By: Ground Report

On October 29, 2013 Rep. Ted Poe of Texas asked for permission to address the United States House of Representatives for a few minutes regarding the National Security Agency’s (NSA) electronic spying program.

“The Department of Justice stealthily seized information from 20 different Associated Press phone lines, including some in the U.S. Capitol–right up there. The Department of Justice stealthily seized phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen, of his parents and of several Fox News phone lines. In the month of January of 2013 alone, 125 billion phone calls were monitored worldwide, and at least 3 billion of them were phone calls in America. The NSA stealthily seized from Verizon Business Network Services millions of telephone records, including the locations, numbers and times of domestic calls. A secret government program called PRISM allowed the NSA to search photos, emails and documents from computers at Apple, Google and Microsoft, among many other Internet sources.”

“NSA and the Snoop and Spy Caucus say this spying on Americans and our allies is necessary to catch the terrorists. They even claim terrorist attacks have been prevented. If this is true, show the evidence. Prove it. Where are the terrorists who supposedly have been thwarted by these surveillance tendencies? Even if it is true, which I doubt, it still violates the law. In my opinion, it violates the PATRIOT Act. The PATRIOT Act doesn’t allow for this nonsense. It violates the constitutional right of privacy, Mr. Speaker. It violates the Fourth Amendment and the right of persons to be secure in their homes, papers and effects without government intrusion. Government cannot use the old Soviet-style, dragnet approach, hoping to catch a big fish while also catching the endangered species of freedom”, he said.

“Those who argue otherwise say they must seize the whole haystack to find the needle in the haystack. Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what is prevented in the Fourth Amendment. I would like to quote the Fourth Amendment:

 The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

The Fourth Amendment specifically prohibits government from seizing the whole haystack to find the one needle”, said Rep. Ted Poe