Democracy Abhors Undue Secrecy

This article was originally published on September 30, 2004 and is being republished as part of the Technosailor 3-year Blogiversary series. Enjoy!

Finally, my Patriot Act provision whipping boy has been ruled illegitimate and unconstitutional. According to U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrerro, the Patriot Act provision allowing federal officials to gain access to private internet and telephone communication without warrant is unconstitutional and constitues illegal search and seizure.

In other words, if I’m a regular user who may be under (false) suspicion of terrorism ties, and I use Earthlink as my ISP, any and all email communication, data transfer, etc (illegal or not) would be subject to the Patriot Act rules which allow federal officials to obtain this information without warrant and furthermore, prevents Earthlink from letting me know that my information has been acquired. The Fourth Amendment protects against this and demands law enforcement to provide reasonable cause to retain a warrant.

I have held for a long time, almost since day one of the Patriot Act inception, that it is a document implemented in a sensitive and jumpy moment that allows too broad of powers to authorities that cannot possibly use the power effectively and without infringing on personal liberties. It is a legalized robbery of personal liberties.

In the south, South Carolina was the first state in the union to secede. In the south, they still call the civil war the War of Northern Aggression. Why? Not slavery, my friends. Because Lincoln sent American military troops into operatinos against other American states and that was seen as an abuse of power and an infringement on the very American principles that caused South Carolina to ratify the Constitution in the first place.

How is this abominable Act of Congress any better. In the name of protection from terrorism, the privacy we enjoy in America slips away. Out of fear, control is tightened on the good American people.

This was a major issue that caused me to be undecided on this election for so long. I may endorse Bush, but I do not endorse government infringement on my life, or on your life.

Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.