Ramblings of an old Doc
The Fourth Amendment shrinks even more...
Published on January 15, 2017 By DrJBHL In Personal Computing


I've written a good deal about our shrinking privacy, and the Fourth Amendment in the past in connection with the internet and the NSA.

The latest comes in the form of an Executive Order, thus bypassing the up or down vote of the Congress, and will be added to the timelines of the most significant expansions of domestic surveillance in the modern era.

E.O. 12333 further erodes the barriers of between law enforcement surveillance and NSA spying. With access to the NSA’s intercepts, law enforcement could search Americans’ private information for evidence of criminality without going to a judge — a loophole privacy activists have called the “backdoor search loophole' - which is the inclusion of incidental data collected by the NSA and sharing it with law enforcement agencies.

You can read E.O. 12333 for yourselves here: https://icontherecord.tumblr.com/post/155766682978/fact-sheet-on-eo-12333-raw-sigint-availability . Superficially, everything seems to protect the rights of the citizen, but that ignores the past history of illegal acts by the NSA, and presumes they are now compliant with law: Just as we presumed that before the evidence they violated those laws.

Moreover, law enforcement's warrant requests have sky rocketed in the past ten years. Now? No need for those warrants, they just fill out a form and send it in. They don't risk a judge telling them "No, that's a fishing expedition." And that's outrageous.

Honestly, I care a great deal about the surveillance state we've become. The response, "Well, I'm honest so they can snoop my emails and phone calls as much as they want and it doesn't bother me." just doesn't cut it. Those rights to privacy are there for a very good reason. They keep us free. "Unreasonable" search and seizure means just that. Unreasonable means unreasonable and the Constitution says to the government, "No. You have to prove reasonable suspicion of wrong doing to a judge before you have a right to look/seize anything." That is supposed to keep them honest, and provides the citizen recourse: The right to demand to see the basis for the request to search/seize. If you wish to surrender that right for yourself, fine. You do not have the right to refuse it for me, as well.

I suggest you contact your Congressional representatives and demand they protect your (and their) privacy.





on Jan 15, 2017


EDITED:  as off-topic

on Jan 15, 2017

All the Amendments have a reason to be there...my only concern here is the Fourth Amendment...so let's just keep it there, please. Thanks.

on Jan 15, 2017


All the Amendments have a reason to be there...my only concern here is the Fourth Amendment...so let's just keep it there, please. Thanks.

Absolutely, but being amendments makes them 'amendable' doesn't it? 

I mean why is everything concerning an 'amendment' (whichever it may be) so seemingly sacred in the US?  Is it inconceivable that some (or all) amended instruction may not be as relevant now as once before?

It seems that attempting to introduce or 'amend' any/all legislation in the US is akin to navigating a mine-field and well in my personal opinion that never has a positive effect on the whole.  Make it too arduous a task to effectively legislate and all you're doing is creating a 'loop-hole' epidemic and you'll only push people / bodies to search them out in poor attempts at rationalisation/justification.


on Jan 15, 2017

Those Amendments got adopted by 'arduous' means.  There is a legal mechanism to repeal them or add to them.  That the mechanism is 'arduous' is a feature, not a bug.  There is a rather large difference between the Constitution and 'legislation'.  Not sure of your domicile, Monk, but the distinction is significant and important to (most of) us in the US.  Most of us look upon attempts to 'get around' the Constitution and its Amendments, as opposed to change them, with something less than admiration.

on Jan 15, 2017


The detail of my post said "...too arduous a task... ".  Meaning 'too much so'.......not that it shouldn't be so at all......

Also, you have read and responded to posts of mine many times over the years including several PM exchanges and you're:

"Not sure of your domicile, Monk, "

Not sure if I should be offended......or not.  Glad to know people I thought I had meaningful discourse with remember one's particulars (especially ones so general as which bloody country I live in) so vaguely.


Again, the detail of my post was suggesting if you make 'amending' amendments too difficult, you run an even greater risk of pushing people / bodies to seek out the 'loop-holes' (and they always exist or get manufactured) in lame attempts at rationalisation/justification.


EDIT:  I will leave the above as the last statement of mine in this thread.

on Jan 15, 2017


Not sure of your domicile, Monk,

I've been to his 'domicile' and all I can say was I was less than impressed with the wildlife [or lack of].  One 'squirl' doesn't cut it..

on Jan 15, 2017

Sent you a PM, Monk.

on Jan 16, 2017

Back when the world was still rational we'd have overthrown the commie bastards the first time they pulled this crap.  I don't expect you actually will get much outrage over this.  Odds are 90% of the country wont notice it, just like everything else eroding freedom in the US since the Civil War...


Monk, our precious 2nd Amendment is scarcely guarded, it's so massively infringed upon that it's not even funny.  It's far more shredded than the 4th is, and you can pretty much wipe your ass with that one at this point.  I'm quite agreeable with the end of your deleted post though.

on Jan 16, 2017

wait.. why are you petitioning congress rather than trump?