Speaking not only as a blogger, but as a citizen of this country, I feel that ANY legislation being considered to regulate the Internet is a very slippery slope to head down. Be it censorship or the ability to freely monitor it for criminal activity; to me it’s all the same. As it stands, the Internet is a wide-open world of free thoughts and speech from everywhere on the planet. Since its exponential growth in the early 2000s, the Internet has changed the face of everything from how we communicate to how we do business. For better or for worse, this connectivity is now sewn into the fabric of our lives, but even with all the negative side-effects of that powerful machine, there comes very real positive elements. This positive technology is now being threatened…again.
What I’m talking about today is a new legislative Amendment, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allowing intelligence agencies to monitor international communications via the Internet in hopes that they might stumble upon some activity deemed to be illegal. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) properly defined what the FISA Act means for all of us:
The FISA Amendments Act continues to be controversial; key portions of it were challenged in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court this term. In brief, the law allows the government to get secret FISA court orders—orders that do not require probable cause like regular warrants—for any emails or phone calls going to and from overseas. The communications only have to deal with “foreign intelligence information,” a broad term that can mean virtually anything. And one secret FISA order can be issued against groups or categories of people—potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans at once.
To me, I understand this as being illegal search and seizure! While I’m all for catching the bad guys, I’m not willing to do it at my own expense. This is like opening your front door a couple of times a week to allow the police to search your home for any illegal activity on the off chance that they’ll find the “real person” they’re looking for. This has got to stop! Otherwise, we’re going to be a nation of lemmings marching to the beat of the government drum. Step out of line and you’re dead.
But fear not, Sen. Rand Paul has our back! He is proposing a new Amendment called the “Fourth Amendment Protection Act” which re-asserts the protections of the 4th Amendment as well as extending it’s protections to third party searches conducted by intelligence agencies. These searches usually target the likes of AT&T and Google by forcing them to expose stored data on their customers.
It’s a shame that our current administration seems hellbent on destroying everything that’s great about this country. And they do it under the pretext that they are protecting us which makes it much more sickening.