would do irreparable damage to the underpinnings of the Fourth Amendment.

If signed into law, these measures would destroy the fundamental notion that American citizens enjoy a right to privacy in their homes, persons and businesses to be free from arbitrary government surveillance and searches. That may sound apocalyptic, but believe me, it is not. It is a fact.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:21 PM
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1. The pugs had better watch what they do with this issue because
it contains a double edged sword. If no one has a right to privacy then we can use our search powers to dig up all their little dirty secrets! As for me I don't have any of their kind of dirty secrets/
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