Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fourth Amend-a-what?

Today the Senate is voting on the FISA bill, which not only streamlines and further legalizes the electronic surveillance of every American citizen, but also provides retroactive immunity for every telecommunication company that may have broken the law by building a unilateral intelligence system that in fact copies every single packet of voice and data passed through their halls and hands that information to the government.

This is "the most sweeping change in the 30-year-old law and one that may further expand the use of evidence gathered by intelligence agencies in criminal cases.” to quote the Wall Street Journal.

Most of the FISA discussion has centered on the portion of the bill that provides for telecom immunity, which is reprehensible, but i think its even more important that we highlight the fact that many of these changes to the law will let the government, specifically the executive, seek more sweeping surveillance orders.

An expanded FISA, whose rules are more permissive than those that control domestic wiretaps, gives government prosecutors an unfair advantage. FISA surveillance warrants, which are handled in secret by an intelligence court, are different from wiretaps issued under so-called Title 3 orders. For example, targets of Title 3 wiretaps eventually are notified that they were under surveillance, at least when they are given a fair trial, and defense attorneys can seek more information underlying the cause for the wiretap. and whether that wiretap was justified. This is a measure of accountability on the part of the government, and on the part of the courts. I suspect prosecutors are using FISA to get information they otherwise would have problems getting because of Fourth Amendment search-and-seizure protections.

There is a fourth amendment for a reason, just as there is another nine in the bill of rights. To protect the liberties and freedom of every person in this country. Without privacy, any political opponent can be eliminated before they are able to organize. we live in a country where many political groups, from Grandmothers against Bush, to PETA, are all labeled as "potential terrorist threats." Anything that doesn't conform to the system is a threat to it. The argument that these FISA wiretaps will only be used to "Protect the American People" is horseshyte. The people protect themselves, and the Government protects the Government. First and Foremost the Government is in the Self Preservation business, from alphabet soup agencies, to congressmen running for re-election, every single person in Washington is working to keep their paychecks and powers, before considering ANY other issue. While its true it requires the people to exist, in the same way i need food to exist, it has never been above cracking a few bad eggs and tossing them.
Privacy exists as a safeguard of the ability to organize against any government or agency that seeks to unjustly seeks to self-preserve its own tyrany. The idea that our senate is in support of whittling a giant hole in that protection, to be used as any secret committee sees fit as well as providing immunity to private entities that assist in violating your privacy against civil suit (even if there is real damage), without anyone being held accountable is irreprehensible. These people took an oath to uphold the constitution, and should be bound to do. Anything less is treasonous, and should be treated as such.

"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged. (1957)

Watch what you say. Big Brother is Listening.
Ill let you know how it goes.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

No comments: