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Old 12-22-2005, 01:28 PM   #211
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Transcript of Joe Biden on Hardball:

Quote:
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: How are you, Andrea? Pleasure to be with you.

MITCHELL: I‘m fine, good to be with you. Thanks for joining us. What do you think about the steps that the administration has now admitted to taking? Domestic surveillance, no court order. You‘re an experienced lawyer and member of the Judiciary Committee.

BIDEN: Well, I was on that committee—that conference committee way back when, Andrea, when we wrote this so-called FISA Act. That the secret court we set up so we can preserve American civil liberties and not worry about giving the store away to terrorists or foreign terrorists.

And I‘m quite frankly confused. I heard your conversation with Ron and you asked whether or not this grandizement of presidential power or fighting terrorists was the primary reason for what was going on. I‘m beginning to think it was the grandizement of power, because I don‘t quite get it.

Every single thing and every example the president‘s given about why he had to go around this court, the only president I know to assert that the courts are relevant in terms of who we can wiretap is able to be met by the way the court is set up. And that‘s what confuses me. There was no need to do any of this.

MITCHELL: Well, isn‘t there a need because of the change in technology? That‘s the argument.

BIDEN: No, not at all.

MITCHELL: That technology has increased exponentially and they‘ve got to move rapidly and they‘re intercepting, literally, millions of pieces of information an hour.

BIDEN: Let me explain that. I‘m going to tell you my perspective in that. Under the FISA law, the president of the United States can do all of this for 72 hours, for three days, without doing anything. You just do it, period.

So he doesn‘t have to go to a court at all to decide to pick up all this information. If he decides he wants to continue to do that, he has to then go to the court within 72 hours and say, look, these are the guys I‘m eavesdropping on and these are the people and this is the reason why. And it‘s a very low bar.

Something like 19,000 times—what was it, 19,000, I can‘t remember now, I think it was 19,000 times, they‘ve gone to the courts in almost every case said fine, go ahead.

Now, there‘s another provision no one‘s talking about. The other provision we wrote into the law, back in ‘78, if I‘m not mistaken it was ‘78, we said if there‘s a declaration of war, and by the way a congressional authorization to use force which the president has, is equivalent to a declaration of war, constitutionally. If there‘s a declaration of war, you can go—you know, for 15 days, Mr. President, you can do this.

You don‘t have to ask anybody. You don‘t just seek any wire tap. For 15 days you can do this. So this idea he has that technology‘s changed. That‘s a bunch of malarkey. Technology has changed, but you have plenty of time.

You heard Colin Powell. Colin Powell, I saw in an interview today, say no, there‘s plenty of time in his opinion.

MITCHELL: You‘re a lawyer, as we said. What about the president‘s insistence that the war authorization post-9/11 gives him this authority and also article II of The Constitution? Commander In Chief.

BIDEN: I think it‘s bizarre. It‘s a bizarre assertion. The last one that I heard as crazy as that was his father‘s assertion in Gulf I, the first Gulf War, when he initially argued that the only reason Congress is involved in a declaration of war is if the president won‘t go to war. He backed off of that.

This is an unusual assertion.

MITCHELL: What about Senator Allen saying that nobody‘s been hurt?

No harm done.

BIDEN: Well God bless Senator Allen. I imagine those people who have had their conversations tapped illegally, allegedly illegally, are really just happy about that. They weren‘t hurt. So it‘s okay that somebody has a file somewhere out there. Look, the fact is Andrea, we don‘t know how extensive this is. We have no idea.

The attorney general said, you know, the congress doesn‘t know what our authority is. We haven‘t laid it out to them and, secondly, they don‘t know what we‘ve been doing. That‘s true. We don‘t know either. That‘s why there‘s this urgency to have hearings.

But these broad assertions, overwhelming assertions, are incredibly unusual for a president to make. We didn‘t elect, you know, an executive that says the courts and the congress don‘t matter.

I heard part of your discussion. I think it can be a lot different if in his exercise of his judgment over the last four years, he‘s turned out to be right. But look at what the exercise of the judgment did. With regard to the treatment of prisoners, with regard to Abu Ghraib, with regard to Guantanamo, with regard to abiding by international treaties.

The wisdom of their judgment has been lacking, lacking in the extreme. So you have all these things, a confluence of all these events when the bottom line is no one has shown me, and I just wrote an extensive memorandum for all my Democratic colleagues that‘s being distributed as we speak, after four days of extensive research on this, having been there when we wrote this law, what I haven‘t been shown is, show me something.
Good bits of info in there.
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Old 12-22-2005, 01:42 PM   #212
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Alrght...this answers my argument that the President does not have authorization with use of force. He does....but ther eis a time limit.

[Q]Now, there‘s another provision no one‘s talking about. The other provision we wrote into the law, back in ‘78, if I‘m not mistaken it was ‘78, we said if there‘s a declaration of war, and by the way a congressional authorization to use force which the president has, is equivalent to a declaration of war, constitutionally. If there‘s a declaration of war, you can go—you know, for 15 days, Mr. President, you can do this. [/Q]

SO why violate it?
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Old 12-22-2005, 01:45 PM   #213
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I thought about you when he said that.

It's a good question...I'm sure Sen. Biden has been wondering the same thing.
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Old 12-22-2005, 02:36 PM   #214
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your exactly right Dread, FISA has jurisdiction over this. After the one Judge resigned the others have decided to investigate the issue. They are afraid they may have issued wiretap OK's on illegally gathered evidence.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...102326_pf.html

Judges on Surveillance Court To Be Briefed on Spy Program

By Carol D. Leonnig and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, December 22, 2005; A01



The presiding judge of a secret court that oversees government surveillance in espionage and terrorism cases is arranging a classified briefing for her fellow judges to address their concerns about the legality of President Bush's domestic spying program, according to several intelligence and government sources.

Several members of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said in interviews that they want to know why the administration believed secretly listening in on telephone calls and reading e-mails of U.S. citizens without court authorization was legal. Some of the judges said they are particularly concerned that information gleaned from the president's eavesdropping program may have been improperly used to gain authorized wiretaps from their court.

"The questions are obvious," said U.S. District Judge Dee Benson of Utah. "What have you been doing, and how might it affect the reliability and credibility of the information we're getting in our court?"

Such comments underscored the continuing questions among judges about the program, which most of them learned about when it was disclosed last week by the New York Times. On Monday, one of 10 FISA judges, federal Judge James Robertson, submitted his resignation -- in protest of the president's action, according to two sources familiar with his decision. He will maintain his position on the U.S. District Court here.

Other judges contacted yesterday said they do not plan to resign but are seeking more information about the president's initiative. Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who also sits on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, told fellow FISA court members by e-mail Monday that she is arranging for them to convene in Washington, preferably early next month, for a secret briefing on the program, several judges confirmed yesterday.

Two intelligence sources familiar with the plan said Kollar-Kotelly expects top-ranking officials from the National Security Agency and the Justice Department to outline the classified program to the members.

The judges could, depending on their level of satisfaction with the answers, demand that the Justice Department produce proof that previous wiretaps were not tainted, according to government officials knowledgeable about the FISA court. Warrants obtained through secret surveillance could be thrown into question. One judge, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also said members could suggest disbanding the court in light of the president's suggestion that he has the power to bypass the court.
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:45 PM   #215
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Not really sure if this clears anything up, muddies the waters more, or is even relevant, I found the following from Title 50, Section 401 of the US Code.

2.5 Attorney General Approval
The Attorney General hereby is delegated the power to approve the use for intelligence purposes, within the United States or against a United States person abroad, of any technique for which a warrant would be required if undertaken for law enforcement purposes, provided that such techniques shall not be undertaken unless the Attorney General has determined in each case that there is probable cause to believe that the technique is directed against a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. Electronic surveillance, as defined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 [50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.], shall be conducted in accordance with that Act, as well as this Order.


Here is the full text of the order, for those who would like to read further. I'm trying to muddle through the whole thing, now...
http://www.cia.gov/cia/information/eo12333.html
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:59 PM   #216
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I wasn't aware of the media blackout on images of 9/11 ..every so often I like to force myself to read Ann Coulter, it makes me feel much less messed up than I am, and she just gives me the warm fuzzies she's like the big sister I always longed for..



"Apart from the day The New York Times goes out of business — and the stellar work Paul Krugman's column does twice a week helping people house-train their puppies — the newspaper has done the greatest thing it will ever do in its entire existence. (Calm down: No, the Times didn't hold an intervention for Frank Rich.)

Monday's Times carried a major expose on child molesters who use the Internet to lure their adolescent prey into performing sex acts for Webcams. In the course of investigating the story, reporter Kurt Eichenwald broke open a massive network of pedophiles, rescued a young man who had been abused for years, and led the Department of Justice to hundreds of child molesters.

I kept waiting for the catch, but apparently the Times does not yet believe pedophilia is covered by the "privacy right." They should stop covering politics and start covering more stories like this.

In order to report the story, the Times said it obtained:

— copies of online conversations and e-mail messages between minors and the creepy adults;

— records of payments to the minors;

— membership lists for Webcam sites;

— defunct sites stored in online archives;

— files retained on a victim's computer over several years;

— financial records, credit card processing data and other information;

— The Neverland Ranch's mailing list. (OK, I made that last one up.)

Would that the Times allowed the Bush administration similar investigative powers for Islamofacists in America!

Which brings me to this week's scandal about No Such Agency spying on "Americans." I have difficulty ginning up much interest in this story inasmuch as I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East, and sending liberals to Guantanamo.

But if we must engage in a national debate on half-measures: After 9/11, any president who was not spying on people calling phone numbers associated with terrorists should be impeached for being an inept commander in chief.

With a huge gaping hole in lower Manhattan, I'm not sure why we have to keep reminding people, but we are at war. (Perhaps it's because of the media blackout on images of the 9/11 attack. We're not allowed to see those because seeing planes plowing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon might make us feel angry and jingoistic.)

Among the things that war entails are: killing people (sometimes innocent), destroying buildings (sometimes innocent) and spying on people (sometimes innocent).

That is why war is a bad thing. But once a war starts, it is going to be finished one way or another, and I have a preference for it coming out one way rather than the other.

In previous wars, the country has done far worse than monitor telephone calls placed to jihad headquarters. FDR rounded up Japanese — many of them loyal American citizens — and threw them in internment camps. Most appallingly, at the same time, he let New York Times editors wander free.

Note the following about the Japanese internment:

1) The Supreme Court upheld the president's authority to intern the Japanese during wartime;

2) That case, Korematsu v. United States, is still good law;

3) There are no Japanese internment camps today. (Although the no-limit blackjack section at Caesar's Palace on a Saturday night comes pretty close.)

It's one or the other: Either we take the politically correct, scattershot approach and violate everyone's civil liberties, or we focus on the group threatening us and — in the worst-case scenario — run the risk of briefly violating the civil liberties of 1,000 people in a country of 300 million.

Of course, this is assuming I'm talking to people from the world of the normal. In the Democrats' world, there are two more options. Violate no one's civil liberties and get used to a lot more 9/11s, or the modified third option, preferred by Sen. John D. Rockefeller: Let the president do all the work and take all the heat for preventing another terrorist attack while you place a letter expressing your objections in a file cabinet as a small parchment tribute to your exquisite conscience. "
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:05 PM   #217
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
every so often I like to force myself to read Ann Coulter, it makes me feel much less messed up than I am, and she just gives me the warm fuzzies she's like the big sister I always longed for..
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:21 PM   #218
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Examiner Editorial - Shameful spying
22Dec'05

Published: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 10:20 PM EST
E-mail this story | Print this page


Last week, The New York Times reported that, following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to spy on people within the United States, including American citizens, as part of ongoing efforts to prevents acts of terrorism. This eavesdropping was conducted without warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which typically approves such requests. The disclosure has sparked a bitter debate over civil liberties and the reach of executive authority.

Who's right? Let's weigh the president's words at his Monday press conference and see where the chips fall.





"We know that a two-minute phone conversation between somebody linked to al-Qaida here and an operative overseas could lead directly to the loss of thousands of lives. To save American lives, we must be able to act fast and to detect these conversations so we can prevent new attacks."

Constitutionally sound? Although the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution forbids "unreasonable searches" and lays out specific guidelines for obtaining warrants, Bush counters that Article II not only designates him as commander in chief but also grants him the authority to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."



Verdict: Even




"Do I have the legal authority to do this? And the answer is, absolutely."



Bush claims that he has not violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which makes it illegal to conduct electronic surveillance without approval from the special and independent court established under FISA. Poppycock. FISA establishes a court to approve such requests and, for 30 years, that court system has properly acted as a check on executive power and has monitored the government's electronic surveillance within the United States. Bush plainly circumnavigated that court.

Verdict: Wrong




"The legal authority is derived from the Constitution, as well as the authorization of force by the United States Congress."

Did Bush have good reasons sidestepping the FISA court? Bush claims that Congress gave him the authority to do so through the Authorization to Use Military Force, which sailed through Congress a week after the Sept. 11 attacks. Double poppycock. Since when did an authorization of military force constitute the trampling of a decades-old law that safeguards innocent Americans from government snooping?

Verdict: Wrong




"To save American lives, we must be able to act fast and to detect these conversations so we can prevent new attacks."

Bush also justifies his sidestepping of the FISA court by arguing that doing so is, well, quicker. But the FISA court already is largely a quick rubber-stamp for government requests. From 1979 to 2002, FISA issued 15,264 warrants and did not reject a single application. Emergency warrants can be obtained within hours and even minutes. And the court's decisions can be applied retroactively.

Verdict: Even




"The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy."

Does anyone really believe that al-Qaida operatives - either here at home or living abroad - don't already assume that the U.S. government is spying on them?

Verdict: Wrong




"I also pledged to the American people to do everything within my power to prevent this from happening again."

Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney both maintain that their secret domestic surveillance may have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks. Wrong. The NSA already had the power and ability to check e-mails or listen to telephone conversations before Sept. 11. It simply had to receive a warrant from the FISA court to do so.

Verdict: Wrong
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Old 12-23-2005, 09:40 AM   #219
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A little update. This is why he should be censored at the least and made to stop.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/nation...l?dpfrom=thead
Spy net may pull in all U.S. calls overseas
Many Americans' privacy is at risk, some say

By CHARLIE SAVAGE
THE BOSTON GLOBE

WASHINGTON -- The National Security Agency, in carrying out President Bush's order to intercept the international phone calls and e-mails of Americans suspected of links to al-Qaida, has probably been using computers to monitor all other Americans' international communications as well, according to specialists familiar with the workings of the NSA.

The Bush administration formally defended its domestic spying program in a letter to Congress late Thursday, saying the nation's security outweighs privacy concerns of individuals who are monitored.

In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees, the Justice Department said President Bush authorized electronic surveillance without first obtaining a warrant in an effort to thwart terrorist acts against the United States.

"There is undeniably an important and legitimate privacy interest at stake with respect to the activities described by the president," wrote Assistant Attorney General William Moschella. "That must be balanced, however, against the government's compelling interest in the security of the nation."

The Bush administration and the NSA have declined to provide details about the program the president authorized in 2001, but specialists said the agency serves as a vast data collection and sorting operation. It captures reams of data from satellites, fiber-optic lines and Internet switching stations and then uses a computer to check for names, numbers and words that have been identified as suspicious.

"The whole idea of the NSA is intercepting huge streams of communications, taking in 2 million pieces of communications an hour," said James Bamford, the author of two books on the NSA, who was the first to reveal the inner workings of the secret agency.

"They have a capacity to listen to every overseas phone call," said Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University, which has obtained documents about the NSA's using Freedom of Information Act requests.

The NSA's system of monitoring e-mails and phone calls to check for search terms has been used for decades overseas, where the Constitution's prohibition on unreasonable searches does not apply, declassified records have shown.

But since Bush's order in 2001, Bamford and other specialists said, the same process probably has been used to sort through international messages to and from the United States, though humans have never seen the vast majority of the data.
"The collection of this data by automated means creates new privacy risks," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a watchdog group that has studied computer-filtered surveillance technology through Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.

Among the risks, he said, is that the spy agency's computers will collect personal information that has no bearing on national security and that intelligence agents programming those computers will be tempted to abuse their power to eavesdrop for personal or political gain.

But even when no personal information intercepted by the NSA's computers make it to human eyes and ears, Rotenberg said, the mere fact that spy computers are monitoring the calls and e-mails may also violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizures.

...
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:20 AM   #220
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I'm sure by the year 2020, we'll all have chips in our heads so they can keep track of us
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:09 PM   #221
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I hope all of your are talking to your friends about this...even if you don't usually talk politics, you ought to bring this up to raise awareness. I hate to think the amount of people out there who might be utterly clueless of the situation, and it's people like that who will just let this slide. So please raise awareness with those around you!
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Old 12-23-2005, 01:39 PM   #222
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This about sums it up.


The Law is King


The wiretapping may or may not be potentially constitutionally - that is, if congress authorized it the Supremos would uphold it - but Bush has violated the constitution by directly disobeying the law. That is, by failing to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed. As Glenn Greenwald writes:


The issue is not whether the President has this authority to eavesdrop without a warrant but whether it is legal for him to do in the face of Congressional laws which make it a crime to do so. And none of the authorities they cite conclude that the President has such a royal power. Not one.

Marty Lederman has a superb and crystal clear post on precisely this issue. Even if one assumes to be true the dubious proposition that the President possesses inherent constitutional authority to order warrantless surveillance on American citizens, that does not mean that it is legal for him to do so in violation of a criminal statute enacted by Congress. But that is what Bush did here, and there is just nothing which even arguably gives that behavior the color of legality. That’s because we live under the rule of law where not even Presidents are bestowed with the right to engage in conduct which Congressional criminal law expressly prohibits.
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Old 12-23-2005, 01:59 PM   #223
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So...... if they find "something" during a tap, it would be 'OK' with you, but if they don't find anything then.....Holy Crap Its Just So Wrong?

And since Bamford has confirmed that the process has "probably been used to sort thru......" that must make it true.


I love my Bush!
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Old 12-23-2005, 02:08 PM   #224
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Old 12-24-2005, 01:29 AM   #225
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scarletwine
A little update. This is why he should be censored at the least and made to stop.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/nation...l?dpfrom=thead
Spy net may pull in all U.S. calls overseas
Many Americans' privacy is at risk, some say

By CHARLIE SAVAGE
THE BOSTON GLOBE

WASHINGTON -- The National Security Agency, in carrying out President Bush's order to intercept the international phone calls and e-mails of Americans suspected of links to al-Qaida, has probably been using computers to monitor all other Americans' international communications as well, according to specialists familiar with the workings of the NSA.

The Bush administration formally defended its domestic spying program in a letter to Congress late Thursday, saying the nation's security outweighs privacy concerns of individuals who are monitored.

In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees, the Justice Department said President Bush authorized electronic surveillance without first obtaining a warrant in an effort to thwart terrorist acts against the United States.

"There is undeniably an important and legitimate privacy interest at stake with respect to the activities described by the president," wrote Assistant Attorney General William Moschella. "That must be balanced, however, against the government's compelling interest in the security of the nation."

The Bush administration and the NSA have declined to provide details about the program the president authorized in 2001, but specialists said the agency serves as a vast data collection and sorting operation. It captures reams of data from satellites, fiber-optic lines and Internet switching stations and then uses a computer to check for names, numbers and words that have been identified as suspicious.

"The whole idea of the NSA is intercepting huge streams of communications, taking in 2 million pieces of communications an hour," said James Bamford, the author of two books on the NSA, who was the first to reveal the inner workings of the secret agency.

"They have a capacity to listen to every overseas phone call," said Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University, which has obtained documents about the NSA's using Freedom of Information Act requests.

The NSA's system of monitoring e-mails and phone calls to check for search terms has been used for decades overseas, where the Constitution's prohibition on unreasonable searches does not apply, declassified records have shown.

But since Bush's order in 2001, Bamford and other specialists said, the same process probably has been used to sort through international messages to and from the United States, though humans have never seen the vast majority of the data.
"The collection of this data by automated means creates new privacy risks," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a watchdog group that has studied computer-filtered surveillance technology through Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.

Among the risks, he said, is that the spy agency's computers will collect personal information that has no bearing on national security and that intelligence agents programming those computers will be tempted to abuse their power to eavesdrop for personal or political gain.

But even when no personal information intercepted by the NSA's computers make it to human eyes and ears, Rotenberg said, the mere fact that spy computers are monitoring the calls and e-mails may also violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizures.

...



this about further sums it up:

Overseas some of the French are wondering how fucking hypocritical it is that they´ve been spied on for decades and as soon as they [American agencies, government] spy on Americans theres a big fuss Practically it is prohibited in the US because the Constitution doesn´t allow it, but in every other country, um why not?

... so typical.

[re: The NSA's system of monitoring e-mails and phone calls to check for search terms has been used for decades overseas, where the Constitution's prohibition on unreasonable searches does not apply]
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