…AND FBI AND CDC DIRECTORS BABBLE INCOHERENTLY,
BE AFRAID. BE VERY AFRAID.
We heard the head of the CIA three years ago say he had no idea who the Libyan rebels were. Lying or truthful, it was just one of a never-ending cascade of jolting statements coming out of public officials, public servants, politicians and all those whom we sustain with our tax dollars. The head of the Department of Justice testified he had no knowledge about a gun-running operation conducted by the US Government back and forth across our Southern border until Brian Terry was dead and some folks started complaining about it. The Secretary of State couldn’t believe anyone would want to know the details surrounding the killing of a US ambassador.
We had to pass a bill touted as allowing the masses to be insured for health care so that we could find out that the bill did just the opposite. The first female Speaker of the House (and second in the line of succession to the Presidency) told us that. The Secretary of Defense and his colleagues are gearing up to fight. To fight “climate change”, that is.
Stop. We needn’t read the whole catalog. But we must make one more listing today. For none other than the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is now engaged in a ….great civil war, testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure the freedom of privileged communication, non-disclosure of personal information and in the first instance, entrepreneurship, invention, free enterprise and the purveyance of goods and services.
WASHINGTON — FBI Director James Comey warned in stark terms Thursday against the push by technology companies to encrypt smartphone data and operating systems, arguing that murder cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free, and justice could be thwarted by a locked phone or an encrypted hard drive.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. There is a very real danger that murderers might lock their phones, or send cryptic messages, so we must all give up a whole big boatload of freedom. May we suggest that it henceforth be ordered that the glue used to seal envelopes be banned. Additionally, should Motorola come up with a method by which parents could keep the location and itinerary of vulnerable children away from the prying eyes of tech-savvy child molesters, well they’re just going to have to stifle that project, because it might give murderers an edge.
Good grief. As we know, in questions of liberty vis-a-vis security, the arguments center on whether we should give up, either temporarily or permanently, a little bit, or more than a little bit, of the former in pursuit of the latter. Well, your United States Government, if the mouthings of its high-ranking officials are any indication, consider it their prerogative to deny you both. In case you missed it, this was the position taken by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control just a few days ago:
The chairman of the subcommittee that will be holding a high-profile hearing on the Ebola crisis today on the Hill said the CDC director told him that the administration fears a travel ban from affected countries would hurt fragile West African economies.
Apparently, the guiding principle for the Good Director is: “First, Do No Harm to the Fragile West African Economy.”
Fellow Americans, the reasons for the ordaining and establishment of the Constitution of the United States were several, not the least of which was this objective contained in the Preamble:
…..promote the general Welfare…….
Said welfare not being that of West African economies.
And in the matter of the Federal Government being put out because it may not have the means to unlock the cryptic messages one writes to oneself or others, the Ninth Amendment is not at all unclear, and does not require an opinion from Justice Breyer, the Association of People Who Investigated Everybody From Joe McCarthy to Martin Luther King, Jr. (that would be FBI Directors) or any other Totalitarian Supremacist. It reads:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
That’s right. The Fourth Amendment clause intended to protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures but allowing the authorities to search one’s personal effects, including communications, upon the issuance of a warrant citing probable cause, AND ONLY THEN AND MOST CERTAINLY NOT ENUMERATING A CARTE BLANCHE “BLANKET WARRANT” POWER, does not preclude the Ninth Amendment right of private citizens to encrypt said communications, nor to hire the services of others to encrypt their communications for them.
Were it the case that the government had the power to ban encryption, in order merely to make its job easier, or even in extremis for a purported public safety reason, the government would have the power to ban the commercial transcribing of confidential personal communication into an undecipherable (by mere mortal FBI men or local sheriffs) obscure 5,000-year-old hieroglyphic , or into Spanish (what you think, La Raza?) Or very soon, writing in cursive, since it’s not being taught in grammar school anymore and thus will be undecipherable. And is the FBI director not aware that since the encryption of personal passwords and personally identifiable information for business, finance and health purposes, of every type and use and application imaginable, is now common practice, precluding public software companies from encryption in cyberspace would immediately lead to chaos, damage and harm?
Should murderers go to the trouble of speaking in Pig Latin so as to throw the police off the trail or thwart the prosecutor, well that’s just one more obstacle for law enforcement to overcome. In the meantime, the Constitution of the United States of America remains instructive, should our betters in officialdom ever feel the need to seek guidance before putting their inane policy prescriptions before the performance of their duties and their oaths of office.