Sunday, July 15, 2007

Surrendering Our Freedom in the Name of Security

NSA Sued On Wiretap Claim
PORTLAND, Ore., March 1, 2006
(AP) Civil rights attorneys have sued the National Security Agency, claiming it illegally wiretapped conversations between the leaders of an Islamic charity and two of its lawyers. The charity, Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, had been accused of aiding Muslim militants, though charges were later dismissed.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland asks that electronic surveillance by the NSA be shut down, arguing the agency illegally wiretapped electronic communications between a local chapter of the charity and Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor, both attorneys in Washington, D.C. The complaint also seeks $1 million in damages for each of the plaintiffs. It alleges the NSA did not follow procedures required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, and failed to obtain a court order authorizing electronic surveillance of the charity and its attorneys.

Dave Fidanque, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union chapter in Oregon, said the complaint is similar to other lawsuits the ACLU has filed recently. “The law couldn't be clearer on this issue,'” he said. “Not only is the NSA's spying program unauthorized by federal law, but we suspect that conversations of thousands of Americans have been subjected to illegal surveillance by the NSA.”

For the rest of the story:

I want our government to protect us from terrorist. It would be dereliction of duty, it they did not. But, I am fearful we are surrendering our freedom in the name of security and we can have both. Following the law is not burdensome. I am not ready to repeal the 4th Amendment for the sake of convenient surveillance.

"Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. "

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