Skip to comments.The Emerging Surveillance State[Ron Paul]
Posted on 04/07/2008 9:49:09 AM PDT by BGHater
Last month, the House amended the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to expand the governments ability to monitor our private communications. This measure, if it becomes law, will result in more warrantless government surveillance of innocent American citizens.
Though some opponents claimed that the only controversial part of this legislation was its grant of immunity to telecommunications companies, there is much more to be wary of in the bill. In the House version, Title II, Section 801, extends immunity from prosecution of civil legal action to people and companies including any provider of an electronic communication service, any provider of a remote computing service, any other communication service provider who has access to wire or electronic communications, any parent, subsidiary, affiliate, successor, or assignee of such company, any officer, employee, or agent of any such company, and any landlord, custodian, or other person who may be authorized or required to furnish assistance. The Senate version goes even further by granting retroactive immunity to such entities that may have broken the law in the past.
The new FISA bill allows the federal government to compel many more types of companies and individuals to grant the government access to our communications without a warrant. The provisions in the legislation designed to protect Americans from warrantless surveillance are full of loopholes and ambiguities. There is no blanket prohibition against listening in on all American citizens without a warrant.
We have been told that this power to listen in on communications is legal and only targets terrorists. But if what these companies are being compelled to do is legal, why is it necessary to grant them immunity? If what they did in the past was legal and proper, why is it necessary to grant them retroactive immunity?
In communist East Germany , one in every 100 citizens was an informer for the dreaded secret police, the Stasi. They either volunteered or were compelled by their government to spy on their customers, their neighbors, their families, and their friends. When we think of the evil of totalitarianism, such networks of state spies are usually what comes to mind. Yet, with modern technology, what once took tens of thousands of informants can now be achieved by a few companies being coerced by the government to allow it to listen in to our communications. This surveillance is un-American.
We should remember that former New York governor Eliot Spitzer was brought down by a provision of the PATRIOT Act that required enhanced bank monitoring of certain types of financial transactions. Yet we were told that the PATRIOT Act was needed to catch terrorists, not philanderers. The extraordinary power the government has granted itself to look into our private lives can be used for many purposes unrelated to fighting terrorism. We can even see how expanded federal government surveillance power might be used to do away with political rivals.
The Fourth Amendment to our Constitution requires the government to have a warrant when it wishes to look into the private affairs of individuals. If we are to remain a free society we must defend our rights against any governmental attempt to undermine or bypass the Constitution.
LoL, OMG, when the Spitzer case first came out, someone made a parody post, and others made a lot of jokes that the rats would use it to attack the Patriot Act.
“LEAVE RON PAUL ALONE!!!”
Once the dems are in charge, opinions about the “patriot” act are going to change around here. Republicans would have never allowed Gore these broad powers, and now Obama or Hillary are going to have them. Big mistake.
I’ll have to see what other opinions from people ‘in the know’ I can find on this act. I take everything Ron Paul says with a grain of salt.
Ron Paul is as nutty as squirrel sh1+.
Ron Paul may be wrong on foreign affairs but he is right on about these ever increasing Government powers.
Just think about it- why should a bank be forced to spy on their customers for depositing or withdrawing their money. The Government must first establish a reasonable cause to have a bank monitor the activities of a customer. After that has been established then monitor that customer’s accounts, not before.
Ron Paul is wrong.
The Fourth Amendment to our Constitution DOES NOT require the government to have a warrant when it wishes to look into the private affairs of individuals.
The Fourth Amendment says:
“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.”
The Fourth Amendment prohibits “unreasonable” searches and seizures.
Further it states that Warrants require probable cause.
It does not say that the government has to have a warrant for a search and seizure to be reasonable.
In fact, there have always been many circumstances in which a search or seizure is reasonable even without a warrant.
Courts have developed a number of exceptions to the warrant requirement: Plain view doctrine, Open fields doctrine, Exigent circumstances, Motor vehicle exception, Searches incident to a lawful arrest, Border Search Exception and other miscellaneous exceptions.
Why would Ron Paul get this wrong when he should know better?
Ron Paul maybe an educated moron on at times but are you so blind that you can not judge for yourself the threat of the new provisions of the Patriot Act.
Hey. Would you cut out all that logical thinking please? We still have a little time left to give President Clinton more power to spy on us.
Ron Paul does know better- its about the power of Government.
The Constitution has been and continues to be eroded with these type of exceptions.
Do you really want any Government to have these kind of powers of requiring banks to spy you?
You sound like the, “Legal Mind After Sun Down”
It is already here. Surveillance cameras have been on every street corner throughout the nation for several years, but the RAT party, and the terrorist sympathizers are only concerned with wire -taps of their phones. Go figure.
LOL Untwist your panties, Ed. I said I was going to seek out other opinions on the issue, as I take what Ronnie says with a grain of salt. If my other research bears out what Paul has claimed, then fine. But I don’t take what he says about things as gospel, as he has shown himself to be a bit reactionary at times.
Im always amazed by the patriots here who back the patriot act
That is because they are not Patriots at all.
"Look, I'm a reasonable guy, but I've just experienced some very unreasonable things..."
- Jack Burton, from the film Big Trouble In Little China
The only whining I have heard from the old media is when terrorists are wire-tapped. It is ok for big brother to monitor honest citizens. Just more hate-filled behavior by the old media.
Innocent American citizens????
How about terrorists, their enablers, and their sympathizers?
BTW, So what if Spitzer got caught? Sorry to the Paultards here, but he was GUILTY as sin.
Ron Paul needs to get it into his empty head that everything changed on September 11, 2001. His naive and moronic outlook will get hundreds of thousands of innocent American citizens killed.