In an FBI statement to a Freedom of Information Act request regarding surveillance software and a court brief to a federal judge, the government again discreetly confessed its dislike of constitutional protections that all its workers have sworn to preserve.
The right to privacy is being violated. The Supreme Court required 175 years to acknowledge this ancient, inherent right as safeguarded by the Fourth Amendment.
Since 1965, despite almost unanimous court affirmation of the right’s constitutional protection, the executive branch has continuously nullified it.
The Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment protects data-storing devices by requiring warrants for any and all seizures and searches. Mobile phone and desktop owners have privacy rights to their data.
Even a limited reading of the Constitution, which ensures privacy in “persons, homes, documents, and effects,” must recognize a computer chip is an “effect” and is protected.
All government members have sworn to the Fourth Amendment’s straightforward text, broad comprehension, and final court interpretations.
JUDGE ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO: Americans Should Carefully Watch The DEA And Its Usage Of ‘Graphite.’ Here’s Why https://t.co/GTYJncppfD
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 9, 2023
The FBI acquired Israeli-made zero-click software during the Trump administration, perhaps behind his back, but with his appointees’ knowledge.
Zero-click allows a person to target and download a computer’s data without misleading an unfortunate victim into clicking a link. Pegasus is NSO’s malevolent software.
When President Biden realized the FBI used Pegasus lacking search warrants, he barred its usage and prohibited all American transactions from NSO. The FBI keeps this software in New Jersey. Why didn’t Biden ban unwarranted domestic spying?
Rep. Adam Schiff, the departing chair of the House Intelligence Committee, disclosed last week that the DEA purchased “Graphite” from another Israeli producer, Paragon.
Schiff disclosed this in time for Congress to incorporate provisions in its $1.65 trillion omnibus bill, implemented just before Christmas, that grant the national security director authority to prevent the intelligence community from buying or using international spyware.
Why didn’t Congress outlaw all unauthorized domestic espionage, regardless of software?
The intelligence agency knows quite a lot about Biden and many lawmakers for Congress to resist it.
Schiff’s bill, which became legislation, was based on a purported congressional worry that the FBI or DEA may use Israeli-manufactured technology to spy on the American government.
Spies and comrades are watching each other; how charming! This costs taxpayers and is yet another constitutional violation.
— Antiwar.com (@Antiwarcom) January 7, 2023
Sen. Ron Wyden, who defends civil liberties, approached the DEA about this, but it wouldn’t say. Wyden was worried about DEA espionage abroad.
For years, the administrations of presidents of both parties have maintained the Fourth Amendment only holds back police forces, not intelligence; they have contended the Constitution solely inhibits the administration in the U.S.
This flawed reasoning has been dismissed by the Supreme Court since the 1940s, even as recently as 2008, when the court declared wherever the government travels to accomplish its business, the Constitution moves with it.
This holding is scarcely novel. Instead, it is founded on 40 decades of British law that prevented monarchs and sheriffs from sending criminals to countries outside Britain for inhumane treatment and questioning, only to be repatriated for trial.
If this law weren’t valid, the FBI and DEA could do what British authorities tried to get away with.
Finally, over to the DEA. Biden’s DEA, like Trump’s before him, works outside the U.S., such as in its war against drugs against Mexico and Mexican people, outside the Constitution.
Attorneys for the DEA must work hard to keep its extra-constitutional illegality out of American courtrooms.
There are two ways. First, employ silent threats to persuade government authorities not to ban these methods. If required, create a fictional version of its evidence acquisition to fool federal courts and defense counsel.
In the narrative, a foreign middleman gives evidence to the feds, giving it to others unaware of its illicit origins. Without approval or a warrant, hacking a computer is a felony.
Schiff and Wyden mean well. They’ve each defended civil freedoms against government attacks. No matter which party controls Congress, the culture forbids full-throated privacy protections.
We’ve hired a government to preserve our liberty and property. Presently, it does none of these. Instead, it abuses them.This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.