What is the Fourth Amendment and why should I be concerned?
Your Fourth Amendment is essentially your right to own your own property. Essentially the government promised that they will not search or take away property that is rightfully yours unless they are given permission (i.e. a warrant). Now, it seems arbitrary that they would have this rule if they can basically override it with their own permission. But originally this made it harder to peruse your belongings. However, Edward Snowden through Wiki Leaks showed that the US government is stealing your property. Namely, your data.
I haven’t done anything ILLEGAL, It doesn’t bother me
Fourth Amendment not fully understood
Oh yeah? Well you might need to take a closer look at what data you are sharing then. Do you or your kids take “selfies” that aren’t meant to be shared publicly? And what about the fact that every Thursday at 3pm you go out for a walk around the neighborhood? Or better yet, that you are steadily buying Bitcoin in hopes to never own fiat money ever again?
The government doesn’t have any boundaries when it comes to your online privacy. The data you send online. Your recorded locations. When you do things. They have it. And the fact that they have it directly violates your Fourth Amendment. Because when you think about it, what is your property? It is something that you paid for or was given to you. Does it have to be physical? HECK NO!! The dollars that I own are in a bank, but most currency is not actually printed. It resides in a database kept up by the banks and Federal Reserve (aka Digital Money). So why should my data be any different?
I own my phone and I pay for my phone plan. So anything that is done with my phone (whether calling or texting or traveling) should be my data. I own my location, my messages, my phone calls, my pictures, my posts on social media, etc. If anyone steals any of this data, they can go to jail for stalking my device. So why should the government not face the same consequences? The checks and balances are lacking in my opinion.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Ever since September 11, 2001, America has taken it upon themselves to know everything about everyone. They do this to score you as a threat against this great nation. Everybody. But as the old saying goes, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. While we may feel safer that terrorists will most likely not crash into large building, it comes at a cost. Right now, this very second, the US government can track everywhere you phone goes. They can hack into your cameras. They can know who you talk to, when you talk to them, and what you talk about. And in Edward Snowden’s latest book Permanent Record, Chapter 25 describes that employees of the NSA would find pictures and videos of nude people and show other coworkers. They would also stalk love interests before even meeting them (similar to Facebook stalking, but without limit).
As gruesome as that sounds, the worst part about it is that the government can keep tabs on literally everyone. If they want to find you, they will. They want that power. They want that power to “keep the nation safe”. But I ask you this: AT WHAT COST? If anyone can get in trouble for not completely submitted to the government’s will, then what chance is there to ever mitigate its power? Its interest is selfish, and the citizens pay the ultimate price.
Think About It
They can better target young male and female candidates for the military. For the intelligence agencies. For the special forces. Yet, what about the American dream? What about free will? Should we just let the government target who they want and what they want AND get their way? It comes down to this. America will stop at nothing to get what they want. For its own selfish benefit all in the name of “protection”.
What can I do about it?
Hit them where it hurts. Their wallets! The Federal Reserve is the main reason this invasion of your Fourth Amendment even exists. If they can keep printing or adding to their database of money, then they will have opportunity to fund such programs. People in the government don’t work for free! So one way would be to buy Bitcoin. It is not controlled by any person or government. There is a hard limit of the number of Bitcoins that exist. 21 million to be exact.
I have also just bought a combo pack of Ledger Nano X and a Ledger Nano S so that I can BE MY OWN BANK. Let’s face it. You don’t own your money. The bank and the government does. It’s fiat! They can print more and deflate the price of it anytime they want. But now you can secure your finite digital assets with a Digital Wallet. These store your private keys for long term storage on the Blockchain. And if it ever gets lost or stolen, you have a 24-word password which can reestablish funds on any wallet (I recommend you keep this in multiple different places). But even if your wallet is stolen, they would have to get past a passphrase which protects your wallet. And you can also transfer from your previous lost wallet to a new wallet if you want to extra safe.
You can also keep cryptocurrencies on an Exchange (which is where you have to get them first anyways), or an Interest Account (Bitcoin @ 6% APY!!). But the safest long-term storage is always a hardware wallet. You own the keys, and nobody else can get to it! How’s that for standing by your Fourth Amendment?
Data & Privacy
Use secure messaging apps like Signal so that not even the app creators know what you are discussing, let alone the government. There is a Brave Browser, which touts security and privacy. It runs on chromium so that everything that works in Google Chrome works on it just the same. Another benefit is that it also blocks ads by default! Furthermore, use a secure search engine like DuckDuckGo so that your searches are private and encrypted. You can go into the settings to set it as your primary search engine. They also have an extension for the Brave Browser to show just how much you are being tracked by the sites you visit!
Overall, nothing changes until YOU do something about it! Yes, you need many people to start a movement. But without you being apart of that movement, there is no push. If you won’t, your friends won’t. And their friends and families won’t, and so on. Take time to contemplate if this really means something to you. Because I can already tell you now that if companies and government continue to own your data, you will keep giving them infinitely more power over you. Stay private. And secure your future by protecting your Fourth Amendment!
**The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.