National surveillance administration

The NSA and President Obama find the Fourth Amendment no obstacle for spying on Americans.

The New York Times recently exposed the National Security Administration for failing to comply with its own limitations, alleging âÄúsignificant and systemicâÄù spying on AmericansâÄô own private e-mails and telephone calls. Unfortunately for civil liberties, the NSAâÄôs warrantless âÄúinadvertent overcollectionâÄù may put America on course with Britain, the bulwark of global Big Brotherism. There, street cameras capture a citizenâÄôs every step, garbage bins are chipped for user-identification and the government keeps DNA records of un-convicted suspects, a practice the United States recently adopted. In America, privacy is guaranteed by the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, which guards citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. Those rights, however, are slowly eroding. Ironically, the man whose lofty idealism promised to âÄúbreak the politics of fear that uses Sept. 11 to scare up votes,âÄù former constitutional law professor Barack Obama, is simply ignoring the Constitution in the name of national security, defending NSA eavesdropping on tens of millions of citizens, often for simply speaking Israeli friends. The NSA said in response to the Times, âÄúintelligence operations, including programs for collection and analysis, are in strict accordance with U.S. laws and regulations.âÄù Fourth Amendment aside, this is nearly true because the law is tyrannical. The FISA Amendment Act passed in July 2008, which then-candidate Obama voted for, granted the NSA blanket authority to spy on citizens whose communications were âÄúreasonably believedâÄù to be international and made telecom companies retroactively immune to lawsuits of privacy breach, so the check fell to the government. But even after the TimesâÄô damning revelations of NSA zealotry, Obama and his Justice Department have routinely blocked all cases on the governmentâÄôs illegal spying programs, using BushâÄôs âÄústate secretsâÄù defense. No one is being held accountable and this Big Brother scale of government surveillance shows no sign of revelation âÄî much less reduction.