In response to a shocking ruling by Federal Judge Edward Korman, a veteran Silicon Valley tech expert has declared that the decision means the Constitution is dead.
At issue was an earlier decision in which a judge ruled that it is legal for the federal government to seize the possessions of citizens returning to the states from other countries without probable cause.
A U.S. citizen, a Ph.D student who had traveled to Montreal, was accosted by federal agents upon returning to the states who then confiscated his computer, offering no legal reason for doing so. The student was not suspected of any crime.
When the case was taken to the courts, Judge Korman issued his now-infamous ruling that supposedly justifies government confiscation of personal property without any legal basis for doing so, prompting the declaration from the Silicon tech expert that "the Constitution is essentially dead."
Korman cited in his ruling the new common operating assumption of the U.S. government that the Constitution does not apply to any region that is within 100 miles this side of any U.S. border, including Mexico, Canada, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Gulf of Mexico. This means that fully two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within the Constitution-free zone, and that includes the entire state of Florida.
The taking of a laptop today is a striking act of confiscation almost without an equivalent 25 years ago. Back then, it would have taken a team of FBI agents days if not weeks to so comprehensively vacuum up a single American's health, business, financial and personal information, not to mention that of so many of his or her friends, family members, and business associates.
Today, Nosy McPatterson, your local TSA staffer, or Roscoe the border agent who got up on the wrong side of the bed that morning, can accomplish the same feat, and in an instant. They can paw through your photos and email during their lunch hour. And anyone present with a 13-year-old's understanding of computing can easily and unnoticeably make a quick copy of it onto a device that slips easily into a pants pocket.
The good news, however, is that a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Judge Korman's ruling, citing that the law requires police officers, law enforcement personnel, and federal agents to specify "reasonable suspicion" of a crime before they are allowed to search and confiscate the personal property of citizens.
Komando believes that the case will eventually wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the meantime citizens who live in the Constitution free zones will continue to be subjected to illegal searches and seizures. Reports from around the country indicate that law enforcement routinely seizes cell phones, reads the content of the cell phones, and extracts your entire history from that phone. This also applies to GPS devices, iPads, and other high tech tools that carry highly personal information.
One more item of extreme concern is that according to the new mode of operation of the federal government, a 100-mile radius surrounding any American airport that accepts international flights is also considered a "Constitution-free zone," according to WRSA.
And that means practically the entire country.
Yet many Americans still believe "it could never happen here."
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