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April 23, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Hands off our private data

So, where are the Fourth Amendment protections for the individual in the president’s newly proposed National Security Agency mass surveillance plan?

I listened to President Barack Obama’s speech on mass NSA surveillance Jan. 17. I was absolutely appalled at his tone deafness to what the American people are vehemently demanding from the NSA’s massive data sweep program: serious protection of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizures without separate prior warrants as required by the Fourth Amendment.

Under the president’s proposed policy, the private and personal information mined under this controversial program will merely be placed into limbo in some yet unspecified data accumulation cyberspace “cloud” that still gives Americans no real protection against the government’s intrusive access to and constitutionally prohibited confiscation and use of such private information. Once under the government’s control, it could still be accessed unlawfully and taken by the government at any time without warning.

Obama is again deceiving Americans with this devious unconstitutional massive grab of private information.

Instead, an initial “probable cause” finding of a terrorist connection should have to be determined 1) on a case-by-case individual basis, which should then become the only justification for collection of domestic source data from U.S. citizens by the federal government, and 2) only after a warrant has been issued by a court of competent jurisdiction that has confirmed such a finding of “probable cause” based on the facts in the matter as presented.

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