Federal Judge: Government “Special Needs” Trump Fourth Amendment

According to at least one federal judge, warrantless bulk collection of phone data belonging to you and every American fits nicely within the parameters of the Fourth Amendment.

In other words, this federal government employee agrees with the federal government that it has the power and authority to collect your phone records, in mass, with no judicial oversight.


Federal Government Fails to Limit the Federal Government and Protect Privacy…Again

It seems more and more apparent that all of the people waiting for federal courts to protect their privacy will decay into cobweb covered skeletons before the courts actually limit the power of the federal surveillance state.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected what Reuters called “a test case on privacy in the digital age.” The nine justices declined to weigh in on whether police need to obtain search warrants to examine cellphone location information held by wireless carriers.


Signed into Law: Two California Bills to Protect Privacy Against Warrantless Surveillance

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2015) – Today, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law not just one, but two bills putting into place privacy protections among the strongest in the country. The new laws work together to protect privacy from some of the worst spying programs on the state level, and also take on a part of the federal surveillance state.


To the Governor’s Desk: Two California Bills to Protect Privacy Against Warrantless Surveillance

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Sept. 8, 2015) – Today, the California Assembly gave final approval to a bill that would protect electronic privacy against warrantless intrusion, sending it to Gov. Brown’s desk for a signature. It works in conjunction with a 2nd bill passed last week to help end bulk spying by “stingrays.” If ultimately signed into law, these bills would not only help protect privacy in California, but would also hinder part of the federal surveillance state.


Ruling Shows Federal Courts Can’t be Trusted to Stop the Surveillance State

WASHINGTON (Aug. 30, 2015) – On Friday, a federal court overturned a lower court decision and quashed a lawsuit brought against an NSA bulk surveillance program by a conservative activist and civil-liberties groups.

The ruling demonstrates the near impossibility of stopping the NSA through legal action.


Failing Constitution 101, Making Stalin Proud: Chris Christie on the 4th Amendment

The dust-up between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul over presidential fidelity to the Constitution — particularly the Fourth Amendment — was the most illuminating two minutes of the Republican debate last week.

It is a well-regarded historical truism that the Fourth Amendment was written by victims of government snooping, the 1770s version. The Framers wrote it to assure that the new federal government could never do to Americans what the king had done to the colonists.