Here is a 1979 case that is highly relevant to the current metadata-gathering sensation:
Here is a link that might be useful: much ado about non-invasion of privacy?
Thanks for the link to Smith v. Maryland. The court opinion more or less enforced my basic understanding of privacy law.
I'm going to reserve my opinion on NSA abuses until the subject has been further examined. I've known that phone companies have for decades kept records of numbers called and call duration. I don't know how long these records were kept. but they were always subject to subpoena. If the records can be used for national security they should be preserved. I suppose the government could have passed a law to compel private companies to keep and protect the records for some appropriate length of time (10 years?). It could be that government acted to merely preserve the records rather than rely on the private storage. I don't think I would have a problem with that if additional cause must be shown to the court before the records are examined. The full truth of the matter could be something different; government does sometimes overstep it's authority and infringe individual rights.
Government has a motive to hide abuses. And there are political factions that have a motive to create a sandal where none exists. I'll try to keep these motives in mind as more information becomes available.
This commenter thinks that smith vs maryland is flawed and will be overturned. He favors Rand Paul's interpretation of the fourth amendment.
Here is a link that might be useful: resisting the Crown power.
Wacko birds? I now am certain that I will never bother to read anything from this "journalist"(???) again. When you think that is appropriate and unbiased you are missing something and that something is credibility.
I really have had it with the continuous and unfunny snarks, vile language and uncivil name calling. It should be outgrown in junior high school. You might be able to get away with it if you are just commenting on an article but when there is the opportunity, I would report such a comment as trolling. For a so called journalist, it just shows how poor his reporting really is. He deserves no attention. Neither does the site that allows him to post such drivel.
I don't who or what you are talking about.
I am trying to have a detached discussion about a very important issue: how intrusive should government agencies be? This is largely determined by courts based on precedence, IOW, how have earlier high courts interpreted the Constitution in regard to specific contexts?
So rather dull (and unknown to the general public) things like Smith vs Maryland will ultimately determine the outcome of a very sensational issue.