Surprisingly, the American Senate passed the FISA bill that was strongly contested my many. Take note that Senator Obama has been accused of flip flopping his stance on it, and the immunity given to telecommunication corporations for violating privacy.
My question is, how can this bill stand up to the 4th Amendment. From what I understand, the American Supreme Court has ruled that the constitution applies to both citizens and non-citizens using the notion of "the law of the land" and the recent Gitmo ruling.
What is your opinion on it? Necessary to protect the country? Or, are you slowly chipping away at your constitutional rights?
Keep in mind, they can spy on any American contacting any outside source.
I will leave you with words from Benjamin Franklin, "Those who would give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither liberty nor security."
Nope and I no longer support Obama at all. Kind of off topic, but whatever.
I don't think there is some crazy conspiracy that the government is trying to take complete control over the people and get rid of the Constitution completely, but this is obviously a deterioration of basic rights. It really does make me wonder how many people in the government have any knowledge of the true meaning behind the Revolutionary War (not "FU ENGLAND!") and how ironic/hypocritical it is that we've reached this stage.
I actually do support it. To paraphrase Asimov, as technological advances increase privacy decreases. It's not because governments say to themselves, "look at all of this new, cool technology we can use to spy on people!" It's because citizens gladly give up their privacy for convenience.
Lumberjack, you quoted Franklin saying, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
First of all, I don't see "liberty" being impugned. I don't see any laws preventing people from gathering in certain areas, from saying certain things, from owning certain items or practicing certain faiths. True, behaving in a manner that draws the attention of an NSA algorithim may flag you, (and from family experience make every future airport security check in the U.S. longer), but no one is saying you can't visit every Al Queda website and make calls to Afghanistan several times a day. Privacy is being limited without a doubt. But liberty, I'm not so sure.
And to my orginal point, people aren't giving up liberty or privacy for the sake of security. They are and have been for decades giving up privacy for conveniece, just as Asimov said. (I think it was in one of his "Foundation" or "Robot" books, or even the "Empire" trilogy. Forgive me for not being able to cite it.)
I never thought anything I did or said on the Internet, a cell phone, a radio transmission, or even a wireless phone in my home was a private matter. (I plug in an old-fashioned, wired phone to make a call which I expect to be private.) To me it is and always has been public. Therefore, FISA doesn't alter my behavior whatsoever or change how I view these technological means of communication. My paradigm has not changed from where it was on September 10, 2001. Someone who chooses to say anything over an unsecured electronic net might as well be standing on a street corner and screaming at people as they pass by. No diffferent. No expectation of privacy in my opinion.
Good old fashioned communications can avoid the whole system: Talking in person, communicating by hand-written (and better, hand-delivered by trusted persons) letters, dealing in cash only, etc.
If you want privacy, don't indulge in modern communications technologies.
Moon Spider does bring up some intriguing points. With modern technology the assumption that privacy is a "given" is definitely a bad assumption to make. In reality, the government would have obtained what they want anyways. But, what happens when they start using this information to blackmail or coerce law abiding American Citizens?
You mention your hesitation of technology, yet electronic voting machines are becoming more and more prolific. Random blogs around the internet, text messaging replacing conversations. Would you not prefer to have at the very least, legal protections? So if the conversation, etc, is privileged, then it could not be used against you in a court of law.
No, not really. If one started extending legal protections to blogs, web postings, etc. there would be a lot of pedophiles and others who engage in illegal activity on the Internet who’d suddenly be protected from prosecution.
It’s a public net. Any activity can be monitored at any time just as if you’re talking or walking in Central Park.
I’m not sure how privacy is protected on a VOIP phone, though. Obviously listening to a conversation on such a line would require a warrant unless it fell within the strict guidelines of FISA for not immediately needing one.
And emails carry an expectation of privacy I believe, even though they are transmitted on a public net. Exceptions might be e-mails on a company server.
But I don’t think there should be any expectation of privacy regarding texts or anything else posted on a public net. That’s like hanging a sign on a tree.
I’m not as familiar with privacy laws and privacy expectations with regard to the Internet as I meet need to be to speak intelligently about it though! Technology does advance a lot faster these days than laws and cultures can keep up.