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Senators Call NSA Snooping Unnecessary to Security

Three senators have said what pretty much everyone in the world is thinking – that the NSA's methods of data collection were huge intrusions and completely unnecessary for the security of the United States. Mark Udall (D-Colorado), Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) collectively filed an amicus curae brief for a lawsuit filed against the NSA, claiming that its record collection violated the Fourth Amendment.

The amendment guarantees protection against unreasonable search and seizure of property, which historically has been used to ensure a "right to privacy." The brief also warns against broad interpretations of FISA, which in theory, could be used to collect financial and medical records from U.S. citizens – a process that is supposed to be very illegal unless the authorities have prior approval and probable cause.

From the brief, "Because the government's call-records program needlessly intrudes upon the privacy rights of hundreds of millions of Americans, [we] believe the bulk collection of these phone records should be ended."

The NSA has countered this claim that their efforts are reasonable and justified to protect Americans from terrorists. 

  • thechief73
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


    It's Latin for "Who guards the guards?"

    or better know as "Who watches the watchmen?"

    I thought it would be more elegant without having to explain the meaning.
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    "Who will watch the watch-guards?" - Had to translate that. Thanks Google. You're my friend (sometimes). lol
    Reply
  • f-14
    "The amendment guarantees protection against unreasonable search and seizure of property, "

    no the Amendment IV 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.
    Reply
  • f-14
    just like the 2nd Amendment "shall not be infringed."
    what part of "shall not be violated," can not be clearly comprehended?

    also the 5th amendment was directly violated as well:

    "nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,
    nor be deprived of life,
    liberty,
    or property,
    without due process of law;

    nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

    1st Amendment
    "Congress shall make no law respecting " <--how can you not see direct prohibitionary labeling?

    seriously read the preamble:
    "The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

    Congress of the United States
    begun and held at the City of New-York, on
    Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

    THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

    RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz."

    THERE'S NOTHING TO INTERPRET IT'S DIRECTLY AND CLEARLY SPELLED OUT WITH NUMEROUS PRINTED PUBLICATIONS BY THE MAKERS/SIGNERS CITING THE REASONS OF DIRECT ABUSES THE KING OF ENGLAND USED AGAINST THEM.

    YOU CAN'T SCREW ANY OF IT UP!!!

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    go read the declaration of independence most of the reasons are directly cited in the very first document of founding of the USA right there!

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.................................To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. : ..... "
    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html


    Amendment VI

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor,

    Amendment VIII

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    Amendment X

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
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  • f-14
    "but upon probable cause," <---- probable cause is injury, death, damage or destruction of property

    ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU CLEARLY MAKE ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT HAS THIS DEFINED TO THEIR FACE it is more important than your miranda rights for which was a defining court case that stated police are allowed to LIE TO YOU or only tell the partial truth/facts in order to get you to incriminate yourself or break the law infront of a police officer as you are not allowed to lie to them.
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  • razorblaze42
    ISP's, Phone Companies and Search providers are already collecting,, storing, and selling same the data the NSA is seeking to access...this is not a 4th Amendment argument, because once you allow companies, like Google, access to your data...there's no expectation of privacy anymore. (FYI that's Google's argument in a separate case)
    Reply
  • jalek
    The government attorneys claim that their phone record collections have given them leads on finding associates as people of interest are discovered. How that extends to the NSA talk of archiving all data in the country they didn't say..
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  • Nilo BP
    True that you can't expect your data to be private when you put it out on the street, but I think the feds didn't just walk up to Internet firms and ask them real nice and friendly if they could *please* share their info.

    That's the real issue - not that they store the data that happens to fall on their laps, but that they go around invading property, twisting arms and lying about it, and with taxpayer money (i.e. taken from people whether they like it or not) to boot.

    But hey, it's all to protect us poor, helpless sheep from Bogeyman, err, terrorists, innit?
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  • dorsai
    I don't buy the argument that once your in public the 4th amendment doesn't apply...I generally take my person, effects, and papers with me everywhere I go.

    "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."
    Reply
  • f-14
    12013006 said:
    The government attorneys claim that their phone record collections have given them leads on finding associates as people of interest are discovered. How that extends to the NSA talk of archiving all data in the country they didn't say..

    i had read a very complicated brief of that argument. essentially the spying was carrier out then what ever offenses were discovered were turned over to the proper departments in other branches of the law enforcement. essentially if they were spying on the tea party or anonymous, and you had information posted of being a drug user, that information was turned over to the DEA, and when the DEA took those cases to trial and were questioned about how that evidence was obtained they citied a very long run around of how they obtained that information and alluded or lied to the cause of discovery of that information being at their request using vague reasons to elicit probable cause.

    couldn't find the bookmark of the DOJ version i looked at but this quick google search sort of sums it up:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/05/us-dea-sod-idUSBRE97409R20130805

    Exclusive: U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans
    BY JOHN SHIFFMAN AND KRISTINA COOKE
    WASHINGTON Mon Aug 5, 2013 3:25pm EDT
    Reply