• #1
    "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."

    What part of "shall not" do they not understand?
  • #68
    Says a document written over 200 years ago by men who had no idea of the reality facing us today. Not in terms of the population of the world or the technology available to the masses. No phone, no lights no motorcars etc., etc.,
    Explain to me what part of your phone records responds to your property in your house?
    I'm more concerned with the fact they can come and get you in the middle of the night and put you on trial without counsel than I am with who I call how often or what items I'm watching on ebay or god help me what I'm posting on Politix.
  • #70

    God inspired our Founding Fathers to formulate the united States Constitution.

    It is true our Founding Fathers could not possibly perceive the technological advances of our day nor the intensity of the opposition in the world to our form of government, and way of life. However, an all knowing God did. Any perceived defects in that Divine Banner can be addressed by the amendment process. Any legislation or regulation that circumvents this process is unconstitutional and a threat to all our God given, and Constitutional Rights. This is true no matter how good an argument may be or compelling any situation may appear.
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  • #5
    When The Patriot Act was first rushed through, only a small number of people said it was a bad idea and they were called traitors and un-American and all sorts of other nasty things. Now we can all see why it was a bad idea from the first. It should be repealed.
  • #28
    The Patriot act is just the latest round of information mining.
    similar programs have been running for decades, and so far there have been no allegations of any malfeasance on the part of govt.
  • #29
    @HeresSomeTruth Thanks. I was also making sense back when they were talking about passing the Patriot Act and I said it was a bad idea. And every conservative who read that opinion called me a hippie bleeding-heart weakling who just didn't understand the necessities of war. Funny how times change, isn't it?

    Know what I think? I think it still happens. I think I make sense on a lot of issues even though conservatives call me names because of my opinions. But that's just my opinion...:-)
  • #31
    @harold_lloyd I agree - I've not heard that it's been misused but I also assume we are not hearing every move made by Homeland Security. Secret Police tend to be... secretive, afterall.

    Still, let's say it has not been misused yet. The rule of law is there for a reason and I would like to see a return to it. I do not want to have to trust that the police will behave themselves -- history shows us that police may mean well but to do a perfect job, we'd all have to agree to live in a fishbowl. I don't want that.
  • #33
    @Zazziness You do know that then 'Senator' Biden had drafted the core articles that were used in the patriot act back in 1995 in a piece of legislation called Omnibus Counterterrorism Act. He introduced the bill on behalf of the Clinton Admin. The federal gov't used the "attacks" of 9/11 as an excuse to push that legislation (renamed the patriot act<=because what American doesn't want to be a patriot) through.
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  • #81
    @Fishbone345 If the Libertarians would influence and merge with the Republicans and fundamentally change that party, that would be ideal. Otherwise voting third party is giving the Democrats more power over everyone, as their mindless followers hardly ever defect from party line propaganda.
  • #83
    @Concerned_Cit The problem with that lies in Republicans who feel they should govern peoples lives. They are no different from the Democrats other than they represent the other side of the same coin.
    Legislating the way you want is still legislation. And legislation is the problem, not the solution.
  • #128
    @Concerned_Cit I don't really think we can change the party of no. There is way to many religious zealots in the party who don't really believe in personal freedom. I believe it is time to abandon the old girl.
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  • #27
    They aren't thugs, they're nice people who work for the govt. They stay within the law as congress wrote it, special courts and all, to keep it legal.
    In 60 years, no misuse of information has ever been alleged.

    Stop being paranoid and start being informed.
  • #50

    Whether they are "nice people" or not is irrelevant. Their temperament does not concern me. They are power hungry and power-abusive. They have violated my liberties which countless people have died for, and I for one will not stand for it.

    Paranoid? Is it paranoia to zealously defend that which we are utterly lucky to have and is not offered anywhere else? I think it's time for you sir to wake up and realize that your freedoms are being stolen all around you. Because quite frankly, I do not care whether or not they have misused the information, not that I take your word that they haven't, and not that I would be so naive to believe that we would know about it if they had. The fact is that the shear possession of that information is illegal. It is a violation of my fourth amendment rights and I will not sit by and watch it happen.

    My trust needs to be earned. And they haven't done a very good job of it so far.
  • #84
    @harold_lloyd - "In 60 years, no misuse of information has ever been alleged."

    I beg to differ, sir.

    May 2006

    US Government has Long History of Abusing Personal Information
    by Ron Hutcheson

    "WASHINGTON - President Bush has assured Americans that their government isn't spying on them, but history explains why many remain uneasy about this week's news that their phone records have been turned over to federal agents.

    The government has a long track record of abusing personal information that's gathered in the name of national security. From the Red Scare in the 1920s to illegal wiretaps during the Nixon era, Americans have struggled to find the right balance between individual rights and collective security.

    "The potential for abuse is awesome," a Senate investigation committee concluded in a 1976 report detailing illegal wiretaps, break-ins and other abuses that government agents committed in the 1960s and `70s.

    The Senate panel, known as the "Church committee" after its chairman, Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, warned that technological advances would make it even harder for the government to stay within acceptable limits of respecting privacy rights, especially when the nation is at risk of attack.

    "In time of crisis, the government will exercise its power to conduct domestic intelligence activities to the fullest extent. The distinction between legal dissent and criminal conduct is easily forgotten," the committee wrote. "In an era where the technological capability of government relentlessly increases, we must be wary about the drift toward `big brother government.'''

    The government has been collecting and storing information on its citizens since at least 1912, when the Bureau of Investigation, the forerunner to the FBI, recruited waiters, socialites and other well-placed individuals to eavesdrop on conversations and report any suspicious talk."

    More information at the link.
  • #133

    I had overlooked Hoover, he was an example of the worst ethics in law enforcement or intelligence.
    But other than that, no willful misuse is alleged.

    However, I freely admit that even one exception is way too many.
  • #14
    Patriot Act came under President Bush, so I do fault him for not making this Act much more limiting in its scope. It has continued under President Obama, so it is not a Republican vs Democrat issue, it is an issue of National Security Administration and their intrusion into our private lives for National Security Reasons. It should be abolished and if they wish to have powers to obtain these records on persons suspected of criminal activity, pass a bill that will address this in a manner that does not violate the citizenships rights.
  • #11
    This use to be a country of laws not men. Since Obama took office that has rapidly changed. Today, if Obama does not like a law, he decides not to implement it. If Congress refuses to pass a law that gives him a power he wants, he ignores it, writes an executive order that makes the wanted legislation, law. So, he chooses which laws apply and which do not, based on his biases. That some of the data might be useful, most of it is not. The government has the right to grab the data from overseas calls, which contain about 99.999% of threats. We now live under a Tyrant with the title of President.
  • #15
    Malarky. Bush added more signing statements to bills than any other President in history, saying his administration would not act upon them. But we didn't hear any of that from you then, did we?

    In fact, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts you supported The Patriot Act when it was first proposed, didn't you?
  • #116
    @Zazziness Your wrong about Patriot act. Your sort of right about signing statements. But Bush never outright brokethe laws like Obama has.
  • #9
    Of course Obama opposes ending another one of his unconstitutional and simply unamerican tactics to keep tabs on Americans and enforce the police state. Did any of you liberals actually think he would support doing away with it??
  • #88
    This was a President Bush era law, not under Obama. Obama has done nothing to stop the activity, it was originally totally a Republican Bill and passed with overwhelming support of all Republicans. I cannot blame Obama for it. And to answer before asked, I don't like the Obama agenda, and I don't support many of his Executive Orders. I did not vote for him in either election.
  • #2
    This issue is really complicated:

    1. if the data is actually used only for data mining to identify terrorists, it would make us safer and not affect our individual privacy much.

    2. can we trust the State to stop there? the IRS obviously would not.

    3. Our privacy is being eroded from all directions anyway, from any number of government and private agencies.

    The DoD, of which the NSA is part, has proven to be reasonably ethical, so I'm inclined to side with the State here, but I sure have misgivings.
  • #8
    Perhaps there is a way to isolate the information and guarantee that privacy is not violated. But, before a law abiding country can engage in this activity they need to address the Constitution. It is unreasonable that any of my information be seized by the Federal Government where I have a substantial expectation of privacy.

    If "reason" is the highest law of the land, then we are doomed.
  • #16
    I have NO trust that my government will not use any information they can possibly get their grubby, slimy fingers on for whatever purpose suits them be it legal, illegal, constitutional, or unconstitutional. They have proven their insincerity, untrustworthiness, and sliminess many times over which would negate any expectation of trust from American citizens in any situation.
  • #18
    @DerivePI I think our privacy has been doomed for many decades; what had protected us is that nobody (except the IRS) has been looking for us individually unless we did something questionable or became a celebrity. Of course, "questionable" behavior was defined by various powers as joining a political party, participating in victimless crimes, and so on, but in general, nobody was scrutinizing us.

    That has changed in the last 5-10 years, and only part of the evil comes from people we vote for. Now we know what the IRS is up to, and soon we'll know what some other agencies are up to. But Microsoft and Google can, and maybe do, know everything you do on the internet, and they can also see a lot of what you do with your TV and telephone. Those guys are not under much oversight, and if they ever turn evil, they have different ways of turning your life upside down.

    So, what the NSA is doing is minor, in the grand scheme of things. PRISM takes away 1% of our privacy, and if they stop there, we're better off for it. Google and the IRS are going far beyond that, and the latter is giving us nothing but tyranny back for it.
  • #21
    Since this has been ongoing for 60 years or so, and never has been a secret, I fell fairly confident that if someone were to try use it for some nefarious purpose that we would have heard about it from the sorts of people who keep an eye on these things.
    Like Jane's Defence Weekly.
  • #24

    It's not the govt you should be worrying about.
    Anyone can buy the data the govt is getting, and even more. Nothing you do electronically is private unless you use something like PGP, which was developed at about the same time as some people realized the truth about electronic privacy, 20 or so years ago.
    But PGP never really caught on, people thought it was too much trouble to protect their rather mundane information.
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  • #25
    It's frankly frightening how brash our government is in their goals of wiping out our rights. Give an inch, they'll take a mile
  • #19
    america has been snooping on itself from the j edgar hoover era of paranoia at the Federal Bureau of Idiots. Only now has it become "outrage". Is it serious? Yes and it always has been but I object to the "momentary interest" "outrage". The situation needs serious open discussion and legislation to protect privacy. Unfortunately neither are likely.
  • #72
    "James Sensenbrenner - the AUTHOR OF THE ORIGINAL PATRIOT ACT - now explaining that NSA spying exceeds the limits of what he even wants." (Guardian at 4:14pm)
    He's supporting the Amash bill which is is in the process of being called to a vote.
  • #22
    @politixdavid an interesting poll would be "Which government agency would you trust the least with your personal information?" The usual suspects are, let's see, the NSA and the IRS, maybe the FBI and "All the Above"
  • #32
    How about the driver license bureau?

    What about your bank, or your credit card, or your phone?
    They all sell every scrap of information you give them or that they can collect as you transact your daily business.
    Now think of all that information bought by the Koch brothers.
    Combine it with new discoveries in neuroscience.
    And Voila! The Koch brothers buy themselves a government!

    That's what should scare you...
  • #144
    @harold_lloyd my family lineage is traceble back to 1600's. I found a site that would do a sort of DNA trace to really break down my lineage further, then I thought do I really want to volunteer my DNA to be stuck in some data base....aort of creepy how far things have gone...
  • #145
    Your DNA can be used in a number f ways.
    It can be the basis of a gene therapy, if you have the right sequence.

    Or it can be used to predict the course of your health throughout your life.
    Which can be good if you get the data, or bad if your insurance company does.
  • #13
    The sad fact is even if it passes and some how became law the government wouldn't abide by it. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land . They ignore it every second of every day. The only way to force government to obey the law is to get read of the two parties who have been and are in direct conflict of the Constitution.
  • #98
    Hey Edward....... Edward Snowden. Our leaders could use another dose of reality shoved up their butts. What have you got to help America with today?
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