Two new posts from The Lion of the Left:
The Washington Post, thanks to Edward Snowden, is reporting the National Security Agency (N.S.A.) is collecting information on millions of Americans, who have committed no crime, and the people they are in contact with. The Post story reveals the N.S.A. is sucking up the contact lists on any email or Gmail account you may have. They are grabbing any contact lists you have through instant messaging. They even are collecting the emails cover page showing the subject matter of emails your receive and who sent them. This all comes on the heels of another story, again thanks to Mr. Snowden, which exposed the government has been creating dossiers and building profiles of Americans based on information they place on social media like Facebook and Twitter. If you combine these two reports, a picture emerges of a government agency run wild and out of control with no accountability...a government agency making its own rules and submitting them to a secret court which doesn't publish any of its findings. Thanks to Snowden's whistle blowing, we now know the government, controlled by a Democratic supposedly liberal president, has backdoors, or the full cooperation, in Google, Yahoo, Facebook Twitter and despite having broken no laws, and despite a little thing called the 4th amendment, you are being spied on daily by "your" government.
Spokespeople for the N.S.A...White House...Homeland Security...C.I.A...A.F.T...National Intelligence Chairman etc. rush to assure Americans the government is not listening to their phone calls or reading their email. They are just collecting "meta" data which doesn't represent a threat to privacy because it doesn't contain direct, personal information which would make it easy to identify whose privacy they are decimating. Thus, this is not a violation of the 4th amendment. POPPYCOCK!
You would be better off if they were actually listening to your phone calls in real time. You can control what you say on the phone and how much information you wish to disseminate. You can control what is said to you and what questions are asked. However, with the data the N.S.A is gathering, they can construct a dossier about you more personal than any phone conversation or detailed email could provide.
If they have all topics of your in-box and out box, they know what subjects you are concerned about and everyone you are talking to or who is corresponding with you. Add to that their records of who you call and who calls you, as well as text messages to and from...add to that any location information they gather from your cell phone, On-Star-like device in y our car and insurance monitors like those being pushed by Progressive Insurance Co., your EZ pass to go across toll bridges or highways, and they essentially have everything. Despite the 4th amendment promising you will be secure in your person and papers...despite requiring probable cause to investigate you...despite laws which make this sort of domestic spying illegal...Snowden has now shown how those laws are paper tigers and we are being spied upon and investigated and followed at unprecedented levels.
They say it's only "meta" data. However, with everything they've got, they know if you are looking for a new job and your opinions about your current job and boss and projects you are working on...they know what medications you take (do you do your pharmacy shopping online?) and what doctors you see. Thus, they know your health or health concerns. (do you think any of this information would be of interest to your health insurance company or to a possible future boss?) The "meta" data will reveal if you are having an affair, same sex or otherwise. It will reveal if you are seeing a shrink and any kinky or alternative lifestyles which might interest you. The "meta" data will profile what bars you frequent, bookstores you visit, books you read, movies you see, anything you search for online from porn to popcorn. Are you politically active? Tea Party? Oddfellows? Do you dislike the government? How much? Who do you hang with? What do they think? Are you getting the picture?
Ironically, the N.S.A. knows what it's doing is problematic. (We know N.S.A. employees have used these resources to check on cheating spouses and who knows what else.) The N.S.A. knows they are prohibited from engaging in all this data mining in the U.S., the Washington Post reports again thanks to Mr. Snowden, so the N.S.A. uses foreign servers to access all this "meta" data. By using Indian, Sri Lankan or Indonesian servers, they skirt the letter of American law and the 4th amendment, while raping its spirit.
If all this were not troubling enough, the fact this story got almost no national attention...the fact these kinds of revelations are being treated as everyday occurrences by both the corporate media and the American people...the fact Americans are blithely rolling over and playing dead in the face of this assault on their privacy...the fact the powers that be are counting on just such a happenstance...adds up to more and more mining and spying and destroying your privacy and destroying a key element of the Bill of Rights, all to keep you safe and protected from those terrible terrorists just lurking offshore waiting to do you harm. Just remember all of this is no big deal because it's only "meta" data.