Federal agency ignores Fourth Amendment within 100 mile “constitution free zone”
Paul Joseph Watson
August 20, 2013
The Department of Homeland Security is to assume control of surveillance blimps used to monitor the US-Mexico border, a disconcerting development given that the federal agency considers all areas 100 miles inland of the border to be ‘constitution-free zones’ within which the Fourth Amendment does not apply.
DHS will now oversee the giant tethered blimps, used ostensibly to look out for drug smugglers, which are located in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
“Spokesman Bill Brooks of the Customs and Border Protection told the Yuma Sun that the department accepted the Aerostat system from the Air Force earlier this summer and will manage and maintain it for the foreseeable future,” reports the Arizona Daily Star.
While on the surface it appears that the blimps will merely be used for border security, the fact is that the DHS now considers any area within a 100 mile radius of the entire US border to be what the ACLU has described as a “constitution free zone.”
“According to legal precedent, the Fourth Amendment — the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures — does not apply along the border,” reports Wired. “By the way, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.”
As part of this usurpation of power, the DHS has announced that it has the right to examine electronic devices without a warrant in the name of “national security.”
Given the DHS’ complete disdain for the Fourth Amendment within this imaginary “constitution free” zone they have created, trusting the agency to operate sophisticated spy blimps within that same geographical area is a privacy disaster waiting to happen.
Police Departments across America are already attempting to secure permission from the FAA to deploy surveillance blimps to spy on “suspicious activity” and last year the US Army tested a football field-sized blimp over the city of New Jersey.
In a related story, the Pentagon also recently announced that it would permanently deploy two giant surveillance blimps over Washington DC and Baltimore as a replacement for ground-based radar systems used to detect “cruise missiles, high-speed attack boats, armed drones, planes, tanks, and trucks.”
Despite assurances that the aerostats would not be used to spy on the public, some have expressed concerns that the sheer size of the 238-feet drones would make it fairly easy to attach all kind surveillance devices to the blimps.
See a map of the “constitution-free zone” below.