How NSA surveillance endangers the Fourth Amendment

Constitution Daily
Aug 13th, 2013
Jonathan Hafetz

Jonathan Hafetz from Seton Hall Law School, in a commentary, says the NSA’s surveillance programs undermine Fourth Amendment protections and they could affect the conduct of ordinary citizens.


“The impact of NSA surveillance is deep and far-reaching. Vacuuming up Americans’ communications undermines basic principles of privacy. It also chills the communications and discourse essential to a democratic society and fundamentally alters the citizenry’s relation with its government.

The NSA’s widespread, suspicionless surveillance of Americans’ private communications will not only impact the work of journalists, lawyers, and others who frequently communicate with people abroad. It will also affect the conduct of ordinary citizens, now fearful of visiting a controversial website or discussing a particular topic via email.

Over time, the vibrant exchange of ideas essential to democracy will diminish and trust in the government will erode. At the same time, the government will be emboldened to justify further incursions on individual liberty in name of protecting the United States from terrorism or other threats.”



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