This is what we all need to realize. Power can metastasize from even the most well intentioned
ideas. Given that the government has basically become the plaything of the corporate elite and the
plutocracy, the omnipotent surveillance state can be used for outside groups and interests. Someone
appointed to a position could get information, and then resign a year later, becoming rewarded by
the interest groups that benefited.
What this means is more feds sitting in air-conditioned bunkers looking at various LCD screens of
video feeds from the drones they are using in a
continuously increasing "limited"
Anyway, I got the blockquote below from a fellow who lives in San Francisco named Marc Perkel, and
it was posted on bartcop.
Congress is asking the wrong questions. I think if they really want to know what’s going on
they would give Snowden immunity and bring him back and get him to tell Congress what’s
really going on. But short of that, here’s what I would be asking if I were on the committee.
We now know you are getting information for the cell phone companies and major IT companies like
Microsoft, Apple, and Google. Are you also getting information from the banks? And if you are,
are you accumulating a database of credit card purchases?
Do you have the ability to include NSA code into operating system updates that would create a
back door for the NSA
to collect keystrokes, activate the microphone or cameras, read the file system, or modify the
operating systems of
Windows and mac computers or Windows, iPhones and Android phones?
If you have an NSA back door into our computers and cell phones, what do you have in place to
prevent China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Anonymous, or Al Quada from discovering the back door?
If the NSA databases were hacked by China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Anonymous, or Al Quada,
what would the security implications be?
Since Edward Snowden had the access he had, what is the security implications for an evil
Snowden who was selling this information on the black market rather that trying to protect America
(rightly or wrongly) from itself?
With an operation this large did you have any reasonable expectation it would remain secret? If
not Snowden wasn’t it just a matter of time before we found out for someone else?
Wouldn’t it be better to give Snowden immunity and bring him back here rather than risk that he
be captured by an enemy and forced to reveal what he knows to an enemy?
Because the NSA has extracted this data and is keeping it outside the source companies, doesn’t
that increase the security risks and exposure of sensitive information?
Isn’t our position that there are 2 kinds of people in the world, Americans and foreigners, and
insult to 96% of the world’s population? Does this not cause them
to respect us less and have no respect for our privacy when we have no respect for theirs?
Does our spying set a world wide precedent whereby other countries will have the green light to
spy on us because we spy on them? Doesn’t this put the whole world at risk?
Assuming it was inevitable that this spying would eventually become public, doesn’t it put
America in greater danger by alienating the rest of the world
because we are spying on them? Isn’t this just the same argument as the torture argument, that
we increase the number of enemies more
than we prevent attacks? Isn’t this just going to be another terrorist recruiting tool?
When you tell us that you are lying to us for our own good then why should we believe anything
Don’t laws that undermine and nullify the constitution, even if it’s for our own safety, make us
a nation that is no longer under the rule of law?
That secret courts and secret warrants making secret law make us no longer America?
The secret NSA court orders require companies to lie to the public about what information they
are giving to the NSA. If these companies
tell the truth they are punished. What the government requires its citizens to lie and punishes
the truth, how is that not an Orwellian society?
What America lies to the world and we have secret courts that require citizens and corporations
to lie, doesn’t that weaken America as a world power?
Doesn’t that send a message to the world that we are not to be trusted?
Doesn’t the appearance that we are taking the same kind of steps that one would take towards
becoming an Orwellian society create at least
an apparent threat to the world and undermine our international relations?
With this kind of information is there not an opportunity for criminals, companies, or our
enemies to blackmail our elected officials?
For example, Senator Vitter is tracked using his smart phone GPS to 5 hotels. One could search
for all smart phones in his vicinity to determine
what women were with him at the same time and cross reference them based on how often these
women frequent hotels in these areas to
determine if he is seeing prostitutes again. And that this won’t be revealed as long as he
supports some cause – such as NSA spying? How do we know this isn’t already happening?
Doesn’t the NSA already effectively have a gun owner’s database? For example, if someone joins
the NRA with their credit card online, buys ammo
at Walmart with a debit card, and has his smart phone with GPS in his pocket while going to a
gun club or firing range, don’t we know that are a gun owner?
And because of their GPS phone, don’t we also know where they are so we can pick them up at any
If we see government misconduct, like we find a CIA torture camp, and we want to report it to th
press, doesn’t the fact that the NSA
has the news media’s phones and email tapped discourage whistle blowers from reporting things
that need to get out into the press to protect democracy? Doesn’t this threaten free speech?
Since this kind of technology can be used to create an Orwellian society, what safeguards do you
have to make sure that doesn’t happen? Have you considered this possibility and fully explored the
Taking all of the above questions into consideration, how do you repair the trust we should have
in our government and how to we assure the “foreigners” that we are going to respect their rights as
citizens of the planet?