THE FOURTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated….
The Founders’ interest in protecting Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures (and in requiring particularized warrants, as the subsequent Warrant Clause of the Fourth Amendment mandates) arises out of a trio of famous eighteenth-century cases, two from England and one from the colonies. The English cases, Entick v. Carrington (1765) and Wilkes v. Wood (1763), involved pamphleteers who were critics of the government. Both were arrested and all their books and papers seized (and, in Wilkes’s case, all the papers of forty-nine of his friends) using warrants that named neither the suspects nor the places to be searched. Both defendants sued the seizing agents for trespass and won judgments in their favor.
In the case with which the Framers of the Constitution would have been most familiar, James Otis defended several colonial smugglers against seizures made through the use of “writs of assistance,” which permitted the customs agents to search any place in which smuggled goods might be concealed, even if there was no particular suspicion the goods were there. Though Otis lost the case, no less an authority than John Adams saw the dispute as the spark of the American Revolution: “Then and there was the child ‘Independence’ born.”
When the Fourth Amendment was adopted, police forces did not yet exist (they arose in America beginning in the 1830s). A good deal of criminal investigation was conducted by private parties, with evidence turned over to the local constable or magistrate after the suspect was charged. Constables became involved only when it was time to make an arrest (and sometimes not even then), at which time they typically searched the arrestee’s person and home. It is clear that those actions did not require a warrant in 1791.
Today’s Warrant Clause doctrine differs from the historical understanding in some important respects. That doctrine can be divided into two parts. The first deals with the conditions of a valid warrant. The second deals with when warrants are required.In summary, warrants are required when the police search a home or an office, unless the search must happen immediately, and there is no opportunity to obtain a warrant. Warrants are also required for wiretaps—a special category covered (along with most computer searches) by federal statute. Outside those categories warrants are almost never required.
The Patriot Act:
Title I authorizes measures to enhance the ability of domestic security services to prevent terrorism. The title established a fund for counter-terrorist activities and increased funding for the Terrorist Screening Center which is administered by the FBI. The military was authorized to provide assistance in some situations that involve weapons of mass destruction when so requested by the Attorney General. The National Electronic Crime Task Force was expanded, along with the President’s authority and abilities in cases of terrorism.
Title II is titled “Enhanced Surveillance Procedures”, and covers all aspects of the surveillance of suspected terrorists, those suspected of engaging in computer fraud or abuse, and agents of a foreign power who are engaged in clandestine activities.
In particular, the title allows government agencies to gather “foreign intelligence information” from both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens, and changed FISA to make gaining foreign intelligence information the significant purpose of FISA-based surveillance, where previously it had been the primary purpose. The change in definition was meant to remove a legal “wall” between criminal investigations and surveillance for the purposes of gathering foreign intelligence, which hampered investigations when criminal and foreign surveillance overlapped.
Also removed was the statutory requirement that the government prove a surveillance target under FISA is a non-U.S. citizen and agent of a foreign power, though it did require that any investigations must not be undertaken on citizens who are carrying out activities protected by the First Amendment. The title also expanded the duration of FISA physical search and surveillance orders, and gave authorities the ability to share information gathered before a federal grand jury with other agencies.
The scope and availability of wiretapping and surveillance orders were expanded under Title II. Wiretaps were expanded to include addressing and routing information to allow surveillance of packet switched networks/The Act allowed any district court judge in the United States to issue such surveillance orders and search warrants for terrorism investigations. Search warrants were also expanded, with the Act amending Title III of the Stored Communications Access Act to allow the FBI to gain access to stored voicemail through a search warrant, rather than through the more stringent wiretap laws.
Roving wiretaps are wiretap orders that do not need to specify all common carriers and third parties in a surveillance court order. These are seen as important by the Department of Justice because they believe that terrorists can exploit wiretap orders by rapidly changing locations and communication devices such as cell phones.
For a breakdown of the Patriot Act short article here: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/library/social-sciences/world-studies-and-ir/american-foreign-policy/patriot-act
Rand Paul’s objection “We think the problem is the government shouldn’t collect all of your phone records all the time without putting your name on a warrant, without telling the judge they have suspicion you committed a crime…”
As of midnight June 1 the NSA is no longer permitted to collect the phone records of American citizens or what is known as data mining.(Companies such as Google,Yahoo and very likely Facebook use a form of data mining).
What data mining is NOT: nobody is listening to your phone conversations,reading your emails or tracking you activity via your cell phone.
What data mining does is collect all the data and look for either patterns or anomalies . Something that would throw up a red flag.When Rand Paul uses the term phone records he’s not being entirely accurate.
I’m going to have to be entirely honest here.Rand Paul is not my candidate of choice. In fact i’ve made it very clear in a number of my own blog entries he is one candidate i could never vote for-i make my objections to Rand Paul openly and often. However,if Rand Paul were to take a position i could agree with, i would be more than willing to defend him in spite of my objections to him as a candidate.
Rand made some statements that I hope people took notice of; he said he believed that some were probably hoping for a terrorist attack so they could blame him. He didn’t retract the statement;he just made this claim that he was using hyperbole.
He could make the case that supporters of the Patriot Act use fear. On the other hand one could make the case he uses fear to attack the Patriot Act;fear of the government.He also blamed Bush-one of Obama’s tactics-for the rise of ISIS.I’m sorry but that’s just plain nonsense. Rand Paul has forgone Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment. I’m not surprised though. We had a group that was supporting Herman Cain. The Ron Paul supporters were tenacious in their attacks. They played dirty. I was willing to tolerate them for awhile so Cain’s name wouldn’t get disparaged (because of his supporters), but it got old fast. They were well known for stuffing ballots at straw polls then playing victim if they got caught. Tip of the iceberg.All you had to do was head over to the Ron Paul forum to see the volumes of dirt they had dug up on each Republican candidate.
By the way,we were always a little suspicious that it was not the Republican establishment or a Democratic operative that got the Cain and Ginger White scandal out there.We could never prove it, but we wondered if it was not someone from the Ron Paul camp.
Contrast the attacks by Rand Paul on fellow Republicans with this comment from Ted Cruz,
“The entry of three more candidates into the 2016 GOP primary this week is terrific news for our party and indicative of the strong field of candidates that will compete in the 2016 cycle. I welcome Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Gov. Mike Huckabee into the race. All are individuals for whom I hold immense respect and who have inspiring stories that will energize Republicans across the country and get them engaged in the important issues before us.”
Cruz also welcomed Rand Paul into the race,
I am glad to welcome my friend Rand Paul into the 2016 GOP primary. Rand is a good friend, and we have worked side by side on many issues. I respect his talent, his passion, and the work he has done for Kentuckians and Americans in the U.S. Senate. His entry into the race will no doubt raise the bar of competition, help make us all stronger, and ultimately ensure that the GOP nominee is equipped to beat Hillary Clinton and to take back the White House for Republicans in 2016.
Rand turns around and attacks Cruz on a personal level. It is just this kind of attack from Paul that makes me very skeptical that his stand against the Patriot Act isn’t political.
Not a fan of the Huffington Post but this article highlights the way Rand Paul operates. Juvenile,wouldn’t you say?
Rand Paul’s MO->http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/07/ted-cruz-rand-paul_n_7017696.html
I know he’s opposed the Pat Act for some time-it’s not a new position-but i don’t put it past him to use his opposition for political reasons.I wouldn’t be shocked if Mr Paul ran on the Republican ticket for awhile and eventually decided to run as an Independent. I often wonder why he just doesn’t run on the Democratic ticket.Many of his positions are left of Obama.
I probably won’t lose sleep over the Patriot Act regardless of how it turns out. I DO lose sleep over Obama’s determination to take down the 2nd amendment,the IRS targeting conservatives and Obama’s political enemies-and worse,getting away with it. I really lose sleep over the Iran nuclear deal and his indifference to foreign policy in general.I really lose sleep over Obama’s executive orders and his abuse of branches of gov’t such as the EPA.I’ve lost sleep over Obama’s attacks on Freedom of Religion.He’s just getting started too. Obama is so corrupt there is plenty to lose sleep over.
Personally,the Patriot Act is the LEAST of our worries.Besides,does anyone really believe if the Patriot Act expires that the Obama administration wouldn’t use other means to target citizens without their knowledge?At least with the Patriot Act there is oversight. Anyway,i will not lose sleep no matter which way it goes. Decide for yourself. That’s what an informed citizenry is all about.