NH Senators Shaheen and Hassan Vote to Protect "Warrantless" Online Surveillance - Granite Grok

NH Senators Shaheen and Hassan Vote to Protect “Warrantless” Online Surveillance

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Democrats talk a lot about the right to privacy. New Hampshire’s Democrat Senators, Jeanne Shaheen, and Maggie Hassan have, though that is code for “abortions.” When it comes to your actual privacy, they’d rather government can spy on you (and not just the Feds.)

Related: The AG’s Office is Issuing Sealed Secret Search Warrants to Spy on NH Citizens

After a 59-37 vote, an amendment to the Patriot Act that would have given greater protection to Americans’ browsing and search history from law enforcement surveillance narrowly

New Hampshire Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen joined eight Senate Democrats and 27 Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in opposition to the amendment, which failed to pass by a single vote.

Either Senator Shaheen or Hassan could have been the deciding vote to secure more privacy for NH citizens, but no. They voted against it. Why?because it would have made it more difficult for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute terrorists than it currently is for them to investigate and prosecute other types of criminals.”

That was Hassan’s office. Shaheen’s cited the same reason. 

Allow me to translate the Democrat Senator’s position.

Shaheen and Hassan blocked commonsense protections of our 4th amendment rights at the Federal level because they might have to accept something similar at the state and local level. In other words, they want to protect warrantless searches by the state of your ‘person or papers – which includes electronic records.’

Well, gosh, Steve, what are you trying to say? That the state of NH is secretly surveilling us and our digital footprints?

You know they are. We reported it here in February.

The NH AG’s office is obtaining secret warrants to spy on New Hampshire citizens (and those with whom they communicate on social media), and they don’t want you to know about it.

The NH AG issued a Warrant and received permission to spy on Janet’s social media as well as through Google/YouTube. All of which was requested (and approved) to be sealed and hidden from Janet and anyone she was in contact with, buried in 2000 pages of discovery. As if they never wanted anyone to know.

If our rights were of any actual concern to Senators Shaheen and Hassan, they would have voted to support the amendment because of the issues of surveillance overreach at the federal state and local level.

The government needs to present evidence and provide probable cause before it can violate our 4th amendment rights. Once it has obtained that permission, it is limited to the scope of that warrant, which should not (as in the NH case) be a fact buried in 2000 pages of discovery where it may never be found.

By refusing to support this, we have to wonder who at home is trying to prevent that sort of thing from finding its way back to the New Hampshire legislature, where it might put the kibosh on spying by state agencies.

The system exists with an understanding that to preserve liberty, wrong-doers may go free; because it is more important to protect the innocent from wrongful abuses of state power.

The political default should not be, “so law enforcement can spy on us.” And you should know that I’ve been told the NH AG has a list of cases they want to pursue (or continue to pursue) using the same surveillance techniques. Translation, we’re spying on a lot of people’s internet traffic (and everyone to whom they are connected), and we don’t want you to make us stop.

That case has yet to arrive at a final judgment.

As for our two Democrat Senators, they have refused to take this critical step in protecting our constitutional rights. It should invalidate both Shaheen and Hassan as eligible to serve in elected office, having so clearly violated their oaths. But if we were able to enforce or even expect that as a standard, nearly all of them would need to step down.

Hey, a guy can dream.

| Concord Monitor