JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: I do say that Senator Paul is the only person who announced for president who is faithful to the constitution. I think he demonstrated that just moments to go. yesterday in 11 hours of speaking on the floor of the Senate. Which you just so nicely summarized for us. The Fourth Amendment absolutely prohibits general warrants. A general warrant is a piece of paper in which a court says admit the bearer to listen to whatever he wants, to go wherever he wants to go and to seize whatever he finds.
Because the Fourth Amendment says search warrants can only come about when the government has probable cause to believe that someone is committing a crime and then the warrant, Senator Paul is correct, must specifically describe the person or place to be seized or the thing to be searched. And these general warrants that the secret FISA court gives out do not do that.
Instead they say you may seize all the phone calls in an area code, in a zip code, or from a particular telecom like Verizon. That is more information than the NSA can possibly go through. And it is a profound violation of the Fourth Amendment and, therefore, the civil liberties of everyone whose records have been seized...
JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: When General Keith Alexander who ran the NSA for four years was asked how many plots your spying on all people, all the time, has stopped and asked under oath, he said, 53. The next day he amended that to 3. When asked to asked to explain his reduction from 53 to 3 or describe the 3, he declined to answer.
The problem with this, Andrea, is not only that it violates our freedom by invading the privacy. It doesn't work. It's far too much information for the NSA to sift through. The framers were right when they said if you present some evidence to a court first you already have an idea who the bad guy is. So if they follow the constitution, they'll find more bad guys and find them sooner than if they gather all information from everybody all the time.