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Letter: Patriot Act is used to infringe on our rights

Patriot Act is used to infringe on our rights

Government snooping on millions of United States citizens by collection of Verizon communications metadata, Associated Press professional/personal phone records and server information from Internet giants like Google is outrageous.

While the president speaks soothing words, we sink into repression with government knowing our relationships, our timelines, our locations until it suits the government to use it against us.

Despite the president’s effort for 100 percent security at the expense of privacy, Boston Marathon bombings still occur. There is no expectation of 100 percent security, nor do we wish to live in such a surveillance state that the president is creating.

The Obama administration’s assumptions are faulty. Citizens do have an expectation of privacy in their personal records held by third parties. In a complex, inter-dependent civilization, trust between parties is crucial. Therefore, the mechanism for record privacy must be built into the political system with such legislation as HIPAA for health record privacy.

Citizen personal data is not the government’s to mine. The government only has the right to look at data from specific people where there is reasonable suspicion verified by a court. It’s called the Fourth Amendment. The Patriot Act does not substitute for the constitution.

A secret government is not a democracy. A president, a secret court, silenced members of Congress do not a country make, with the entire United States population left out of the decision making. Gross violations of American civil rights are hidden from sight as courts and Congress are gagged by the Patriot Act. All this is in the name of security.

The Patriot Act must be repealed and legislation passed protecting citizen privacy.

Noreen Johnson