One of the still smoldering issues (at least for some of the more paranoid on the Right) in 2015 was the National Security Agency's metadata collection program. This was the program whereby computers culled through the phone numbers of billions of transactions a week to look for patterns that might be related to terrorist activity. A very useful tool that has little or no implications to the privacy of the average American. It is the same process used by the Post Office for the last 60 years to evaluate patterns in mail fraud by reading the outside of envelopes. The NSA's metadata program was the 21st century version of reading the outside of the envelope.
Of course Ted Cruz, et al have effectively hamstringed the NSA from providing this protection to our country with legislation passed last year which gutted the program. There is no constitutional basis for opposition to the metadata program, and that is why Senator Cruz and his gang of privacy crusaders decided on a legislative route instead of a challenge to the program in the courts. If it truly was illegal based on the constitution, then why not challenge it in the courts?
But I digress, retuning to the NSA's metadata program as an assault on the constitution, the Amendment most often sited by the privacy crusaders to support their position is the fourth. But the Fourth Amendment says that people have a right to be secure in their private papers, etc. Phone numbers are not private papers, or even owned as property by the individuals that use them. They are issued by the Federal Communications Commission to the service providers who in turn lease them to the customer. That is why one can not simply keep their phone number if they cancel service altogether, it gets reassigned to a new user.
The entire argument of the privacy crusaders seems so surreal and farcical. People who post every excruciatingly boring detail of their lives and thoughts, including information on their bowel movements, on social media; along with pictures of all the guns they own and them doing childish and scatological things to pictures of the president, are worried about the NSA collecting the 10 digits of the phone number they are currently using to do those things?
It seems my dear friends that we surely have entered the age of stupidity. What kind of reasonable person would trade their own safety, and the safety of their country, just to keep secret the ten digits in their phone number?