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the history of the 4th amendment


it started in a fight against smuggling:

The government in London responded in 1760 with “writs of assistance.” There will not be a test, but it will help you interpret contemporary events if you understand “writs of assistance.” These writs were open-ended search warrants authorizing a government agent to search private property — anywhere, at anytime — for contraband without ever having to show to a Court that the agent reasonably believed the search would actually yield contraband. 

and then of course the warrentless searches for stuff that had been smuggled was abused, not just so those doing the searching could get rich, but against political opponant of the king:

This abuse came to a head in London (and was, at the time, a cause célèbre throughout the colonies) when King George III authorized a general warrant against a political opponent, John Wilkes, in the hope that searching Wilkes’ home would produce evidence of something — anything — the Crown could use to pin a crime on Wilkes. ”
British agents, having rooted through Wilkes’ private writings, found nothing worse than a truly bawdy poem. They seized the poem and proceeded to create a crime by surreptitiously publishing it as if Wilkes had done so himself – that being a necessary element of the crime of blasphemy in the U.K. of 1760 – and then charging Wilkes with the crime. Wilkes was then expelled from Parliament and fled to France.

In other words, the more things change, the more things stay the same.

the link has a lot more about this, but don't worry:

Forbes reports that the US Congress just passed another authorization for spying on nasty foreign terrorists, and not American citizens.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 256-164 to renew the controversial Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This section of the Act allows U.S. intelligence agencies to listen in on phone calls, to read emails and more of non-U.S. citizens.
It’s controversial because the National Security Agency (NSA) and other agencies also listen in on an unknown number of communications from American citizens—something the Fourth Amendment was written to keep the government from doing unless it first obtains a warrant from a court....
Before approving a six-year extension of the law, the House voted 233 to 183 to kill an amendment designed to protect Americans civil liberties. This amendment would have required officials to get warrants in most cases before intercepting and reading emails and more of U.S. citizens. This amendment was proposed by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich)...

in other words, if you talk to a foreigner, you can be spied on.

A 2015 article from PBS Frontline program that discusses this:

and FYI: This is what the 4th amendment actually says:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This post first appeared on Finest Kind Clinic And Fishmarket, please read the originial post: here

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the history of the 4th amendment


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