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Internet Surveillance Proposal Raises Constitutional Questions

September 30, 2010 by  

Internet surveillance proposal raises constitutional questionsThere is a new legislative plan that, if implemented, would require social media services such as Skype or Facebook to comply with a wiretap order.

The Obama administration has announced it will push for Federal legislation that would compel email, instant messaging and other communication providers to allow law enforcement to bypass their encryption for surveillance purposes, according to The New York Times.

Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are reportedly concerned that technological progress makes it increasingly difficult to conduct wiretaps of suspected criminals, including terrorists, as individuals are switching away from phones and towards Internet-based communications.

Despite officials' claims that agents would still need a court order to access this type of data, there are growing concerns about what this would mean for privacy and constitutional protections, such as those provided for in the Fourth Amendment.

Among the critics of the proposal, which will likely be brought before the new Congress next year, is Jim Harper, an attorney and policy analyst at the Cato Institute. He said that "the migration to open source peer-to-peer services will accelerate and the Federal government will end up worse off than it is today," quoted by CNet News.

"This is a reason to worry about so-called 'cloud' services, which provide a centralized surveillance point," he added. 

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  • s c

    Obviously, Uncle Scam doesn’t trust us. The feeling is mutual.
    Apparently, Uncle Scam doesn’t have enough power to “save” us. We don’t need to be ‘saved’ by Uncle Scam.
    Uncle Scam seems to think he can justify anything to get what he wants. Let the old fart think what he wants. Long before I was born, Uncle Scam took the position that all wealth belongs to him. He was wrong the. He’s wrong now.
    People who have some common sense know that living in a dream world has serious consequences. Let Uncle Scam learn the same way we learn. Up yours, Scammy.

    • 45caliber

      Under Clinton they passed the “Privacy Improvement Act.” It requires all manufacturers of phones, computers, and fax machines install a chip that allows the government to tap into those at your home and copy all messages, etc. I checked with the IT group at my company and they tell me it is there. You used to hear a short beep when they signed onto your phone but now you don’t. They copied everything and then searched it for code words. If a code word is found they send it on to a human to hear/read.

      This is simply a faster way to get the info once they identify someone.

    • EddieW

      Uncle Sam is scared. because we have the internet for communication!!
      Their lies can quickly be refuted, and made available to millions instantly…they gotta control this counter to their lies and propoganda!! They have the alphabet media to publish their propaganda, and put out pap and entertainment…but the truth? Truth is Sacred, and they want nothing to do with the Sacred!!! My favorite quotes on Truth:
      “If man is not governed by God, he will be ruled by
      tyrants,” warned William Penn, Wm. Penn Gov.of Penn.

      There are now, many people in the world, and in
      Government…who hate truth, and will do anything in
      their power to prevent it!! The far left is a perfect

      “During times of universal deceit, (Like now?)
      telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

      Those who hate TRUTH will be devastated by it!!!

      Seek Truth, Love Truth, Hold Fast To Truth
      No Matter Where It Leads.

      It is dangerous to be right in matters on which
      the established authorities are wrong.
      Voltair 1694-1778

    • EddieW

      The Government don’t trust us, because we have access by internet to the TRUTH!! Thir propaganda and lies are instantly rebutted!! They want CONTROL..over our access to truth! They have their alphabet media to promote propaganda and lies, as well as pap & entertainment…to keep the poeple asleep…but dern!! they are waking up to what’s happening…this is dangerous to Obummer’s lies!
      Now they must spy on us, keep records against us, and enforce their Police State Mentality!!

  • DaveH

    We have too much information. How can we function as a society when we know too much? We need to put our heads back into the sand, so Obama can do what’s best for us (whether we like it or not). Trust him, he only wants to help us:

  • Angel Wannabe

    Yepper, keep pushing that envelope there Washington, your not far from the edge. Experience has shown me in 54 years, if one is discussing a plan, the plan is already being used!??_ Every damn thing you do, is always under the guise of being_ FOR THE GOOD OF THE PEOPLE!__ Thanks, but No Thanks!!
    You won’t protect our borders from foreign infiltration, like your suppose to according to the Constitution, but you’ll spy on ANY American you choose, on the net!?__Were still in the middle of a recession, but you won’t leave in place, the bush tax cuts!__I’m amazed at the ignorance, new song title> “I Guess Were All Terrorists Now?!”___Tapping Emails, IM, phones, as if your satillites that can hone in on a news paper laying on the ground, and X-ray vans driving around, aren’t enough!__

    • http://?? Joe H.

      Angel Wannabe,
      Tell me why, in the health care bill, is a law that says you have to report all gold sales??? Not only do they want to know where your guns are, they also want to know where your gold is as well. Now does this seem to be health related to you???

      • Angel Wannabe

        JoeH, Gold Hasn’t a damn thing to do with Health Care, thats what these idiots do,pass any kind of bill and put it anywhere, just because they can. They gotta know everything we do they’re power hngry wack jobs!!, if we have to abide by these regulations & bills, it SHOULD APPLY to them in Washington as well!

        • s c

          Angel, it’s bad enough that we have elected slimers who dare to think about mixing provisions in a piece of legislation. The FACT that certain scumbags make this a habit amounts to PROOF that they are NEVER to be trusted.
          Couple that with hundreds of retards in Congress who aren’t inclined to read OR understand what they’re passing, and you don’t have to be an Einstein to know what what’s really going on in Washington. Isn’t it clear that those pathetic bastards have sold their arses and their souls?
          If they don’t stop their evil practices NOW, then I see no other way out than to give them a choice between a rope and a firing squad. Forget perks and an early retirement. Give the scum what they deserve.

          • Angel Wannabe

            At’s what the old man and I were talkin about yesterday sc, my hope is that the if Repubs take back control in congress, that the damn bunch in they’re now are tried for treason._Sadly I’m not sure what good it would do, because ya can’t trust any of them!__They’re all on the same path, but I think the repubs are slower at it!

          • 45caliber

            Actually Angel, I think they are about as fast but they are more cautious than the Dems. They know they are being watched. The Dems are certain that the ones voting for them don’t watch and they don’t care if the rest of us do or not.

          • DaveH

            Good point, 45.

        • Richard Pawley

          It isn’t just gold it’s every single thing sold in the country. That’s is what socialism is! It’s all about total control of everything and every one. It’s where government replaces God. If a baker buys over $600 worth of sugar or $600 worth of flour, in a year, forms will have to be filled out for each one he buys from. In Gemany the Nazi’s in our grandfather’s day required all this to be in triplicate. The reason our government is doing this is because free health care isn’t free. Someone has to pay for it. Beside’s this will require 16,000 more government and/or Federal Reserve Bank IRS agents to handle all the extra paperwork and they have to be paid. It’s all about expanding government and shrinking the private sector. Do you know how your Congressman or woman stands on this? Not all Republicans are against it but many are. This won’t destroy all small business but it will destroy some and it will keep others from growing because of all the excessive paper work but it’s for “our own good” and think of all those new government jobs.

          The government thinks they will get $17 Billion more from the public if they do this but the Democratic Congress has squandered this much EVERY SINGLE WEEK (ON AVERAGE) SINCE THEY TOOK OVER FOUR YEARS AGO. So all the onus papar work forever is just to pay off what the Progressive socialists have squandered (on average) in a single week. Remember, Democrats or Socialist Progressives or Marxists or whatever they choose to call themselves, they have never met a tax they didn’t like. If they can’t pass a tax they will call it a fee, and we owe more money now than any nation has ever owed in the history of the world. To burden small businessmen with this unbelievable paperwork (handling this will be a full time job for many small business and some will just sell their business and retire) just to collect what the Democrats waste EACH WEEK is unconscionable to me and I’m not even a businessman. (Ok, it’s not all waste, but in my opinion most of it is). It would be interesting to see if there are these many regulations hindering small business in Russia or Red China. I have a hunch the answer is no.

          Vote them out, vote them all out! We can’t do worse with all new people that what the 111th has done to us. Remember to register. Most states close that next week and if you don’t register, you can’t vote. May God save the Republic!

          • http://google gary gerke

            YOUR RIGHT!! The Dem’s are also looking at the private 401K’s and IRA’s that amount to over $13 trillion dollars. They are trying to come up with a new flaky resoulution to be able to legally tap our private funds funds, they would like to make it mandatory to purchase thier worthless government bonds….Be careful

      • Barbara

        There also seems to be a sneaky sales tax on real estate transactions also in an alleged ‘Health Care” bill.

        • Richard Pawley

          Sort of, but it won’t apply to most. It is 3.8% tax on those who are in that over $250,000 a year income level (most small business) so in addition to burdening business with unbelievable paperwork they will also have to pay 3.8% on the sale of their homes if they decide to move to a cheaper more responsible state. This will tend to keep people where they are and keep them from moving to a cheaper state that doesn’t have the unbelievable debt of California, New York, Michigan, Illinois and a few others. Did you see where the governor of Texas told Meg Whitman who is running for governor in California that he goes hunting in California? When she asked him what he was hunting he said “businesses”. The taxes in Texas are so much less that business can operate there and provide good jobs without all the hassle of a socialist state like California or Michigan. I truly cannot understand how Democrats and a few Republicans actually believe that by spending more money they can solve a problem that was caused by spending to much money. To me that is sort of a cult-like mental problem. It’s like trying to wean a person off drugs by giving them more drugs. How does that work by the way? These people don’t live in the real world. It didn’t work 75 years ago and it isn’t working today, but the depression they are causing by their insane squandering of wealth will be far greater than the one our grandparents lived through. These people are as unrealistic as the Taliban. The only solution that I can see is (I hate to say it) is a new law to require that anyone who runs for congress has to have run a business for at least ten years. Being a lawyer or a professor doesn’t count. These people live in la-la land and are disconnected from reality. Well, guess what? They and their families are going to be paying the much higher prices that they are creating for the rest of us once the deflation ends and the inflation returns. Let’s vote and send them all home. The Democrats don’t even read the legislation that they are given to pass so all new faces couldn’t be worse. A word to all those new faces in Congress come the 112th Congress. Reject all bills that are more than 50 pages. If they can’t say it in 50 pages it isn’t worth reading. Just reject it. Send it back to the lobbyists who wrote it and tell them to simplify it. God thought ten commandments were enough to run the world and even with the few extra ones that Jesus added they would be lost in the footnotes of the 2,000+ page bills that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have hung around our necks. I have read that in the days of Thomas Jefferson such people were tarred and feathered but we are to civilized today and of course the lawyers would sue us, so all we can do is pray to God that He will work His will on all this sordid mess and to register and vote. IT WILL BE ENOUGH! Can we do it? YES, WE CAN!

        • Mac

          Barb, would you include the location – section number or whatever – so we can quote the details of these abominations when complaining to our legislators?

      • sylviam

        The law has always been there about GOLD. It is PROHIBITED that a citizen have more GOLD than the GOV. SO if you buy gold it is registered to YOUR ACCOUNT, that way they can keep track of how much YOU have bought.

        • 45caliber

          That law was repealed some years ago. That’s why they have the new one. Actually, what they want is to force everyone to be dependant upon them. If you have gold, you could conceivably use it to buy things they might not want you to have. So they want to know who has it and how much so they know where to go to collect it. Just like they want to know who has which guns.

    • sylviam

      Amen!!! I think that if we are around the 70-ish age we pretty well know what we can or cannot do. Thats when your want to,knows better than your can do, or so *we* think, until the bad back or the *old* knees, or whatever kicks in & proves to us that we can’t. WE DO NOT NEED UNCLE SCAM to tell us that. SO goes my world.

      • 45caliber

        To be a really perfect liberal world, you would have to ask one of them to go to the bathroom much less anything else.

    • 45caliber

      Sen. Bumpers of AR once voted to give the Panama Canal back to Panama – which few people in AR liked. A reporter asked him why he was voting different than the people he reprented wanted.

      He said, “I know these people disagree with this vote, but they have to realize – I’m up here in Washington and I better know what’s good for them than they do.”

      • Mac

        That sounds exactly like Montana senator Max Baucus. Why these people get any votes from their constituents is beyond me.

  • J.M.R.

    my thoughts to, good work people

  • Robin from Arcadia, IN

    Remember in November!

    Our rights are being taken away and we have to sit and watch. Americans had better buckle up; the ride is not going to be smooth these next couple years!

    • Angel Wannabe

      Robin from Arcadia IN, What really fries my cookies, they allow Jihadist websites and the freedom to post videos of beheadings, yet they wanna spy on regular Americans. These people are a bunch of Wack Jobs__votem out in November!

      • sylviam

        Go Angel GO, CAN I VOTE MORE THAN ONCE!!!!! Please tell me I can. VOTE THEM OLD FARTS OUT. Educate your selves on voting records thn VOTE

        • JLC

          Sylviam — Can you vote more than once? Only if you are a registered Democrat! All others must abide by the law!

          • Angel Wannabe


          • 45caliber

            Sadly – you are right. Last election someone working at a nursing home loaded up a van and brought them all in to “vote”. What she did was to park them next to the voting machine and then voted for them. Someone objected and the Dimocrap in charge told her it was legal for her to do that. Some of those she brought in were too mentally feeble to even feed themselves … but with her help, they were able to “vote”.

  • TIME

    Look over there, See them eyes watching you, hear that click on your phone line, watch your computer load very slowly, now ask why is that again? Did your cell phone just drop off even standing next to a tower?

    They are watching YOU! They have been for years, but now its time to shut YOU down as they made a BIG mistake and let you have to much Freedom with the internet.

    The price we will pay for that mistake, well can you say;
    Welcome New World Order?

    • sylviam

      TIME, are ya sure thats what is wrong with my puter. I thought it was doing up-dates or something.
      But now that I think about it my phone has been clicking and the puter is slower, hummmmm maybe your right!!!!! Well I have un-subcribed from FACEBOOK anyway so thgere UNCLE SCAM eat that.

  • Tim

    “Force” Facebook to comply? Facebook is already funded by the CIA so I don’t think you have to twist their arm. Whoever that kid is that “owns” it is just a front-man to the guys really running the operation. I always thought it was kind of fishy that Facebook came out and immediately surpassed MySpace and had tons of funding especially for some little 21-yr old out of college.

    • Angel Wannabe

      tim, yeah just like Obama won!

  • http://GOGGLE vaksal

    well the facts are as clear as day,the rothschilds bunch,are causing this collapse,as far as the internet i am sure everyone is on their list,but dont you think its just right wing folks,guess what,its dumocrats too! because look at the whole picture,this is the starting of the genocide of the whole american nation by the biggest money making cabal in the world,rothchilds banking,like they say,he who owns the money owns the power,but in this case,he who owns the power,gets the revolt,worldwide,the world is arming itself to the teeth,while the gun control left wing is selling the poisioned kool-aid that everything is fine,i hope they read this,the whole world is pissed and you left wing traitors will be the main course this nov.everyone is wecomed to the party,tea party that in the people that you think are best,no career government types need apply.only honest folks.



  • Santi

    What is written can not be changed. It’s all coming to fruition.

  • http://charter howe

    If the FBI has an urgent need to wiretap the internet serving a private citizen, a law must be legislated which gives internet users protections from indiscriminate use of the invasion of ones privacy. There should always be an investigation that results in severe punitive measures for any federal employee that abuses the wire tapping or eavesdropping situation if it turns out to be a sham. This is not happening even when a judge signs a legal court order. There cannot be a suitable co-existance between the govt entities and the private citizens to provide absolute homeland security without invasion of privacy, so I prefer having my constitutional rights protected and take the risk of them failing to capture information that would stop an incident. If authorities are involved in the invasion of your privacy it will only create more intrusion problems which will soon evolve into a right for the govt to be a big brother in all matters within our society. This loss of constitutional protection is called Communism, because it begins with invading privacy for the good of the people and moves on to total control of the masses. We have to live with some risks in a dangerous world, but no one is guaranteed anything when evil people are jealous of our way of life and are willing to find excuses for killing us. Explain the sanity of a Muslim killing innocent men, women and children and himself in a nightmarish detonated explosives belt to become a martyr for ALLAH who will then reward him with 72 virgins in heaven or so he thinks. One of the major things WE THE PEOPLE can do to help this problem considerably is to vote Obama, Pelosi and Reid out and get some folks who want to secure the borders and provide homeland secuity like it needs to be done. Janet Napolitano is an Obama yes person who has been very lucky and quite ineffective as Homeland Security Chief. She doesn’t have a clue about what it takes to allow WE THE PEOPLE to sleep at night with the ever constant threat of AL Qaeda sneaking across the border with a few nukes to commit mass destruction to one of our heavy populated areas. Doesn’t that bother anyone? Vote these idiots out while we may still have time to live a normal life and have some peace of mind. There is no foolproof method of defeating a determined enemy but its idiotic to make their task as simple as Obama and Napolitano are making it.

    • Angel Wannabe

      HOWE, my guess would be if Washington’s talking about legislation to pass a bill, it’s already a done deal!

    • 45caliber

      I still can’t figure out where the “72 virgins” came from. It certainly isn’t in the Koran (or Quran or whatever). Paradise isn’t listed in the version I have either. It says that if you are really a good boy (not girl) you will go to the “garden” and be given as wife a “dark eyed maiden”. One.

  • Santi

    Sylviam even if you got off of facebook, your info. still remains there. Just think, all you have to do to resubscribe is input your email and password and all your info. will just popup the way you left it.

  • http://charter howe

    I would like to add an important comment to my previous rant about invasion of internet privacy. It seems grossly indefensible to insist on violation of freedom of speech and I think the fourth amendment rights to invasively use the internet system that quite often penalizes American citizens when the securing of the border is such a joke. The govt wants to monitor the internet to find out who snuck across the border and detonated a nuke in one of our big cities, isn’t that the joke of the year. There is a pathetic homeland security plan in place to protect WE THE PEOPLE and Obama and his Czar want to implement a kill switch and wiretapping etc to better protect us. The truth is that Obama wants to continue to attack the constitutional rights, nationalize all our resources under govt control and have Congress pass his big spend legislation that will bankrupt us out of a free market system into a communist society where everyone has equal wealth. Great idea but it has never worked before in other countries. 29 years in the miltary taught me lots about what other world countries go through when they are not protected by a govt that does not have the integrity to uphold a nations constitution. Some countries wish they had such a document to govern by.

    • 45caliber

      For your info:

      60% of all spy satellites are pointed at the US at any one moment. They take a picture every four seconds with cameras and resolution good enough to read a newpaper laying on the ground. Further, they can use infrared at least to tell how many people are in a building and where they are. The first day Oblama was President he okayed the establishment of several more special spy satellites for that purpose. The first order he signed as far as I could tell.

      They can solve most violent crime with a couple of hours if they wished – but they don’t want everyone to know just how closely they watch you. How do you think they had a picture of McVey for the police and knew to get it to the police in the direction he was travelling?

  • alpha-lemming

    Hello….???? mor’N??? Special-ED(die)???? Where are you guys???? Flush??? Anyone there??? Duuhenniso??? Joe Lib??? I’m REALLY worried ’bout ya!! I hope the government didn’t gitcha. I’d think this is ten times worse than the “unPatriot Act” with all their wire-taps ‘n’ stuff. But…. then again…. maybe it’s all to do with the source of the law and some people shouldn’t have reasonable expectations of privacy. Hello???? anybody??? Where’s the outcry from the progs???

  • dcgirl

    BO had the cell phones in CS shut down when he and GHWB went to the Bush library. Not only did the university and city close down all public parking lots that were within walking distance to discourage protestors, but you couldn’t contact anybody in the city due to the cell phone shut down. Customers of all providers were unable to make or receive calls until he left town.

    • 45caliber

      That doesn’t surprise me a bit.

      One thing I have certainly noticed about Oblama. He is a LOT more careful about being exposed to the public that all previous Presidents. Clinton at least went jogging once in awhile. Bush would be out on his ranch. But Oblama? Nothing.

      Incidently, the first supposed attempt on his life (I’ve not heard of others although I know it has occurred, was by a black man who was upset at the taxes and bills.)

  • dcgirl

    45caliber – I thought the first thing he signed was the executive order banning any of his personal records from being released, you know like his college records, birth certificate from Kenya, etc.

    • 45caliber

      I suspect that was arranged before he ever took office.

  • http://azbob BOB JONES


  • NJGirl

    Proverbs 26:12 “You see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

    • Greg Hanson

      Hello too All…I believe the name of the game is Finacial Terrorism,
      Hijacking America Under the Threat of Bankruptcy…An older book written by John F. McManus. The middle East Chos has taught us a lesson, you can force (all) the Dictators out of office… America belongs to the People.


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