Keep the Fourth in mind

Ware is a sophomore political science major from Griffin. He is involved in Young Democrats.

Chris Ware

Due to the apparent degradation of the citizens’ right to privacy by unlawful tactics by the government, namely the NSA, I find it necessary to remind everyone the guarantee of the Fourth Amendment and its relevancy in everyday life. The Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights clearly protects the right of privacy on behalf of the citizen:

“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.”

One might ask how does that affect a college student? Well let’s say you are pulled over by law enforcement for speeding but the officer gets around to asking you if he can search your car. The Fourth Amendment grants you the power to not grant the officer permission to search your vehicle if he does not have probable cause. Probable cause would be drugs or any drug apparatus and paraphernalia, an opened alcoholic beverage, or a bloody weapon such as a knife in plain sight inside the car. Also remember law enforcement can’t search your car trunk, locked glove compartment, house, dorm room, apartment or security box without a search warrant from a judge, unless of course you give that officer consent to do so. If you give the officer consent and he had no previous probable cause to search and he finds something you didn’t want him to find, whatever he found is fair game.

This same amendment protects us from privacy intrusions from all levels of government, or at least that’s what the framers intended, but it is not being carried out due to the unlawful spying upon American citizens by the NSA. We are living in a time where knowing the rights of the individual is imperative. Know your rights and protect your rights. Remember that many people are dying around the world for the rights guaranteed through our Constitution, and we must not take those rights for granted.