Giving up the 4th Amendment

I watch a lot of really obscure programs, documentaries, and reality TV. I’m sure the Netflix algorithm is a bit freaked out when trying to recommend things to me based on past habits.

Why do I do it?

Part of it is because I’m interested in nearly everything. Another part is because you never know where the next book idea is going to come from. For instance, I learned how to poison folks in a shelter by watching an episode of Rocket City Rednecks (one of my favorite shows). They didn’t mean to teach me this fun twist in an upcoming apocalyptic novel. They were building an air scrubber for a submarine:D

But I apply what I learn in unique and fun ways.

Plus, I believe in getting even.

So I look for crazy things to watch. Things where items and built and destroyed, forensic shows, documentaries on ancient life, NOVA and space. Pretty much most reality things that don’t involve voting folks off, people acting petty, mean and stupid (I have my own PMS thank you) or other talent based shows.

Basically anything tech, space, alien, conspiracy, or what-are-they-on kind of things. And for the most part my reading material goes along with it.

So it was with interest that I came across a little documentary called Terms and Conditions. It was about the erosion of privacy in a digital age.

Now I know that the government can find out my reading habits via my library card. After all, a library is part of the government. I’m under no illusions to how many people have access to my personal information via my social security number and my trash. And all the stuff I do on social media is pretty much public. I know that when I start looking for certain things, banner ads about those things appear in the ad space on my computer. I get coupons based on purchased at the grocery store as well as for products like those I’ve already bought.

In a technoworld, privacy is an illusion.

Now, don’t get me wrong I value my privacy. I know that just my search history alone could get me into serious trouble with Homeland Security. After all, in order to create a believable fictional apocalypse, I like to have facts. Lots of facts.

I also need to know how Victorian women cleaned their floors. What goes into turn of the 20th century furniture polish. When the Coast Guard was established in Mackinac Island.

In other words, I need to find the Devil and put him in the details.

So what does this have to do with the 4th Amendment?

This is the 4th Admendment: 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.

You see when you click that you agree to the terms and conditions to use anything from Google to WordPress, to your cellphone, you are in effect waiving your 4th amendment rights. Apparently, your rights aren’t yours when a 3rd party is involved. And no warrant is needed for the government to get access to them.

In fact most of the service providers state that in their terms of service and they don’t have to let you know someone’s been poking around in your cyberbackyard.

And this isn’t just in the US. I think there was 1 country that protected the user’s privacy. 1. Any safeguards to user’s privacy was abandoned after September 11, 2011. Now the government considers it their right to see what you’re doing and any attempts to subvert it, makes a body suspect.

I’m sure other governments feel the same way.

As the saying goes, you’re not paranoid if someone is watching:D

About Linda Andrews

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal." All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house? If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at She’d love to hear from you.
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7 Responses to Giving up the 4th Amendment

  1. danrshaw says:

    Benjamin Franklin said many years ago “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.” In our fear after 9-11 both parties jumped in to solve the problem and created a monster. At first we where told it was just to coordinate between agencies, and that they would only monitor calls originating from overseas. Now they monitor everything and everyone.
    They keep trying to curtail 1st amendment rights through the courts and fail so they created political correctness so that any dissent can be given a label and demonized by the media.
    They keep trying like hell to throttle back the 2nd amendment and it drives them crazy that they can’t put in the computer base the identity and location of all who own guns. As we have seen in some states that demand complete registration they have forced gun sellers to turn over registration information so they can go after those who did not comply.
    A long time ago they tore up states rights using the commerce clause and expanding it so it gives them the right to regulate everything from school lunches to healthcare.

    • That is my favorite quote by Ben Franklin. The question is, what to do about it? Or do too many people think it doesn’t matter.

      • danrshaw says:

        I think to many people are accepting of it so they are “protected” by the government. And we all know that once a government program is created it NEVER goes away. They just keep growing and growing amassing more and more power. There is no political will to change things by either party because if they change the program and something happens then they will get blamed for allowing it.

  2. Tina Hubler says:

    Definitely very interesting and relevant topic of conversation. It’s sad to think that in using something as simple as a messaging app, such as Facebook Messenger, we have to voluntarily give up personal rights to privacy. As you’ve said…it pretty much comes with the digital age territory. I don’t know if many people realize how much privacy they are truly giving up, when they use any digital media. I think I would go back to life before the internet, if it were truly possible. At this point…it’s not possible. What’s already out there cannot be taken back…including medical records, credit info and personal conversations with my children..

    • I agree that it cannot be taken back but I believe those in office who support the constitution would make some attempt to safeguard the freedoms defined within.

      • danrshaw says:

        Just like the safeguarded the IRS from attacking conservative groups and individuals for political reasons. Get enough of one ideology into one of these government departments and they can create a living hell for those who don’t agree with them. We see these departments assuming more and more power on their own, with no congressional oversight and when they do try to exercise oversight it turns into a political quagmire.
        I blame it on both parties and specially the congress because they write vague laws that gives the agencies to fill in the blanks as they see fit. They even give a lot of these agencies the power to write their own laws. A popular President once said that Government isn’t the solution, government is the problem. Boy was Reagan right. Even Clinton worked with both sides to reduce the welfare roles and increase jobs and lower taxes. Politicians tell us whatever we want to hear to get elected and then do whatever their party leaders and special interests tell them to do and forget about their constituency.

      • Tina Hubler says:

        I completely agree with you that some attempt should be made to safeguard our constitutional freedoms. In not protecting our right to privacy, we become one of the countries that so many immigrants have left behind when this country was formed…and so many others that are not “free.”

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