TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Public Wants Court to Okay Wiretaps

Re: Public Wants Court to Okay Wiretaps
12 Jan 2006 13:07:48 -0800

Mark Crispin wrote:

> In fact, we already do. Non-citizens in the US are generally denied
> the rights, enjoyed by citizens, to:

> . reside
> . employment
> . possess a firearm
> . public assistance
> . vote, etc.

It goes a little further than that. Lawyers for the US government, in
response to being sued by a Canadian (Maher Arar), indicated that they
couldn't have trampled his rights while he was in the US (eg, he had
no access to a lawyer). He doesn't _have_ any rights. They stated
that the US Constitution doesn't apply to non-citizens while they are
in the US.

Makes a non-US person want to vacation there, huh?

> In other cases (e.g., Canada), the very document that states all these
> wonderful rights gives the government the power to abridge them
> whenever it thinks it's necessary. Don't believe me? Read Canada's
> "Charter of Rights and Freedoms", and note the "notwithstanding"
> clauses (in particular section 33):


Seems a little out of scale with the eavesdropping.

The notwithstanding clause in the Charter allows Parliament (either
federal or provincial) to pass a law which it deems necessary but
which violate someone's rights. It may deem it necessary to pass a
law which violates someone's rights because the effect on society as a
whole is so great.

The notwithstanding clause has never been used. Should it's use get
proposed, it would have to be passed through Parliament and the Senate
and the law would have to be renewed by Parliament every five years.
One of the parties in the current Canadian election campaign is
proposing a Charter amendment to drop the notwithstanding clause.

All of these hurtles and sober thought by society. And this is
brought into discussion in reference to Bush not even wanting
to need a judge to approve the wiretaps?



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