Vermont Libertarian Party Calls NSA Surveillance Unconstitutional
While our representatives with as diverse views as Lindsay Graham and Diane Feinstein call Edward Snowden a traitor, others with just as diverse views such as Rand Paul and Dr. Daniel Ellsberg call him a hero. The question that has to be answered is whether what the NSA has done is constitutional or not.
Some Americans at this point might be in favor of the data mining program of the NSA, regardless of its legality, but the constitution protects the minority from having their unalienable rights abridged by the majority. The Libertarian position is that this is clearly unconstitutional under the fourth and sixth amendments in the Bill of Rights.
The fourth amendment provides that the government shall have probable cause and a warrant issued by a court before any searches begin. Perhaps the data mining in and of itself poses no intrusion into the populace’s lives, but there is no oversight once the process begins and the opportunity for abuse by those in power is what the revolutionary war was fought for.
The sixth amendment guarantees citizens of due process. Since this program is conducted in secrecy, those who have been targeted (Verizon, ATT, Facebook etc) can’t get representation as revealing what is going on is unlawful. Citizens don’t know they are having their communications monitored, can’t find out from their providers and can’t reveal anything if they do find out. The evidence is secret so no legal arguments can be made to contradict it, and due process is denied.
The federal government keeps growing and nibbling on the edges of freedom, using safety and security as reasons. This is a good place to draw the line.
About Vermont Libertarian Party
The Vermont Libertarian Party is an affiliate of The National Libertarian Party. The motto of the VTLP is “Small Government, Low Taxes, More Freedom.” The VTLP has been more or less active in the Green Mountain State since the early 1980s. Despite the relatively small size of our state Party, the Libertarian Party is the largest third party in the country and driving a renaissance in libertarian thinking in this country.
Jeremy Ryan, Chair
Vermont Libertarian Party
PO Box 5475
Burlington VT 05402-5475
Email: [email protected]