Friday, December 28, 2012

Senate Votes Against Fourth Amendment Protection Act

Yesterday evening, the U.S. Senate voted on amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012, H.R.5949, including one introduced by Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee. The amendment, known as the Fourth Amendment Protection Act extends Fourth Amendment guarantees to electronic communications and requires specific warrants granted through FISA courts in order to obtain this information.

The amendment failed, 79-12.

Prior to the vote Rand spoke on the floor urging passage of the amendment:
The Fourth Amendment guarantees that people should be secure in their persons, houses and papers against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Somewhere along the way, though, we became lazy and haphazard in our vigilance. We allowed Congress and the courts to diminish our Fourth Amendment protection, particularly when our papers were held by third parties.

I think most Americans would be shocked to know that the Fourth Amendment does not protect your records if they're banking, Internet or Visa records. A warrant is required to read your snail mail and to tap your phone, but no warrant is required to look at your e-mail, text or your Internet searches. They can be read without a warrant. Why is a phone call more deserving of privacy protection than an e-mail?

This amendment would restore the Fourth Amendment protections to third-party records, and I recommend a yes vote.


  1. The well-regulated militia of Virginia should round up all 79 of those traitors, see to it that a grand jury be convened, and deliver evidence of treason against the republic. If convicted, all 79 of them should be jailed for the rest of their pathetic lives.

  2. This behavior on the part of Senators will continue until they understand that if they fail to regulate themselves by a Constitutional yardstick, they will not be Senators.

    Folks, we can ignore them if we want. They do not have the capability to force all of us - or even a significant percentage - at gunpoint.

    Secure your State government.

    Let the Pretenders in DC destroy themselves.

    The States have their own problems. When they realize that DC cannot save itself, much less save the States, they will miraculously realize that ALL the dollars they get from DC originated within their borders. They will realize that the continued existence of DC is antagonistic to their own continued existence.

    What will they do then? Ditch Feddie? Or ditch themselves?

    1. I agree with this. It's time to move beyond denouncing the DC government as illegitimate. It's time to act as if the DC government is illegitimate (which it inarguably is). It's time to start nullifying and otherwise ignoring their phony, pretend laws and focus on local self-government. By the time DC collapses under its own weight (a time that can't be far off), a more decentralized society will be better able to absorb the collapse.

  3. Isn't HR 5949 a House of Representatives bill? There should be a S XXXX for the Senate.

  4. The senate, has no autboty to ever, even vote on removing ANY of our bill of rights. The 78 assholes who voted against this, violated article v of the US Constitution and should be jailed, imprisoned and fined. Read article v, that is the only way the senate can change the bill of rights. Lt Col Reasor