Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Liberty or Death: The need for FISA

Devoni Novak
It was recently decided that a lawsuit against a Federal Government eavesdropping law will return back to courts. President Bush set the program in motion back in 2008 to allow intelligence agencies the right to wiretap into international communication. The American Civil Liberties Union along with other organizations declared the FISA Amendments Act to be unconstitutional as a violation of the 4th amendment.
I have to disagree with the American Civil Liberties Union. The government established this law to keep American citizens safe from terrorists. If they have nothing to hide then what is the American Civil Liberties Union worried about? Being involved in the war in the Middle East, not to mention the devastation the country faced on 9/11 (which is the event that caused President Bush to declare war) makes stronger national security necessary.
The FISA Amendment Act does not violate the fourth amendment. Enforcement of this act does not compromise that right to America’s citizens. Only those suspected of being associated with plotting a terrorist attack will be subject to communication spying. If one is innocent then they need not be concerned. They should remember the government serves primarily as a protector not a prosecutor.
When the lawsuit was initially filed, it was thrown out. A Manhattan district judge who received the case did so on the grounds that the plaintiff could not prove they had been violated in anyway. There was no substantial proof that the plaintiff had been eavesdropped on. Therefore, the Manhattan judge felt they did not have legal reason to sue. However, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals did not agree with that reasoning and decided to allow the case to continue.
Many of those who are opposed to this law are lawyers and journalists who converse with people who resided outside of the country. Because they communicate with foreigners, these groups fear they would be subject to government eavesdropping and accused of being terrorists.
Jameel Jaffer, a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union stated, “I have always thought that we had a very strong argument. The new law allows the government to engage in dragnet surveillances of Americas’ communication, and it makes the fourth amendment altogether irrelevant.”http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com

1 comment:

  1. I have to agree that this is a necessary evil in international communications, but like and kind of search, they need probable cause and a warrant to wire tap. they got those, and they get no argument from me. big fish cross oceans. but joe bragging to bill about how he 100 and didn't get pulled over who then gets mailed a court summons because he made a confession while the 5 0s were on the wire, that's just wrong.