Posts Tagged ‘Right to petition’

What Prism Knows: 8 Metadata Facts – Security – Government and

June 21, 2013

What Prism Knows: 8 Metadata Facts:
http://www.informationweek.com/security/government/what-prism-knows-8-metadata-facts/240156956?pgno=2

This paragraph in particular caught my attention, and I don’t think it even includes the IRS-written additions to the tax code as passed by Congress:

With persistent surveillance, Marlinspike said one fear is that by capturing so much information on U.S. citizens, a determined investigator could likely find some type of charges to file against a suspect, given that legal experts estimate that on the books. “If the federal government had access to every email you’ve ever written and every phone call you’ve ever made, it’s almost certain that they could find something you’ve done which violates a provision in the 27,000 pages of federal statutes or 10,000 administrative regulations,” said Marlinspike. “You probably do have something to hide, you just don’t know it yet.”

And get this juicy bit, notice how this Mr. Lewis makes a real sneaky case, like an illusionist trick I’ll explain:

How much metadata should the government be allowed to capture or use? “The drafters of the Constitution did not propose some absolute right to privacy; they … saw privacy as a means to achieve a larger goal, to protect political liberties,” said James A. Lewis, a senior fellow and director of the Technology and Public Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in a blog post.

His argument: if it safeguards people’s political liberties, then capturing metadata is a useful technique. “The essential political rights are freedom of expression and assembly, freedom from arbitrary detention, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” Lewis said. “If these four rights are protected, surveillance is immaterial in its effect on civil liberties.”

He points to four essential “political liberties” as if they are the ones that count, as if they are the only ones that count. Note that he left out another very important one, the one that is DIRECTLY violated by the NSA practices (and no doubt by every

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.
http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_Am4.html

Massive metadata collection is absolutely UNREASONABLE. We all know that. Blabbing on about these other four “rights” reminds me of the rich young ruler that obeyed four commandments, but he failed on the biggest one, because he loved his riches more than God.