The Breaking NSA Scandal: Right to Privacy? What Right to Privacy?
It’s been a busy day, here at Observation Post Central. I’m starting to feel more and more like I need to go hide in my bunker.
This morning, I wrote a bit about the latest scandal to break; the handing over of millions of phone records by Verizon to the National Security Agency.
The NSA assures us they never actually listened in on the conversations, but that they have caught terrorists with this method.
So, how exactly did you catch terrorists by knowing who they called without actually knowing what was said? Suppose Terrorist A called Citizen B to invite him over for a party, in order to make him seem like a normal guy? Does that make Citizen B a terrorist by default?
I’ve heard it said that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court came into being under the Patriot Act, but all information I find points to its formation in 1978.
Regardless, it is a safe bet that if they are prying into the records of Verizon customers, they are almost certainly prying into AT&T and Sprint customers as well.
In addition, news stories said that this was started in April of 2013. It most likely has been going on at least the last 10 years, it was renewed back in April.
If the government is doing what is right, why do they feel the need to be so secretive?
What I wrote this morning was written while I was angry about the whole affair. I’m still angry, but there have been some new developments into domestic spying.
Let’s start with South Carolina Jackass Senator Lindsey Graham.
Graham clarified that under the law, “you just can’t track people’s phone calls,” and said there must be a reasonable belief that the people being surveilled are involved in terrorism.
Okay, so let me see if I have this straight. There must be a reasonable belief that the people being surveilled are involved in terrorism.
Are you saying, sir, that millions of Verizon customers are involved in terrorism? These were not a few records that were seized, these were everybody’s. These include records of calls to your stylist, your bookie, and in some cases things you would rather keep quiet, like calls to phone sex lines.
Hey, to each their own, but the government doesn’t need to track it.
“I don’t think you’re talking to the terrorists. I know you’re not. I know I’m not, so we don’t have anything to worry about,” he said. “I am glad that NSA is trying to find out what terrorists are up to overseas and inside the country.” [emphasis mine]
The Obama administration defended this outrage, claiming national security again.
To keep this nation secure and protect our people, we have to spy on you, your comings and goings, your phone calls, your private conversations.
Ever wonder why the government is pushing so hard for databases?
Gun registries. DNA registries. Fingerprint registries. Financial data registries. Bank registries. Health record registries. A registry of every phone call ever made.
The registries never end.
It’s more invasive and insidious than that, though.
The FBI wants all software makers to create back doors into their software so they can listen in any time they want.
Erstwhile and disgraced CIA director David Petraeus said, back in March of 2012, “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,”
In other words, every electronic device that has a wireless connection to the internet can be tapped by the government.
The Digital Age is an amazing thing, but it is contributing to the erosion of our civil liberties. If law enforcement or the government creates a toy that helps them monitor us, they always make devices designed to defeat them illegal.
It’s okay for them to spy on you, but it is illegal for you to protect your privacy.
Google hands over emails and private information on request, not even on a subpoena!
The bigger question is, where was the American media on this story? They have been asleep at the wheel for the last five years.
This story was broken by The Guardian in the UK!
Oh, that’s right. It was only the phone records of ordinary citizens, not journalists, so there is no reason for them to run with this story.
I guarantee this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is probably so much more that we don’t know about yet.
The mere fact that more and more people are becoming outraged over this should tell the government that they are doing something wrong. That they have forgotten that they serve us, and not the other way around.
There is a reason gun sales are at a record pace. There are a lot of people who recognize what’s going on.
As a friend of mine once said, our ancestors would be shooting by now.