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Grandview Sunrise © Robert Sommers 2017

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Huxley, Orwell and Kafka are sitting in this bar...


I don't want to run this wiretapping, civil liberties thing into the ground. Most of you are sick of it. 56% of Americans are apparently cool with the recently disclosed PRISM program. There was an interesting article in the New York Times today that brings up a fact that maybe bears repeating; it is that once the government gets a tool like this in their pocket they eventually use it for anything they want to;
...while use of the database may currently be limited to terrorism, history has shown that new powers granted to the government for one purpose often end up being applied to others. An expanded search warrant authority that Congress granted in the Patriot Act justified by the Sept. 11 attacks, for example, was used far more often in routine investigations like suspected drug, fraud, tax, weapons and extortion offenses.
That is why police departments all over the country couldn't wait to get their hands on the new drones for domestic use. Will be very useful in President Obama's drug war, help keep all the municipal coffers filled. Ditto the delayed notice warrant statutes that came courtesy of the Patriot Act. This was never about terrorism. Come on now. 70% of the cases were drug related. Police were absolutely giddy. It always starts out about terrorism and then pretty soon the government does anything it feels like with its new toys.

If I may be permitted to digress for a brief moment, what do you think reefer smoking Barry Obama of Punahou School's infamous choom gang would say to President Barack Obama, the man whose marijuana policy put over 800,000 people in jail last year? Probably spit in his face.

delayed notice warrants issued - 2006-2009

Anyway, as I was saying, the Patriot Act gave law enforcement a new tool, the delayed warrant, also known as the sneak and peak. This provision essentially rendered the fourth amendment useless.
Under the USA PATRIOT Act signed into law during the 107th United States Congress on October 26, 2001, sneak and peek warrants for the first time in United States history were used as standard procedure in investigations. Sneak and peek warrants are addressed in Section 213, under Title II or the Enhanced Surveillance Procedures. These warrants are not exclusive to acts of foreign and domestic terrorism. Sneak and peek warrants are applicable to any federal crime, including misdemeanors.
So hey, you haven't done anything wrong, you've got nothing to hide. So what if they keep all of your personal and communication data in some cold storage facility in Utah. Not like you can't trust the government...

The Bill of Rights is so old school. If it can't keep up with the new technology, we just may have to scrap it.


Former Senator Russ Feingold queries DOJ on Patriot Act 9/23/09

“Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), a leading critic of the PATRIOT Act, challenged Assistant Attorney General David Kris about why powers supposedly needed to fight terrorism were instead being used for common criminal cases.

This authority here on the sneak-and-peek side, on the criminal side, is not meant for intelligence,” said Kris. “It’s for criminal cases. So I guess it’s not surprising to me that it applies in drug cases.

“As I recall it was in something called the USA PATRIOT Act,” Feingold retorted, “which was passed in a rush after an attack on 9/11 that had to do with terrorism it didn’t have to do with regular, run-of-the-mill criminal cases. Let me tell you why I’m concerned about these numbers: That’s not how this was sold to the American people. It was sold as stated on DoJ’s website in 2005 as being necessary – quote – to conduct investigations without tipping off terrorists,” he said.
“I think it’s quite extraordinary to grant government agents the statutory authority to secretly breaks into Americans’ homes in criminal cases, and I think some Americans might be concerned it’s been used hundreds of times in just a single year in non-terrorism cases,” the Wisconsin progressive continued. “That’s why I’m proposing additional safeguards to make sure that this authority is available where necessary, but not in virtually every criminal case.”

3 comments:

Jon Harwood said...

The young 'uns have already adapted to nearly nonexistent privacy. The rest of us will be "screwed" by this inertia unless the implications of the situation are actually understood, something I doubt will happen. It doesn't sound like the current situation is terribly bad but that dim space in your computer display, that is the camel's nose in the tent. If you worry about the rest of the camel you won't be complacent about what is happening.

Anonymous said...

Funny, but I notice you're not getting very many "comments" to your blog postings anymore! Think you scared 'em all off with tales your recent 'tour'?

;>)

Anon.

Blue Heron said...

I've noticed that too, anon. Can't says I blame them. Please speak clearly into the plastic flower...