The NSA gathered data from every American’s electronic communications — but it did not do it alone. Like other law enforcement agencies seeking private information, it needs a warrant, and the NSA’s handmaiden in this undertaking is a secretive panel of judges chosen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Not only is it a problem that this panel conducts its affairs in secret, but it is beholden to no one.
This secret panel, known as the FISA court (after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), has so far renewed the NSA snooping warrant 36 times!
This is unconstitutional and a direct assault on the Fourth Amendment, taking away Americans’ “right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Moreover, a secret court without the powers of investigation means that when questions are asked, the NSA’s response is treated as Gospel. It’s the equivalent of a trial with only defense counsel present — no prosecutor and certainly no jury.
But there is a much bigger point in all of this. There are strong suspicions that the FISA court has reinterpreted the Fourth Amendment to allow it to grant these warrants.
In doing so, it twists and manipulates the vision of the Founding Fathers.
If the Fourth Amendment was altered in such a way, it means that American citizens no longer have a right to privacy. And without privacy, there can be no freedom.
Allowing the wholesale invasion of privacy and the storing of our electronic records when we, as citizens, have done nothing wrong, is a breach of our most sacred right “to be secure in [our] persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Managing Editor, The Sovereign Investor