Time: Sat Sep 20 11:27:32 1997
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Date: Sat, 20 Sep 1997 11:18:54 -0700
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From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: End of Privacy (fwd)
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>>From Chris' home page    pattersonlaw.com
>                    The End of Privacy?
>             Copyrightę 1997, Chris Patterson
>We as citizens are guaranteed certain basic rights and freedoms, the
>most important of which is our right to
>privacy -- the right to be free from governmental intrusion. Yet, as we
>sit passively and watch the Government
>operate without our input, our most cherished of freedoms is being
>eroded. Attacks on our freedom continue, but
>few know what is happening and even less care.
>The erosion of our right to privacy came first with attacks on the 4th
>Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Our
>Constitution provides that we as citizens shall be free from
>unreasonable searches and seizures and that persons
>may only be arrested with warrants based upon probable cause. The
>reality is that most, if not all, of our rights
>under the 4th Amendment are now gone.
>Did you realize that if the police believe you are about to commit a
>crime, you will be detained for questioning?
>Once detained, you must answer the officer's questions as to who you are
>and what you are doing in that place.
>If you refuse to answer these questions, you will be arrested by the
>police for either obstruction or some sort of
>resisting. You may also be detained by police based on a mere anonymous
>tip. You will be detained, and you will
>answer basic questions -- all without the presence of a warrant.
>Are you aware police may break down the door to your house if they
>believe illegal activities are taking place
>inside, regardless if they have a warrant or not? 
>Or how about the fact that after you are arrested, police are permitted
>to strip search you to make sure there are
>no weapons or contraband on you.
>Not only do police have the authority to search your body, they may also
>search the immediate area wherein you
>were arrested. These immediate areas often turn into entire households,
>as police are permitted to conduct
>protective sweeps to ensure against security risks. Naturally, anything
>found in plain sight during these sweeps
>is subject to confiscation. And all without the requirement of a
>warrant. Where is your zone of privacy now? No
>longer is a "man's home his castle."
>Courts have carved out an enormous exception to the constitutional
>requirement of a warrant before arrest and
>search. Where "exigent circumstances" exist and it is impractical to
>obtain a warrant, no warrant is required.
>Incredible as it may seem, all police must demonstrate in order to
>legally uphold their conduct is that an
>emergency situation existed, or that if they took the time to seek a
>warrant, the person or thing to be searched
>would be gone by the time they returned. Clever people can create these
>factors out of most every event in our
>daily lives. If the "exigent circumstances" are present, Courts say no
>need for a warrant.
>A major example is the search of your automobile. Because it is capable
>of being moved, the Courts advise police
>there is no need to secure a warrant before searching its contents.
>Police may search anywhere in your car based
>merely upon a suspicion there may be something illegal inside. The law
>also permits police to set up roadblocks,
>under the guise of safety checks, to facilitate these searches. We've
>already discussed the consequences to you
>in you fail to answer questions directed to you by the police at
>roadblock. Not only does the Government's arm
>extend into our houses, but it now sits besides you as a passenger in
>your privately-owned motor vehicle.
>While on the subject of passengers, the Supreme Court recently ruled
>when police stop your vehicle, not only
>may they search the driver and car without a warrant, now they may pat
>down and search all passengers as well.
>This search is designed to protect police. While the protection of law
>enforcement officers is essential, the pat
>down search of elderly women, children, and handicapped persons is
>excessive. You are responsible for
>anything in the car, including any contraband possessed by your
>passengers. Point of fact, anyone in the car
>may be held responsible for the contraband of another. I urge you to
>study current drug possession laws before
>giving any future rides to strangers.
>Items in "plain view" are also permitted to be seized without a warrant.
>Plain view not only includes sight, but
>smell, hearing, touch, and taste as well. What this means is any
>contraband visible in your backyard is seizeable.
>Any unusual noises coming from your house could create an "exigent"
>circumstance where police could break
>down your door to gain access without a warrant. And once inside, their
>search could extend to the entire
>Similarly, the majority of jurisdictions in the United States permit law
>enforcement to use thermal imaging devices
>to surveil persons' houses in order to detect unusual heat sources.
>These courts determined the use of these
>machines, usually in helicopters as police fly over your property, is
>not an unconstitutional invasion of your
>right to privacy. If courts permit these heat seeking devices today, how
>long before law enforcement will be
>permitted to use movement sensors, electronic monitoring devices, and
>x-ray detective machines so long as they
>are not employed directly from a person's property? 
>In 1997, matters will become worse!
>Florida Senate Bill 1002e1, section 23, makes it a violation of the
>Florida Traffic laws to drive without your seat
>belt. Under the previous law, this was a secondary violation chargeable
>only after you were stopped for a
>primary traffic violation. Starting in July 1997, police can stop you
>solely for the offense of not wearing your seat
>belt. If they ticket you for this offense, they may also pat you down,
>search your vehicle, and all your passengers
>-- without ever getting a warrant. While we clamor for more ways for the
>Government to protect us, we part with
>more and more individual freedom.
>The Fourth Amendment is so diluted by exceptions that most all of its
>intended protections are nowadays
>nothing more than historical footnotes. Curiously, few people hold
>strong opinions either way as to the loss of
>these rights. All the more troubling is the adverse impact this has on
>your right to privacy. Is there anyplace
>where you are truly free from governmental intrusion?
>Florida specifically chose to create a right of privacy for its citizens
>giving heightened protections and priorities
>than those enjoyed under the United States Constitution. Under Florida's
>Constitution, "every natural person
>has the right to be left alone and free from governmental intrusions
>into his private life . . ." 
>It is difficult to reconcile this privacy right to current search and
>seizure laws, as well as thermal imaging court
>cases and the proposed seat belt legislation. However, the real
>disintegration of personal privacy will come in the
>form of governmental programs designed to "assist and make safe" its
>citizens. This insidious attack is well
>Massive numbers of regulations and laws enforced by an all-powerful
>bureaucracy were characteristics of
>Naziism and Communism, as well as totalitarian and dictatorial
>governments in today's political sphere.
>The United States, and her states, pass tens of thousands of new laws
>annually. Most of these new laws carry
>both criminal and civil penalties for violations. To implement these new
>laws, tens of thousands of new
>administrative regulations are drafted by hundreds of governmental
>agencies, such as the IRS, FBI, DEA, Bureau
>of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and others like OSHA, HUD, Securities
>Exchange Commission, Federal
>Communications Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency, not
>to mention Florida's legislature and
>its state agencies. As a citizen, you are responsible for all these laws
>or risk defined penalties. Incredibly, a
>situation is created whereby you are almost certain to be doing
>something illegal and you don't even realize it.
>Sound ridiculous? Then answer these simple questions:
>   1.Do you drive with a seat belt fastened? 
>   2.Do you wear a helmet when you bicycle? 
>   3.Are you developing your private property, and if so, have you
>checked to see if the Government has
>     classified it as a "wetland?" 
>   4.As an employer, are you maintaining the proper compensation
>insurance for your employees? 
>   5.Have you made proper annual reports to the IRS? 
>   6.If you are under 21, do you smoke or drink? 
>   7.Have you inquired to see if any of your child-raising methods are
>considered "abuse?" 
>Has the United States become an unmanageable bureaucracy? Is history
>repeating itself?
>During World War II, the United States was shocked at how German
>citizens were treated. Citizens were required
>to carry identification papers on their person at all times and be
>prepared to present their papers to authorities
>upon demand -- at border checkpoints, train and bus stations, airports,
>roadblocks, and even to purchase articles
>such as food and clothing. This identification requirement was later
>adopted by the Communists as a means of
>tracking its people. The lack of computerization demanded as much.
>Today, is it different?
>Early 1997, all employers received notice from the Department of Justice
>announcing the creation of an
>Employment Authorization Card (EAD-Form 1-766). This credit card-looking
>piece of identification is required to
>be carried by all aliens who are authorized to temporarily work in the
>United States. It includes a picture of the
>recipient, a fingerprint, and a bar coding and magnetic strip upon which
>the Department of Justice places
>pertinent information about the alien. Inserted into a requester, the
>card instantly reveals the alien's personal
>information and employment history to the reader. The Employment
>Authorization Card is designed to be the
>uniform method for determining employment eligibility.
>The creation of this card raises the question that if aliens need an
>employment card to work, will United States
>citizens be required to carry a similar identification card? The
>majority of Americans carry either a driver's license,
>Social Security card, and/or Government Employee Card. Is it possible
>that our Government will create a National
>Identification Card to "consolidate" these numerous other forms of
>With the emergence of the INS card (EAD-Form 1-766) is the revelation
>the Government may extend the use of
>this card to all Americans. This single, nationally recognized, tamper
>resistant card will include your photograph,
>social security number, fingerprints, and bar code to verify your
>employment eligibility. This card, encoded and
>updated periodically by the Government, will link to a nationwide
>Government database "to solve the problem of
>illegal aliens taking American jobs." Is this possible? Until a few
>years ago, Form 1-766 was a pipedream. 
>Based upon current trends in Washington, I expect a second major card to
>be a national health care card. While
>the Clinton administration failed miserably to reach a national
>consensus for a uniform health care plan,
>Republican and Democrats continually cry for such a policy. Naturally,
>with a socialized medical program in
>place, a national form of identification will be created to ensure
>proper recipients. With similar medical care cards
>such as Medicare/Medicaid and health insurance provider cards like Blue
>Cross/Blue Shield already firmly
>entrenched, the creation of such a national identification card is
>readily feasible. This ID card will maintain
>government-accessible records of all aspects of your health care,
>including details of doctor's visits,
>prescriptions, and hospital treatments. Presumably, with the creation of
>the National Health Board, an 18 digit
>identification number will be assigned to all Americans to establish
>proper tracking in a nationwide databank
>system. When a national health care bill passes, you will be required by
>law to use this national identification
>card in order to receive medical services in America.
>A third card, developed through the United States Postal Service, will
>most likely emerge as America's new
>national ID card, incorporating all the functions of the INS and medical
>card, along with more features. The Postal
>Service was directed by the Department of Defense to develop a people
>monitoring electronic card. Recently, a
>general purpose U.S. Services Smart Card was unveiled, modeled after the
>MARC card already partially
>implemented by the Department of Defense.
>The MARC card (Multi-Technology Automated Reader Card) is currently
>carried by select U.S. Military
>personnel. This card uses a magnetic strip, including a digital
>photograph, and an integrated circuit computer
>chip. It is designed to store personal, medical, and legal information,
>to include family and personnel data,
>education and employment history, police records, and religious, as well
>as political, background. The most
>important aspect of the MARC system is its ability to instantly track
>cardholders worldwide, as the carrier is
>unable to buy meals at military installations, purchase goods and
>services at base exchanges or receive medical
>care at a military treatment facility without the card.
>The Postal Services Smart Card will have similar capabilities and could
>be automatically connected to the
>Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Treasury, IRS, Veteran's
>Administration, and other agencies
>such as the FBI, DEA, ATF, and CIA. A proposed future link would tie it
>to the banking system and to a central
>databank. The Postal Service has acknowledged it is prepared to place
>more than 100 million of these cards into
>circulation within months of the administration's approval. What this
>means is a national identification card is
>poised to be issued without congressional approval, but rather through a
>series of presidential executive orders.
>Preposterous you say? Open your pocketbooks and/or wallets and count the
>number of identification cards you
>have. Next, count the number of credit cards you have. For each card you
>possess, you are currently being
>tracked by that card's namesake. Do you own an ATM card? Do you get cash
>from ATM machines? Each time
>you get money from the machine, your location is confirmed. Do you
>purchase items with credit cards and
>checks? In an instant, your whereabouts are known to the credit
>institution, as well as your current purchasing
>power to the merchant. Has becoming a cashless society eroded our
>And what of the news of a new kind of driver's license currently in
>development in England. The card is
>personalized to the licensed driver as well as to the driver's vehicle.
>In order to start the ignition of the vehicle,
>the vehicle's owner's card must be inserted. The card is also linked to
>the Division of Motor Vehicles' database.
>Should the driver's license be suspended, or outstanding warrants for
>his arrest exist, the car will not operate.
>Should a non-owner of the vehicle attempt to use a different card, the
>card is immediately confiscated by the
>system and law enforcement alerted. Advocates trumpet this technology as
>a means to curtail car theft and to
>keep drunk drivers and non-licensed drivers off the road. Is this a
>welcome "safety" innovation, or another
>means by which the Government may intrude into our personal lives?
>Where will it all end? Is the national ID card the next step to an
>implanted biochip? What we once thought to be
>fiction is now reality as tiny transponders are presently implanted into
>pets and livestock all across America as a
>means of computerized identification and location of a lost or stolen
>animal. Strange, how all this technology
>designed to be helpful limits our privacy options. And how close are we
>to being required to hold a particular
>identifying mark in order to conduct our personal transactions?
>Ridiculous? Have you been to the Disney theme
>parks lately? To gain admittance, patrons must present an identification
>card and place their right hand in a
>scanner in order to enter.
>We live in a society today where information is the most precious
>commodity, and where our lives are directly
>affected by the use of computers. Computers were designed to assist the
>workplace, but now it appears
>computers direct the workplace. We applaud each new innovation of
>computer technology, believing the greater
>ease with which information may be collected and subsequently
>disseminated, the better for society. However,
>immense information-sharing technologies has a dark side -- a further
>intrusion into personal privacy.
>America is rapidly becoming a surveillance society, coveting
>people-controlling, people-monitoring high
>technology systems. Evidence of this fascination with technology is as
>close as your computers, cellular
>phones, fax machines, and the Internet all of which are susceptible to
>electronic monitoring.
>The Attorney General Janet Reno vigorously lobbied that to stop
>terrorism and organized crime, the American
>people must give up some of their personal freedoms and privacy. One of
>the proposed methods for "attacking
>terrorism," is clipper chip surveillance. The proposal is for the
>installation of a federal clipper chip in phones,
>computers, fax machines, and other electronic devices in order to
>monitor illegal activity. But in the course of
>such surveillance, legitimate phone conversations, credit card
>purchases, bank transactions, and all other private
>telecommunications would also be scrutinized. The Wall Street Journal in
>July 1994 wrote: "The potential for
>government manipulation and intimidation of the citizenry is enormous." 
>The guaranteed right to privacy is systematically eroded by "knee jerk"
>reactions to temporal events. Once a
>freedom is curtailed, it will never again enjoy its full parameters. As
>Patrick Henry eloquently proclaimed , "It is
>easier to give freedoms to be later restricted, than it is to secure
>freedoms already lost."
>The right of privacy so deliberately provided by our forefathers is
>nearly extinct. A mere remnant survives, and
>without your involvement, it may all perish.
>I challenge you to become involved in your government. Pay attention to
>events and developments as they
>affect the community, nation, and the world. Become an "activist" for
>truth and change in these end times. 
>Nowhere is evidence that activism works more obvious than the recent
>controversy over the Social Security
>Administration's Web Page at www.ssa.gov. Through this website, users
>gained access to over 140 million
>Americans' confidential financial records. To access these records, all
>that was needed was a person's name, date
>and place of birth, social security number, and mother's maiden name.
>The potential for abuse from creditors,
>adverse litigation parties, private investigators, and law enforcement
>was tremendous. However, once media
>revealed the Government's website, things changed. ABC News reported the
>story on April 7, 1997. Previously,
>the Social Security website received no more than 3,000 inquiries a day.
>After the news story, the public outcry
>was so intense that more than 85,000 inquiries were received on the
>website in less than 24 hours. Public opinion
>was so negative that Congress called for the immediate suspension of the
>website until additional privacy
>safeguards can be studied and implanted. Two days after the story broke,
>the Social Security Administration
>suspended operations on the Internet website. The voice of an otherwise
>slumbering nation was heard.
>Involvement counts! Apathy, on the other hand, may destroy us.
>There are those who scoff at such opinions discounting them as "Chicken
>Little" rants. Yet, you will find most
>detractors hold man-created positions of authority and stand to lose the
>most when foretold events occur.
>Pray for America, and hold fast to remaining precious freedoms. Should
>we completely lose our privacy, take
>heed that we were forewarned by James Madison. "I believe there are more
>instances of the abridgement of the
>freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in
>power than by violent and sudden
>usurpations." The struggle is now. What will you do?

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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