Jun 21, 2013 Appearing Saturday night on Fox News opposite Ann Coulter on domestic drone spying
Tomorrow night, Saturday, I return to Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro show, which runs live 9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT. When I learn my likely timeslot, I will update that here.
With Obama phone/Internet spying-gate and domestic drone spying, the information found by the Watergate burglars pales in comparison to the information being uncovered through the Obama administration’s Internet, phone and drone spying, and is rife with risk of abuse. Look no further than IRS-gate for the great risks that come from government power.
Here are some more of my views on domestic drone spying:
The Fourth Amendment’s drafters may never have anticipated the advent of airplanes and sophisticate surveillance equipment. That technology is now here, and the Fourth Amendment applies to all surveillance where the subject of the surveillance has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the information and activity being investigated.
People have a reasonable expectation against drone surveillance, which would seem to be used to snoop into aspects of people’s lives that would not ordinarily be known by casual passersby nor by passenger airplanes and helicopters overhead. Similarly, people have a reasonable expectation of privacy against police attaching GPS devices to their cars; against infrared technology to determine whether heat levels in their buildings reveals possible indoor marijuana growing; and against drug-sniffing dogs coming to their doorsteps.
Home searches ordinarily require a judicially-issued search warrant supported by probable cause, so a drone surveillance of one’s home may also need a warrant the more that the drone is picking up information that would not ordinarily and easily be picked up by a mere passerby or passenger plane.
Even though the Supreme Court often does not require a search warrant for searching places other than real estate, ordinarily probable cause is required to search where the subject of the search has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
We only have sketchy details thus far about domestic drone spying. We should not have a government that so deeply operates in the shadows and does not even sufficiently inform all Congress members of such activities, if at all.
President Obama has already asserted that he is authorized legally to order drone assassinations of alleged terrorists who are U.S. citizens. Where does President Obama think are the limits of his power to spy on and pursue U.S. citizens, and on people — citizens or not — within the United States. Will President Obama one day decide that it is okay sometimes to arm these domestic drones to kill accused terrorists within the United States, rather than to arrest them and prosecute them in court?
Beware giving President Obama a spying pass here, in the even that you otherwise like him. The same justifications that he uses for allowing such widespread and in-depth domestic spying will be available to his successors, including those you oppose.