By now, everyone knows about the NSA pulling phone records of American citizens for (what they say is) the purpose of fighting terrorism. The organisation explicitly went to Verizon and requested not some, but ALL of the metadata of phone calls made, to include the time, duration, location, destination, etc. I surmise that they couldn’t ask AT&T or T-Mobile, since their calls drop too much to be of any use (INSERT "BAZING" HERE).
People are going crazy. The administration is feverishly trying to explain why the programme is legal, and how they safeguarding for intruding on people’s privacy rights. I have not tuned in, but I imagine everyone at Fox News is having trouble delivering stories due to the multiple orgasms they are having that their wet dreams have come true. Sean Hannity is probably dead in a pool of his own love juice.
You know what? I’m mad as well. I am incensed, actually. Here’s why:
- Some of the same people who defended the Patriot Act, which pretty much paved the way for this PRISM programme, are the ones who are railing about this discovery.
- The whistleblower, Edward Snowden, is being demonised as a traitor who should be publicly hung. It is a little bit extreme. I highly doubt that revealing that the government is keeping tabs on everyone is going to cause harm by any of our political enemies. It’s an almost guarantee that Kim Jong Un is following this and saying, “Psh! Amateurs.”
- Snowden is also being idolised as some sort of privacy rights hero. That, too, is silly, because sure, he broke the law, but stop comparing him to freedom fighters of the past! He leaked info and ran away to another country! If he were so brave and staunch in his belief that this was an unjust programme, stand up and take the punishment that would ensue. How pathetic would Martin Luther King’s missives be if they were entitled “Letter from a Hong Kong Chalet”?
- Most everyone, including me, is doing more to be non-private that the government wouldn’t need to work that hard to spy on us. I’ve seen people post the most unimportant parts of their days (“Brushing mah teef!”) to some rather grave stuff. I’ve seen people put up stuff that was most definitely treasonous in nature, but now they’re all up in arms about the government examining them? Cry me a river.
- MOST ANNOYING: The US government has been tapping brown people’s phones since McCarthy, maybe even earlier. They spied on MLK, on Malcom X, and just recently they’ve been bugging mosques and perusing Muslim-run non-profits, all in the name of “national security”. Now all of a sudden, it comes out that the NSA got a little more diverse with their intrusions in our privacy and spread the Big Brother love to everybody, and NOW it’s a big deal? Give me a break!
No matter how democratic, every government is all about maintaining control and order. You can’t escape it unless you travel to an uninhabited island and start your own country, in which case YOU would eventually be the benevolent (or malevolent) overlord. Given the nature of humans, I just assume that every single government, no matter how “free” it is, is looking at what its citizens are doing. I learned this when I first attained a security clearance. They knew more about my past than I did. I’m all about privacy, but we’re fools if we think that we are immune to monitoring. We just need to make it interesting for our acronymed voyeurs. Sleep naked with a rainbow-coloured clown wig and matching merkin.