With all the horrible attacks by Congress on our liberties this year, a bright spot has emerged in a bipartisan bill.
The NSA, CIA, and FBI aren’t going to like this one!
“The Fourth Amendment is Not for Sale Act” (S. 1265) was introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and my son, Rand Paul (R-KY), within the last few weeks, and it should get support on both sides of the aisle.
Since the passage of the original Patriot Act nearly twenty years ago, civil libertarians have rightly opposed it because of the complete destruction of the Fourth Amendment it ushered in.
All in the name of “protecting us from the evildoers,” of course.
What has happened since then is the outsourcing of surveillance to private companies that range from Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon, and even the apps we install on our phones.
All of these companies are tracking us constantly, collecting much more data than most people realize, and then selling it through “data brokers” to the federal government, without a warrant being obtained.
Rand and Wyden, along with eighteen other senators, are now trying to ban that practice completely and close the loophole that government spies have used to thwart our right to privacy at every turn.
If this bill passes, any government agency would have to obtain a warrant before they could even attempt to purchase this kind of data.
This would mean agencies like the NSA, CIA, and FBI would actually have to present evidence before they could spy on you.
What a novel concept!
This bipartisan legislation already has twenty senators signed on to the bill in the U.S. Senate.
It contains badly-needed changes to how our data is obtained:
>>Ensures that intelligence agencies must get a court order before acquiring any American’s location data, web browsing records, and search history.
>>Extends existing privacy laws to infrastructure firms that own data cables & cell towers.
>>Requires FISA Court review to obtain metadata information about international phone calls, text messages, and emails.
This could not come at a better time as the Deep State and government authoritarians are attempting to further crack down and target innocent Americans on what we say and do online.
They want to brand “Trump supporters, libertarians, and Christian conservatives” as “Domestic Violent Extremists” (DVE’s) simply for their political views and pass bills like H.R. 350, the “Domestic Enemies” bill, to target them for harassment and even prosecution.
And we’re even finding out the U.S. Post Office has been spying on Americans’ activity online!
What possible justification could there be for the Post Office to spy on Americans’ Internet use?
And if that isn’t enough, the Pentagon has publicly stated that mainstream views are now considered “extremist” and will be targeted.
This is outrageous!
If it’s not the Post Office or the Pentagon, private companies are still playing a major role in domestic snooping, especially online with companies like Amazon who routinely turn over our data to DHS, including bad reviews of major products.
They’re trying to turn us into a society where you can be targeted by domestic spies just for hurting the feelings of a major corporation online.
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time for the defenders of liberty to go on offense and compel our legislators in D.C. to support “The Fourth Amendment is Not for Sale Act,” to push back on these surveillance bullies!
Whether it’s the NSA, CIA, FBI, or even the Post Office, Americans must demand their privacy back, DEMAND the Fourth Amendment be followed, and expose the bad actors who are endlessly tracking innocent Americans to line their pockets.
This bill would be an important first step to ending the abuses of online privacy and close the loopholes that have allowed these federal agencies to escape criticism for what they’ve outsourced to private companies.
Unfortunately, the tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and app makers have given Americans the choice of agreeing to have their data sold to government agencies or to not have access to their platforms.
They have set a trap that millions upon millions have fallen into, either for entertainment or work purposes, as many people must use these systems to perform their job duties.
According to Rand:
"This critical legislation will put an end to the government’s practice of buying its way around the Bill of Rights by purchasing the personal and location data of everyday Americans. Enacting the Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act will not only stop this gross abuse of privacy, but also stands for the fundamental principle that government exists to protect, not trade away, individual rights.”
When it comes to online privacy and protection of our data, it’s time to go on offense and I’m very pleased to see that so many in the Senate have signed on to this cause.