Congress is preparing to strengthen warrantless surveillance as protection against litigation is extended to telecom companies. House and Senate leaders agreed yesterday on surveillance legislation that could shield telecommunications companies from privacy lawsuits, handing President Bush one of the last major legislative victories he is likely to achieve. Pretty soon you won't have any judicial recourse if you are harmed by an invasion of privacy. All in the name of "protecting you".
The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports, 'this contains blanket immunity for telecoms that helped the NSA break the law and spy on millions of ordinary Americans.' The House vote is today, June 20.
Don't these people read the Constitution?
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.Which means that ANY House or Senate member voting YES on this bill is in violation of the US Constitution, thereby in violation of their oath of office to "...defend and protect the US Constitution...", and hence should they themselves be impeached and removed from office - then tried for treason.
The Supreme Court held in Katz v. United States (1967), that the monitoring and recording of private conversations constitutes a "search" for Fourth Amendment purposes, and therefore the government must obtain a warrant before domestic wiretapping can be engaged in.also from Wiki:
The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy concerns surveillance of persons within the United States incident to the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) as part of the war on terror. Under this program, referred to by the Bush administration as the "terrorist surveillance program", the NSA is authorized by executive order to monitor, without warrants, phone calls, e-mails, Internet activity, and text messaging, and other communication involving any party believed by the NSA to be outside the U.S., even if the other end of the communication lies within the U.S. The exact scope of the program is not known. Shortly before Congress passed a new law in August of 2007 that legalized warrantless surveillance, the Protect America Act of 2007, critics stated that such "domestic" intercepts required FISC authorization under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Bush administration maintains that the authorized intercepts are not domestic but rather "foreign intelligence" integral to the conduct of war and that the warrant requirements of FISA were implicitly superseded by the subsequent passage of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF).No one should get immunity from illegal wiretaps - For more than five years, AT&T and other telephone companies broke the law and violated their customers' privacy rights by sending billions of private domestic internet and telephone communications and records to the National Security Agency.
If someone NEEDS his calls tapped, law enforcement can get a warrant. That's how it's supposed to work here.
If anyone thinks that the government is going to just be listening to "terrorists" they better think again. Once they redefine the definition of a "terrorist" to be any person or organization opposing government policy then we'll surely be in more of a fine mess.
I am all for protecting this country using some sort of surveillance, but we do not have to break our laws and trash our rights to do this.
Heaven save this country - the Constitution and our rights mean nothing anymore! Our 4th amendment rights are being stomped on, and one thing is for certain - you guys out there reading this better find out how Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama vote on this puppy before you cast a vote for either of them in November.