Fusion centers are facilities that allow various law enforcement agencies to share information and monitor civilians. Are they really listening to everything, even your phone sex calls?
That’s the claim made by some citizens who seem to be aware that the National Security Agency can and does monitor and intercept private phone calls and emails under the Patriot Act.
Slim on privacy protections
The Patriot Act gives sweeping powers to law enforcement and the government to access the communications of private individuals.
The Patriot Act provides warrantless access to people’s e-mails, telephone conversations and other types of communications, in a relatively rare situation: an investigation to gather evidence of crimes committed in the U.S. or of people planning a terrorist attack. The Patriot Act is updated regularly, and “The Daily Beast” reports that a revision passed in the summer of 2012—when it was still unclear the government would soon have access to U.S. phone records in bulk—changed the law to permit the feds to do such monitoring.
Listening in on phone sex calls?
While the Patriot Act is meant to combat terrorism, some evidence points to the government abusing it to listen in on private conversations, even phone sex calls. Why would they monitor sexual conversions?
That’s what Marc Perrusquia, director of advocacy for American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, asks.
Although phone sex is legal, phone privacy is also expected by most people. It’s illegal to eavesdrop in certain places and only legal with a warrant for law enforcement purposes.
“On its face it sounds creepy that the government is monitoring phone sex,” Perrusquia said.
Other experts echo the concerns and say monitoring of phone sex in part indicates the nature of the United States spying.
“It’s emblematic of all of this government surveillance,” James Henley, a lawyer specializing in phone surveillance in Massachusetts and Massachusetts civil rights attorney, said.
Warrant for phone sex eavesdropping?
The way it usually works, a law enforcement agency would obtain a warrant from a judge. That would allow the agency to listen in on conversations or tap into computers.
“It is easy to think that phone sex conversations are somehow protected,” Perrusquia said. “They aren’t. And that’s for any kind of call.”
Telecommunications Act prohibits it, which the Patriot Act repealed.
Government agencies have conducted all kinds of surveillance on people’s private lives over the years, including snooping into bank records, read and collect medical records, reading email, telephone call records, search and seizure of personal items, search and seizure of homes, roving street cameras that spy on citizens, and a myriad of other ways. As stated, phone sex may be one of many elements included in these types of surveillance. So then what happens to one of the basic principals, the 5th Amendment to the Constitution?
I am here a supporter of freedom and rights of people in this country. However I also know that some people I need to confront concerning some issues