NSA's spying violates the Constitution

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 - 1:10 pm

Re “Obama's surveillance limits don't go far enough” (Editorials, Jan. 18): One of the cornerstones of American freedom is the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and its protections against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. Historically, any citizen could determine the breadth and limits of those protections by reviewing the very public language of that amendment and the judicial decisions interpreting it. Today, however, the parameters of the Fourth Amendment are determined by a secret court issuing secret decisions based on undisclosed facts and arguments made exclusively by attorneys representing the federal government. In the face of this rather Orwellian development, the president suggests that we should not worry about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance of Americans because he’s comfortable with the NSA’s activities. If 2013 has taught us anything, it’s that no American should trade the protections of the Constitution for the word of a president.

-- Mark L. Andrews, Sacramento

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