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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/17278/freedom-does-not-mean-actual-freedom/

“Freedom” does not mean actual freedom

June 13, 2011 by

The NYT has unearthed a document that seems to date back to 2008 of which a new edition is in the works, and this new edition permits the FBI to do damn thing it wants to do, such as rummage through your trash, monitor communications, break into databases, and be the all-round agency of total domestic surveillance.

The 2008 treatise is an interesting read. It generally follows the following model: assertion of a civic cliche (such as free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion) followed by an explanation of why this cliche, while important and true as far as it goes, has no relevance for the FBI.

An example of this tactic:

The sensitivity related to an academic institution arises from the American tradition of “academic freedom” (e.g., ah atmosphere in which students and faculty are free to express unorthodox ideas and views and to challenge conventional thought without fear of repercussion). Academic freedom does not mean, however, that academic institutions are off limits to FBI investigators in pursuit of information or individuals of legitimate investigative interest.

This goes on for 269 pages. It makes a mockery of the Bill of Rights – the essential flaw of which is that the government that the Bill of Rights is supposed to restrict is the same government that is charged with enforcing it. This is like getting a lock on your door to prevent robberies but giving a key to every potential robber should it ever be needed for anything.

{ 5 comments }

Walt D. June 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

I think the book you are talking about is called “Animal Farm” ?

victor June 14, 2011 at 7:34 am

The FBI bureaucrats have just now decided to get their hands dirty? Investigators have been able to paw through the garbage since I was in high school in the late 80′s (See: SC opinion Greenwood v. California). If memory serves Justice Thor[No]Good Marshall, commented during or after the case, he wasn’t doing any “drug pushers no favors” when he trashed this protective aspect of the foruth amendment. Once it hits the curb anyone is allowed to rummage through it. Hold on! Just make sure you don’t mix the card board with the plastic bottles or the green meanies at city hall will have a fit, and cite you.

KareFree June 14, 2011 at 10:50 am

I know I am speaking to the choir here. However, I have to get this off my chest.

If the trash cans/bags are on my property while it’s waiting for the trash man to pick it up, don’t I have the right to decide (if I allow it all) who goes through my trash? Shouldn’t I have a say in allowing my neighbors rummage through my junk vs. a FBI/CIA/government agent? Especially, if that garbage has not left my property? Once it leaves my property by the trash company I hire then it is no longer mine since I have officially given it away at that moment.

Of course, trying to talk to government agencies about property rights is like talking to a wall about property rights.

-Karen

omayra - Eliminar estrias June 14, 2011 at 11:57 am

is well known that the FBI has so much power, do not really know that both have access to confidential data, we know the amount of information they have, after all we are registered in many different directions and everything should be concentrated on one side. Information is power

Eliminar las Estrias September 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I see… Yeah, but the FBI has a lot of information and that can be dangerous for many of us… Well i feel good but Internet can get a lot of info as well

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