By Teresa Welsh |
The revelation that our government obtained a court order for customer records of Verizon has reignited a debate in our country over security and liberty in a time of war or danger. This tension is as old as the Republic.
Our enemies have demonstrated their willingness to use any advantage or tool to hurt us. I believe our government should use all available technology to protect us, so long as there are sufficient checks and balances to discourage abuse. Government searches are lawful if they are reasonable. In this instance, information was sought pursuant to a statute passed by Congress and obtained under the constraints of a court order. Key members of Congress were briefed regarding these activities.
Our courts have already held that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy under the Constitution in our records in the possession of third parties such as Verizon. Although there may be no constitutional implications here, we should nevertheless remain vigilant, and insist on oversight of these activities so they are not abused.
Having served in the White House during the September 11th attacks, however, I support this program and the efforts under the law by our government to keep us safe.
About Alberto R. Gonzales Former United States Attorney General
Shayana Kadidal Senior Managing Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights
Jonathan Turley Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
John Yoo Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice