One-eighty

March 16th, 2002 § Comments off

Guess who wrote this:

There is a concern that the Internet could be used to commit crimes and that advanced encryption could disguise such activity. However, we do not provide the government with phone jacks outside our homes for unlimited wiretaps. Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web?

The protections of the Fourth Amendment are clear. The right to protection from unlawful searches is an indivisible American value. Two hundred years of court decisions have stood in defense of this fundamental right. The state’s interest in effective crime-fighting should never vitiate the citizens’ Bill of Rights.

Give up? It was written by (or ghostwritten for) John Ashcroft in 1997, when he was a United States senator. (The full article is online.)

I guess civil liberties are important only if Democrats are threatening to take them away.

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