I don’t give a rat’s ass damn why Edward Snowden blew the whistle–whether he’s a spy, a patriot or a nut.
What I do care about: I have been classified a criminal.
And so have you.
Our government feels it is equally important to collect information on you, me and Al Qaida.
On September 12th, 2001, Americans agreed with an array of security measures in order to feel safe again. So now the government bugs reporters’ phones. I don’t remember agreeing to intimidation of a free press.
Parents of a deceased Navy Seal who have questioned the circumstances of his death, have reason to believe their phone has been surveilled. I didn’t agree to harass grieving parents.
Think of it. Who you called, when, and for how long. Maybe even what you said. Your photos, your documents, your messages, purchases, bank and credit card transactions, your geographic location. What you surfed on the web. Information all gathered without rationale, without showing a judge probable cause, without a warrant.
I am damn sure I never agreed to that.
Anybody remember what happened after 9-11 when the FBI tried to demand lists of books that patrons checked out of libraries? The librarians told them to take a flying leap, that’s what happened. ALA’s standards are to protect their customers’ privacy.
There have been previous NSA whistle blowers, who contended that U.S authorities were violating Fourth Amendment rights. Nobody cared.
Well, care now.
The IRS goes beyond the scope of its warrant to gather files concerning the financial dealings of an employee of a health institute, and seizes the health records of ten million innocent people, even though workers inform them they are violating HIPPA laws and their own warrant. (Yes, that is a horrible run-on sentence. I am blind passion.) Oh, well. At least the IRS has canceled its spyware purchases. Probably because they got caught.
A 95-year-old lady with leukemia, in a wheelchair, is forced to remove her adult diaper by TSA.
Have a fender bender in New Jersey, and soon the cop might be able to confiscate your cell phone. Ostensibly to see if it contributed to the accident, but what if you’re videoing your interaction for some reason and the cop doesn’t like it? (Which you can do.)
All those laws that chip away at your freedom sound like a great idea at the time, but guess what. If they can be misused, they eventually will be. Because when citizens allow their government to treat all of them like criminals–without reason, without provocation–it isn’t long before disagreeing with the government becomes a crime.
Tell the truth. Since you’ve found out that Google, Yahoo and Facebook turn over aggregated data to the NSA, have you thought twice about retweeting something? Posting something on Facebook?
Writing about certain topics on your blog?
If we really want to be safe, we can allow Homeland Security into all our homes, let them inventory all our stuff and microchip us. After all, that’s what we’re currently allowing, virtually.
I don’t want to be that safe. I want my business to be my own–not because I have anything to hide, but because dammit, it’s none of anyone else’s effin’ concern.
I am a lawful citizen.
I demand privacy from my government.
My life belongs to me.