NSA Warrantless Surveillance and Rights of Privacy

Another important aspect of this controversy is the violation of individuals’ rights provided under fourth amendments. The Bush order enabling NSA to conduct warrantless wiretapping is a violation of Fourth Amendment that protects the right of American Citizens against unreasonable surveillance. This Amendment states that "right of the people to be secure... against unreasonable searches and seizures" and "no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause".

Several judicial rulings has clarified that FISA is not a violation of the Fourth Amendments because FISA recognizes the need of a probable cause and requires the agencies to produce a probable reasonable cause for the issuance of surveillance warrants. The executive order issued by the President Bush for warrantless surveillance is an explicit violation of the fourth amendment as it enables the security agencies to intrude the private lives of American people without providing any “probable cause” for this act. Ethical Issues

The Bush Administration never claimed that the FISA is unconstitutional but regarded it outdated and requires amendments. By doing so, Bush Administration deluded the American that they were acting in accordance with the FISA. President Bush on certain occasion accepted publicly that are working under the rules and regulation of FISA. For example, President said on April 20, 2004: "Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires--a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way.

When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. " (The White House, 2004, Our Job…2006) Senator Russ Feingold provides further statements while President Bush asseted that the surveillence programe isa in complete compliance with FISA. (Feingold, Russ. 2006) When the matter was disclosed to public, Bush Administration provided false and fabricated justifications that President is complying with his authoritative powers. Irrespective of legality controversy of the NSA wiretapping, another question is about the effectiveness and utility of the NSA wiretapping.

Whether empowering NSA to wiretap at the mass level will yield into secured America? Experts are still skeptic about this assumption. Mark Hosenball, and Evan Thomas says in this regard,” The harder question is whether the techno wizards at the NSA, overwhelmed by tidal waves of digital data, searching for tiny poisonous fish in a giant sea, can provide true security from another 9/11”  (Hosenball, Mark and Thomas, Evan. 2006) “We can debate whether he (Bush) had a good or bad motivation, but it was a crime. ”(Turley. 2006) We all are well aware of the fact that Bush intentions are good.

His sole motive was to authorize the agencies with necessary powers for speedy interception of terrorists’ activities. But there is a proper and lawful way to capacitate the NSA with this authority i. e. to formulate new laws if the previous ones are obsolete and not capable of handling the critical situation. Feingold says in this regard that “Defeating the terrorists should be our top national priority, and we all agree that we need to wiretap them to do it. In fact, it would be irresponsible not to wiretap terrorists. But we have yet to see any reason why we have to trample the laws of the United States to do it.

”(Our Job.. 2006, p. 28). And if the present surveillance act requires modifications and amendments, it must not be modified at the cost of the rights of privacy provided by fourth amendment. In this perspective the recommendations of the American Bar Association must be considered that says that “Any amendment to FISA -- and some of these bills, including the Specter bill and others, would eliminate that requirement of a warrant, and in doing that, damage, fatal damage, would be done to the Fourth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution.

And we can't afford to have one of our Bills Of Rights so easily dismissed. The Fourth Amendment requires that there be a warrant issued and that there be probable cause existing before someone is spied on. Any bill that Congress enacts must continue to have those two Fourth Amendment protections. ”(ABA. 2006)


ACLU vs. NSA. (2006) http://fl1. findlaw. com/news. findlaw. com/nytimes/docs/nsa/aclunsa81706opn. pdf American Bar Association, (2006) President Bush is "Undermining Rule of Law" By Ignoring Laws Passed by Congress. July https://www.democracynow.org/