The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects Americans from government spying. We are supposed to be safe from “unreasonable searches and seizures” by the government. That means they can’t march into your home and search your property. Only with a warrant–granted by a judge–are they allowed to do so.
But most of us know that our federal government is not obeying this amendment. Federal agencies regularly find ways to circumvent your privacy. If it were up to them, the liberty of all Americans would be trampled underfoot.
One of the biggest problems is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. This law is supposed to equip federal agencies to protect America from foreign threats. But one part of the law allows the government to rifle through Americans’ communications–without a warrant. The loophole allows the government to monitor your emails, phone calls, text, etc.–if you communicate with someone overseas.
But Senator Rand Paul, with the help of Ron Wyden, is seeking to close this loophole. It’s about time.
From The Observer:
Liberal Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Tea Party Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced bipartisan legislation titled the “USA RIGHTS Act” to protect the 4th Amendment rights of all Americans from an overzealous federal government.
Right now, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allows for an American’s calls, communications and data to be collected by the federal government and stored in a database, if the American is or is thought to be communicating with a person overseas. The bill being proposed by Sens. Wyden and Paul will narrow the scope of government surveillance in a way that strikes a better balance between security and the Bill of Rights.
Are you comfortable with the idea that the government can monitor you? As a private citizen, you have rights that protect you from tyrannical government control. But FISA is abused, simply so various agencies can read your emails.
You might think you’re safe, because you don’t often communicate with people overseas. But that’s no excuse. Email services frequently transmit your messages on servers overseas–to reduce strain on local servers. That gives the government the power to read your mail, because of this exception. That’s illegal and un-Constitutional.
The USA Rights Act will close various loopholes that allow the government to read your messages.
From U.S. Senate:
End the back door searches: Under current law, the government can conduct unlimited, warrantless searches through the vast data collected under Section 702 for private communications to, from and about Americans. The bill requires a warrant for those searches…
Prohibit the collection of domestic communications: Section 702 is intended to collect foreign communications. The bill clarifies that it should not authorize the collection of communications known to be entirely domestic…
Improve transparency. The bill allows for release of key FISC opinions and data necessary for the public’s understanding of Section 702.
All this law does is require accountability from our federal government. Isn’t that something all lawmakers support? This country was built on the freedom of its citizens, first. The government is supposed to protect our rights, not violate them. FISA has been abused by the “deep state,” intelligence agencies who have grown too big and powerful.
Thanks to Sen. Paul, we can see a rollback of this abuse. The federal government will be reduced in size and power. And Americans can rest easy, knowing that our privacy and liberty is safe.
Do you support the USA Rights Act? Be sure to reach out to your Congressmen and let them know.