June 16, 2019
Letter

Wiretapping outrage

Of all the disasters perpetrated by the Bush administration the worst is about to be determined in the Senate. The Rockefeller-Bush bill (S. 2248) violates the U.S. Constitution by allowing the government to wiretap phone calls and e-mails of the American people without a court order or even any suspicion that a criminal act has taken place. All international communications from Americans could be tapped, and the role of the courts will be strictly limited. The government will be able to use and share this information in any way that is “consistent with the need of the U.S. to obtain, produce and disseminate foreign intelligence information.” This bill raises acute Fourth Amendment concerns.

The bill allows the government to order communication providers to open their facilities to the government with no order from the court. It likely will provide stiff penalties on telecommunication companies that refuse to cooperate along with immunity from prosecution by those concerned with constitutional rights. The government will be allowed to police itself with minimal reporting due to the Judiciary Committee and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.

This grab for power by the executive branch negates the constitutional protection of the separations of power. The Bush people are about to foist upon unknowing Americans rules and regulations for intercepting communication that take away the very privacy and protections from illegal search and seizure that are some of the most basic rights of American people.

These protections are the defining parts of our free democratic system and distinguish our system from those dictatorships and despotic regimes that we profess to be fighting against in the war on terror. When our government leaders took office they swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States not tear it up and discard it. Without these rights and protections we are no better than our enemies. Please call Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Olympia Snowe to protest this.

Nancy Allen

Brooksville


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