Privacy issues related to government uses of satellite Echelon.

Essay by toomuchtroubleUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2003

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The United States Constitutions, Bill Of Rights, guarantees certain freedoms to the American people. Amendment I reads, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Amendment II reads, A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Amendment IV reads, The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

These amendments are guarantees to American citizens the rights privacy and freedom from persecution by unreasonable searches and seizures. They also protect the privacy of individuals in their homes and communications.

"The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 prescribes procedures for requesting judicial authorization for electronic surveillance and physical search of persons engaged in espionage or international terrorism against the United States on behalf of a foreign power" (Aftergood). On November 18, 2002 FISA gave the green light to a Justice Department bid to broadly expand its powers to spy on U.S. citizens. "We are deeply disappointed with the decision, which suggests that this special court exists only to rubberstamp government applications for intrusive surveillance warrants," said Ann Beeson, litigation director of the Technology and Liberty Program of the American Civil Liberties Union. "As of today," she said, "the Attorney General can suspend the ordinary requirements of the Fourth Amendment...