Bill Totten's Weblog

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Obama demands access ...

... to Internet records without court review

by Anthony G Martin, Conservative Examiner (August 16 2010)

'Big Brother is watching you'. Yet another move toward a totalitarian government has secretly occurred that bears ominous signals for personal freedom.

Barack Obama is demanding access to the Internet records of average citizens, in secret, and without court review.

The Center for Research on Globalization reports the news:

The Obama administration is seeking authority from Congress that would compel internet service providers (ISPs) to turn over records of an individual's internet activity for use in secretive FBI probes.

In another instance where Americans are urged to trust their political minders, The Washington Post reported last month that "the administration wants to add just four words - 'electronic communication transactional records' - to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge's approval.

Under cover of coughing-up information deemed relevant to espionage or terrorism investigations, proposed changes to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) would greatly expand the volume of private records that can be seized through National Security Letters (NSLs).

Constitution-shredding lettres de cachet, NSLs are administrative subpoenas that can be executed by agencies such as the FBI, CIA or Defense Department, solely on the say so of supervisory agents.

The noxious warrants are not subject to court review, nor can a recipient even disclose they have received one. Because of their secretive nature, they are extremely difficult to challenge.

Issued by unaccountable Executive Branch agents hiding behind a fa├žade of top secret classifications and much-ballyhooed "sources and methods", NSLs clearly violate our constitutional rights.

Under the new directive of the Executive Branch, any telecommunications entity that refuses to comply with government demands for records that are supposed to be private can be slapped with jail-time or fines. This extends to individuals within those corporations, in addition to credit card companies, banks, health insurance companies, airlines, video rental services, book sellers, and libraries.

This new initiative would give the Obama White House unprecedented, sweeping power to snoop into the private communications of every single American.

And the Obama Justice Department has lied about the intent of the directive, claiming that it would grant no power to government to gain access to 'email content'.

FACT-CHECK! The directive does precisely what the DOJ denies due to its provision that allow the Feds to arbitrarily seize private records containing email addresses, the dates and times they were sent and received, and a live 'snap-shot' of anything the user looks at or searches while online.

In addition, according to the Global Research report,

As I have pointed out before, most recently last month when Idescribed the National Security Agency's PERFECT CITIZEN program, the roll-out of privacy-killing deep-packet inspection software developed by NSA already has the ability to read and catalogue the content of email messages flowing across private telecommunications networks.

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, contained in the Bill of Rights, states,

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Apparently the Obama Administration, federal government operatives, and their enablers in the Democrat-controlled Congress view the Fourth Amendment as a mere nuisance standing in the way of their quest for unbridled power. And, as we have seen numerous times, Constitutional provisions never stop this Administration from that relentless pursuit of totalitarian power.

This is but one more compelling reason to clip the wings of these tyrannical oppressors by initiating overwhelming changes in Congress in November.

Be sure to catch my blog at The Liberty Sphere:

Bill Totten


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