Posts tagged Fourth Amendment
By Tim Brown
Tennessee Introduces Anti-NSA Legislation
The Volunteer State is on a roll. Siding with eight other states, Tennessee has introduced a bill to attempt to keep the National Security Agency out of its state. The legislation targets NSA warrantless data gathering in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
State Senator Stacey Campfield (R) and State Representative Andy Holt (R) have sponsored SB1849 known as the “Tennessee Fourth Amendment Protection Act.” This bill is based on the model legislation drafted by the OffNow coalition.
You may recall Campfield from his previous comment regarding “assault pressure cookers” following the Boston Bombing.
According to SB1849, the State of Tennessee would be prohibited from “providing material support to…any federal agency claiming the power to authorize the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant,” which is required by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.
According to Campfield, “We have an out of control federal agency spying on pretty much everybody in the world. I don’t think the state of Tennessee should be helping the NSA violate the Constitution and the basic privacy rights of its citizens – and we don’t have to. This bill may not completely stop the NSA, but it will darn sure stop Tennessee from participating in unjustified and illegal activities.”
NSA researcher James Bamford said that the NSA runs most of the data it gathers “from code breaking to word captures,” through computers at an Oak Ridge, Tennessee computing facility and NSA headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland.
According to the Tenth Amendment Center, the legislation deals with four main areas:
- Prohibits state and local agencies from providing any material support to the NSA within their jurisdiction. Includes barring government-owned utilities from providing water and electricity.
- Makes information gathered without a warrant by the NSA and shared with law enforcement inadmissible in state court.
- Blocks public universities from serving as NSA research facilities or recruiting grounds.
- Disincentivizes corporations attempting to fill needs not met in the absence of state cooperation.
Currently, the top secret facility Multiprogram Research Facility (MRF) is located on the East Campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The ORNL is a multiprogram science and technology national laboratory managed for the United States Department of Energy by the University of Tennesse-Battelle. NSA researchers use the facility to build incredibly fast computers to crack encryption. Several sources have indicated the MRF will be working together with the massive storage facility in Utah. The content of the data stored in the Utah facility could be decrypted by the computers being developed at the MRF.
Already, there are efforts underway by grassroots activists to tackle the Utah facility, while others have suggested turning off their water, or as recent California legislation seeks to do; turn off their water and electricity.
The Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey says that though the Oak Ridge facility’s work is legitimate, he believes the University of Tennessee needs to not be involved in the spy business.
“The main thing to understand is that this bill denies the NSA material support from the state, and that includes state universities,” said Maharrey. “People are going to be upset because they see value in Oak Ridge. But this legislation only bans material support to those activities which are part of the warrantless mass-surveillance that the federal government has been engaging in, and not everything else. The bottom line is that the people of Tennessee don’t want the NSA consuming massive amounts of their resources so the agency can spy on them, and pretty much everybody in the world too. It has to stop.”
“When Arizona State Sen. Kelli Ward announced her plan to introduce the Fourth Amendment Protection Act a few weeks back, it was a novelty,” Maharrey said. “People had this attitude like, ‘Oh, that’s cute. But it will never amount to anything.’ Today Tennessee makes the eighth state considering action to refuse cooperation with the NSA, and mark my words – more are coming. Big ones. James Madison said that when a number of states refused to cooperate with officers of the Union, it would create roadblocks which the federal government would be unwilling to encounter. This is not symbolic. We intend to box them in and make the NSA stop violating the Constitution.”
Tennessee has taken major steps to beat back the usurpations of the federal government’s violations of the Constitution. Just last week, legislation was introduced to nullify Obamacare and all federal gun laws. It’s nice to see states exercising rights they never gave to the federal government in an attempt to bring their creature back under control.
By Adam Dick
Judge Andrew Napolitano Explains Court Ruling on NSA, Describes Conspiracy Against US Constitution
In interviews Monday and Tuesday, Judge Andrew Napolitano explains the Monday United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruling that certain US National Security Agency mass spying activities are “almost certainly unconstitutional”—a ruling that buttresses Napolitano’s column last week describing such mass spying as a criminal conspiracy to violate rights guaranteed by the US Constitution.
In a Fox and Friends interview with Elisabeth Hasselbeck Tuesday, Napolitano, an RPI Advisory Board member, explains conclusions of the court ruling he believes the US Supreme Court will ultimately review:
So not only is this unconstitutional because it violates the Fourth Amendment, not only is this wrong because it permits the government to listen to all phone calls and keep copies of them forever, but there isn’t even any evidence that it works.
Speaking Monday with Stuart Varney on Fox Business’s Varney and Company, Napolitano expresses how beyond the pale the NSA’s mass spying activities are by comparing the NSA’s dragnet surveillance to Napolitano’s experience with search warrant requests in his former career as a New Jersey state judge. Napolitano explains:
You know I sat on the bench in our home state for many years. I probably signed hundreds, maybe thousands, of search warrants. If the police came to me and said, “We want a search warrant for everybody in this zip code because we are looking for one bad guy,” I wouldn’t have signed it, and no judge in the state would have signed it.
Napolitano describes in his column from last week the criminal conspiracies behind mass spying in the US, involving conspirators from US presidents to telecom employees to local police. The column begins with the following:
Image credit: Flickr/Gage Skidmore
This is What Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Thinks About Your Privacy Rights…
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke yesterday at the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s (NVTC) Titans breakfast gathering in McLean, Virginia. He discussed the fact that prior to a Supreme Court decision in 1967, there were no constitutional prohibitions on wiretaps because conversations were not explicitly granted privacy protection under the Fourth Amendment. He goes on to imply that he thinks it was better before such privacy rights existed. According to the AP:
Scalia said that before the court’s 1967 opinion on wiretapping, the high court held the view that there were no constitutional prohibitions on wiretaps because conversations were not explicitly granted privacy protection under the Fourth Amendment, which protects against Americans against unreasonable search and seizure of “their persons, houses, papers, and effects.”
But he said then the Warren court stepped in and found that “there’s a generalized right of privacy that comes from penumbras and emanations, blah blah blah, garbage.”
Blah, blah, blah garbage is how a Supreme Court Justice describes privacy protections. Protections that may have prevented FBI surveillance against Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon and countless other activists. Remember that: All My Heroes Have FBI Files.
With Justices like this…
*Photo from the AP story.
By: Lance Devon
Government is also spying on your prescription drug use
(NaturalNews) Government bureaucracies use data mining techniques to keep track of almost anything nowadays. Government micromanagement of people’s lives has become the norm. Control freaks in positions of power want to know everything about everybody, usually in order to “keep people safe” or to learn about population trends or to “save lives.” Recent developments reveal that states will be implementing data mining techniques into state education common core standards to track children’s behavior. If recording children’s emotions wasn’t enough, states are now using data mining techniques to record each person’s prescription drug use.
State legislatures across the United States are joining in on implementing databases called Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, which are designed to stop prescription drug abuse and keep people from buying prescription drugs from street dealers.
Privacy stripped again as US citizens become naked punching bags
The mission statement of these programs sounds great, but these costly programs are taking personal medical information from one’s own doctor and handing it over to the hands of a select few government officials. As the right to be secure in one’s own person and papers against unreasonable searches is forfeited, government officials can now snoop around in people’s prescription drug use records legally.
These programs are being implemented across the U.S., costing states up to $1.5 million to start up and up to $1 million a year to maintain. These surveillance programs are primarily an online data mining system that keeps record of people’s prescription drug use.
Can databases like these be used for the greater good, or will the surveillance create a new drug war, where innocents are caught up in the cross hairs of government raids? Anyone with a prescription drug record could essentially be blamed or targeted by false leads or corrupt targeting.
The loss of the Fourth Amendment is the root of the problem here.
In what I would call the debate between a real Libertarian and a part time libertarian, the video says the rest.
Judge Napolitano vs John Stossel Over Severity
Posted by Donald Mathieu
From my perspective John Stossel supports freedom and liberty from a personal perspective based on his own emotions, not on principle. Violations to the fourth amendment, or other amendments, no matter the Constitution, seem to be acceptable to Stossel unless he is personally inconvenienced. No intelligent debate here but always happy to hear Judge Napolitano, who consistently appears as a clean mountain stream surrounded by toxic lakes and rivers.
As always, your thoughts and input are welcome below.
Judge Napolitano Discusses Latest Edward Snowden Revelations
Posted by MichaelSavage4Prez Jun 13, 2013
By Bill Walker
4 Ways the Fourth Amendment’s Already Being Pummeled in a Non-Top Secret Way(Reason.com
The Fourth Amendment didn’t become dead letter overnight. The NSA’s unprecedented access to Americans’ personal data may have been top secret, but the Fourth Amendment’s been getting pummeled for years out in the open. Here are four other ways Americans’ rights to security in their persons, houses, papers, and effects have been eroded.
To read more go to : http://reason.com
By Judy Morris
Secret court won’t object to release of opinion on illegal surveillance
In a rare public ruling by the nation’s most secretive judicial body, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled Wednesday that it did not object to the release of a classified 86-page opinion concluding that some of the U.S. government’s surveillance activities were unconstitutional.
The ruling, signed by the court’s chief judge, Reggie Walton, rejected the Justice Department’s arguments that the secret national security court’s rules prevented disclosure of the opinion. Instead, the court found that because the document was in the possession of the Justice Department, it was subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act.
Privacy advocates who brought the case said Wednesday that the ruling could pave the way for at least the partial release of landmark — but still classified — court rulings that some government surveillance activities violated the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution barring “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
The release of the opinion, they say, may prove central in the current controversy over the scope of National Security Agency surveillance programs.
Read the rest at NBC News, here.
By Ali Papademetriou
Rand Paul Pushing Lawsuit Against NSA for Spying on Americans
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, son of former liberty loving Congressman Ron Paul has already made a public statement regarding the National Security Agency (NSA) spying on millions of Americans’ phone records and emails and now he’s going as far as requesting citizens join him in a lawsuit against the agency.
On Sunday the Kentucky Senator told “Fox News Sunday” that he would be seeking the help of those angered over their Fourth Amendment being violated to follow his lead in a class-action lawsuit. “I’m going to be asking all the Internet providers and all of the phone companies: Ask your customers to join in a class-action lawsuit,” explained Paul.
He went on to detail, “If we get 10 million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at, then maybe someone will wake up and something will change in Washington.”
Second NSA PRISM Spy Leak Shows Govt, Tech Companies Are Lying to You
A second leaked slide from the NSA’s top secret PRISM operation details how the NSA actually goes straight to the servers of top tech companies like Skype and Google in order to compile your personal chats and information — exactly what the U.S. Director of National Intelligence and major corporations said wasn’t happening in statements made yesterday.
Quite frankly, it looks like The Guardian has absolutely side swiped the Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Facebook, Skype, Google, and a host of others who denied that the NSA PRISM program was directly tied into the tech company servers. More specifically, there was heavy denial in regards to how the NSA spy program actually worked, which is actually now detailed on the second slide. A slide that, at the time of writing this, has not even hit the front of Drudge or other sources. Here is the slide from the top secret PRISM project, which utilizes the top tech companies in order to watch and hold every letter you type through their services:
Image added to original post.