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Obama Official: Once We’ve Got Your Data, it’s Not Subject to the Constitution

I am grateful to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board for at least holding hearings on the subject of the massive warrantless surveillance. On March 19, 2014, the PCLOB held a hearing and subsequently produced a transcript so that we can hear the Obama administration’s point of view on civil liberties.

As you already [...]

Restore the Fourth Protests against Surveillance ready to hit 60 U.S. Cities on July 4, 2013

In late June 2013, I shared information with you about Restore the Fourth protests taking place in 34 cities across the United States. These demonstrations react to the news that President Barack Obama has unleashed a vast civilian and military surveillance program, collecting up all phone, e-mail, text message and large-provide internet traffic — including [...]

Restore The Fourth Protests around the United States, July 4 2013

“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.”

This [...]

U.S. Government Financial Surveillance Hit All-Time High in 2012 — Media Fall Silent

Think back 5 years to the case of Eliot Spitzer, who then was Governor of New York and a rising political star. Some said he should run for President, but then Spitzer’s political career came to an end. When the U.S. government found out that Spitzer had been consorting with prostitutes, Governor Spitzer left office [...]

As Congress Reauthorizes FISA, Evidence Shows Anti-Terrorism Authority Used to Stop Protests Against Banks

As we reported yesterday, the U.S. Senate is poised to reauthorize the FISA Amendments Act today with little debate. In effect since 2008, the FISA Amendments Act supersedes the 4th Amendment right of the people against unreasonable search and seizure by granting the U.S. Government power to search through and seize people’s communications and other [...]

H.R. 5949 and S. 3276 — Legislation Reauthorizing Massive Surveillance — is Being IGNORED. WAKE UP.

In 2008, when the FISA Amendments Act was being considered by the Congress as an effort to legalize…

– physical searches of Americans’ homes – physical searches of Americans’ cars – physical searches of Americans’ offices – surveillance of Americans’ phone calls – surveillance of Americans’ e-mails – surveillance of Americans’ internet use – tracking [...]

One-Two Punch to Balance of Power this Week: Patriot Act and Perpetual War

While we were watching the train wreck of Patriot Act passage last week, the House of Representatives quietly passed a bill that grants the President of the United States the right to engage in perpetual war. Together, these bills concentrate power in the hands of the man who is already the single-most powerful person on [...]

81st Way to Exasperate a Liberal: Characterize Probable Cause as a Burden to be Bypassed

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is very clear about what the United States government has to have in order to search through and seize the property, papers and personal effects of people under its jurisdiction. The government has to demonstrate probable cause:

Amendment IV. The right of the people to be secure in their [...]

Allyson Schwartz Delivers Empty, Incorrect Message on the Patriot Act

Regular reader and Pennsylvania Green Party activist Ross Levin asked me to share a letter he received from his member of Congress, Representative Allyson Schwartz. Ross had asked Rep. Schwartz to explain why she had repeatedly supported reauthorization of the Patriot Act without any reforms (voting YES for Patriot Act powers most recently in February [...]

WaPo: 4,058 Little Brothers are Watching You

Dana Priest and William Arkin publish an expose in this morning’s Washington Post that collects together hundreds of previously released documents and combines them with new interviews and documentation to summarize the state of government surveillance in America. They document the existence of 4,058 agencies of federal, state and local government connected together through fusion [...]

Government Transparency on Warrantless Wiretapping, Obama Style

Take a tally! Look at what I promised during the campaign. There’s not a single thing that I’ve said that I would do that I have not either done or tried to do. And if I haven’t gotten it done yet, I’m still trying to do it.

– President Barack Obama, December 7 2010

As [...]