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IPFS News Link • Whistleblowers

A Great Man in Moscow

• by andrew p. napolitano

Snowden is the former CIA and National Security Agency operative -- he was a CIA agent and was later employed by a contractor for the NSA -- who blew the whistle on NSA and FBI mass undifferentiated warrantless spying on all persons in America.

The spying consisted of capturing all fiber-optic data that was transmitted into, out of and within the United States. As no warrants were sought or obtained and no targets were named -- hence, the spying was mass and undifferentiated -- it captured the communications of everyone. The government did not bother to seek out evidence and target those as to whom it found probable cause, as the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution requires.

The Fourth Amendment was written to keep the government out of our private affairs and off our backs and to force the government to stay in the lane of probable cause of crime. Thus, with the requirement of probable cause -- evidence that a crime was committed and it is more likely than not that execution of the warrant will produce more evidence of that crime -- the Fourth Amendment explicitly outlaws general warrants that permit the bearer to search wherever he wishes and seize whatever he finds. The amendment requires every warrant to describe specifically the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, meeting in secret with only government lawyers appearing, and with nearly all its rulings kept secret even from the judges on the court, uses its own concocted standard of probable cause. That standard is probable cause of communicating with a foreign person as the requirement for a surveillance warrant. That standard is profoundly contrary to the Constitution.

So, if you call your cousin in Toronto or a bookseller in London, under this dreadful law, the FISA Court can authorize the NSA or the FBI to capture ALL your communications. The emphasis is on "all," as the surveillance will extend to all to whom you communicate, not just your cousin or your bookseller, and all to whom they communicate, out to the sixth degree of communications.