So Long, 4th Amendment. It Was Nice Knowing YaMarch 8, 2008 – 3:02 PM
What if I said the FBI could order your bank, ISP and telephone company to turn over all records and logs relating to you without a valid warrant, then force everyone involved to cover it up?
That doesn’t sound right because the Fourth Amendment should prevent that sort of thing. Let’s say the FBI does an end run around the Constitution by issuing itself a so-called “national security letter” which states that the records they want are relevant to an investigation into terrorism. The FBI wouldn’t need to show probable cause, have any evidence of this or even consult a judge first.
The organization that is forced to turn these records over is issued a gag order and kept from revealing the subpoena’s existence to anyone, including the subject of the investigation. Violating that gag order would be worth a trip to federal prison for the offender.
If I were to tell you that, would you think I had lost my mind? Or would you think I needed to loosen my tin foil hat? Certainly someone has gone mad, but unfortunately it isn’t me. The outrageous scenario above is exactly what can happen now.