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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Sanders Statement on Court Ruling Against NSA


WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after a federal judge declared that the bulk collection of Americans' telephone records by the National Security Agency is likely to violate the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches and probably is not effective in fighting terrorism:

“I applaud the D.C. District Court’s ruling today on the NSA surveillance program. In my view, the NSA is out of control and operating in an unconstitutional manner. Today’s ruling is an important first step toward reining in this agency but we must go further. I will be working as hard as I can to pass the strongest legislation possible to end the abuses by the NSA and other intelligence agencies.”

Contact: Michael Briggs (202) 224-5141

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Some of the things the judge said

Courtesy of Washingtonsblog.com

The Government does not cite a single instance in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the Government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature.

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There is no indication that these revelations were immediately useful or that they prevented an impending attack.

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I have serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program as a means of conducting time-sensitive investigations in cases involving imminent threats of terrorism.

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The Fourth Amendment typically requires “a neutral and detached authority be interposed between the police and the public,” and it is offended by “general warrants” and laws that allow searches to be conducted “indiscriminately and without regard to their connection with [a] crime under investigation.”

I cannot imagine a more “indiscriminate” and “arbitrary invasion” than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval. Surely, such a program infringes on “that degree of privacy” that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment. Indeed, I have little doubt that the author of our Constitution, James Madison, who cautioned us to beware “the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power,” would be aghast.

Pretty direct, I'd say.

 
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Bernie's such a great

Bernie's such a great senator. Not perfect, but a lot better than most. We're lucky to have him fighting for us.

 

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