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Anti-Terrorism and Constitutional Liberties

Anti-Terrorism and Constitutional Liberties

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Published by lbrty4all9227
Commentary by J. Bradley Jansen on the implications for constitutional liberties in the war on terrorism
Commentary by J. Bradley Jansen on the implications for constitutional liberties in the war on terrorism

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Published by: lbrty4all9227 on Mar 02, 2009
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05/10/2014

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Anti-Terrorism and Constitutional LibertiesCommentary by J. Bradley JansenMay 30, 2002The War on Terrorism has domestic implications that directly impact on ourConstitutional liberties. In response to times of terrorism and war, there is adebate between the false choice of privacy versus security. The dichotomy is falsebecause we deserve both privacy and security. This country was founded on thoseideals, and they were enshrined in our Constitution. Our Founding Fathers wereright. The irresponsible approach of spying on everyone all the time instead offocusing resources on the real threats to our country only leaves us bothvulnerable and violated.Worries about individual rights are often brushed aside during trying times ofconflict, and various institutions, both public and private, use the cover of waras pretexts for fishing expeditions of their own desires entirely unrelated tonational security. Many reductions in our freedom will do nothing to stop terrorfrom without, but they will take our society further down the road of the evenmore sinister menace, totalitarianism from within. We should ensure any invasionof privacy be limited, targeted, and effective.Many of our Constitutional rights and liberties are threatened now more thanusual. Even long established safeguards enshrined in the Bill of Rights areimpacted. Regarding the First Amendment of the Constitution, the new relaxationof guideline limits on the Federal Bureau of Investigation may result in greatersurveillance of religious activities and have the effect of interfering with ourfree exercise thereof. Lawful political protests where a minority of participantsresort to violence could invoke new “terrorist” measures against otherwiselegitimate public assembly and speech. The barriers to surveillance of suspectedprotesters have also been lowered.It is our Fourth Amendment protections that have under the greatest danger. Lawenforcement has been granted new “sneak and peak” authority. This “delayednotice” provision greatly expands the government’s authority to conduct covertsearches. In effect, this means that law enforcement agencies can now enter aperson’s home or office, search through the person’s possessions, in some casesseize physical objects or electronic information, without the person knowing thatlaw enforcement agents were there.In addition, the government now has greater access to confidential information inother ways. Voice mail is treated under the lower e-mail rather than telephoneconversation protection standards. Pen registers and trap and trace authority hasbeen greatly expanded—most significantly undermining electronic communicationprivacy. The intent to circumvent standard for the issuance of roving wiretapshas been eliminated. Nationwide execution of court orders for many of these newprovisions is now permissible. The Posse Comitatus exceptions have also beenexpanded.Regarding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the new authority standard tospy on Americans or foreign persons in the United States has been lowered from“the” purpose of the surveillance to “a significant purpose” of the surveillance.Congress is now considering granting the U.S. Customs Office the authority toconduct warrantless searches of outbound international mail for the first timesince Ben Franklin created the Post Office.Fifth Amendment protects against the taking of private property without justcompensation are reduced. The prime motivation of the warrantless searchauthority stems from the new potential for asset forfeiture abuses that the Civil

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