EFF: Obama DOJ's Warrantless Wiretapping Arguments Are Worse Than Bush's
from the wow dept
On the issue of warrantless wiretapping, we’ve never been given a clear explanation by anyone why it makes sense to allow the government to totally skip over the warrant process. The warrant process is there for a clear reason: to prevent abusive power by the government. No one is saying that the government can’t issue wiretaps. They just want the gov’t to get it reviewed and approved by a court. And, there isn’t even an issue of urgency, since the government has the right, in extreme cases, to wiretap first, and get the warrant soon after. Many people hoped that with the Obama administration, things would change, and we’d finally move away from the warrantless wiretapping program, which by any basic definition, violates the 4th Amendment.
Apparently not. The EFF has an analysis of the new Justice Department in trying to get one of the warrantless wiretapping cases dismissed, noting that the new administration appears to be taking an even more extreme position than the previous administration (which was already quite extreme). Basically, the motion to dismiss claims that the government “is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying — that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes.” It’s difficult to see how anyone could square that with the 4th Amendment, and hopefully the court will suggest the Administration’s top lawyers reread the Constitution.