Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Why do civil libertarians cut off their nose to spite their face?

I don't want to make a mountain out of a mole-hill like civil libertarians typically do, but I think it's time to shut them down before they end up getting people killed:

German officials on Friday defended a proposal to use "Trojan horse" software to secretly monitor potential terror suspects' hard drives, amid fierce debate over whether the measures violate civil liberties.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble wants to include the measure in a broader security law being considered by conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government.

Schaeuble defended the tactic in an interview with n-tv television Friday, calling the ongoing debate "completely exaggerated," underlining that judicial approval would be required before the measures could be used. "It's about a few isolated cases."

Carried in e-mails that appear to come from other government offices, the software would allow authorities to investigate suspects' Internet use and the data stored on their hard drives without their knowledge.

Use of the government-produced technology for spying on terror suspects "will cover a serious and scandalous hole in our information that has arisen through technical changes in recent years," Stefan Kaller, a spokesman for Schaeuble told reporters.

The proposal stems from a Federal Court decision earlier this year to block clandestine remote searches of suspect computers until there was a law governing the practice.

It has met with strong criticism from opposition parties and civil liberties groups.

I'm all for privacy. I'm not for the sort of "privacy" that the federal courts have interpreted the Fourth Amendment to have, but I do believe we have an innate right to privacy. On the flip side though we are in a war, and whether those in Europe are aware of it, they're in it, too. Would they rather the government do nothing to catch possible terrorists in Europe? Since Angela Merkel took over as chancellor, Germany has taken the idea of preventing terrorism from radical jihadists in their nation very seriously.

They watched what happened on 9-11. They watched the attacks on London, on Madrid, and recently in Scotland. If they feel, as President Bush did, that it was necessary to keep an eye on those that aren't citizens, and have even a passing fancy in sympathizing or supporting the Islamic jihad on the west, then it's far smarter to keep an eye on them rather than let them be. That's a good way to get people killed.

Provided that the government and the citizenry take this issue seriously, and have the proper safeguards in place (as the NSA terrorist surveillance program does here in America) then there should be no complaints amidst the civil liberties crowd.

Sabrina McKinney


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