Former Vice President Al Gore weighed in on the matter of National Security Agency surveillance programs on Friday, calling them a massive illegal undertaking that violate Americans’ constitutional rights.
“I quite understand the viewpoint that many have expressed that they are fine with it and they just want to be safe but that is not really the American way,” Gore said in a telephone interview with The Guardian. “Benjamin Franklin famously wrote that those who would give up essential liberty to try to gain some temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
“This in my view violates the constitution. The fourth amendment and the first amendment – and the fourth amendment language is crystal clear,” he added. “It is not acceptable to have a secret interpretation of a law that goes far beyond any reasonable reading of either the law or the constitution and then classify as top secret what the actual law is.”