Does the NSA Violate Your Constitutional Rights? | Learn Liberty

Does the NSA Violate Your Constitutional Rights? | Learn Liberty

Many people don’t know what their constitutional
freedoms are or why they have them in the first place. They’ve gotten so used to the
freedoms they’ve enjoyed as Americans that they haven’t noticed just how rare and fragile
they really are. Before America’s founding, the British king
George III would issue what were called general warrants, which empowered local authorities
to look for wrongdoing anywhere and to use their discretion to find any kind of treasonous
behavior, including among the people that would come to be our Founders. But this became
such an abuse of dictatorial authority that after the Revolutionary War a prohibition
on general warrants was written right into the United States Constitution. It’s there
in the Fourth Amendment, prohibiting general warrants and requiring warrants to have probable
cause and limiting them to specific places, times, and people. Why is this protection important? Because
with unlimited authority, officials inevitably find wrongdoing. Remember, witch hunts always
find witches. Inquisitions always find blasphemers. And majorities will often repress minorities
if they can. Constitutional protections like the Fourth
Amendment serve the minorities in particular, people who think differently or want to read
or listen to different music or associate in ways that the majority doesn’t. The freedom
we Americans enjoy to find our own paths to happiness are enabled by these protections.
In America we want no kings, we want no masters. We just want free and equal citizens who are
allowed to pursue their own paths to happiness.


  1. They can't complain, or the Government will detain them and send them to "re-education camps".

    If there wasn't much to complain about why has China gone through three types of Government in the last 100 years? Why was their a Civil War in the 1940's. Why in 1911-1912 was there a Revolution against the 2000 year old Imperial Institution. And the multiple dynastic changes in the last 2000 years. I'm pretty sure people complained during the mass starvation that took place during Moa Zedong's regim

  2. I've never met a home schooled person who seemed better educated than the average person who attended public school. I just don't think most parents are up to the task, or willing to take the necessary effort

    That's not to say our public schools are doing so well themselves. There's plenty of people there who seem less educated than those I've met who are home schooled. And the system has serious institutional problems.

    Personally I favor competitive system of privately owned charter schools.

  3. I held that same position for a long time, until I realized it will be those same people following orders, guarding those families (in camps possibly?), and they will most likely help to free them before they followed orders to kill them. I'd rather believe US military men / women are smarter than that. Not to mention, hunting licenses in just 4 states alone would make by far the largest army in the world. Just hunters who got licenses, not including other gun owners in those states. Who knows

  4. Freedom is privilege not a right. Westerners like to believe that the Han is just a Westerner restricted by his unfair "communist" government. This is not the case.

  5. You can read the history. You can pick up little facts. That does not give automatic insight to the mechanics or the values.

    Go to China but make sure to show some respect while you are there. It is hard to fill a cup which is already full and all that.

  6. I have met such people. Granted their parents were not idiots, these kids were in college before a normal kid graduates high school. They were both into chemistry.

  7. Freedom is a privilege not a right? Freedom is the opposite of a privilege, it means you are responsible for your own actions. Freedom is an inalienable right, to suggest otherwise would mean one would be incapable of conceiving their own decisions without being granted the "privilege" of freedom. As long as people are held responsible for their actions it would suggest they have some freedom to chose their actions.

  8. It must be hard to gain perspective when you are surrounded by people that were raised the same way. Don't get me wrong. Your feelings matter. But such blanket statements are for commoners, not academics. 🙂

  9. Freedom is a privilege not a right?! Hahahaeeeeee and WHO is granting this privilege?

    Have you really been brainwashed into believing you are a slave?! Nice to meet you slave!

  10. It is taught in Plymouth High School. It is a public school you can check for yourself. US government gets its own class. This is not uncommon and it will continue to appear in more schools as time passes..

  11. I am not a slave. I guess you can say I am an aristocrat. My family is pretty wealthy and I am myself well traveled. You can insult me but in the end it is not going to mean much..

    You can either keep to your petty squabbles or listen to what I have to say.

  12. The schools do not teach the constitution! You cannot defend rights that you don't know you have. Ask any high school grad to enumerate their constitutional rights and they will not be able to.

  13. I am going to tell you something. I have the right to say, think and do what I want regardless of what other people think so long as I do not infringe upon other peoples right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You think that my freedom is a privilege that can be taken away? Come try to take it from me and see what happens.

  14. So you are an aristocrat and that is what makes you free? And you feel people who aren't aristocrats should not be free? Free to do, say and think as they choose? Maybe I am not terribly interested in what you have to say.

  15. The point is that I am free. I am privileged with it. I can curse, strip naked, eat cats, and park where ever I want.

    I don't think people should not be free. I simply never had to care.

  16. What about US History and Government, you learn The Bill of Rights and most of the other amendments. something weird, how can the first ten amendments if they were apart of the constitution when it was originally drafted?

  17. I don't even have to pretend I like people to get a ahead in life. Take you for example. I think you are an idiot. You can come to my place and I will still say that to your face.

    You will never be me. Maybe your great grandchildren will but you will never taste as much freedom as I do. Get over it.

  18. While I support the spirit of what you're saying, state social studies/history education standards (in CA, at least), disagree with you. From the 12th Grade state standard:
    "12.2: Discuss the meaning and importance of each of the rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and how each is secured (e.g., freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition, privacy)."
    So it's there, right at the beginning of the school year. Now whether or not there are enough teachers teaching it…

  19. It's supposed to be taught in school; it's written into most states' standards. Whether or not teachers do a good job teaching it, or whether or not most people pay enough attention to remember it long-term after high school is another issue. Yeah, this stuff's important, but not to people who don't realize how important it is.

  20. That is relatively true. There is no such thing as "units of freedom" but I would venture to say that 3000 years ago freedom was higher. You just had to make sure not to get eaten by bears or killed by your neighbors. 🙂

  21. Jmw150 is correct about the Bill of Rights being taught in school. From the CA 12th Grade history & social studies state standards: "12.2: Discuss the meaning and importance of each of the rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and how each is secured (e.g., freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition, privacy)."
    I disagree with their comment on freedom being a privilege, but on this one, they're 100% right.

  22. Real quick, wanted to point something out: the Bill of Rights doesn't "give" us anything. It lists rights that we already had, that we've always had but were trampled on, and protects them. The Second Amendment doesn't "permit" us to protect ourselves. We have that right no matter what the gov't says or does. The 2nd Amd. just lays it out and says "Congress, hands off!"

  23. Wholeheartedly disagree with your comment about freedom. It is absolutely an inherent right for every person on the planet to live as they choose and make of themselves what they will. Sure, the realities of life mean that we end up doing things we'd rather not have to do, and rely on people we'd rather not rely on, but far better to engage in those things voluntarily than to be forced.

  24. In 2004 Congress required public schools to teach students about the Constitution during the week of September 17.

    It turns out that few schools comply with the law and it is not enforced.

    Public surveys showing that most students can't even name the three branches of government let alone any rights from the Constitution.

    The Constitution is so important it needs to get more than just superficial mention – It should be a core class.

  25. I don't think you can use California as an example credibly when talking about education.

    California is consistently a bottom dweller state with just a 71% graduation rate.

    The CA Principles of American Democracy is a light a fluffy look at the Constitution at best. It does NOT develop informed, effective, and responsible citizens.

    Students come out of it convinced they live in a Democracy and not a Constitutional Republic. The entire program was designed by socialist neanderthals.

  26. If we want no kings, why is there a president?

    If whatever is in the constitution is constitutional, and whatever is passed as law is legal, what difference does it make?

    If the constitution can be changed, then it has no power

    If it has no power, then it is up to you

    If it is up to you, then you had the power, the responsibility and the fault the whole time.

  27. You're talking about Constitution Day? Yes, that's a thing. And the Constitution is also covered extensively in the U.S. Gov't/civics classes that all high school seniors are required to take to graduate. The problem isn't that these things don't exist; the problem is that they're either taught poorly, or the students don't care or forget the material after they graduate because they don't think they need it anymore. You originally said "this isn't taught in school". It is. Just poorly.

  28. Okay, I see what's happening. You (rightfully) dislike how poorly these things are being taught in school that you (wrongfully) disregard the efforts in place to teach them. Got it. Sure, no one can say the results are great, but don't say that this stuff isn't taught in school when it is. Rather, say that it's commonly taught very poorly, because that's the truth. The classes and curriculum you're asking for exist, but many of them just need good teachers.

  29. Naw man, technology has increased freedom. 3000 years ago we may have had freedom of speech but who would hear us without the internet? we may have had freedom to do what we wanted but what kind of fun would we have had without HD 3D Movies or dirt bikes, or motor boats, or video games?

  30. Let's break down this argument further.

    A right is a perceived value. <- axiom

    Privilege – "A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people." Not everybody has rights therefore it is a privilege.

    Free will – A religious term describing a person's ability to disobey the will of God. Now it is used to describe a person's ability to make their own decisions outside of manipulation.

    Free will is a religious myth. <- axiom

  31. If you study anything about the Constitution, the you will find that the president holds almost NO power, the government was only suppose to be a part time job, and the Constitution cannot be trumped by laws. Oh, and RATIFICATION of the Constitution almost takes an act of GOD to get done.

    And technically, every the power rests in the STATES or the PEOPLE. If the states or the people do not want to be part of the Union, they can simply leave.

  32. Therefore whether a person thinks that they are forced or not to do something is its own point outside of freedom. It is encouraged to not make a person feel like they are trapped so they can work better. It is not a requirement.

  33. As with the Han. The government is stereotypically not their enemy. The system is complex and only there to help the nation. That is why all economists see China surpassing the Western world in the next several years.

    I suggest you learn Chinese and get ready for it. The world will continue to become unfamiliar to you.

  34. So what you're saying is "lay down and accept your fates, slaves." Since there's clearly no point in fighting or even preparing for a fight. If in the end any altercation would be pointless, then why not simply give in to tyranny unopposed? You sir are the reason kings even exist. "A bunch of farmers with pitch forks could never beat the King's knights."

  35. In terms of money and producing the most, yes, China might surpass us. In terms of human rights and basic liberty? I doubt it. The day Chinese try to impose their tyranny on America is the day I sign up for the military… unless our government in all it's misguided stupidity goes along with it, then I say we rise against them.

  36. I've never said anyone's parents were idiots, or that all home school kids are getting sub standard education. I was just citing my own personal experience. Which is clearly different from yours. I've never met a Home schooled person who went to college. Maybe I've only met home schooled people who are the exception, or maybe the people you met were exception. I don't have the numbers and I really don't care.

  37. Ten years ago Economist may have thought that, but a prediction almost as old predicted the Chinese economy to slow down and suffer from systemic and institutional corruption and inefficiencies. All of which is happening now. There was a housing bubble there that has created Ghost Cities. People there are actually demanding more freedoms. Wealthier Chinese are actually moving to America to be more free. The rise of China is seriously over rated.

  38. While you are correct the system is complex it is not inherently meant to help the country. No government is inherently intended to help anyone. Government doesn't have ambitions, or a will, but the people running it do and they're just like anyone else. They may try to help their countrymen, but may use what means are available to them to promote their own self interest at the expense of others. They can also believe in for economic fallacies that can lead to poor decision making.

  39. Way to play the part. China will similarly use the same propaganda, but probably in a more racist way.

    Don't you see? The difference in values is how many nations end up fighting. Trust me. Money will almost always beat tradition. View it as evil and you will perish. Try to understand it and you will be more or less fine.

    Watch this video

  40. You act like economists never disagree. Look deeper into the research instead of just giving me the mirrored opposite like it means something.

  41. 1. Disagreed. Your definitions are wrong, establishing them as axioms is incorrect, and you're jumping to conclusions using generalizations.

    A right is a moral or legal entitlement to something or to act a certain way. Some rights are conferred legally (like guardianship or the power of executor), or require citizenship (the right to vote).

    A basic human right is a moral entitlement available to every person by virtue of simply being alive. Freedom is one of these.

  42. 2. "Not everybody has rights therefore it is a privilege."
    You're generalizing all rights together. That's a mistake. You're also saying that the application changes the concept. That's a fallacy. That rights have been repressed throughout the world throughout history doesn't change that those rights exist. A slave has the right to be free despite not currently being free, and regardless of how many people recognize the slave's right to be free.

  43. 3. "Free will is a religious myth."

    You're cherry-picking support for your argument. Freedom and free will have applications beyond religion. The concept may have originally been explored using mythological and religious contexts (Gilgamesh, Greek myth, etc), but it's not a religious idea. Likewise, associating the concept with religion doesn't invalidate the concept, or automatically turn it into a myth.

  44. What a pathetic and wretched view point. However: I'm not talking tradition, I'm talking about human rights and basic liberties, such as the pursuit of happiness. While this has never been important in Asian culture, they've never fought to end exploitation, simply to become the exploiter, it is important to western society and we have proven we are not afraid to fight.

  45. Also all those projections don't take into account the human element, the most chaotic and irrational of all. China is changing too, Western ideas are spreading throughout it like wildfire, it's undergoing religious growth, the people are beginning to dislike their government. The world isn't changing, it's merely repeating a cycle and China is set on one which will either see a complete change to the nation or it's downfall.

  46. Some of that is true at least. remember my earlier statement. "Westerners like to believe that the Han is just a Westerner restricted by his unfair "communist" government." I guess you would have to be there to understand the paradigm. You seem to have no interest in learning to consider other view points. So I am done.

  47. Axioms are simply statements that must be considered true so logic can be built around them. You continued to ignore them as false while promoting your own so of course the logic built around mine did not make sense to you.

  48. Like I said. It had to be considered true for other things to be understood in a short number of words. If you want an appeal, crack open a neurology text. I did not ignore all arguments for the sake of cherry picking.

    I am open to the idea of free will being true. I did take the probability of it not being true so I could argue the banal nature of desiring freedom. It is an emotional thing that many people have a hard time even recognizing as an ideal. I guess we should discuss free will then.

  49. Not that simple, when was the last time you heard of a country nuking itself to prevent invasion? If they nuke anywhere here they're essentially hurting themselves. Besides that that would prove beyond a doubt that they were in fact a tyrannical government that people have been warned about by the republicans for the longest. At that point more people would rise up against the corrupt government in support of the removal of said government. It wouldn't be tactfully smart in any way.

  50. The constitution is a general framework, whereas specific laws implement that framework. That you think that being able to change the constitution means it has no power is quite simply ridiculous.

  51. Police need probable cause to search your car, even when pulled over for a moving violation on public roads. The use of taxpayer paid for products in no way strips anyone of their rights to be "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures".

  52. Ahistorical nonsense. The fact that today you control at most 60% of what you create (it was nearly 100% a century ago), shows that Americans are not freer today than in the past. We are subjugated as slaves to the state to a greater extent than many were in feudal states. That we are immensely richer in no way changes that.

  53. It's not ridiculous. The Constitution puts checks in place on government but gives that same government the ability to eliminate those checks by changing or ignoring the Constitution, as has just happened right in front of us with ignoring of the 4th Amendment. Without the will of the People to enforce the words, the words do nothing. So, as Em Chan says, "you had the power, the responsibility, and the fault the whole time."

  54. Falchard….what keep obama from snooping on republicain party. how do you guareentee free elections. My communications are private and not for anyone but the intented party.

  55. 2nd amendment…let's me sleep well at night. If push comes to shove and 60 million american say time to change….time to change. The military could not stop it and would not stop it.

  56. After what I've seen anons say on the internet about people who just don't like the same shows they do, anything from MLP to Breaking Bad, I fear what those people would do with this kind of power to those they take serious issue with.

  57. Freedome in america is just an illusion. There is only two real parties, and The only freedome that exists is freedome of speech; Which may be The most important aspect of freedome, but is crap to any normal person.

  58. False, I control 100% of what I create. Most of what I create is not income(I create friendships, fun times with my family, I work in my garden, I serve in my church, I cook) and the part that is taxed, I control through elected representatives, for whom I vote. Most of my taxes go to infrastructure(roads I drive on, safe streets I walk on), support network(to protect me if I become disabled, or loose my job, and to support the economy) and military(to protect my freedoms) Don't be unpatriotic!

  59. Soooooo why did that not happen in Afgan (Russia & U.S.) / Iraq / vietnam? I'm confused? Yes if it was just me and I squared off yes I'd be a grease spot.

  60. I disagree with that somewhat. I believe you do have private channels of conversation that are not open and public records. What I will say is that those channels of communication are run and operated by private entities and their disclosure and use is subject to those entities. For example if Google was asked by the Federal Government for emails and Google agreed voluntarily, so long as their policy doesn't state otherwise they are free to share those emails. So both of you are kind of correct.

  61. That seems like a really bad argument and a very slippery argument.
    "That lumber used to build your house had to go across public roads, so, sorry, that house that you thought was private is actually public and we (the government) get to listen to all conversations that go on in there!"

  62. You can't really stop terrorism by any degree of repression. That's the point of it. The only thing you can do is to ignore it.

  63. Except my emails and phone calls aren't being displayed publicly, they are merely being transported on a virtual "public road".

    And therefore, the government doesn't have the right to snoop.

  64. My laptop, my phone, and my internet connection is not owned by the government, and unless you have one of those Obamaphones, neither is yours, it's owned by a private company.

  65. The military hasn't won a guerrilla war ever, as is evidence by the military's distinct lack of success since Vietnam.

    Truth is there are more armed civilians than military personal in America by a large margin, and if the government were tyrannical enough for a popular uprising much of the military would defect to the side fighting for true freedom, not tyranny in the name of security.

  66. I wouldn't call American freedoms rare. Civil and political freedoms are enjoyed in DOZENS of countries. There are at least 20 other countries that enjoy equal or better press freedoms, and five countries with greater economic freedom.

  67. The dislikes are from Obama.
    He says the constitution is flawed. His mentor is Bush or should I say MASTER if I put on a cloak?

  68. Thomas Jefferson said:When the many rule the few,surely they will oppress them.When the few rule the many,surely they shall oppress them. Think about these statements when you say that the protection from unlawful search and seizure is especially valuable for minorities.

  69. And this is why my name is Daniel Drigans and I'm running for a political office, stop the left goes here and right goes here, each issue is different, treat it different. Uphold the highest law of the land (the constitution, NOT THE FUCKING GOVERNMENT AGENCYS THEY PULL OUT THEIR ASS AND CALL THEM CONSTITUTIONAL EVEN WHEN THEY ARE CLEARLY A DETRIMENT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND ARE NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR JACKSHIT. Stop it government you are not the goddamn boss of me and your not the highest law of my land and country even though you think you are, if you agree with me then vote for me, otherwise debate me and tell me how I've got it wrong

  70. Didn't answer the question. Didn't mention any government agencies whatsoever. Title should read "WhyThe Fourth Amendment is Important!"

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