I have steered off of discussing the presidential race so far, because on most Fourth Amendment matters the candidates of the two major parties are in complete agreement. Topics to do with surveillance, such as the NSA’s massive warrantless surveillance program, the National Defense Authorization Act, and aerial surveillance by drones and satellites equipped with high-resolution digital cameras, have been largely absent from the presidential debates and from discussions by surrogates on TV and radio. However, so that there’s no doubt on the matter, it’s worth making Digital Fourth’s position clear in advance of knowing who the president will be.
I opposed Clinton’s abuses of the Fourth Amendment under the ECHELON and Carnivore programs. After 9/11, I opposed Bush’s disregard of FISA and his massive expansion of warrantless wiretapping. I opposed Congress’s retroactive legalization of the telecommunications companies’ participation in warrantless surveillance of Americans. Under Obama, I still oppose his continuing and in some respects expanding upon Bush’s legacy.
Our stand does not depend on which party is in power. Whether the US President for the next four years is Romney or Obama, we will vigorously oppose the bipartisan effort by the deep state to disregard the Fourth Amendment. We will support efforts to hold administration officials, past and present and of either party, accountable for the abuses they have committed. Within Massachusetts, and in New England more generally, the dominance of Democrats in state office has regrettably not prevented the abusive surveillance conducted by the Boston Police Department of peaceful activists, or the futile waste of tax dollars represented by the Commonwealth Fusion Center. We are, and will continue to be, willing to work with elected officials and activists within and outside of the party system who have an interest in the meaningful restoration of US residents’ Fourth Amendment rights.
We may be frustrated by the failure of Democrats and Republicans to address this issue, but we still encourage people to go vote. Let your representatives know how you feel on these issues. Write letters, make calls, and let them know that we’re watching them watching us. If you want to help directly with Digital Fourth’s legislative efforts, sign up here. And on Election Day, may the incrementally better guy win.