The NSA's Vast Spying Regime Does Not Pass Constitutional Muster

It often appears that the only time Democrats and Republicans can agree on anything, it tends to result in the launching of new wars, or building more prisons, or further eroding constitutional rights and civil liberties.  This could not be more clear in the bipartisan defense of the unconstitutional surveillance and spying regime that has been constructed in the United States over the last decade(s).  An op-ed in the New York Times calls it what it is: criminal.  Excerpt:
The Fourth Amendment obliges the government to demonstrate probable cause before conducting invasive surveillance. There is simply no precedent under the Constitution for the government’s seizing such vast amounts of revealing data on innocent Americans’ communications. 

The government has made a mockery of that protection by relying on select Supreme Court cases, decided before the era of the public Internet and cellphones, to argue that citizens have no expectation of privacy in either phone metadata or in e-mails or other private electronic messages that it stores with third parties . . . 

We may never know all the details of the mass surveillance programs, but we know this: The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a mockery of the government’s professed concern with protecting Americans’ privacy. It’s time to call the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs what they are: criminal.

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