I disagree with Hightower.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Edward Snowden Is No Hero 2

Please correct me if I am wrong.

1.  I thought these things that the NSA is doing (collecting phone calls etc, but normally only examining data about phone calls etc) were authorized by the Patriot Act, reauthorized under Obama, and had passed the constitutionality test by the Supreme Court some time ago.

2.  (Completely independent of 1.)   A Fourth Amendment search warrant requires the specification of items to be searched for.

3.  If the govt wants to examine the content of the phone calls themselves, then they must get a 4th amendment warrant.

Like Michael I am a bit uneasy with the govt doing 1 even if they are  also bound by 3.  If they are not bound by 3, then I am very concerned.

Serious Congressional oversight of 1 should do two things:
a) make the program more acceptable, and
b) give a whistleblower a place to go.

There are a sufficient number of people in Congress that are opposed to this kind of thing and to this president, so that, if it were the country that Snowden cared about he could have gone to one of them and gotten a hearing.  By running to China, our primary competitor in the world, I would say he marks himself as closer to a traitor than a hero.

On a more personal note what exactly are we protecting here.  Suppose you were wanting to talk to someone about something that you didn't want the world to know about (either criminal or just personal).  How many of you would do it over the phone or by email?

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