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Don't surrender privacy

A News.com reader asks: If one is to be innocent until proven guilty, then how can you justify claiming that everyone is guilty until the innocence of their communication has been proven?

 

  
Don't surrender privacy

In response to the Sept. 24 column by Mike Yamamoto, "Irrelevancy of the online privacy debate":

I would like to take exception with Yamamoto with regard to privacy and American citizenry. There are always those who are willing to surrender things for the perception of security, and I, too, am willing to exchange a thing of lesser value for something greater. Having said that, though, I would oppose any such measure that would give my life, my associations, and my communications freely to the government.

I am a veteran of the Persian Gulf war and served for a total of 13 years in the U.S. Army and the National Guard. I believe strongly in America, and in our Constitution. If one is to be innocent until proven guilty, then how at the same time can you justify claiming that everyone is guilty until the innocence of their communication has been proven?

Let us not forget that the "bad guys" are using secure communications that are difficult if not impossible to read.

The effect of this is to intrude on the citizenry, and all the while the "bad guys" are freely plotting. This is no answer. We have the constitutional obligation to protect American citizens against unreasonable search and seizure. We have the constitutional obligation to protect American citizens from a government that secretly spies on us without warrant or probable cause. This is deeper than "security" and far deeper that "safety."

Many men and women have given their lives for the very constitutional rights we talk about surrendering. Ironically, the immense powers that were the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Great Britain and others could not force us to submission, and they most certainly could not force us to suspend the constitution. Yet they have suddenly been surpassed by a ragtag group of zealots who, after the smoke clears, will not see a line in the history books. Interesting.

In conclusion, I would like to say that Ronald Reagan was (and still is) correct in saying that a powerful, professional, and well-paid military is the only key to American security. I watched (as did millions) the Berlin Wall collapse into rubble, and freedom was felt for the first time in those East Germans' generation. It was exhilarating.

There will never be world peace. There will always be those who seek domination. It is our place to defend against those who would undo freedom, and it is our place to eradicate evil. Anyone who believes that evil can be halted by making sure that free men are restrained believes the same lies that German Nazis believed.

Michael Fischer
Lexington, Ky.