Sunday, November 06, 2005

Undermining Griswold

No, I'm not talking about abortion here. I'm talking about privacy, period. Today's Washington Post has a story about how the FBI has increased hundredfold its use of national security letters to compel information from libraries and corporations about customers who are not even suspected of having committed a crime.

First of all, I urge you to read this story, and read it again. Then, I'd urge you to write your representatives and demand that they add in additional oversight well beyond what they conduct now. If innocent people are going to routinely have information about them given to a government data bank, then someone ought to be looking at how effective this random information gathering is.

This story is yet another sign of how this Republican-led Congress has become the sheep to George W. Bush's shepherd. The same group of people who oversaw every last little thing Bill Clinton did has had the least amount of interest into investigating the truthfulness of Bush's presentation to Congress of intelligence regarding Iraq, the least amount into checking out prisoner abuse allegations that have come from Army officers, no interest in many things that Clinton would have been roasted over a spit for. If Clinton had taken us to war the way Bush did, he'd have been impeached a second time.

We need our Congress to behave responsibly, and the only way to get that behavior is to vote for change. 2006 is a critical year, and we need to hang that over the head of every elected representative, and tell them we want our constitutional right to be left alone to be respected.


Blogger E. M. Zanotti said...

I hate to break it to you, but Griswold isn't controlling for this measure. Griswold's only Contribution to Constitutional jurisprudence is an interpretation of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. This would be a Fourth Amendment concern. The Fourth Amendment standards is far different from the Ninth Amendment standards used to justify privacy interests in contraception and abortion. Those deal with substantive due process, where as here, you have a question of procedural due process, if you have a due process question at all. The concern here is the privacy interests of the citizenry weighed against the interests of the governmnet, under the guidelines of police responsibility cases. Griswold has nothing to do with police searches, or the government obtaining information without just cause.

Really, much of these "information grabs" are done within the confines of the Patriot Act and other provisions which have been upheld by SCOTUS numerous times. And if you knew what PRIVATE companies can know about you (entities that do not fall under the Constitution) you would likely have a lot less problems with the same information falling into the hands of the government who does little with it.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Thad said...

You're right, and I should've included the Fourth Amendment part as well. And yes, I also have major issues with what private companies can know about you. The only difference is, private companies can't throw you in jail indefinitely, and the Patriot Act was not written with enough oversight. The version members of Congress originally recieved was changed the night before the vote when House and Senate leaders sat down with Ashcroft and he rewrote major sections of the Act. Members had four hours to absorb the new bill, and the pressure was immense in the wake of 9/11. If you believe in separation of powers, then you have to believe that this executive branch has been given a far larger slice of power than any other since LBJ and early Vietnam days. That is not good for the nation by any means.

10:24 PM  

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