Operating under rules put in place by George W. Bush in 2008, the Department of Homeland Security has assumed the authority to search people’s electronic devices close to our nation’s borders. This means cell phones, cameras and computers can be confiscated and searched by the DHS, without cause, without suspicion and without any warrant – completely removing 4th amendment rights from everyone in the area.
In 2009, the DHS performed a “review” of their procedures to ensure that they respected people’s civil liberties and the Constitution. Not only did the DHS report find no fault with their policies of warrantless search and seizure, but it found that “imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits” — and where are those “benefits”?
Amazing. Our own Department of Homeland Security believes that requiring its agents to have probable cause before they conduct searches would be “operationally harmful”. The Constitution is a problem with our respective security agencies. The solution? Ignore it.
Government officials believe that enforcing the Constitution compromises security. In truth, ignoring the Constitution compromises our way of life. Pretending particularly inconvenient tenants of the Constitution do not exist is tantamount to a slap in the face to both our founding fathers and our founding documents, which were penned by men far, far smarter than our current generation of political crusaders.
When our government ignores our own Constitution, terrorism has already won.