Federal Internet Search Bill Violates the Bill of Rights
Worst of Both Worlds?
In the years following the passage of the Patriot Act, the rationale behind the invasions of privacy receded. A new generation became more concerned about their personal rights. In addition, a better understanding of the 4th Amendment empowered attorneys concerned about the Bill of Rights protections. Now a provision in a recently passed bill flips many of these concerns with a flick of a pen.
Understanding the Law.
As if the Bill of Rights was not straightforward enough, there is ample evidence against mass internet surveillance. Unfortunately, the Obama Admin expanded the original Patriot Act provisions. Now that much of the Patriot Act sunsetted, Congress restored some of the overreaches in the USA Freedom Act. The bill restored powers lapsed in March from Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
This is a topic of particular interest to me. Being involved in civil rights issues in Los Angeles gave me a keen eye for government overreach. The original premise of the Patriot Act was not as well understood in the early days of the internet. Combined with the pressure from the September 11th attacks, Congress handed spy agencies far too much power. Now, nearly 20 years later there is no excuse. The government exists to protect rights, not to trample them.
The next steps in privacy go beyond the halls of Congress. It is up to each American to protect their data, including using end to end encryption. Unfortunately, the federal government wants to get around that as well. Furthermore, our modern understanding of warrantless surveillance means more vigilance during elections. Often, both Democrats and Republicans seek such laws when elected. Only by electing liberty-minded individuals can there be any restraint on the growth of federal power.
For more info, including updates, keep reading this site. In addition, I’ll update with new articles as the situation evolves.