Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Legal Under The Patriot Act?

John Thielking says, "I still maintain that you probably have some legal protection against such covert surveillance in a private home, but not in a public place such as the Wired Wash."

On what legal advice do you maintain this opinion?

Perhaps whether or not the cops had a warrant can be used against them, since I'm sure they did not.

But why do you try to let the cops off the hook on the biggest issue? The SCPD have violated the First Amendment Constitutional rights of the people of Santa Cruz through an illegal covert operation at taxpayers’ expense.

These kinds of covert operations are illegal. They were banned by the Senate in the 1970s due to public outrage about COINTELPRO and Watergate. In the 1980s the Socialist Workers Party sued the FBI for millions of dollars for their covert activities against the SWP.

The Patriot Act, however, does subvert these freedoms from government spying and harassment. It would be interesting if the City Government tried to use the Patriot Act to defend their activities subverting democratic rights here in Santa Cruz since the City Council has also passed a resolution saying they are opposed to that same act.

Politically the City Government will have a hard time using the Patriot Act to defend their actions. In addition I think that a very good legal and political argument can be made that the Patriot Act itself is illegal in that it violates various constitutional rights including the First Amendment.

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