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Privacy Under Fire

The fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to privacy which has stirred a debate among it's proponents, citizens, and people directly and indirectly affected in general. Questions coming to mind are 1) does the government have the right to overstep it's boundaries, and 2) has the government become a surveillance state towards it's citizens. A several questions comes to the forefront like,1) will the U.S. government adhere to international law with it's non citizens, 2) will foreign counsel be allowed to represent their clients, 3) once charged, who will be the host country, 4) will the cases set a presedent, 5) how will the Supreme Court intervene, and 6) will the changes forever affect the U. S.'s and the world's way of life.

October 26, 2001 saw George Bush enact the USA Patriot Act while President Barack Obama extended the executive power on May 26, 2011. This has caused a maelstrom of activity within the U.S. and the world. With the extended executive powers, it allows for phone taps, computer communications without warrants, renditions (without legal justification), reconstruction within the courtroom of judical and executive powers to make the prima facie case, illegal incarcerations (ACLU battles), and a host of other techniques.

Suing the U.S. government, the ACLU is trying to rein in illegal wiretaps, as well as the above techniques to even the playing field. Edward Snowden's situation (computer specialist who formerly worked for the NSA), temporarily sidetracked their efforts. His dissertations on how the U.S. government (NSA, DHS, FBI, and the like agencies) telephone collection methods, which involved the overseeing of millions of Americans within and outside the U.S.. Private conversations collected, documented, private citizens of countries renditioned and the like (Germany, France, Brazil, Great Britain - all allies) should take note and set up permanent private counsel with which to prove their case for or against. The internet is also under scrutiny (Facebook, Google, Bing, etc.). They need to form a coalition of attorneys on retainer to protect their rights. Deterioration on government restrictions, power of collection of people's personal information was generated over the outrage of Edward Snowden's leaks. Privacy and free speech of U.S. citizens will be held in question for some time to come.

Within U. S. Government circles the mandate is that the need for security is so strong that the intrusion of our privacy for the prevention of government attacks is necessary, as dictated by President Obama and other high ranking government officials. Using the Snowden case as a precedent DHS, NSA, FBI, and other government intelligence agencies can justify the spying programs necessity; because their agents can identify a respective leak to observe the people who have the propensity to start terrorism. 100% security and privacy will be hotly debated for years to come calling for shifts in policy. History is replete with violations of peoples privacy (World War's 1 and 2, American Civil War, The Tsars of Russia, etc.).Law professors, students, government regulators, and the like and others should strive to look for ways in which to modify the current USA Patriot Act to the proponents on a more level playing field.

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