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State Sanctioned Voyeurism

Obama’s euthanizing of 4th Amendment

by Nat Hentoff

Before his forced resignation, President Richard Nixon declared, “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Our current chief executive, however, speaking this year at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, said of our terrorist enemies: “They may seek to exploit our freedoms, but we will not sacrifice the liberties we cherish or hunker down behind walls of suspicion and distrust.”

By contrast, on Sept. 27, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charlie Savage, the press’ Paul Revere guardian of those cherished liberties, broke a story in the New York Times that next year President Obama will send Congress “sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is ‘going dark’ as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.”

And this is how our individual privacy, already on life support, is going to be further violated, not only on the Internet, as former constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald reports (Salon.com, Sept. 27), relying on Savage’s disclosure:

Commander Obama “would require all communications, including ones over the Internet, to be built so as to enable the U.S. government to intercept and monitor them at any time when the law permits.”

Keep in mind that next year after the midterm elections, it will be Congress determining what the law is.

If Obama’s lockstep Democrats are still in control next year, Glenn Greenwald continues, “Internet services could legally exist only insofar as there would be no such thing as truly private communications; all must contain a ‘back door’ to enable government officials to eavesdrop.”

Would this still be America?

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