Why you should worry about the NSA

Ricahrd A. Clarke writes: None of us want another terrorist attack in the United States. Equally, most of us have nothing to hide from the federal government, which already has so many ways of knowing about us. And we know that the just-revealed National Security Agency program does not actually listen to our calls; it uses the phone numbers, frequency, length and times of the calls for data-mining.

So, why is it that many Americans, including me, are so upset with the Obama administration gathering up telephone records?

My concerns are twofold. First, the law under which President George W. Bush and now President Obama have acted was not intended to give the government records of all telephone calls. If that had been the intent, the law would have said that. It didn’t. Rather, the law envisioned the administration coming to a special court on a case-by-case basis to explain why it needed to have specific records.

I am troubled by the precedent of stretching a law on domestic surveillance almost to the breaking point. On issues so fundamental to our civil liberties, elected leaders should not be so needlessly secretive.

The argument that this sweeping search must be kept secret from the terrorists is laughable. Terrorists already assume this sort of thing is being done. Only law-abiding American citizens were blissfully ignorant of what their government was doing. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “Why you should worry about the NSA

  1. hquain

    How hard is to predict how the info apparatus will be abused?

    The Republicans, when they regain the executive, will use it against the Democrats to gain and hold on to political power.

    Under both Republicans and Democrats, it will be used to suppress various forms of internal dissent.

    Why? Because that’s what’s always happened with whatever discretionary powers have been around at the time. The great thing about ‘back to the future’ is that we know what the ‘back’ was.

  2. eugene

    The problem of “most of us have anything to hide” is we don’t know what they’re looking for or when what they’re looking for begins to include us. Long ago, I realized Americans have way too much belief in the “good of our government”. Lying, manipulation and doing as they please is the norm. There is minimal, if any, consideration for the nation or the people in it. Personal agendas rule. The game is to convince Americans the personal agenda is “good, right and in our best interest”.

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