Over the last several months, there has been a lot of attention focused on privacy issues, mainly surrounding the Obama administration, but how are our Republican politicians doing when it comes to privacy? Not as well as you might think.
The Fourth Amendment guarantees our right to privacy and South Mississippi’s Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-4) claims to be a supporter. His website reads, “Any retreat or surrender of our liberties is a subversion of the Constitution and the principles established by the founders of our nation.” That’s a notion most conservatives can stand by, but does Palazzo stand by it? The Congressman has had several chances to prove he does, but often comes up short.
In last year’s Congress, Rep. Thomas Massie introduced an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act that would limit the use of funds for warrantless searches on U.S. citizens. Palazzo did not agree with this measure, voting NO in the open roll call.
Another chance for Palazzo to show he respects the Constitution and the rights of his constituents was with Rep. Justin Amash’s amendment to re-affirm the Fourth Amendment and expand its powers to the online world. Mr. Palazzo voted NO.
Palazzo voted YES to a security act designed to increase the amount of private information companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon share with the government. Washington based conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks said, “The privacy loopholes in this bill turn it from a ‘cybersecurity’ bill to a ‘cybersurveillance’ bill.”
And then there is this year’s, now infamous, ISP vote. Palazzo sided with establishment Republicans to allow Internet Service Providers to sell customers’ personal data and browsing histories to advertisers. You’d be hard pressed to find an American citizen that wanted this bill to pass, yet it breezed through the House and Senate; perhaps the massive amounts of campaign donations had a thing or two to do with this. According to FollowTheMoney.org, Palazzo received donations totaling over $11,000 from the telecom industry in the last election cycle.
Congressman Steven Palazzo says he is all for protecting our liberties, but he seems to do all he can to strip us of them with his votes.
E. Brian Rose is a successful entrepreneur and conservative commentator. He is currently a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District.