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The Fourth Amendment & Foreign Intelligence

Since the Bill of Rights came into effect in 1791, Americans have had certain rights delineated in the Amendments and also certain protections coming from restrictions placed on the government. Among these restrictions is the Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure. The Amendment requires the government to obtain a warrant based on probable cause before a search of a someone’s property can be made. The interpretation of the Amendment has varied over the last two centuries, slightly changing the protections that courts will enforce, but the overall tenor of the bill has remained the same. But does the protection granted citizens in the Fourth Amendment apply when foreign agents conduct the search? Apparently not.

The Guardian in the UK has reported that Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ (Government Communication Headquarters) has been intercepting and storing webcam images from millions of internet users. The relationship between the GCHQ and U.S. intelligence began long before computer technology was around but has […] → Keep reading