In response to Eric Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying on American citizens and allies last year President Obama said, “I think it’s important to recognize that you can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 per cent privacy and zero inconvenience.”
That response is utter bunk.
The Fourth Amendment guarantees:
…[t]he 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.
The National Security Agency should have an unlimited ability to collect digital information if it would help protect the nation against terrorism and other threats, a federal judge says.
"I think privacy is actually overvalued," Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit told a conference on privacy and cybercrime in Washington, D.C., PC World reports.
"If the NSA wants to vacuum all the trillions of bits of information that are crawling through the electronic worldwide networks, I think that’s fine. …”
"Privacy interests should really have very little weight when you’re talking about national security," he said. “The world is in an extremely turbulent state — very dangerous. …"
"If someone drained my cell phone, they would find a picture of my cat, some phone numbers, some email addresses, some email text," he said. "What’s the big deal?
"Other people must have really exciting stuff…"
The “big deal,” Judge Posner, is that absent probable cause, the government has no constitutional authority to my phone, email, or other private conversations–I don't care how interesting or not they may be to some government agent. As Americans, we all have the right to be secure in our "persons, houses, papers, and effects." And, as Burke continues:
Georgetown University Law Center professor David Cole warned however the United States and other governments have a history of targeting people "who they are concerned about because they have political views and political positions that the government doesn’t approve of," PC World reports.
This is a very real concern. That's why we the Fourth Amendment in the first place. Whether we're talking about Redcoats, the IRS, or the NSA, the Fourth Amendment is the best security measure we have.