What is the value of protecting our freedoms by instituting an Orwellian system that removes the freedom we are trying to protect? The collection of metadata by the government is a violation of our fourth amendment Rights. The 1979 Supreme Court decision that these records were not subject to Constitutional protection may have been correct at that time. But the decision needs to be revisited to account for new technologies and an increase in the number of the searches authorized.
The ability to use computers to analyze metadata provides the government a cornucopia of private content into a person’s life. A dossier can be built to establish a person’s religious beliefs, political affiliation and other information about a person’s private life. This intrusion by the government is a clear violation of our rights and should not be tolerated.
The 1979 decision should be vacated in favor of our rights and a new decision rendered. This intrusive system is of little value as it did not protect us against the recent attacks in Boston, Newtown and Aurora.
I call on our representatives to sponsor a bill to stop the National Security Agency’s collection of data on all Americans; limit the agency’s ability to collect information only on suspects via the warrant process. All metadata collected so far on Americans should be immediately deleted.
The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court needs to be revised so that its purpose is to protect American citizens’ rights. The court must have a citizens’ rights advocate. No more rubber stamping. This function must be independent of the Executive branch and either report to the Judiciary or to Congress.
Clifford M. Cole Sr.