Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The NSA is out of control and must be stopped

End the nightmare of mass surveillance now


The National Security Agency is breaking trust in democracy by breaking trust in the internet. Every day, the NSA records the lives of millions of Americans and countless foreigners, collecting staggering amounts of information about who they know, where they've been, and what they've done. Its surveillance programs have been kept secret from the public they allegedly serve and protect. The agency operates the most sophisticated, effective, and secretive surveillance apparatus in history.

Recent disclosures about the intelligence gathering activities of the NSA, and the ensuing federal response, have demonstrated that the agency is a rogue state — unaccountable and out of control. Intelligence community leaders have openly lied to elected officials and the public about the nature and extent of the agency’s data collection efforts. And despite their respective responsibility in carefully overseeing intelligence agencies, President Obama and Congress have shown no credibility as custodians of the NSA. So far, Congress has shown far less tolerance for baseball players allegedly lying about personal steroid use than military leaders lying about surveillance programs that undermine the bill of rights.

"Congress has shown it cares more about baseball players lying about steroids than the NSA lying about spying"

After more than a decade of legal adventurism, secret presidential orders, and deceptive wordplay, policymakers and intelligence officials have erected a surveillance apparatus that can track the location of hundreds of millions of people, collect the phone records of the entire nation, and tap into the very backbone of the internet. Every day, the NSA collects millions of electronic records belonging to people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing. It may even know what you’re up to in World of Warcraft, because the bad guys are apparently slaying dragons while they plot terror attacks.

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