unreasonable search and seizure

THE BILL OF RIGHTS, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 15, 1791

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

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.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Our Rights and Freedoms Threatened by Bill C51

Below are Sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which Bill C51 threatens.

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
© freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention
(a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;
(b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and
© to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.

11. Any person charged with an offence has the right
(a) to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence;
(b) to be tried within a reasonable time;
© not to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person in respect of the offence;
(d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;
(e) not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause;
(f) except in the case of an offence under military law tried before a military tribunal, to the benefit of trial by jury where the maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment;
(g) not to be found guilty on account of any act or omission unless, at the time of the act or omission, it constituted an offence under Canadian or international law or was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations;
(h) if finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be tried or punished for it again; and
(i) if found guilty of the offence and if the punishment for the offence has been varied between the time of commission and the time of sentencing, to the benefit of the lesser punishment.

12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

24. (1) Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances.

(2) Where, in proceedings under subsection (1), a court concludes that evidence was obtained in a manner that infringed or denied any rights or freedoms guaranteed by this Charter, the evidence shall be excluded if it is established that, having regard to all the circumstances, the admission of it in the proceedings would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

26. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other rights or freedoms that exist in Canada.

52. (1) The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.

38. (1) An amendment to the Constitution of Canada may be made by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada where so authorized by
(a) resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons; and
(b) resolutions of the legislative assemblies of at least two-thirds of the provinces that have, in the aggregate, according to the then latest general census, at least fifty per cent of the population of all the provinces.

Will They Need A Search Warrant For Your Brain?

by Carrie Peyton Dahlberg, Inside Science

Brain imaging can already pull bits of information from the minds of willing volunteers in laboratories. What happens when police or lawyers want to use it to pry a key fact from the mind of an unwilling person?

Will your brain be protected under the Fourth Amendment from unreasonable search and seizure?  

Or will your brain have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination?

“These are issues the United States Supreme Court is going to have to resolve,” said Nita Farahany, a professor of law and philosophy at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who specializes in bioethical issues.

Keep reading

Rand Paul Got the Better of Chris Christie on the 4th Amendment

Chris Christie tried to attack Rand Paul on the NSA and national security, but Rand Paul won the day by defending the Fourth Amendment & the Bill of Rights.

Written by Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic:

One of the biggest clashes in the Republican debate Thursday night came after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was asked about his past attacks on Senator Rand Paul. The two men disagree about an NSA program that spied on tens of millions of innocent Americans by logging all phone calls they dialed and received. Paul, a leading critic of the phone dragnet, has argued that it flagrantly violates the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Christie has said that if America is hit by another terrorist attack, Paul should be called before Congress to answer for his efforts to constrain the NSA’s domestic spying.

“Do you really believe you can assign blame to Senator Paul just for opposing the bulk collection of people’s phone records in the event of a terrorist attack?” a moderator asked Thursday. The ensuing exchange highlighted stark differences in how the rival candidates would govern and their respective understandings of the Constitution.

Christie stood by his attack.

“Yes, I do,” he said. …

Paul responded to Thursday’s attack by expressing his preference for targeted surveillance rather than an expansive dragnet that sweeps up everyone’s metadata. “I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans,” he said. “The Fourth Amendment was what we fought the Revolution over! John Adams said it was the spark that led to our war for independence. I’m proud of standing for the Bill of Rights. I will continue to stand for the Bill of Rights.”

Christie was ready with a retort.

“You know, that’s a completely ridiculous answer: ‘I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from other people.’ How are you supposed to know?” Like Keith Alexander, Christie seemed to be arguing that the government needs to intrude on everyone’s private communications to identify terrorists. It’s the logic of general warrants. How can the police know who is keeping an illegal gun in their home without searching the contents of everyone’s home? Republicans uncomfortable with that logic should avoid voting for phone dragnet supporters.

“Get a warrant!” Paul said. “Get a judge to sign the warrant!” …

In fact, “get a judge to sign a warrant” is a rather succinct description of how “the system” is “supposed to work,” if we define “the system” as the Constitution rather than national-security officials following their gut instincts. It’s hardly “blowing hot air” for a senator to call on the executive branch to follow the law.

“Here’s the problem, governor,” Paul said.  “You fundamentally misunderstand the Bill of Rights. Every time you did a case, you got a warrant from a judge. I’m talking about searches without warrants, indiscriminately, of all Americans’ records, and that’s what I fought to end. I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead.”

Rather than articulate why he believes individualized warrants are neither lawfully required nor prudent, Christie chose to address the “hugging Obama” part of the argument. …

I cannot comment on the style preferences of a GOP voter base that presently prefers Donald Trump to all other candidates. But on substance, Paul easily bested Christie in this exchange. …

Christie seems oblivious to the basic logic of the Bill of Rights. The constraints it places on government are not suspended in the aftermath of a terrorist attack––they are, in fact, most important precisely when a polity is panicked and officials are unusually able to seize excessive power without criticism. His praise for leaders unapologetically jettisoning such constraints in the name of protecting us is more dangerous than any terrorist plot in U.S. history.

Sandra Bland Had Her Fourth Amendment Rights Obliterated By Texas Police

“The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.”

Unless you are a black motorist, then you can be ordered from your car and slammed to the ground for failing to use blinker as courtesy, and subsequently arrested and detained. Then killed.

Wikipedia to file lawsuit challenging mass surveillance by NSA

Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that runs free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, will file a lawsuit against the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice, challenging the government’s mass surveillance program.

The lawsuit, to be filed on Tuesday, alleges that the NSA’s mass surveillance of Internet traffic in the United States — often called Upstream surveillance — violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech and association, and the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

The NSA’s Upstream surveillance program captures communications with “non-U.S. persons” in order to acquire foreign intelligence information.

usatoday.com
BREAKING: House passes bill to keep government from reading old emails
The House voted Wednesday to overhaul a 30-year-old electronic privacy law to prevent government agents from reading Americans' old emails without a warrant.

WASHINGTON — The House voted unanimously Wednesday to overhaul a 30-year-old electronic privacy law to prevent government agents from reading Americans’ old emails without a warrant.

House members voted 419-0 to pass the bipartisan Email Privacy Act, which requires government agents to get a warrant before they can gain access to Americans’ email, texts, photos, videos and other electronic communication, regardless of how old the data is.

Local, state and federal police agencies currently have the authority under the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act to peruse emails at will if the communication is at least six months old. Critics say that law, written before email was commonly used, violates Americans’ constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

“The last time we updated these laws, I was flipping burgers at McDonald’s,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. “So clearly this is long overdue. The principle here is important: our Fourth Amendment rights should apply to our emails. This bill does that without impeding law enforcement’s ability to do its job.”

Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., the bill’s lead sponsor along with Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., said the legislation is “a major step forward to protect our civil liberties.”

“Citizens should no longer be at risk of having their emails warrantlessly searched by government agencies,” Polis said.

Yoder said it is one of the few pieces of legislation that has attracted support from ideologically diverse groups, ranging from the liberal American Civil Liberties Union to the conservative Heritage Action for America.

“I’m heartened by the fact that groups on the left, right and in the center have come together to say we’re going to fix this,” Yoder said.

The bill still must be taken up by the Senate, where it has been introduced by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

The House bill had 314 co-sponsors, the highest number of any bill to come before this session of Congress. Ryan brought it to the floor quickly after it was passed unanimously two weeks ago by the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill was amended in committee so that law enforcement officials do not have to notify citizens when they serve a warrant on someone’s email provider to get access to a person’s communications. Companies that provide email service can notify their customers about the warrant except when a court determines that tipping someone off could result in a serious crime or terrorist act being committed.

That provision was a compromise sought by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., at the request of law enforcement officials. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said he preferred the bill’s original language, which would have required police agencies to notify people when they obtained warrants to read their emails.

“Contrary to practice thirty years ago, today vast amounts of private, sensitive information are transmitted and stored electronically,” Goodlatte said. “But this information may also contain evidence of a crime and law enforcement agencies are increasingly dependent upon stored communications content and records in their investigations.”

Privacy and civil liberties advocates said Congress is just now moving into the 21st century on digital privacy issues.

“Most Americans would be shocked to learn that the federal government can access and read emails that are more than 180 days old,” said Adam Brandon, CEO of FreedomWorks, a libertarian-leaning group. “That’s because Congress hasn’t kept up with the rapid changes in technology.”

The tech industry said the legislation is especially important now that more and more of Americans’ electronic communication is stored in the “cloud” network of servers.

“For consumers to feel safe with cloud computing, personal data stored remotely must have the same legal protection as data on their own computer,” said Mark MacCarthy, senior vice president of public policy for the Software and Information Industry Association. “House passage of (the bill) brings us one step closer to leveling the playing field for government access to data stored in the cloud.”