Feb 222010
 February 22, 2010  Posted by  Featured News

John Wesley Hall Jr. nails it:

For a little over two weeks now, ever since the press got wind of an oral argument in the Third Circuit about a cell phone tracking information appeal by the government (see prior post: Fourth Amendment news–CA3 to hear argument on accessing cell phone location data), the blogosphere has been inundated with articles about the “Obama administration’s” [it is his Justice Department, after all] efforts to get this information in a case involving drugs. The bloggers seemed outraged at the administration making this effort to get cell phone tracking information without a showing of probable cause.

Where have all these people and this outrage been for the last four and a half years? Clearly not paying attention. This issue is not new and it started under the Bush Administration. I’ve watched this issue percolate on the Internet for two weeks, appalled, reading the blogs and all the Fourth Amendment outrage gets voiced against this administration, like it was its idea and just now. Finally, today, Libertarian Bob Barr in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution at least points out that this derives from the Bush Administration. What took so long?

Read more on FourthAmendment.com.

  4 Responses to “Fourth Amendment news–And the public, as usual, has not been paying attention”

  1. It is so very telling in that your outrage is only focused on the ‘fact’ that no one cared ‘enough’ (for your sensativity) to slam the prior Admiistration.

    This “story” isn’t even worth telling. All this is is John Wesly hall, Jr. whining “but but but Bush did worse” as some sort of equivocation for Obama’s Admin trampling the 4th Ammendment.

    Someone else doing it first is not a defense or even a mitigating factor. This is just more “It’s all Bush’s fault” whine.

    It is time to start looking out the windshield instead of the rear-view mirror my friends.

  2. My outrage? What outrage? That post merely quoted Hall. Other than saying he “nailed” it, I did not comment at all.

    As I blogged about over on Chronicles of Dissent during the campaign in ’08, I found Obama’s positions on privacy-related issues such as warrantless surveillance utterly weak, at best, and abysmal, at worst. And as I have repeatedly blogged about since almost immediately after he came into office (cf here and here), the positions taken by his Justice Department are no different than Bush’s when it comes to Fourth Amendment and other protections. I have “slammed” the prior administration but I have also repeatedly “slammed” this one on privacy protections.

    I think that all that Hall is pointing out is that these threats to Fourth Amendment protections are not “new” and where were all these folks who have suddenly expressed outrage while all of this was first starting and emerging?

    Is the Fourth Amendment being trampled by the Obama administration? You betcha, but as John correctly points out, this didn’t start in January 2009.

    Stick around instead of just dropping in for one post and you’ll find that this blog is pretty independent and an equal-party basher when it comes to protecting privacy rights.

  3. I am sorry, I was not speaking to you as moderator, I was speaking to Mr. Hall:)

    I believe you try to be fair and balanced and don’t mean to imply otherwise.

    My apology for missing my mark.

  4. No apology needed, but appreciated. Actually, I pride myself on being fairly unbalanced when it comes to privacy. 🙂

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