Section 215, What’s The Issue?

Last night the Senate burned the midnight oil (so to speak) in trying to pass an extension to the Patriot Act. It is amazing how something could be so Constitutionally wrong and yet seem necessary in the times we live in. Why is there such a problem?

Forgetting Presidential year politics, the trouble in passing a modified Patriot Act stems from the NSA/FBI/CIA’s prerogative to collect telephone records and then search them with a court order later. Why the objections?

Why should not the FBI search telephone records, detect that suspect A has contacted numbers known to be terrorists, get a court order and then confirm the terrorist connection?

The opposition to section 215 boils down (IMO) to whether you can trust the Government or not. Hmmm.

The Constitution’s 4th Amendment protects American against “unreasonable search and seizure”. The NSA had no “constitutional” right to collect meta data of all calls made in the US.  You might ask, if the NSA confined its searches to finding terrorists and “preventing” terrorist acts, how can that not be in the public’s best interest?

The underlying fear is that the NSA would yield the meta data to the FBI, CIA, the Treasury Department (taxes), or any other Government Department wanting to know if anyone was breaking laws or regulations. This practice is often called “fishing” and has been generally disallowed in courts as evidence. With a court order, searching meta data for a specific suspect, could identify many others also who might also have violated some law or regulation. This could lead to the possibility of many being charged as guilty until they could prove themselves innocent. Does this sound like a third world country?

Interestingly, Americans have already ceded the power to collect meta data to the phone companies. Google and most other on-line retailers already possess means to track our movements in real time. Privacy seems now to exist only for those with no phone or credit card. Hmmm.

I guess we should ask how many terrorists or terrorist plots have been uncovered?  Hmmm.  None.  Hmmm.

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Explore posts in the same categories: 2106 Presidential election, 4th Amendment, Democratic Party, NSA, Patriot Act, Politics, Rand Paul, Republican Party, terrorists

2 Comments on “Section 215, What’s The Issue?”

  1. List of X Says:

    The real question is, why should I trust the government if it obviously doesn’t trust me?


    • X, well put, but there are many more reasons not to trust the government… for example, look at the dysfunctional congress, or the revolving door of government appointments who serve the government in expectation of receiving a bigger payoff once back again in the private sector…

      And to beat a dead horse… there are numerous studies that show those who are the jailers, even every day regular citizens, suddenly become very much low lifes with respect to others they are to supervise…

      Hmmm.


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