Terrorism has become our new reality. We seem to hear about it or be affected by it every single day. When the Patriot Act was rolled out as a way of preventing terrorism, the many violations of rights and civil liberties of average Americans was repeatedly called into question.
And while the Patriot Act may have “expired,” it still plays a role in digging up information on people who haven’t been found guilty of a crime, and yet have been deemed a threat.
So when I heard that the Supreme Court approved a rule change to expand the FBI’s hacking power, I once again became quite concerned for our liberty and rights.
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In a recent commentary I shared my thoughts on how the Founding Fathers might feel if they returned today and explored modern America.
I illustrated that while they may marvel at some of our more creative advancements, they would be enraged by the thought that we have allowed our government the unchecked power to do as they please - and all because we’ve gotten to a point where we don’t seem to care anymore.
Prior to that opinion piece, I wrote another on how my millennial family members have become so infatuated with Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign for president that they failed to understand that his solutions, nearly all of them requiring the expansion of government influence and power to work, only add to the biggest problems we are dealing with currently.
Are you noticing a trend here? The cult of personality and the promise of entitlements and goodies have pushed the American majority into a damp, dark, crowded tent together in the backyard while the individuals that make up the government are resting easy in the plush, warm, spacious mansion.
When we get too loud or too aggressive with the occupants of the mansion, they will occasionally toss us a steak from the grill in order to appease us for a short time.
We forget about the issues we have with the people in the mansion and enjoy the steak. Meanwhile the mansion folk are plotting how to construct another wing to their complex without you noticing, using your hard-earned money.
But back to the Supreme Courty ruling. It specifically allows U.S. judges the ability to issue search warrants for computers in any jurisdiction, whether they preside over the area or not.
Internet giant Google and the American Civil Liberties Union have voiced their disdain as well, worried about the potential for unreasonable searches and seizures, something the American people are protected by courtesy of the U.S. Constitution.
The biggest issue that this rule change poses is that a single search warrant could potentially greenlight the FBI to search thousands of computers at once if they saw a need. And it wouldn’t just be the bad guys, it would be the victims' devices as well.
There's certainly no problem with the authorities doing their job. In fact, I applaud the brave men and women who protect us and keep us safe. But what I do have a problem with is when the freedom of everyday Americans is encroached upon, inch by inch, and all in the name of security.
Which is why I’d like to draw your attention back to the cramped, damp tent for a moment. Certainly there are some tent dwellers that are likely to get fed up and would at some point voice a challenge the people in the mansion.
Perhaps some in the mansion aren’t so honest, or who have ill intent, and decide it’s time to silence certain Americans in the tent for speaking out. Under this rule change, not only would they have the ability to find something potentially incriminating about the challengers, but anyone that stood with them or supported their quest to challenge the mansion could also be probed.
Founding Father Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
We live in a time where rights are violated daily at the local, state and national level. Knowing that the Supreme Court of the land, an institution designed to protect our rights, is not just in support of this rule change but is responsible for it, should be alarming to everyone.
Wade Heath is a speaker, columnist and founder of the Do Good. Be Great. millennial movement. Contact him: Events@WadeHeath.com
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