Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DECEMBER 18, 2013

      The government's offensive (in my view) program of spying on all its citizens--tapping our phones--has taken a legal hit but is is still running.  It may take the Supreme Court to defeat this unconstitutional (my view again) practice.

     You remember how all this started--a leaker named Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency could--did, in fact--monitor all our phone conversations, listening to or recording any ones it wanted.  A military secret?  A love affair with someone not your spouse?  Didn't matter. The government could listen if it liked.

     Now comes a U.S. District Judge, Richard Leon.  He wrote an opinion--not ruling on the practice itself, but mentioning it: "I cannot imagine a more indiscriminate and arbitrary invasion than this systematic and high tech collection and retention of personal data."

     The part of the Constitution most people say this snooping violates is the Fourth Amendment.  It reads: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, house, 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...."

     Doesn't sound like a warrant for constant snooping, does it?


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