Thursday, January 22, 2015

What 4th Amendment? Police Across the U.S. Are Using Radars to See Inside People’s Homes


The intentional erosion of public privacy is no accident. It’s not merely a simplistically stupid overreaction to the dangerous world we live in either. It is a very deliberate and nefarious plan being intentionally implemented by the American oligarchy; i.e., the super rich and the super powerful. This is precisely why the establishment freaked out about the Edward Snowden revelations, and it is why every single minor event is immediately manipulated into an excuse to give the government and intelligence agencies more power.

While we already know a lot about the NSA’s unconstitutional and fascist policies when it comes to the web, the decimation of the 4th Amendment is also being eagerly practiced at a more local level by police departments across the country. USA Today published a very important article on this topic earlier today. Here are some excerpts:
WASHINGTON — At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.


Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used.
The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person’s house without first obtaining a search warrant.
Complete and total lawlessness.
Current and former federal officials say the information is critical for keeping officers safe if they need to storm buildings or rescue hostages. But privacy advocates and judges have nonetheless expressed concern about the circumstances in which law enforcement agencies may be using the radars — and the fact that they have so far done so without public scrutiny.
Should the primary concern of society be to keep police officers safe, when many officers have absolutely zero regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to the public? They signed up for a dangerous job, whereas these poor souls were just their innocent victims:

Video of the Day – Watch as 8 Police Officers Fire 46 Shots and Kill a Homeless Man in Broad Daylight

19-Month-Old Toddler in Critical Condition After Cops Throw Flash Bang Grenade into Playpen
Video of the Day – This Is What Happens When You Call the Cops

Now, back to the USA Today piece.

Agents’ use of the radars was largely unknown until December, when a federal appeals court in Denver said officers had used one before they entered a house to arrest a man wanted for violating his parole. The judges expressed alarm that agents had used the new technology without a search warrant, warning that “the government’s warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes poses grave Fourth Amendment questions.”

Other radar devices have far more advanced capabilities, including three-dimensional displays of where people are located inside a building, according to marketing materials from their manufacturers. One is capable of being mounted on a drone. And the Justice Department has funded research to develop systems that can map the interiors of buildings and locate the people within them.

The radars were first designed for use in Iraq and Afghanistan. They represent the latest example of battlefield technology finding its way home to civilian policing and bringing complex legal questions with it.

More evidence that the “war on terror” is coming home, and the targets will be average citizens engaged in non-crimes.
Those concerns are especially thorny when it comes to technology that lets the police determine what’s happening inside someone’s home. The Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that the Constitution generally bars police from scanning the outside of a house with a thermal camera unless they have a warrant, and specifically noted that the rule would apply to radar-based systems that were then being developed.

Still, the radars appear to have drawn little scrutiny from state or federal courts.
The federal appeals court’s decision published last month was apparently the first by an appellate court to reference the technology or its implications.
But yeah, USA! USA!

In Liberty,

Michael Krieger

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