Sunday, February 7, 2010

In the words of Alastor Moody: CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!

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.

No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, or be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…

The fourth and fifth amendments to the United States Constitution forbid our federal government, and all of its branches, from infringing upon our individual freedoms. The fact that these prohibitions against government and legal harassment are laid out in the federal constitution means that they trump state constitutionality.

In other words, no government or law enforcement official is permitted to scrutinize your home, your person, your business, your papers, or your correspondence, with the full power of Constitutional law set against them.

That makes the proposed encrypted, law-enforcement-only, backdoor into private data unconstitutional. Illegal, in other words.

According to Declan McCullagh, law enforcement agencies want the process by which warrants are served to access private data streamlined, and want ISPs to be forced to archive data for much longer than they otherwise do. Of course, the agencies would protest that it’s only to streamline the warrant request process; however, the FBI has been known to fabricate emergencies to gain access to private data—phone numbers, IP addresses, you name it.

See, the thing is that, once a branch of government (which is what law enforcement is) gets a “back door” into all of the electronically stored, private data, like who pays for what private organization’s website, who donates to them, and (quite probably) who frequents them—all in the name of Law and Order and National Security, doncha know—even if it’s only allowed with so-called proper paperwork, there’s no way it won’t be abused by every branch of government. Everyone, from congresscritters looking for dirt on opposition to law enforcement looking for anyone breaking any kind of law so they can make names for themselves to the IRS looking for people’s TurboTax data (hoping to find somebody who’s cheated that isn’t in a Presidential cabinet, or in congress), will be illegally sifting through everyone’s data.

Not long after that, they’ll be looking at the private data of free sites, like Blogger and Hotmail and Yahoo! and Gmail, keeping an eye peeled for domestic terrorists—er, dissenters from the accepted politically correct opinion.

So, this infringement upon the fourth and fifth amendments will probably lead to infringements upon the first. It really is up to us to prevent the government from abusing us—using the second amendment, if need be.

This isn’t a big news story—but it is out there. We need to keep an eye on our employees, so that they don’t become our masters, and we their slaves.


  1. Personally, I could care less who reads my blog, emails or Google searches.

    I am concerned about 'those people' who use those computer 'services' planning 'attacks, etc.'
    against our country.

  2. It's not that I'm not concerned, my friend; it's that I'm also concerned about infringements upon the God-given rights we have that the government was expressly forbidden to mess with. I'm not afraid people will read my blog. When it comes down to it, and while I like my job, I don't think I should have to stay silent for fear of losing it.

    Also, a people who deems one right expendable is well on the way to losing them all, because government is never satisfied going only so far and no farther. It's the nature of the beast.

  3. George Bush was not a favorite of mine (all though, when I look at Obama, George does look better!).

    I was in full support of putting 'privacy' aside to nail a terrorist
    and their activities.

  4. I wouldn't mind if such a "back door" could only be accessed by a numbered warrant, and only for a certain individual's data; however that doesn't seem to be how it would be set up. I'll agree that those engaged in terrorist activities (or those who happen to be child predators) don't deserve the same rights that we do to have their data hidden; won't just be their data that law enforcement will be sorting through.

    What I worry about is the ability of law enforcement to get into data without warrants--which is unconstitutional--and go on "fishing expeditions" where they don't have probable cause.

    It's not just terrorists that they'd be looking for. Do you really think they wouldn't use an "electronic back door" to go after those who use marijuana? And you know they would, too. The way the "War on Drugs" has been prosecuted is just as unconstitutional--there's no way law enforcement wouldn't abuse this tech in their pursuit of those who choose to use marijuana--it's the "gateway drug" that leads to all other addictions (or so they've been told).

  5. "marijuana' privacy: Those who apply for a 'license to smoke'
    could be just like those who would be required to give the GOV
    a list of their firearms....

    After 50 years, I don't need no stinkin' license.

  6. It's not just the license, my friend. You, and many others, are very vocal about legalizing something that the puritanical feds don't want people to be allowed to enjoy. Those in law enforcement taking my class often talk about how bad an idea that legalization is, and how they'd like to have talk about it stopped. They talk about how they think those that advocate legalization are probably those that smoke, and ergo, are criminals that need to be arrested. And you, yourself, both advocate legalization and talk about smoking often.

    Should this craptastic idea actually get enacted, they will eventually be going after the people like you--the ones that enjoy something that the nanny-staters think is bad for you, and should be (and is) against the law. And, given the way everything that law enforcement does is prone to abuse "for the good of all," they will be going on fishing expeditions without warrants so that they can take the dangerous druggies like they think you are off the streets.

    Though, now that I think of it...that might not be too bad of a retirement plan for you, given the state of Social Security... ^_^

  7. Though, now that I think of it...that might not be too bad of a retirement plan for you, given the state of Social Security... .....

    I do remember writing a post on this exact point.

    Should SS ever crap out---I had/have plans to rob a bank.

    If I fail, I will let the GOV cover my room and board, health care, etc.....via prison.


Sorry, folks. A hundred plus spam comments in an hour equals moderation, so until further're gonna have to wait for your comments to be approved before they show up.