|Edward Snowden. Photograph: The Guardian
Learn that name. He will become a hero to many and the most wanted man by others, all for speaking the truth.
When did we become a society so afraid that we cannot stand to hear what our government is doing?
The founders of our country did so because of the tyranny of a government over the people. When they decided to form a more perfect union the
y did so by limiting the powers of that government. That a government of, for, and by the people must be at the mercy of the people.
Our forefathers wrote the Bill of Rights to keep government the humble gathering of public servants it should be. When more tyranny came apparent we passed more amendments to give more freedom and rights to more people. They are now being taken away.
The circle is complete.
The NSA/FISA loop makes it impossible to oversee. NSA sucks up all info on everyone and anyone they can. NSA asks FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) for approval, they grant it, NSA collects. FISC and NSA wants info from you by getting an order to give it that does not allow you to share that the order exists. You can go to jail for telling a lawyer you received such a letter making it impossible to fight. If you are deemed a “suspect” by anyone working for NSA have immediate access to all that saved info. Everything you have done by phone or online for the last 7 years.
No checks. No balance.
The FISC has denied 10 of 15,000+ applications (0.07%) that it received since 2001. (Link to annual FISA reports
) Members of Congress, briefed in secret to the point where no notes can be taken, are not experts at surveillance or computers cannot research on their own. They have no way of knowing if NSA is honest. The government tells the people it has kept us safe by means you don’t know about from attacks it cannot discuss by people it cannot name.
I prevented you from being assaulted yesterday. I cannot tell you how I prevented it or who was going to assault you or why it was going to happen but believe me it happened. I have access to all your information so I can keep protecting you from them. Oh don’t worry I can’t use it wrongly because there is this other guy I have to check with when I use it who I pay to do these checks. By the way, you pay me to keep doing this for you.
The difference is 9-11
Everyone says the world has changed since 9-11. We can never go back to the way things were. Tell that to the greatest generation who witnessed Pearl Harbor. The war ended, and we stopped doing the wrongs we did to our Japanese citizens that we put into internment camps. We forgave the German people for the acts of a select few. We returned to the free society we had before the war.
We must do the same now. The actions of our government, no matter how they interpret the laws passed by themselves, must abide by the Constitution. These actions violate the fundamental rights our government was founded on.
If not for freedom from our Government, freedom from other Governments.
If you believe the government’s line that they are not hovering up US citizen’s internet just foreign entities traffic. That means it is OK for other governments to do the same to us. Who is to stop China or Russia or Iran from hovering up foreign people’s information, like US citizens? If all this information is being collected by one government, it can be collected by all governments. What the US government has done is set precedent.
If you don’t want China to read your email you must also stop the US from reading it.