06 Jan 2015 With New Technology, FBI Has “No Business” Snooping on Cell Phones without Warrants
Senators are asking the Obama Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to elaborate on what the actual policy is, who in law enforcement can use this technology and whom they can use it against. In the meantime, Horace Cooper of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network — a former constitutional law professor and former congressional leadership staff member — discussed this issue and its constitutional implications with former Senate candidate Sharron Angle and lawyer Allen Bloom on the 1/2/15 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network.
Horace said he has a “nuanced view” about such government surveillance tactics as they are portrayed right now. He explained:
On the one had, my big concern is that the FBI and DEA have no business using this kind of technology without a warrant. The Supreme Court has long made it clear [that] if you’re surveilling people, and you’re getting their private information off of their phones, you’re gonna need a warrant. If that’s not what this is for, and if it is for a national security function, then the FBI and the DEA shouldn’t be the ones implementing it. A different part of the government ought to be handling that, and they ought to be working with the intelligence committees to make sure — if that is really what they’re doing.
And part of the problem I have here is we don’t have these answers as to what is going on. If this is really just a fishing-net exercise by the FBI and local law enforcement, I think it’s patently unconstitutional. And that’s not gonna survive…
I want to make sure that what we don’t have is a situation where the FBI is piggybacking on the NSA or the CIA or other intelligence services. If that’s happening, that’s not something that’s supposed to occur… I’m not bothered if we’re tapping into Osama bin Laden’s best friend’s phones, wherever they may be all across the planet.