Obama On NSA Spying: "I Would Be Concerned Too, If I Weren't Inside The Government"The President's proposals do not really change the fundamental problem with the program; surveillance is being conducted on U.S. citizens without warrants or probable cause. Further, "incidental collection," data collected on other than the primary target, is being used to launch other investigations.
In what is as close to saying 'trust us, we're from the government,' as it gets; President Obama's traitor-identifying, blame-pointing, cover-your-assing speech on Friday has done nothing to end the supposedly "critical NSA counter-terrorism tool," from being used on American citizens.
What should be done? The issue is that we need to spy on foreigners as part of maintaining national security. However, because the likes of Al-Qaeda have learned good operational security, the national security apparatus finds it convenient to collect information from American telecomms and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). But it is the nature of computer systems that it is harder to delete information than it is to retain it. Once a private citizen's information is in the system, even if unrelated to terrorism, court order or secret actions by law enforcement can cause it to be retrieved. Further, given the way the IRS scandal has gone down, how can we be sure that this information won't be used for political repression? Oh yeah, the President is just so darned smart and dedicated; maybe he should just be President for life, because no one else will protect our rights like he does.
But I digress. These programs have to be shut down until there is both oversight and technical means to ensure that incidental collections and unauthorized collections are not happening or are deleted when they do. We will have to fund an independent judiciary that has the technical means to do so and have periodic reviews, to the Supreme Court if necessary.
These programs didn't prevent the Boston Marathon bombing, so their efficacy is in doubt. Their damage to liberty is not.
What You Should Be Reading:
- Dean shows that any conservative blogger has a better grasp on the U.S. Constitution than Barack Obama as the President creates a new branch of government Big Business. Happy with that, 99%ers?
- Best headline on the latest Filner saga: Filner Magically Cured Of The Pervs In Less Than Two Weeks at RedState.
- IRS targets small businesses for under-reporting income based on comparing credit card receipts to overall sales.
- Is China doomed? I think so. ZeroHedge examines the debate. ZeroHedge has all sorts of information and perspective I don't see anywhere else, often spot on.