[ExI] experiments on privacy

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Fri Mar 22 23:53:10 UTC 2019

Spike wrote:

>> ...I am no SCOTUS judge but I think that "papers" is the 18th  
>> century equivalent of "data". That is to say that if electronic  
>> media were available to the Founders, they would have included it  
>> in this amendment...Stuart LaForge
> All this worries me Stuart. 
> Around the time of the 9/11 attacks, the US put into effect a bunch  
> of laws that can under some circumstances, go around the 4th  
> amendment.  It really made us nervous at the time, for it represents  
> an expansion of government power.  Power corrupts.

Power is the rate at which one can perform work. Yes it might have a  
tendency to corrupt us, but that is built into our primate genes. On  
the other hand, what merits or accomplishments can weakness boast of?  
Can you imagine an entire race whose mere children have the ability to  
create or destroy planets? Symmetric power does not corrupt, no matter  
how great its magnitude, but unequal power does. Unequal power reminds  
us that we are monkeys instead of gods so we start acting accordingly.

> More recently, a dossier was created which was used as evidence to  
> justify a warrant to spy on American citizens, particularly those  
> connected to a particular candidate.  The candidate won anyway, but  
> now we are finding out the dossier itself may have been unverified,  
> and if unverified information was used to obtain a FISA warrant,  
> then that warrant was illegal as all hell.  Regardless of who it was  
> helping or hurting politically, it represents a gross abuse of the  
> FISA process, for which there have been no legal consequences.

I have a few thoughts about this:

1. The dossier came from an MI-6 operative. International espionage is  
a dirty business often relying on rumors and hearsay that can't be  
verified because the very nature of covert intelligence and state  
secrets. FISA is specifically designed to allow law enforcement to  
work together with intelligence agencies in order to combat threats  
against national security.

2. Although the details of the dossier have since been discredited,  
the gist of the dossier, that a certain person has financial ties with  
Russia that make him a Russian intelligence asset may very well be  
true as despite the fact that the dossier has been discredited, other  
corroborating evidence has since come to light including sworn  
testimony by subjects formerly close to the subject.

3. The subject under investigation, instead of cooperating with law  
enforcement to clear his good name through open dialogue and  
disclosure has instead used his own political influence to attack the  
law enforcement agency investigating him and obstruct their  
investigation by any means he can.

4. To have a sitting POTUS be a Russian intelligence asset is both a  
violation of the foreign emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution  
and also a credible threat to national security.

5. At no time was the subject of the investigation subjected to any of  
the more notorious excesses of law enforcement and the investigation  
of such a serious matter has been conducted with decorum and due  

Also, contrary to your worries, there has been consequences to FISA  
warrant. Namely, that the FBI director who signed off on it has since  
been fired. You think he should do jail time too or something?

> If there are no legal consequences for hiring a third party to  
> create evidence against one's political adversaries, it will bte  
> done again.  And again.  Power corrupts.

Believing the half-truths of a spy in Her Majesty's Secret Service is  
hardly "creating evidence". It is, at worst, poor judgement. And as  
more evidence comes to light, it may not even be that.

> This would effectively repeal the 4th amendment.  If any part of the  
> Bill of Rights is repealed or by any means defeated, Americans have  
> no rights.

By jungle law, a well-armed organism has precisely those rights it  
believes itself to have. Americans are only exceptional in that we  
have codified a universal truth into the highest law of the land. The  
2nd Amendment is less a gift from the Founders than it is the explicit  
statement of an implicit law of nature. As long as the 2nd Amendment  
stands, I will not worry for the U.S. republic. For comparison, the  
Roman republic lasted about 500 years, weathered nine separate civil  
wars, and did not fall until the 10th civil war, won by Julius Caesar.  
We are less than half that age and have only fought one civil war so  
as long as we remain vigilant, we shall not falter.

Stuart LaForge

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