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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Constitution Loses

Illegal government surveillance is the issue once again before the Supreme Court. In the case of Clapper v. Amnesty International, several lawyers, human rights activists, and journalists allege that federal government illegally wiretapped their communications with foreign contacts. 

The problem is – these plaintiffs have to prove that they were indeed harmed by the government's surveillance in order to have "standing" in front of the court. But thanks to laws passed by Congress in 2008 that amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – the government doesn't have to reveal anything about it's post-9/11 surveillance programs and which Americans were spied on. That means the plaintiffs in this case – just like many previous cases – will have a difficult time proving that any crimes were actually committed. Once again, the surveillance state wins – and our Constitution loses.

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