Statement - Michael Kieschnick

April 20, 2006

As the president of Working Assets, a telephone company, it is my special privilege to facilitate communications among my fellow citizens, to enable conversations on matters personal, commercial, social and political. It is therefore my special obligation to oppose warrantless interference into those communications, whatever the government's justification may be.

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Protection from warrantless search and seizure is the fundamental right of all Americans, and the law is clear that wiretapping must be supported by a warrant. History shows us that when warrantless wiretapping is permitted, the government, under the guise of fighting crime, intercepts communications to further its own political purposes. Martin Luther King Jr. was the target of warrantless wiretapping. Opponents of the Viet Nam war were targets of warrantless wiretapping.

There is no justification for wiretapping without a warrant. Congress has given this Administration every weapon it has sought for fighting terrorism, including a 72 hour window for obtaining a warrant after wiretapping has occurred. As a telecommunications provider, as an American, as a father of children coming of age in today's America, I stand with the ACLU in calling upon our courts to do what this Administration has so dramatically failed to do: protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

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