Mark Sherman of the AP is reporting (AOL link; sorry
) that, "WASHINGTON (April 29) - The FBI secretly sought information last year on 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents from their banks and credit card, telephone and Internet companies without a court's approval, the Justice Department said Friday."
Just in case anyone missed it, this is what the Constitution of the United States of America says:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Do you feel secure that an FBI agent, acting without a warrant and perhaps without the knowledge of any other person, can show up, flash a badge, and read through your bank records?
Frankly, I don't. Not when we know that, for example, the Austin FBI isn't sure of the distinction between people who run soup kitchens and terrorists.
For over two hundred years, we have required warrants, and it was just for this reason: two people, acting independently, make better decisions than one, especially when one of them is versed in the law.