Bill introduced to Extend Fourth Amendment (would protect Bitcoin)

NOTE: It will also be interesting to see if this
legislation raises any debate about Bitcoin.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced legislation that seeks to extend Fourth Amendment protection to electronic communications, which if successful would be a major move to protect online privacy.

This comes after it was revealed that both the IRS and the FBI claimed they did not need a warrant to spy on the electronic communications of Americans.

However, some might be skeptical given Paul’s much-criticized apparent flip-flop on the drone issue.


Nonetheless, Paul has made some much needed statements about the lack of protection given to the private electronic communications of the American people.

“In today’s high-tech world, we must ensure that all forms of communication are protected,” Paul said in a press release. “Yet government has eroded protecting the Fourth Amendment over the past few decades, especially when applied to electronic communications and third party providers.”

The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect the American people from unreasonable search and seizure, though that has been undermined quite a bit.

The Fourth Amendment usually requires warrants to be issued based on probable cause, but that too has been increasingly eroded under the guise of fighting terrorism.

“Congress has passed a variety of laws that decimate our Fourth Amendment protections,” Paul said. “In effect, it means that Americans can only count on Fourth Amendment protections if they don’t use email, cellphones, the Internet, credit cards, libraries, banks or other forms of modern finance and communications.”

Paul’s legislation, the Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act, or S. 1037, would require law enforcement to obtain warrants when seeking access to personal data online including emails, chat logs, online banking records and more.

image39“Basic constitutional rights should not be invalidated by carrying out basic, day-to-day functions in a technologically advanced world, and this bill will provide much needed clarity and reassert Fourth Amendment protections for records held by third parties,” he said.

As WebProNews points out, Paul’s legislation was introduced only a month after the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2013, introduced Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Unlike Leahy’s bill, however, Paul’s bill would ensure all online data held by third parties is protected by the Fourth Amendment,” according to Zach Walton of WebProNews.

This type of reform seems to be gaining steam, with Attorney General Eric Holder even supporting an update of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation noted on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Paul also introduced the Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2013, a bill that aims to “protect an individual’s right to privacy against unwarranted governmental intrusion through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones.”

Such legislation seems to be increasingly palatable in Washington, at least to a degree, and has gained traction in state legislatures around the nation.

It will be interesting to see how these bills fare in a climate that remains hostile to limiting government power.

I’d love to hear your opinion, take a look at your story tips and even your original writing if you would like to get it published. Please email me at


This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM – 9 PM PT/10 PM – 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at

Ten years ago, on Oct. 26, 2001, President George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act. Congress overwhelmingly passed the law only weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks since it was designed to give the FBI more power to collect information in cases that involve national securityBut in the decade since then, civil liberties groups have raised concerns about whether the Patriot Act goes too far by scooping up too much data and violating people’s rights to privacy. The Patriot Act made it easier for authorities to demand records from Internet service providers and even more recently without the subject in question even being investigated on charges of terrorism!

  • Many argue that they are good citizens, with nothing to hide…SLAP! This isn’t about someone reading about how you chugged down half a pizza on the weekend, or how you chatted a girl into going out with you. Some people WORK on the internet, they bank online, bet on the stock market, share highly classified business files and even organize REVOLUTIONS! 
  • George Orwell warned of such a state in 1949 with the release of his book “1984”.In the dystopian and satirical novel society is tyrannized and dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes. The tyranny is headed by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their rule in the name of a supposed greater good or in our terms “national security”.

Google Glass hacked, could be used for spying

The advent of Google Glass – the Augmented reality, head-mounted display that looks like a pair of glasses (albeit a little more high-tech) and allows users to access information and record everything they see and hear – has people worried about their privacy.

So far, only developers and certain consumers who were admitted into the early adopter program have had the chance to test the device, and among them is technology consultant and Android hacker Jay “saurik” Freeman, who discovered that hacking Google Glass (the “Glass Explorer Edition”) and using it to spy on the wearer is not that difficult for those who know what they are doing and have physical access to the device.

According to a very long post in which he explained the technical details of how to do it, he showed that a number of things conspired to make the device vulnerable and “rootable.” In short, a malicious individual can easily put the device into Debug Mode using the Settings panel and then use adb access and an exploit to get root access to it.

“Once the attacker has root on your Glass, they have much more power than if they had access to your phone or even your computer: they have control over a camera and a microphone that are attached to your head. A bugged Glass doesn’t just watch your every move: it watches everything you are looking at (intentionally or furtively) and hears everything you do,” he writes. “The only thing it doesn’t know are your thoughts.”

He also pointed out that Glass can record the passwords, PINs, door codes and other similar things the user types or writes by hand.

In the wake of the post, a Google engineer commented that they intentionally left the device unlocked so that testers could “play” with it and hack it, and another took umbrage at Freeman’s reference to “rooting” the device, pointing out that “It’s not rooting if they let you do it on purpose!”

Freeman responded that “as long as engineers, advocates, and officers from Google make statements like these without carefully looking into the facts first, it will not be possible to have any kind of reasonable and informed discussion about this system.”

“The doors that Google is attempting to open with Glass are simply too large, and the effects too wide-reaching, for these kinds of off-the-cuff statements to be allowed to dominate the discussion,” he pointed out, and added a few ideas on how to solve some of the problems that he perceived with the device and its use.

“We recognize the importance of building device-specific protections, and we’re experimenting with solutions as we work to make Glass more broadly available. It’s also important to understand that Glass doesn’t access many parts of a Google Account, including settings or many products. And your personal MyGlass site allows you to change the content that you see on Glass or, if you misplace it, wipe all the data off your device,” Google officially commented.

To be fair, this version of Glass is surely not the one that will end up in production and on the nose of consumers. That’s why they have the testing program, so that any potential problem might be solved beforehand.

Is Bitcoin Money?

Max Keiser
Huffington Post

Since Bitcoin is now a $400 million market, with its pricehitting new all-time highs, now might be good time to ask, is bitcoin money?

According to Aristotle, for something to be considered money, is has to fulfill four characteristics:

1) It must be durable. It can’t fade, corrode.

2) It must be portable. It has to be ‘dense’ so that you can take it with you when you travel to the market.

3) It must be divisible or, ‘fungible.’ This means that if you break it up into smaller pieces each smaller piece when you add them up will equal the value of the original piece.

4) It must have intrinsic value. This means it must have value whether or not it’s used as money per se.

Let’s look at these four characteristics and see if they apply to Bitcoin.

1) Durability.

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer, decentralized form of money; as durable as the Internet itself. Remember, the Internet or DARPA as it was originally called, was created as a fail-safe, global network with no ‘single point of failure.’ If one part goes down, data takes another route and nothing is lost. So on this point the answer is “Yes,” Bitcoin is durable.

2) Portability.

Bitcoin is probably the most portable money in the history of the world. I can download any amount onto a thumb drive and walk across any border without any problems. Or, I could commit to memory a line of code that I can then input into the network and save or spend Bitcoins. So on the point of portability, Bitcoin gets an Aristotelian “Yes.”

3) Fungibility.

Bitcoin is probably the most fungible currency ever created. You can break it down by 10,000 decimal places and trade it just as easily without it changing in value so on this point the answer is also “Yes.”

4) Intrinsic Value.

This is probably the characteristic that most people find difficult to comprehend. The intrinsic value of Bitcoin is very 21st century. If you think about it, what’s the one thing that has become extremely scarce over the past thirty years that has grown in desirability? Privacy.

Privacy is an age of universal email collection and spying, with millions of CCTV camera’s, and warrantless spying pervasive; privacy has become virtually non existent and therefore extremely scarce and desirable. Bitcoin can be a completely anonymous transaction that maintains the user’s privacy beyond the reach of any authority. So on this point too, the answer is “Yes,” Bitcoin fulfills Aristotle’s need for having intrinsic value. Privacy is a desirable human right and people would want it even if it wasn’t encoded as Bitcoins.

In conclusion, using Aristotle’s four characteristics of money, Bitcoin fulfills all four. So then according to an Aristotelian definition, the answer is ‘Yes.’ Bitcoin is money.

 Recent Post by Max Keiser at the Huffington Post: 

Follow Max Keiser on Twitter: OpenSource No-TakeDown 3D Printing Search Engine.

Changing the World,
One Search,
One Download at a Time.

DEFCAD Search. In 30 days.
Please fund at

FORBES: 3D-Printable Gun Project Announces Plans For A For-Profit Search Engine Startup

Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff
3/11/2013 @ 10:56AM |8,028 views

For the last six months, Cody Wilson and his non-profit group Defense Distributed have worked towards a controversial goal: To make as many firearm components as possible into 3D-printable, downloadable files. Now they’re seeking to make those files searchable, too–and to make a profit while they’re at it.

In a talk at the South By Southwest conference in Austin, Texas Monday afternoon, Wilson plans to announce a new, for-profit spinoff of his gun-printing project that will serve as both a repository and search engine for CAD files aimed at allowing anyone to 3D-print gun parts in their own garage. Wilson says the startup, hosted at, will be a redesigned version of a website Defense Distributed already maintains at for uncensored printable gun component files. But Defcad, which launches next month, will also host its own search engine for all types of 3D printable files, displaying search results as rotatable and zoomable three-dimensional models on a single page.

Wilson says that the search startup plans to index all types of 3D-printable files–not just the firearm parts that have made his group the black sheep of the 3D printing community. But he hopes that Defcad’s track record of hosting models for some of the most controversial objects on the Internet will demonstrate to users that its search results won’t censor any blueprints, even ones for objects as politically incendiary as deadly weapons.

The Verge: Search engine for 3D printed gun parts launches in a month, promises Defense Distributed

By Carl Franzen on March 11, 2013 01:05 pm Email @carlfranzen

A new search engine for 3D printed gun parts and other patented objects is coming within a month, according to Austin-based organization Defense Distributed. The upcoming “” is set to be a new, improved version of of the organization’s current 3D file catalog, It will host paid advertising alongside search results to help pay for the organization’s growth, as founder Cody Wilson explained in an interview with Forbes’ Andy Greenberg. Wilson, a 24-year-old law student, is also due to reveal more details at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, this afternoon.

Defense Distributed released a video trailer for the new search engine this morning, in which Wilson provides a brief summary of the organization’s history and philosophy, highlighting the fact that 3D printer company Makerbot and its CEO Bre Prettis took down 3D printed gun files from Makerbot’s file catalog, Thingiverse, in December last year. In the trailer, Wilson promises “no takedowns,” on He also says, “Defcad stands against artificial scarcity, intellectual property, copyright, patentable objects, and regulation in all of its forms.”

The move comes on the heels of Defense Distributed’s recently published videos of successful test firings of new 3D printed automatic weapon parts, including a from-scratch high capacity AR magazine design it calls “Cuomo,” after New York State’s gun-control supporting Democratic governor, and a new AK magazine named after another gun control proponent, California’s Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein.

Google Dashboard: Will You Need a Warrant for That?


In yet another attempt to help folks feel that Google is a warm and friendly repository for all of their data, the company is offering a chance to see everything it knows about you all in one place called Google Dashboard. Except that much of this was already available before to people who viewed their web history on Google something I do when trying to grab maps that I look up often. But now the company has put this all in a Dashboard and made it easier for everyone to find it.



via Google Dashboard: Will You Need a Warrant for That? .



Obama Administration Embraces Bush Position on Warrantless Wiretapping and Secrecy

The Obama administration formally adopted the Bush administration’s position that the courts cannot judge the legality of the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) warrantless wiretapping program, filing a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA late Friday.

In Jewel v. NSA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is challenging the agency’s dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans. The Obama Justice Department claims in its motion that litigation over the wiretapping program would require the government to disclose privileged “state secrets.” These are essentially the same arguments made by the Bush administration three years ago in Hepting v. AT&T, EFF’s lawsuit against one of the telecom giants complicit in the NSA spying.

“President Obama promised the American people a new era of transparency, accountability, and respect for civil liberties,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. “But with the Obama Justice Department continuing the Bush administration’s cover-up of the National Security Agency’s dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans, and insisting that the much-publicized warrantless wiretapping program is still a ‘secret’ that cannot be reviewed by the courts, it feels like deja vu all over again.”