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Does the Government Think It Can Read Our Mail Without a Warrant Because It’s Electronic

June 18 2012 at 10:40 AM

  (Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

 

Well obviously in the Warshak case mentioned in the article, he was a terrorist bent on death and destruction against the American public and therefore the Patriotic act allows this sort of behaviour...he just be happy HIS government didn't "rendition" his @ss to a secret prison somewhere outside of the US...

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By Sarah Roberts, 06/14/2012 4:39pm



Today the ACLU filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act to force the government to disclose information about the circumstances in which it accesses the contents of Americans’ private electronic communications without obtaining a warrant based upon probable cause. Such communications can include email, text messaging, and private conversations on social networks. While there is reason to believe this practice is widespread, there is much we don’t know about this government eavesdropping: when it happens, how often it’s done, who they’re watching, how long they monitor these communications, and what policies they have established regarding this monitoring. Through the lawsuit filed today, we hope to find out much more.

Electronic communication has virtually eclipsed postal mail and other physical methods as our primary means of communication. However, the law hasn’t caught up to this shift in how Americans communicate. While we can expect rigorous Fourth Amendment protection when it comes to our mail and landline phone conversations, that protection is lacking when we communicate using electronic methods. This gap presents an opportunity for the government to go fishing through the virtual equivalent of communications that would be off-limits were they on paper. If you think that distinction makes no sense, we agree.

Recent court cases and media reports have made it clear that federal officials are accessing the contents of at least some types of private electronic communications without a warrant. For example, in a case that came before the Sixth Circuit U.S. Appeals Court in 2010, United States v. Warshak, several people were accused of fraud for selling an herbal supplement purported to enhance male sexual performance. In the course of the investigation leading up to the case, the government obtained over 27,000 private emails from one defendant’s personal email account—invading the privacy not just of the accused but of everyone who emailed him—all without a warrant. In that case, the court properly held that warrantless searches of the contents of emails violate the Constitution.

In the wake of the Warshak case, it is unclear whether the government continues to access email without warrants in routine law enforcement investigations. Moreover, while some instances involving email surveillance, like the Warshak case, have been reported in the media, we know even less about how the government accesses other forms of communication, like text messages and private messages on Facebook.

There is absolutely no justification for secrecy when it comes to how the government is applying the law and the Constitution. The rules concerning government access to private communications touch on some of our most fundamental rights and must be openly and democratically decided. It’s hard to understand how to improve the law when we don’t even know how it’s currently being used.

To learn more about what’s happening, we filed FOIA requests with the Department of Justice and the IRS, two agencies we believe are conducting this type of warrantless surveillance. Although we filed the request back in February, we have yet to receive a single document. The goal of the lawsuit is to force the government to comply with their obligation to give us the information we requested—information that, under FOIA, the government is legally obligated to disclose.

We are also pursuing litigation in this related FOIA lawsuit on government use of surveillance powers.

Email and other forms of private electronic communications contain some of our most personal and sensitive information, from financial and health documents to messages from long-lost high school sweethearts. Most of us expect those messages to remain private. But at a bare minimum, we deserve to know when and how the government is listening in.

http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security-technology-and-liberty/does-government-think-it-can-read-our-mail-without



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Vara
(Login varangian)

Re: Does the Government Think It Can Read Our Mail Without a Warrant Because It’s Electronic

June 18 2012, 12:16 PM 

...just because your emails are less private.. doesn't mean that they're less deserving of privacy.. or does it?

 




 
 
E7
(Login E7)

,,,

June 18 2012, 4:01 PM 

The government should be able to do what ever it wants in order to keep us safe. This is for freedom. You're a conspiracy theorist if you think otherwise.. wink.gif

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(Login varangian)

Re: Does the Government Think It Can Read Our Mail Without a Warrant Because It’s Electronic

June 20 2012, 1:01 AM 

^^^

Yeah.. but who's gonna protect us from the government? wink.gif




 
 

CT
(Login charlieTurk)

Re: Does the Government Think It Can Read Our Mail Without a Warrant Because It’s Electronic

June 20 2012, 2:10 AM 

The govt wont hurt us Vara, if they do we will vote for the other guys next election.

 
 

Vara
(Login varangian)

Re: Does the Government Think It Can Read Our Mail Without a Warrant Because It’s Electronic

June 20 2012, 10:25 AM 

Not sure on that one.. Politicians come and go.. BUT it's the faceless bureaucrats that advise and implement policy that stays, the real power.. Example, the GST was proposed by the Labour party under the recommendation of treasury.. the Lib's fought against it's introduction.. and once the Liberals got into office, they applied it on the advise of treasury.. while the Labour party opposed it.. Politicians flip flop..  the real power is behind the throne.. 


    
This message has been edited by varangian on Jun 20, 2012 10:26 AM


 
 
E7
(Login E7)

...

June 20 2012, 5:33 PM 

I was being sarcastic by the way..

[The govt wont hurt us Vara, if they do we will vote for the other guys next election.]

-Not true. It's a continuity of agenda regardless of who is in power. Look at the US. Did Obama create a transparent, smaller government as promised? Nope. He instead continued, and expanded on the what GWB started in terms of the patriot act, and now the NDAA..

And if Romney takes office, he'll continue it as well. National leaders are figure heads these days. It's the so called "ruling elite" who pull the strings. Vote for whoever you want. That person will be a puppet to the same people who controlled the person you just voted out.. wink.gif

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(Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

Re: Does the Government Think It Can Read Our Mail Without a Warrant Because It’s Electronic

June 20 2012, 8:53 PM 

"Vote for whoever you want. That person will be a puppet to the same people who controlled the person you just voted out.. wink.gif"

So you are suggesting violent revolution E?


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E7
(Login E7)

...

June 20 2012, 9:32 PM 

Nope, I'm advocating for the voting of people like Ron Paul.. a grass roots constitutionalists/Libertarian who has on numerous occasions, exposed the establishment and the fake left right paradigm..

There are only petty differences between the Dems and GOP. The over all agenda however, they both push.. wink.gif

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(Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

Re: Does the Government Think It Can Read Our Mail Without a Warrant Because It’s Electronic

June 20 2012, 11:23 PM 

There are only petty differences between the Dems and GOP. The over all agenda however, they both push.

You do realize that there is a decent chance that our next PM could very well be from NDP, right?


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E7
(Login E7)

Re: Does the Government Think It Can Read Our Mail Without a Warrant Because It’s Electronic

June 21 2012, 1:36 AM 

As scary as that is... yes... Canada has no good political parties unfortunately. The US at least has the Libertarian ideology.. What do we have? A Torie party that's taking plays out of the Patriot act... a Liberal party that's so integrated with mobs and theft, and the NDP who are selling hardcore socialism with a nice bow on top..

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(Login cwc.mgmt)
Forum Owner

Re: Does the Government Think It Can Read Our Mail Without a Warrant Because It’s Electronic

June 21 2012, 1:39 AM 

...and the NDP who are selling hardcore socialism with a nice bow on top...

The interesting I have regarding that is whether the hardcore capitalists have managed to take things to such excess that the average Canadian is beginning to think that socialism could be no worse?


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CT
(Login charlieTurk)

Re: Does the Government Think It Can Read Our Mail Without a Warrant Because It’s Electronic

June 25 2012, 3:01 AM 

Not true. It's a continuity of agenda regardless of who is in power. Look at the US. Did Obama create a transparent, smaller government as promised? Nope. He instead continued, and expanded on the what GWB started in terms of the patriot act, and now the NDAA..

And if Romney takes office, he'll continue it as well. National leaders are figure heads these days. It's the so called "ruling elite" who pull the strings. Vote for whoever you want. That person will be a puppet to the same people who controlled the person you just voted out..


Yeh, that's what I said. I was just being sarcastic too mate. :D

 
 

Corpus Creepy
(Login Corpusvile)

Re: Does the Government Think It Can Read Our Mail Without a Warrant Because It’s Electronic

June 26 2012, 10:05 AM 

Encryption. It can work magic!

 



Turkish Pride

Corpus is a Suse Linux user. Why aren't you?

 
 
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