Sunday, June 23, 2013

Peter Van Buren on Edward Snowden

We Meant Well on Edward Snowden:

The Washington Post published “Five ways to stop the NSA from spying on you,” a set of how-to tips for the average public to use Tor, remove the battery from your smart phone to prevent tracking and some software for private phone calls. It is not comprehensive, but it would serve as a guide to learning more.

Leaving aside the question of whether any of these methods work, has it come to this? A major newspaper publishing tips on how you can make it harder for your own government to spy on you?

The Fourth Amendment clearly states:

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.

Read it again: no exceptions, no free pass for terrorism, no provision for secret courts.

Read it again: No allowances for blanket vacuuming up of all internet media for all persons. The Fourth unambiguously requires that a warrant be issued that includes the name of the person and things to be seized.

The National Security Agency acknowledged that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls. Meanwhile, a constitutional law professor who is not Barack Obama schools you on why the NSA surveillance is unconstitutional. As Snowden left for Russia, the U.S. had the nerve to lecture Hong Kong about following the rule of law.

Here’s what happened one time ago when the government went looking into someone with nothing to hide.

We have fallen and can’t get up.