I respect your point of view, dsliesse, and you are correct to some extent. The Constitution has in its body provisions for suspensions of civil liberties in time of war or insurrection. While Martial Law has not been declared, we in the US are according to our Government in a state of war against terrorism or terrorists. The Patriot Act and supporting post-911 legislation supports this view of the reason civil liberties are not fully respected.
Originally Posted by dsliesse
I call BS on this point of view, as you also clearly do. What separates us, is that I choose not to defy the law or try to make an end-run around it, as long as I can reasonably function within the limits of the law. I still believe that the ways to change what is wrong are through repeal of certain parts of the legislation and the writing of new safeguards into Federal Law, as well as using the Courts at every opportunity to resist what are clearly abuses of the letter and the intent of the post-911 laws.
For myself, I also have little to hide from anyone. I also strongly prefer to maintain my privacy when it is practical to do so.
But encrypting email, using VPN-proxy services, and moving my email offshore, all seem to me to be too much effort for too little effect. And such practices, when discovered by US based law enforcement or agencies, may well attract exactly the sort of unwanted scrutiny I was trying to avoid if I were to play such a cat and mouse game.
Let them look if they are legally allowed to do so. But if it is not legal, no one, not even in the name of National Security, is entitled to exemption from Court challenges. And if they do these things "in secret", let me paraphrase Sherlock Holmes:
"Large groups of people are incapable of keeping secrets" which have serious value to outsiders.
That is in my opinion, the greatest safeguard of all.
In my not so humble opinion - the NSA is violating my 4rth, 5th, and 10th Amendment rights, and no war footing is excuse enough to implement their draconian schemes. We fought the American Revolution because the British thought civil disobedience was excuse enough to step on us - I say NEVER AGAIN!!
You may be right (and I believe you are, by the way), but the problem is, someone needs to call the violators to account, and it doesn't appear that that will happen.
Originally Posted by JCitizen
The President, or any other politician, can get away with any crime, as long as no one is trying to stop him/her.
I know where I come down on this discussion, I HATE what our country and our government have become. I too have no answer/suggestion. This is precisely what Orwell foresaw when he wrote 1984, to his mind, and this is something I have given some thought to, Big Brother=Technology Unbound. There is no stopping it, we know that, it will continue to develop, ever faster, the more capable WE become, the more capable THEY become. Where's the answer? Move "off the grid" to the little bit of backwater America that still exists, live with no utilities, no cable, no bank account, pay cash or barter for everything, give your name to nobody, use pre-paid cell service only, disable GPS in it or turn it off immediately when not using it. There IS still a way, but it's very inconvenient, and for how much longer can it last? Beyond that, how available is it to most of us who have to get chacks or direct deposits, or work for a paycheck? Not very <SIGH> I wish I knew the answer, and I HOPE that I'll know it if/when I see it!
Ya, the rate at witch our country's (US) checks and balances take effect are based on a time when the rider with the fastest horse could warn the country, not on bits zipping about at the speed of light.