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      08-18-2006, 10:03 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by darter1979
I highly doubt that. If you really know the Constitution, you will see that there are no guarentees [sic] written to protect a person's privacy. The closest clause you can infer is the 4th Amend, which protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures". Wiretapping is hardly a search or seizure activity, rather it's a survaillance [sic] activity and the Constitution does not prohibits that.

It is via Common Law, not Constutional [sic] Law that the privacy laws in this country are based, and are used to prevent evidence obtained from unwarrented survaillance [sic] from being used in prosecutions. Since Common Law rulings are largely derive from past precedences [sic] as well as unique circumstances of each case, privacy laws are no where near as indispensable as real Consitutional [sic] laws. Since in this case, the federal government is using wiretapping for crime prevention, rather than prosecution, and the target of survaillance [sic] are foreign nationals, I see no legal basis for this ruling. I expect the higher courts to quickly overturn this left-wing activist judge's decision.
See Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967).

In Katz, the Court held that the "Fourth Amendment governs not only the seizure of tangible items, but extends as well to the recording of oral statements, over-heard without any "technical trespass under . . . local property law." Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 511.

The Court further addressed the issue of whether in national security cases electronic surveillance upon the authorization of the President or the Attorney General could be permissible without prior judicial approval.

The Executive Branch argued that it maintained the power to wiretap and to ''bug'' in two types of national security situations: (1) domestic subversion and (2) against foreign intelligence operations. The Executive Branch based its authority on a theory of ''inherent'' presidential power and then fell back in the Supreme Court to the argument that such surveillance was a ''reasonable'' search and seizure and therefore valid under the Fourth Amendment.

The United States Supreme Court held that compliance with the warrant provisions of the Fourth Amendment was required in domestic subversive investigations, and that the warrant clause determined whether a search was reasonable. With few exceptions, only those searches conducted pursuant to warrants were reasonable.

The Court held that the Government's duty to preserve the national security did not override the guarantee that before government could invade the privacy of its citizens it must present to a neutral magistrate evidence sufficient to support issuance of a warrant authorizing that invasion of privacy.

The Court held that this protection was even more needed in ''national security cases'' than in cases of ''ordinary'' crime, because the tendency of government is to regard opponents of its policies as a threat and hence to tread in areas protected by the First Amendment as well as by the Fourth.

Following Katz, Congress enacted Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 authorizing federal and state officers to seek warrants for electronic surveillance to investigate violations of prescribed classes of criminal legislation.

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