With each passing day, our nation becomes more and more unrecognizable as “land of the free” and seems more and more like a gulag nation.
Over the last couple of months we have been stunned to learn about the scope of spying on innocent American citizens that was being done by the NSA. The NSA defended the practice, saying it was vital to stopping terrorism. A few week ago we learned that the NSA was not being forthcoming about their program, and that they had been using their knowledge to help other agencies fight crime. This may not seem bad on its face, but by engaging in this behavior, several government agencies completely ignored our constitutional rights.
Well, we now have new cause for concern. The New York Times has uncovered that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a very similar program to the one that the NSA has been running; however, the DEA program covers a much longer period of time – stretching all the way back to 1987.
The DEA program is called the Hemisphere Project and was begun in 2007, and is a partnership with telecom giant AT&T. Under the agreement, the DEA has been paying AT&T to partner with them on sharing information on every phone call that has passed through an AT&T switch since 1987. According to the information gathered by the Times, the Hemisphere Project is the most expansive such program being conducted by the federal government, even greater in size, scope, and longevity than the NSA program.
The Obama administration has admitted to the existence of the Hemisphere Project, even as it worked over the last five years to keep the program a secret. The administration is defending the action by saying that there is nothing new about this program and Americans privacy is not in danger. They also point out that the government is not storing the data, AT&T is… the government simply requests the data from AT&T when necessary.
However, privacy and civil liberty groups have voiced many concerns with the program, and if the uproar over the NSA practices is any indicator, many Americans will also be concerned. The Hemisphere Project gives the government easy access to 25 years worth of the private information of millions of Americans, and all without a court order. No probable cause or warrant is necessary, just a call to the local AT&T-DEA liaison.
Can I remind you what the 4th Amendment guarantees us? 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.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are losing the battle for liberty. Everyday a new breach of our confidence is announced, and instead of getting more outraged we are becoming more complacent. Are you numb to the loss of your liberty? Rise up, and take our nation back.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com