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Suspicionless Seizure of Electronic Devices within 100 miles of border OK'd

Discussion in 'The OT' started by phrelin, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    In the "I may be paranoid, but that doesn't mean they aren't out to get me." department.

    I was shuffling through the Wired website when I read this report that tells us that they recently learned one of those legal opinion memos has been rendered as follows:
    Since literally millions of Americans live and work within 100 miles from the Mexican and Canadian borders - you know, places like Detroit and San Diego - all my internal alarms systems went off.

    For those who haven't read the 4th Amendment lately, it reads as follows:
    Unlike the goofy fights over what the 2nd Amendment actually says, I thought the 4th Amendment is quite clear. But apparently it is not. According to the article:
    Maybe I've spent too much of my life around law enforcement personnel, but IMHO this is a real threat to my Constitutional rights.
  2. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    Aug 16, 2006
    To me, it's a much bigger deal than 2nd amendment rights (although they're ALL critically important)
  3. Pepe Sylvia

    Pepe Sylvia Legend

    May 10, 2010
    The Patriot Act got rid of all that probable cause nonsense.
  4. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Yeah, I put that article up on my Facebook feed yesterday.

    It struck me that, while people were arguing over how totalitarian a "background check" might be for a buying a gun, THIS piece of Constitution-shredding policy went almost completely unnoticed.
  5. Dude111

    Dude111 An Awesome Dude

    Aug 6, 2010
    Indeed....Things are MUCH WORSE than most ppl realise! (And will only get worse)
  6. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    What I'm always amazed at is the lack of public response to elimination of the rights under the 4th Amendment. But it goes much further.

    Having reached the ripe old age of ten, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security asserts the right to trample the Fourth Amendment anywhere within 100 miles of our borders, which according to the article We are all tourists much to my surprise is interpreted to include seafront ares and looks like this:


    This incorporates most of where the American population lives and/or works. And yet, even here in this Forum, there isn't much comment.

    But just mutter something about restricting someone's right to own an armored personnel carrier and you'll hear multitudes screaming about the Second Amendment. I guess people really think owning a bunch of guns will somehow protect them from an overreaching government gradually eroding away their Constitutional protections against illegal searches, seizures, and imprisonment. Good luck with that.

    EDIT: I had to look around to figure out where this 100 mile definition came from. I found in footnote 16 of this document:
    This means that essentially Congress created the situation.
  7. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

    Apr 22, 2002
    Youngsville NC
    One would hope that the Supreme Court would slap that down (if they ever get a case on this).
  8. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    Jun 6, 2009
    One flaw I see on that map is the shoreline of Lake Michigan since no international border comes into play. Anywhere on Lake Michigan, you're within the physical borders of the U.S. The Mackinaw Bridge is about 50 miles from the closest border point and 100 miles just catches the far northeast tip of the lake around Beaver Island.
  9. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    Up to this point, the Court has upheld such "border" searches and seizures.
    Yeah, the map takes a few liberties. But in a completely different context NOAA tells us that 55% of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of the coast. Extend that to 100 miles, add the population living along the Canadian and Mexican Borders not within the coast area and you have over rds of Americans.

    The ACLU calls it the "Constitution-free Zone" but I think that clouds the subject. I'd call it the "Bill of Rights Free Zone." Of the Bill of Rights, the Fourth Amendment guards against searches, arrests, and seizures of property without a specific warrant or a "probable cause" to believe a crime has been committed; the Fifth Amendment assures all persons will not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law' and the Sixth Amendment assures all persons of the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. There have been significant infringements on all these rights in the past decade and it appears that the "100 air miles" from a border or seacoast definition essentially establishes an area where our basic rights are in question, an area where most of us live and/or work.
  10. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    Yep. Anyone thinking they live in the "Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave" is in for a rude awakening.
  11. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Can't argue, it's in black and white. I do tend to think it will be used judiciously and not to arbitrarily trample people's rights. But I don't argue the potential exists.

    It all boils down to the question of how much individual freedom or liberty are we willing to relinquish in return for greater collective security and safety as a society. It seems American's in general are willing to give up quite a bit.

    Despite this, I still don't know anyplace else in the world that gives the individual greater freedom.
  12. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    One thing in this country that is no different than anywhere else in the world...

    You are only as free as the powerful people whose side you are on allow you to be.

    Say or do something to draw the attention of a powerful person who disagrees with you... even if it is something that should be guaranteed to you by the constitution, and see how fast your fortunes turn downward.
  13. Hoosier205

    Hoosier205 Active Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    After many years of employment in the legislative branch of the federal government...I can spot a tin foil hat a mile away.
  14. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Who was that said, "He who would relinquish his freedoms for more security deserves neither."
  15. FHSPSU67

    FHSPSU67 CE'er & Retired Engineer DBSTalk Club

    Jan 12, 2007
    Windber, PA
    None other than Ben Franklin:
    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety"
    Quite a few slightly different versions of this, too.
  16. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    Here's a more accurate map along the Great Lakes U.S.-Canadian border:


    "Collective security and safety" is one of those terms I'm very uncomfortable with. I don't see my "personal security and safety" generating from "collective security and safety" but rather the other way around. IMHO everyone's "personal security and safety" creates "collective security and safety" and each person's security and safety is protected by the Bill of Rights, then by the Defense Department, then by local police. Having a "Ministry of Interior" full of "federal agents" who, to get the job done, need the Bill of Rights waived where 75% of us live and/or regularly work just doesn't get it for me.

    I and many others were very uncomfortable with the introduction of the word "homeland" into the name of a government department, much less having it coupled with the word "security."

    It explicitly references the land, not to our ideals. It implies we could care less about terrorism even if it targets Americans, American institutions, and our friends outside our boundaries.

    In my lifetime it was people in other countries who had irrational feelings about their land. Americans are supposed to have an irrational feeling about something not geographic - freedom.

    But that isn't what seems to be going on with our Department of Homeland Security. They appear to be tasked with protecting somebody's land at the expense of "freedom and justice for all."
  17. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    Jun 6, 2009
    Yeah, that one makes more sense. There's no way I'll accept that Chicago is within 100 miles of the border.

    First time I heard it I thought it sounded like something Orwell hocked up.
  18. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    The name 'Homeland" made me think of "Fatherland".
  19. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    Yes, these are exactly thoughts I had. It felt creepy to me and I am sure to many others.

    German has a comparable word "heimatland" which was used in WWI, not in WWII by the Nazi's. But in the case of both WWI and WWII we fought to make the world safe for democracy and freedom for everyone, not to somehow protect and expand our "homeland." It just feels like a foreign concept.

    It doesn't help that the Department of Homeland Security now has agents of at least two of its divisions authorized to ignore the Bill of Rights, though just in areas most of us live and/or work.
  20. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    Not bad... only took 18 posts to achieve Godwin's law. ;)

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