Wiretap requests increase under Obama administration
Judge Napolitano weighs in on privacy issue
- Duration 5:50
- Date May 4, 2012
Judge Napolitano weighs in on privacy issue
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Some new information now on wiretapping statistics from the Justice Department showing the Obama administration.
Has increased the number of applications to install wiretaps on suspected terrorists spies.
And their associates.
-- roughly 10% over the last two years is it making America any safer.
Washington correspondent James Rosen live in DC with that James.
John good morning these new numbers on wiretaps have surfaced at a time when the Obama administration is pressing congress.
To renew certain spy powers that are set to expire at year's end.
These latest figures released by DOJ earlier this week show a distinct rise from 2010 to 2011.
In the number of applications for court orders that the Obama administration -- made to a special panel of eleven federal judges known as the fires a court.
After the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
All of these requests for approval -- two were withdrawn.
And all the sixty none of them were for electronic surveillance national security officials say -- that has been an essential tool in the war on terror.
Including the effort to neutralize al-Qaeda over the years but they caution.
But the rise of -- wiretaps -- 2011 was not attributable.
To the famous raid on Osama bin Laden's Pakistani compound nor to any specific operation they also note that other high point back in 2007.
As you can see these figures edged towards 4400 in one year officials told Fox News the intelligence community.
Is only now fully accustomed to the changes to the law.
The President Bush signed in 2008 -- title seven of the finds a law is set to expire at year's end it allows the targeting of categories of non US citizens abroad.
Without the need for a court order for each individual target attorney general Eric Holder recently told the senate.
This provision is quote critical to our national security.
And so would the administration strongly supports the reauthorization.
And as you -- hopes that it occurs.
Well before the end of the year so that the certainty that is needed by.
Are the men and women who are in our intelligence community will have some degree.
Of assured us that those tools will remain there and that our fight against those who do harm to the United States that can continue.
The fires -- court was created as a post Watergate measure to strengthen oversight of wiretapping and other surveillance techniques used both here and brought John.
James Rosen in DC for James thank you.
Well there's a lot of information there -- more on this we're going to bring in judge Andrew Napolitano fox senior judicial analyst with this and you're smiling because.
My first question for you has to do with losing privacy to the government and you and I were talking will never know if they're even looking.
At us well that is -- that is correct Harrison James.
Has done a great job in in getting his arms around the numbers here which are truly staggering.
There are other numbers that are not a part of this report that are part of this program.
And those are self written search warrants were FBI agents don't go to the fire -- -- court.
But authorize themselves -- to examine information not from -- about -- your banking records your computer records your telephone records your medical records or legal records.
If you take all of this together.
What they're going to the -- a court and the -- -- court is letting them get and what they get on their own.
If that whatever they obtained on individuals if they don't use it any prosecution against those persons and then they never know that they have been a charge.
That's amazing and and I don't wanna think about -- -- that information stays or goes or whatever you you bring us and I was reading some notes on this from you could you write about this a -- -- -- -- people.
And this is an important topic you say that we should know about that you bring us to a point where you say removing dangerously close to what we fought against in the Cold War and in World War II what do you mean one.
-- if you listen to the language of Ronald Reagan.
In the years that he was running for president when we were still fighting the Cold War.
And he was challenging the moral authority and the legal authority of Communist governments to suppress the rights to take away the privacy.
Of of the people in their countries.
We are now getting closer to permitting our own popularly elected government to do to us the very things that Communist governments in Eastern Europe.
And in Soviet Russia did to their people.
And against which we fought a Cold War basically removing their sense of dignity and privacy.
And putting us under a totalitarian microscope where the government watches everything we do.
Was so what do you say to the push back that it's a good cause it's for a good -- it's -- cute but safe from terrorism.
You know with some maybe some Americans would say they would cede some of their privacy rights -- -- for that cost I say a couple of things the constitution doesn't permit it.
And the constitution was written by people who would suffer terribly into the king of England and they need and obviously have technology in those days.
And they also say your personal dignity.
Should be of great value to you.
And that's an area of human behavior that quite simply is none of the government's business.
But the government is making its business if people don't cry out against it.
The government -- know everything about you know what you bring me to my last question and has to do yesterday afternoon and in my office and watching the Associated Press wires this goes by relatively quietly.
Why don't we hear more about this.
Because a lot of people have accepted the myth that when the government -- our privacy somehow keeps us safe.
It doesn't keep us safe it puts tremendous personal private information in the hands of people who could misuse it it also doesn't keep us free.
Because it it exposes our innermost behavior what we do in the kitchen and what we do inside the house to the peering -- -- government and the constitution.
Does not trust the government with that information and I so learned from you about context when you take things out of context there sometimes and explainable.
No matter what it is that we're doing which is a great -- I -- chat with you thank you letter or not.