America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 41

The reason it hasn't-at least not
yet-is because this is so personal. This
telecommunications metadata can very
easily be used to embarrass, ridicule or
simply profile any American who dials a
hotline, helpline or the local gun range.
How NSA Data Collection Can
Harm You L'   :
Scroll through your phone records
while imagining how your calls could
categorize you. Did you call your local
gun shop to find out when they're
open? Maybe you spoke to people in
your gun club before a competition.
Or maybe you called the National Rifle
Association. These calls can easily be
used by a data-mining program to show
that you're likely a gun owner.
Maybe you also called your place
of religious worship or a local chapter
of the  or the Tea Party or any
other political group. Perhaps you
called your doctor or a hunting guide
in the last five years. Whoever you
called can be used to create a profile of
you-your friends, associations, where
you take your business and perhaps
your politics.
Now consider people seeking help
for various problems. Phone records
would show who called a suicide hotline
on New Year's Eve, or who called an
 helpline or Planned Parenthood.
In many ways this metadata can create
"intimate portraits of the lives of millions
of Americans," says a "friend of the court"
brief from a group of computer and
data experts who specialize in computer
security, data analysis, cryptography and
privacy-enhancing technologies. (You
can read the brief here: http://jfrazerlaw.
com/wp/wp-content/uploads///
Clapper-d-Cir-computer-expertsamicus.pdf)
Those are arguably Fourth
Amendment infringements, as the
government is gathering personal
information about you and everybody
else without first obtaining a warrant.
I say "arguably" because the Fourth
Amendment has been shot full of
legalistic holes by judicial creations
such as the "third-party doctrine," a
rule that allows government entities
to get your phone records, emails and
more from private companies you do

business with without serving you with
a search warrant.
Actually, to comprehend the fading
condition of the Fourth Amendment,
realize that some on the left, such as
.. Supreme Court Justice Stephen
Breyer, have argued that the Fourth
Amendment has been made irrelevant
by technology. On Dec. , , Breyer
told Fox News' Chris Wallace: "The
Founders didn't know that commerce
included airplanes. They didn't know
about the Internet or even television."
Breyer and others use this point
to claim that Fourth Amendment
protections don't necessarily apply to
digitized documents or our records
held by Internet service providers.
The problem with Breyer's view is that
when writing the Fourth Amendment
protection of our "persons, houses,
papers, and effects, against unreasonable
searches and seizures," the Founders
might not have foreseen the Internet,
but they certainly foresaw government
infringement on basic human liberties.
So although it's true that our papers
today are more often digital (something
that was unfathomable in ),
this doesn't end their constitutional
protections. After all, no one argues
the First Amendment protection of
free speech ends when our voices go
digital over the Internet or on television,
so why is it some are swayed by the

argument that the Fourth Amendment
doesn't cover cell phones, emails and
digitized documents from government
intrusion without a warrant?
Also, our First Amendment freedom
of association is put at risk by this 
program. For example, when the 
keeps phone records to and from an
association, such as the  or , it's
easy for the government to determine
who's organizing, contributing and even
who likely owns a gun. That is why, in a
"friend of the court" brief in the lawsuit
 v. Clapper, a legal challenge to this
 program, the  writes:
"For more than  years since its
decision in  v. State of Alabama
[], the .. Supreme Court has
recognized that involuntary disclosure
of the membership of advocacy
groups inhibits the exercise of First
Amendment rights by those groups.
For nearly as long-since the debates
leading up to enactment of the Gun
Control Act of -the Congress
has recognized that government
recordkeeping on gun owners inhibits
the exercise of Second Amendment
rights. The mass surveillance program
raises both issues, potentially providing
the government not only with the means
of identifying members and others
who communicate with the  and
other advocacy groups, but also with
the means of identifying gun owners

Even the EU Is Having this Debate Last April, Europe's top court
struck down a European Union (EU) law (the 2006 Data Retention
Directive) that required telecommunications companies to store private
phone and email data for up to two years. The court thought the law
was too invasive.
By allowing EU governments
to access the data, the
European Court of Justice
said, "The directive interferes
in a particularly serious
manner with the fundamental
rights to respect for private
life and to the protection of
personal data."
Merkel
The revelation that U.S.
agencies listened to some of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's calls,
and calls of many others, has turned much public sentiment in Europe
against such government surveillance.
DANIEL NAUPOLD/PICTURE-ALLIANCE/DPA/AP IMAGES

America's

1

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Freedom

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June 

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America's First Freedom - June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - June 2014

America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 1
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 2
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 3
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 4
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 5
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 6
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 7
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 8
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 9
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America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 11
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America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 13
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 14
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