Letter: Revise expectation of protection



Now that we know the NSA and other agencies of the federal government have access to all of our telephone records using the “no expectation of privacy” standard established by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1979 ruling in Smith v. Maryland, and in the wake of revelations of partisan targeting of conservative groups by the IRS, I believe it is time to revisit that “standard.” The Fourth Amendment uses the expression, “unreasonable searches and seizures,” and requires that warrants describe “the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

What is needed now is the “Herring Standard” of constitutional protection. Herring school in groups numbering in the tens of millions so that they have the security of knowing that any attacking shark or other predator can only target them one at a time. In the future, all federal agencies must be required to target specific individuals for scrutiny of their telephone records, just as a shark must target only one herring out of a school.

Curtiss Mooney