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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

More on Domestic Spying

As I had discussed in a previous post (see "Spies Like Us"), it's now coming out that the NSA has been monitoring domestic communication without warrants, and this has raised serious concern regarding whether President Bush has authorized an invasive and unconstitutional practice, abusing powers granted to him in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

As reported by Reason Online, at least one aspect of the NSA's activities may be deemed legal by the courts. Citing law professor Orin Kerr, the Reason article points out that monitoring international communications from inside the United States may fall under a Fourth Amendement exception that permits the government to perform searches at the border without a warrant in order to stop smugglers.

However, as reported by the New York Times, the NSA is also performing data mining of phone and email records, searching for telltale patterns that indicate terrorist activity. But this year, there was an important ruling made in the Illinois v. Caballes case that stipulates that such searches must be specifically geared towards detecting illegal activity and only illegal activity, and the broad data gathering activities being undertaken by the NSA may be going well beyond this sphere.


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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.