ACLU’s Mike German: Domestic surveillance no longer based on probable cause

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, September 12, 2011 15:40 EDT
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American Civil Liberties Union policy counsel and former FBI agent Mike German sat down with Reason.tv to discuss the expansion of surveillance programs since 9/11, noting the government and law enforcement agencies had become obsessed with collecting data.

“We’ve moved away from surveillance based on individualized suspicion, the Fourth Amendment standard of probable cause and a warrant has basically evaporated,” German said. “And the government can now collect information about people it doesn’t even suspect of wrongdoing.”

“A lot of police departments, from all levels of government, federal, state and local, have combined their intelligence collection efforts, and have actually set up facilities called fusion centers. And the problem with these centers is it is very unclear who is in charge, when you have the FBI sitting next to a Department of Homeland Security agent sitting next to a state police officer sitting next to a local police officer. Because there are non-law enforcement agencies working in these centers — military, private companies — their authority to conduct domestic law enforcement intelligence gathering is quite questionable.”

“The government has no right to pick through your private information just because that’s technologically possible,” German added. “The laws are now so lax that they can.”

Watch video, courtesy of Reason.tv, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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