Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Executive Warrantless Eavesdropping OKed By Supremes

Five Justices of the Supreme Court... I don't even need to mention which five... dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act [of 2008], the law that underpins most warrantless eavesdropping. Glenn Greenwald's assessment:
This means that the lawsuit is dismissed without any ruling on whether the US government's new eavesdropping powers violate core constitutional rights. The background of this case is vital to understanding why this is so significant.
The consequences are pretty obvious to me: any vestige of constitutionally protected privacy we may once have had (e.g., under the Fourth Amendment) is rapidly slipping away. I'd say the only privacy Americans have left is the privacy they can manage by technological means. And given the reputedly high level of tradecraft of the NSA, I wouldn't put a lot of stock in that, either.

There is some irony here. The most right-wing Americans are all in favor of this kind of warrantless spying on American citizens, on the basis that it keeps us safe from terrorists... a loss of political privacy from government snooping is essential, in their opinion, to our physical safety. Yet many of those same right-wing nutjobs, especially those obsessed with a religiosity I cannot comprehend, are intent on suppressing the obvious outcome of any personal sexual privacy we may once have had. I suppose there's a sort of foolish consistency there... no privacy of any sort is to be allowed... but I am not happy to see the hobgoblins taking over the little minds again. Damned if I am relinquishing my privacy, personal or political, for the sake of some terrified bastard's notion of physical safety and security.


  1. You might be a right-winger if you believe that government is not to be trusted to provide health care for all Americans, but *is* to be trusted to regulate the lady organs of all female-Americans. If you believe government is not to be trusted to provide basic food assistance to all Americans who need it, but if you believe government IS to be trusted with tools capable of spying on all Americans. If you believe in two contradictory things at once -- that government is to be trusted, and that government is not to be trusted -- why, you might be a conservative.


    - Badtux the "Doublethink, much?" Penguin



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