Unfortunately there is only one way to avoid the NSA… get off the airwaves. The United States is under assault and it isn’t by terrorists, it’s by our own government, namely the NSA, IRS, FBI…
We learned in 2012 that the NSA has a program called Total Information Awareness (renamed to PRISM to keep Congress at bay) which aims to collect and sift through every electronic communication around the world with a heavy focus on breaking any possible encryption in use.
A couple of months ago we found out that the IRS feels free to read your emails without a warrant. In an IRS manual their Search Warrant Handbook it says “the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Maybe it should be renamed the No Search Warrant Handbook.
And now we discover that the NSA monitors who you call, who calls you, and how long you talk with absolutely no pretense of suspicions of crimes being committed, much less a warrant. What is the Obama administration’s answer to all this? Essentially, Who told on us? They’re starting an investigation to find out who let us know that our liberties are be trampled. Nice.
But it’s OK because it is all in the name of the proverbial War on Terror. (Don’t get me started on the definition of “Terror”. That’s another whole article.) TEST: Name the US President who said “… it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be [attributed to] danger, real or pretended, from abroad.” It sounds a little like Reagan with his libertarian bent, but Reagan was pre-9/11, before the War on Terror.
Actually is was James Madison (pre-NSA), our fourth president, writing to Thomas Jefferson (the third) in 1798 before either had actually been President. He was writing about the loss of liberties being proposed by the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 which was about to be passed by the Federalist controlled Congress and would be signed by the then current President John Adams.
These acts gave the President the right to deport any non citizen at will and made it a crime for citizens to speak ill of the government. This was no idle threat. People (Republicans of that day – political opponents of the Federalists) actually went to jail for criticizing the Administration.
Here is the complete quote from Madison:
The management of foreign relations appears to be the most susceptible of abuse, of all the trusts committed to a Government because they can be concealed or disclosed, or disclosed in such parts and at such times as will best suit particular views; and because the body of the people are less capable of judging and are more under the influence of prejudices, on that branch of their affairs, than of any other. Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.
How appropriate for today. The War on Terror excuses all loss of liberty. At least the Alien and Sedition Acts were laws which told people what liberties they were losing. With the Patriot Act it seems anything goes and it’s wrong for us to even talk about it. Vote Libertarian!