Susanne Posel ,Chief Editor Occupy Corporatism | The US Independent
April 2, 2014
Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall remarked in a joint statement to James Clapper, director of National Intelligence (NI), stating: “Senior officials have sometimes suggested that government agencies do not deliberately read Americans’ emails, monitor their online activity or listen to their phone calls without a warrant. However, the facts show that those suggestions were misleading, and that intelligence agencies have indeed conducted warrantless searches for Americans’ communications.”
Clapper commented back: The NSA has searched for Americans’ communications within information it collected when it targeted foreigners located outside the US. [There is a] declassified document released last August that also acknowledged the use of such searches and stated that these searches were reviewed, and there was no finding of wrongdoing. It was unclear how often these searches are conducted.”
There is a secret rule that allows NSA analysts to rifle through private details about Americans that is stored on databases.
Clapper confirmed: “There have been queries, using US person identifiers, of communications lawfully acquired to obtain foreign intelligence targeting non-US persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States.”
Wyden and Udall wrote: “It raises serious constitutional questions and poses a real threat to the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans. Senior officials have sometimes suggested that government agencies do not deliberately read Americans’ e-mails, monitor their online activity or listen to their phone calls without a warrant. However, the facts show that those suggestions were misleading.”
The lawmakers were adamant that: “It is now clear to the public that the list of ongoing intrusive surveillance practices by the NSA includes not only bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, but also warrantless searches of the content of Americans’ personal communications.”
Back in February, the US Supreme Court (USSC) has ruled that police officers may enter and search a home without a warrant as long as one of the occupants agrees to the search.
In 2009, Walter Fernandez, a Los Angeles resident, was arrested and removed from his residence. During the incident, Fernandez refused police entry into his home as a violation of his 4th Amendment rights because the officers did not have a warrant.
Once Fernandez was in custody, the police returned to his residence and searched anyway. Their findings became evidence in the prosecutor’s case against Fernandez.
Based on the findings and previous rulings in Fernandez’ case, the USSC ruled that the police had a lawful right to search his home and Fernandez was in the wrong in having prevented that police from doing so during his arrest.