Snowden's latest leak reveals details about the NSA's XKeyscore project, which allows analysts to search through vast databases of individuals' email, chat, and browsing histories WITHOUT A WARRANT. If this isn't going too far, I'm not sure what is. At any given moment, an analyst can seemingly pull up ALL of a person's personal Internet history simply by entering their name, email, or IP address. It doesn't take a rocket science or political scholar to realize that this very blatantly violates U.S. Citizens' Constitutional rights.
"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely," as Lord Acton said. And I believe that information is the most potent form of power in the modern world. Not to mention that the various NSA programs violate the spirit - if not the letter - of the law as written in Amendment IV of the Bill of Rights:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause..."
Warrantless seizure of information (and simply collecting and storing qualifies) is at the heart of these programs. The biggest danger is that access to this information allows them to easily track and ultimately repress political opposition. Basically every ruler in world history has sought to repress opposition to whatever extent was politically feasible. It's only reasonable to do so. I expect we will see that in the U.S. Too (we already do, as Obama reneges on his promises of "transparency" and "supporting whistle-blowers" with every opportunity presented to his administration). The power this information offers to a government is frightening, especially given how past governments have viewed dissent in world history. Under Stalin, the Soviets prosecuted any political opposition (as common criminal - they drew no distinction between political and social "crimes"). But citizens weren't just prosecuted for real (or fabricated, as it were) crimes against the state; they were also prosecuted for suspicion of crimes against the state and even COMMUNICATING with people suspected of crimes against the state.
With access to the online life of every citizen there is not one of us who is immune to being charged with some crime or another, or being blackmailed for some embarrassment or another. Anything can be taken out of context and present as evidence. Is that scenario hyperbolic? Hopefully. But do we hold our government officials in such high esteem that we believe they wouldn't engage in unethical behavior??
Every oppressive regime in history has used the "for your protection" card. Plato talked about it 2500 years ago; surely we are not so stupid as buy that crap. How many Americans have died due to terrorists? 3000 in the last 10 years. More people fatally drown in a pool in the average year. And for this great "threat" we are going to strip bare the foundations of this republic? Strip citizens of liberty?
As Solzhenitsyn (who knew a thing or two about political oppression) said: "If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?" I fear the NSA far more than a jihadist.
If it didn't cost so damn much to run these programs that safeguard us, and the information was truly only looked at after a court order, it MIGHT be acceptable. Unfortunately, there's so much legally, morally, and ethically wrong with what the NSA is current doing to the American people. Continuing too deep down the rabbit hole you'll find you can justify ANYTHING under the guise of national security.
Yes, the NSA program takes surveillance too far, because there is no good reason for the government to be collecting all of that information about ordinary citizens. The vast majority of terrorists can be profiled. There are too many people in the United States to consider us all suspects, just because we eat and breathe.
To most people, the government's surveillance of people through the NSA is too much. The agency has gone way too far in spying on Americans in public and on the Internet. We need to stand up for our rights and fight back against these injustices. Otherwise, the infringement of our rights will get worse.
1. All online activity stored including content.
2. Stored by the government who "promises" that they will not look at the internal content.
3. Might as well have them put a video camera in every house collect that data and "promise" not to look at it lest you are a terrorist.
Bad bad bad bad.......Maybe not today, but with the precedence set.....Someday bad bad bad bad.
The government have been invading our privacy and literally looking into the lives of every person in the civilized world. But what do we get when we ask what they are up to? Well let's look at one of the biggest cover ups, and that is Alien encounters with the US Government. Despite the thousands of sightings and the obvious proof of extra-terrestrial contact with the US authorities, they still fail to come out with the truth, and cover it up with pathetic little alibi's like "it was a weather balloon" (that was a real excuse!). We give our government everything we can and we get nothing but a squabbling bunch of money drinking buttheads.
Once we lose our basic fundamental rights, such as our identity and security, we've lost it all. Once we've lost our right to a fair trial, regardless how guilty we appear, the whole country has lost their freedoms too. Once we lose freedom of speech and journalism, such as with Rolling Stone, then who controls our media? Our federal and state government was built for a reason, it allows us to overthrow an oppressive government. Let's save our rights while we can!
People who have something to hide would hate this.It just one hell of life.I find it pretty cool,it's just to bad the Government isn't open with their people of the Nation only when something goes "bad".I feel whats good for the Goose is Good For The Gander.So Government whats under your dress?
Saying it out loud freaks me out. "The Government is spying on everybody." What. The. Heck. That is beyond crazy. And to even begin to think that people are okay with that makes me beyond crazy. I mean, what are we, taking crazy pills again?
Of course it has gone too far. It went to far a while back. The fact that they had no plans to unveil the program anytime soon makes it even worse. It makes me second guess my Government, even more than I do now.
Looking for a terrorist on the internet or on a text message is one thing I can't understand. What is he going to text his buddy "Going to bomb the UN at 5, lol, wanna come?". I mean come on. Even if somehow, someway, among the millions of millions of messages he was saying something like that, is there no better way to single out one or at the most ten guys? It is insane, I mean they must be as mad as a march hare to even begin to rationalize that thought. It can't be rationalized. Thus, it must be irrational.
That leads me to believe that the all-too-commonplace term "terrorist" is being used again as a red herring. Now is the time to second guess and keep an eye out because I can't even trust the government with this very text, which I should be free to post without big brother spying on me.
If the Government was tapping into your stuff, there would be a problem. The thing is, they aren't. NO nobody is reading your emails. The NSA controls PRISM, they use it to find data from abroad sources. The NSA doesn't govern internal information. If the CIA controlled PRISM, that'd be an issue. Can the NSA view your stuff? Yes, but only if it's needed to complete they're external mission (like if a terrorist group was communicating, and the NSA needed information from a group member living in the USA to complete their mission) but only if the court lets them. They need a warrant, just like Police. If it's constitutional for the Police to view your stuff with a warrant, than it's constitutional for the NSA to view the same stuff with a warrant.
I believe if a person has nothing to hide then the government surveillance shouldn't be a huge issue. I do think the government lying about their spying and their intentions is a problem. If the government spying on my family keeps an entire country safe then I have no problem with it at all. I welcome them into my home. But I wish they would be more truthful about doing it and the reasons behind it.
On a kneejerk level, I want to say that yes, the government has gone too far with survelliance this time. But see, the problem is that I know a little bit -- probably a lot less than Snowden ever would -- about the National Security Agency. They're the good guys. I have to believe that they have been doing this to protect us.
My PC has a kill switch built in. How can the NSA be intelligent enough to mapped and track all illegal online activities effectively? Sheesh, they can't even solve global poverty or unemployment. Do you really thing this program is to harm you in anyway? !
This program is for creating unnecessary jobs and helping the poor to get over themselves. Is a way of life. Just like ordering a chicken and nailing it on your farm afterwards!
Relax.....And enjoy the benefits.