The right of 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.
When it comes to differentiating between a democratic and a totalitarian state, the rights afforded us by the Fourth Amendment separate “the men from the boys”. The government busting through my front door to see what I’m up to is a no-no in a democracy but routine in a dictatorship. Unfortunately, technology has given governments sophisticated tools, which make intrusions into our privacy almost indiscernible. The meaning of unreasonable searches, even in a democracy, is being challenged like never before. The latest is the surveillance by the National Security Agency of telephone and internet activity, all in the name of national security. The NSA would have us believe that in order to protect our democracy, we have to look the other way as far as the Fourth Amendment goes. We have to trust that the government will bend our rights a little and not bust through our front door. They would also have us believe that when it comes to security, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Personal view? Either we have a right to privacy or we do not. Circumventing the Fourth Amendment is not acceptable. There is no ambiguity in the Fourth Amendment. Surveillance can be accomplished within the bounds of the Constitution. There is no need for subterfuge.
Any way you spin it, we are all screwed no matter how the Fourth Amendment is massaged by intelligence agencies. Rape is rape, regardless of the degree of sexual penetration.
ed note: BREAKING NEWS - FBI using Drones in surveillance of persons of interest!!! Little did I know when I posted "About Drones".