* * * Search And Seizure And The NSA * * *
- Search And Seizure
And The NSA
By Ron Branson
National JAIL4Judges Commander-In-Chief
One of the more controversial issues of the day is that regarding the National Security Agency (N.S.A.), namely, the seizing of everyone's telephone and internet communications. Just this last week surprisingly 60 Minutes was granted an interview of the NSA. One of the questions presented to the NSA was regarding how many public interviews the NSA has conducted over the years. The response given was one, only this current one. Obviously, the NSA is concerned over its own privacy, and the only reason they granted this interview with 60 Minutes was because so much public heat has been directed towards the NSA over the recent Snowden exposure of its collection of information on every American citizen in this country.
It was interesting to listen to their excuses and their defenses for their actions. First off, they claim they are gathering such information for the defense and the protection of this nation against terrorist worldwide. While they admit to gathering such information against all Americans, they claim they do not sift through it personally except in connection with foreign intelligence. But even here, they admit to sifting through such personal data of foreign potentates, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She is not even remotely suspected to be connected with foreign terrorism, or the overthrow of America, foreign or domestic. In fact, the nation of Germany is determined to be a friendly nation toward the United States. Nonetheless, we have provided to her just cause to be hopping mad over being personally monitored by NSA snooping into her personal affair and conversations. What is really happening is we are straining our relations with those who have established most favored nation status. It can't be helped for one to wonder if Barack Obama would be hopping mad to discover that all his personal and confidential communications were being monitored by governments around the world who hold most favored-nation status.
NSA claims they are abiding by their Oath to faithfully observe the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution which says, "The right of the People to be secure in their Persons, 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." (December 15, 1791).
NSA says there is a FISA judge issuing the warrants for their clandestine activities. Further, they claim that when they have acted in the absence of a court warrant, these were only actions conducted through mistake and by error of their employees. Hence, violations of their Oaths to faithfully observe the Fourth Amendment must be excused based upon human error, as they are handling such massive volumes of information on so many People. In such cases they have been found to gather personal and private information on ex spouses and girlfriends, etc.
But, as John Wolfgram, a personal acquaintance of this author for many years, points out, while most criticism and defenses put forth regarding NSA is based upon the "Search" aspect of the Fourth Amendment, the real violation of their Oaths of Office is based upon the "Seizure" aspect of the Fourth Amendment. NSA claims the information gathered on Americans is not personally sifted through for particulars, but they are only holders of such information just in case they should need it in the future. NSA claims they can go back at least five years on every person in America when the FISA Court is satisfied that there exists Probable Cause regarding any person. But Wolfgram raises the issue of how they came of such information in the first place rather than what might such information prove. Did the FISA judge write out and issue millions of warrants on every American in the "seizing" their such personal information? Thus, the issue is, according to Wolfgram, is not what are they going to do with all this massive amounts of information they have collected on every American,, but rather how did they come to possess such information in the first place. NSA certainly did not ask the permission of all Americans to gather their phone and internet information.Neither was there Probable Cause established to gather it.
Accordingly, such information must constitutionally be deleted and removed from every NSA computer record unless they can prove they first constitutionally sought for and did obtained a lawful warrant for its seizure.
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.