Our Constitution is clear. The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.
Here is exactly what it says.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
For some reason, some politicians think our security is more important than our constitution. It is not. In the Constitution, personal security trumps national security.
Here are some thoughts from Judge Andrew P. Napolitano.
If you were looking for a needle in a haystack, simple logic would tell you that the smaller the haystack the likelier you are to find the needle. Except for the government.
Since Edward Snowden revealed the federal government’s unlawful and unconstitutional use of federal statutes to justify spying on all in America all the time, including the members of Congress who unwittingly wrote and passed the statutes, I have been arguing that the Fourth Amendment prohibits all domestic spying, except that which has been authorized by a search warrant issued by a judge. The same amendment also requires that warrants be issued only based on a serious level of individualized suspicion backed up by evidence — called probable cause — and the warrants must specifically identify the place and person to be spied upon.
Because these requirements are in the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, Congress and the president and the courts are bound by them. There is no emergency or public safety or wartime exception to them. These requirements cannot be changed by legislation; only a constitutional amendment, ratified by the legislatures of 37 states, can do so.
All of this is what lawyers and judges call black letter law — meaning it is well-understood, has not been seriously challenged and is nearly universally accepted. Except by the government.
The government — which thinks it can right any wrong, tax any event, regulate any behavior and interfere with any right — also thinks it can keep us safe from the terrorists among us by cutting constitutional corners, which it has done many times since 9/11. Among the constitutional corners it has cut is unleashing its 60,000 domestic spies upon us with orders to disregard the constitutional requirements for spying on Americans and gather all the data about us that they can by listening to phone calls and reading emails, as well as gathering the banking information, credit card information, utility bills, postal mail and medical records of everyone in America, without regard to individualized suspicion.