The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath and affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
Don't you think this should be required reading for James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, and General Alexander, head of the National Security Agency?
Eugene Robinson, in The Washington Post (7.4.13), detailed some of the egregious violations of the Fourth Amendment. Our government has collected information about billions of our phone calls, and perhaps, has recorded some or all of them. He asks the right question: under what authority was this information compiled? The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is supposed to oversee this operation, but its proceedings and rulings are secret. So we don't know. We do know that the government has requested more than 30,000 surveillance warrants and the court has refused only 11. Check my math, but that's .037%.
That's right: .037%
So we don't know what information is being collected, for what purpose, and for how long. In essence, then, this is a lawless operation since the people, i.e. us, are not permitted to know any of these purposes or even whether the information is being or has been collected. It's a blank check to a Star Chamber court, completely and irrevocably antithetical to the Constitution and the American experience.
Policemen, and secret policemen, always want more information in order to "protect" their society from threats, both internal and external. In fact, the best way to protect us would be to put us in a dark cell, completely protected