25 thoughts on “Privacy’s Postmortem: Smith v. Maryland And How A Pen Register Became A Threat To Freedom

  1. Let’s cut through the legalese here and call it like it is: Judge Pauley’s decision read like the essay of a candidate to General Counsel of the NSA.

  2. A NSA official, and whistleblower, prior to Snowden, has this to say:

    “What they have been exposing should be public knowledge,” he declared. “Collecting all this information on individuals is what totalitarian states have done down through the centuries. That’s been their business.”

    It is why German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose phone was tapped by the NSA, was upset. It is like what the Stasi did, what the KGB did, what the Gestapo and SS did and what Mao Zedong’s people did in China. It is a “totalitarian procedure.”

    Binney argued, “If we accept this, then we’re accepting totalitarianism. We have to speak up against it.”

    The fact that the NSA is intruding upon systems all over the world and violating their integrity and the trust of users, in Binney’s opinion, is a violation of the Fifth Amendment. For Americans, it means citizens no longer can guarantee they will have private thoughts. “Everything can be used against you.”

    The use of metadata is a violation of the First Amendment, to Binney. It undermines the “right to free association.” And, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s claim about the metadata not being surveillance because it doesn’t reveal a person’s identity is false.

    Binney explained, “The phone number is your identity. Just do a reverse look-up and you get everything you’d want to know—your address, your name and everything.” You get “people associated with you. You get all this information.”

    (The Dissenter).

  3. Excellent Mark….. You’re right….

    Gene,

    Brennan and Marshall were two of the best civil liberties preserves on the Sct…. I could take issue with some of their civil business decision…..

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