I don’t need to join a movement or a mass protest, or wait until Thursday, to say what I want to say.
Give us back our Constitution. The time has come and gone when parents can honestly tell their children, “This is the United States of America. They wouldn’t do that here.”
I refer to NSA’s highly publicized domestic trawling of virtually all of our cell phone, email and yes, even internet “meta-data.” What I have to say has nothing to do with that Snowden person.
Excerpted from “Mass protests planned over web NSA spying revelations” on BBC News:
Some of the web’s biggest names have backed mass protests over internet surveillance carried out by the US National Security Agency (NSA).
The Restore the Fourth movement – referring to the US constitution’s fourth amendment – said it wants to end “unconstitutional surveillance”.
Reddit, Mozilla and WordPress are among the big web names backing the action, due to take place on Thursday.
Almost 100 events have been planned across the US.
The site quotes a line from the fourth amendment which pledges “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures”.
Many of us would say, in all apparent reasonableness, “At least they’re not wiretapping. They still need a warrant for that.” What almost no one seems to understand is that there’s exponentially more hard intelligence in meta-data than in intercepted voice conversations containing code-words and polite invitations to Sunday church picnics.
I invite any of you with ten or twenty spare minutes to see what can really be done with meta-data. Here is the link to an amusing yet highly informative paper entitled “Finding Paul Revere.” Once you read it, you will never, ever forget it. Heuristics algorithms can instantly do what voice collection could never accomplish. From a collection of 1,778 snippets of “meta-data,” that criminally dangerous rogue and threat to the Crown, one Massachusetts silversmith Paul Revere, has finally been located. The KGB would have killed for this technology, if you’ll pardon the expression.
I have nothing to hide, and you no doubt don’t either, so what’s the big deal?
I’d have had far less of a problem with the extraordinary security measures our government is taking, except for the fact that our government tried so hard to conceal it from us, stamping information the media released a decade ago as TOP SECRET. We knew what they were doing, or should have; what nobody could believe would happen is the scope of invasiveness and secrecy we now learn we have today.
We have to at least ask ourselves: unchecked, what kind of government are we going to have in 30 years? What kind do we want?
Several US congresspeople and security officials have branded recent disclosures as treason, some even calling for the death penalty, “for revealing state secrets which aid and abet the enemy.” Ingenuous twaddle.
In this case, the “enemy” the government tried so hard to keep this information from, is us.
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