Disclosures by Edward Snowden, a contractor working at the NSA, the ultra-secretive National Security Agency, have revealed a grossly out of control surveillance system that spies on all Americans, even you, without probable cause, restraint or oversight.
Not only that, but companies you might have assumed are watching out for you as customers, companies like Verizon, AT&T, Facebook, Google and others, have been actively cooperating with the NSA and the FBI in violating your privacy without due process. These companies, the NSA and the FBI have lied to Americans about what it is they are doing. Every call and e-mail you make is catalogued by the NSA, in violation of the United States Constitution, state and federal law and due process.
These revelations have forced the government in general, and the NSA in particular, into an uncomfortable position. Obviously, they would have preferred to keep this information secret. The government has fiercely fought any attempt to even acknowledge the existence of these programs in court. Now that they can no longer control the flow of information, they have resorted to repeating the same talking points over and over again, in the hopes that people will believe they are true.
Gizmondo has a great summary of the top five dumbest defenses of the NSA’s outrageous spying program. The whole blog post is a great read, but here are the five defenses, which are completely untrue:
- The NSA has Stopped 54 Terrorist Attacks with Mass Spying
- Just Collecting Call Detail Records Isn’t a Big Deal
- There Have Been No Abuses of Power
- Invading Privacy is Okay Because It’s Done to Prevent Terrorist Attacks
- There’s Plenty of Oversight From Congress, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and Agency Watchdogs
This video, called Stop Watching Us, summarizes the deep invasions of our privacy and civil liberties by the NSA. This affects you, and every other American. What can you do? Support groups that fight back, such as the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- The NSA Files – The Guardian tracks the abuses of power by this out of control agency
- 65 Things We Know About NSA Surveillance We Didn’t Know a Year Ago – In case you really want to get the lowdown on what the NSA is up to; you might be shocked and unsettled, if you’re not already
- Spying On Americans – The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s efforts to fight back against out of control spying on innocent Americans, just like you
- The ACLU – because freedom cannot protect itself. The rights you have, you have because they were defended. Make a donation today
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation – fighting for our on-line rights against increasingly powerful forces bent on taking them away. Follow them, support their mision
- Fight For The Future – dedicated to beating back attempts to limit your basic rights and freedoms, and empower people to demand technology (and policy) that serves their interests