Remember when conservative bloggers first started warning us about the super secret NSA data center being built in Utah? The warnings that the NSA was going to be able to capture and store all cell phone calls and all e-mails and virtually anything that took place on the World Wide Web. We were told that our government would know everything about every citizen; that there would be no more reasonable expectation of privacy, in spite of our constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The usual voices called the people making these warnings “conspiracy theorist” and paranoid wackos. Then a low-level NSA contract employee, Edward Snowden, spilled the beans on the NSA’s activities. Depending on one’s point of view, Mr. Snowden is a traitor or a legitimate whistle-blower and some would even say he is a hero. Whatever Snowden is, his revelations have ignited a bipartisan outrage across the country. Our government, of course, tried to cover it all up. President Obama lied to us about what he knew. Par for the course. National Security Director Clapper lied about the NSA data collection and then admitted that he lied. No surprise there either.
Has anyone been fired over these illegal acts? Don’t be silly. Has the NSA stopped spying on American citizens? Of course not. They have the technology and they will use it. They won’t even try to put the genie back in the bottle. Congress could pass laws against collecting all this data; but what real good would it do, if the NSA keeps lying to us and to Congress. No one will know unless another Edward Snowden comes forward.
In the last few weeks, Mr. Snowden has spilled some more of his beans. (He must have a very large can of beans!) Now we know that the NSA isn’t just spying on Americans; it is spying on the world! Mexico is outraged and demanding an explanation President Obama. So to is Brazil, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. This Fox News story reports that the NSA monitored 35 world leaders. In every case when one of these world leaders has called President Obama on the carpet, he has lied to them. Lying is our President’s modus operandi. Another Fox News article reports on an article in the Economic Times:
The Economic Times writes the “high-ranking” NSA official spoke to Bild am Sonntag on the condition of anonymity, saying the president, “not only did not stop the operation, but he also ordered it to continue.”
The Economic Times also reports the official told Bild am Sonntag that Obama did not trust Merkel, wanted to know everything about her, and thus ordered the NSA to prepare a dossier on the politician.
It is now being reported that Germany and Brazil are backing a UN resolution against excessive spying. Yeah, that will scare off the Americans, right? Not likely when this report say the NSA has even bugged the UN headquarters.
All countries, for national security reasons, have their spies and intelligence gathering services, If they would stick to sniffing out the bad guys, no one would be worried. But obviously the NSA and the US government are gathering information on anyone and everyone. Anyone using the World Wide Web to communicate is exposed to the NSA spying. That means people inside and outside of our government and any other government. The potential to use this information to blackmail government officials or a business executive or any individual is palpable. Does anyone believe that the information on the extra-marital affair of CIA Director Petraeus was obtained legally? One has to wonder how many of the Generals that President Obama has purged since he has been in office was facilitated by information gathered by the NSA? Could a president with NSA data “persuade” a Congressman or Sneator to vote the way the president wanted? Could an NSA Director blackmail a president? Think J. Edgar Hoover on steroids.
It use to be that the spies of the world were on a pretty even playing. The big boys all had the same technology, more or less. Today, I don’t think any country can match the United States in its capacity to spy. One reason is that Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Twitter are American companies and their managements are cooperating with the NSA’s spying. That gives the US quite an edge over the rest of the world.
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is here. The reasonable expectation of privacy is but a quaint concept of a bygone day. If you want your communications to be private, you had better look for a very low technology way to communicate. People may even have to consider talking to one another face to face. Imagine that!
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?
16 thoughts on “Spies and Lies in this Brave New World”
Great article! Sums up the issues in a neat package! I think the thing that really angers me more than anything is when you wrote, “We were told that our government would know everything about every citizen; that there would be no more reasonable expectation of privacy, in spite of our constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure.”
The U.S. Constitution has been bastardized for quite some time now. Technology is not supposed to trump the restrictions on government. And I don’t care if the ‘founders could not have foreseen the technological advances.’ It’s an argument that only those who don’t hold our protections seriously!
Hope that made some sense. Thanx again for a great article.
Mrs. Al, thanks for coming by and joining the conversation. You made perfect sense. Sadly, at least for now, people like us who believe the constitution means what it says are in the minority. How many young people graduating today know the constitution and the intent of the Founders? It is sad but we have an uphill battle to fight and time is running out.
We said this was coming, but we were the vast right wing conspiracy full of fruits and nut cases.
Yes we did! The intentionally ignorant are beginning to wake up thanks to Edward Snowden.
That depends on your definition of “bad guy.” To the US government everyone who doesn’t work for the feds is a bad guy.
Expectation of privacy? Like the constitution is over 100 years old dude. No one knows what it means and its irrelevant.
Good has become bad and bad has become good. We really do live in an asylum, don’t we?
I had considered commenting at Asylum Watch through carrier pigeon as my low-tech solution. But hey, if you’re anywhere near the ocean I could go with the message in a bottle method.
I lived eight years on the coast and just moved inland this past July. Your timing for sending me a message in a bottle leaves a bit to be desired, my friend. But not to worry. I’ll tell my sons to keep an eye out. 🙂
It looks like we aren’t the conspiracy theorist the Obama regime would have people believe and I think there is still much more to come. This is only the beginning.
You are right, Steve. This is just the beginning.
So then a government that knows where Al-Quada is, knows where the Somalian and Nigerian pirates are, knows where N.Korean and Iranian nuke builders hide but goes after none of them will gather info on all of us so they can break down our doors if the drones can’t get us first. Just what we need, a domestically pro-active paranoid government. Our tax dollars at work. If this domestic spying program works as well as the OC website we have nothing to worry about.
Well, they didn’t stop the Chechen brothers from stting oof bombs at the Boston Marathon, did they? But a reall paranoid might say they needed a security crisis to scares us into wanting more security.
Maybe we can bring back smoke signals? Nah. I suppose the EPA and CDC wouldn’t allow that. Lanterns? Paul Revere? Maybe we’ll develop telepathic skills and just channel each other. Wink wink.
There must be a way out of here…but we haven’t found it yet. I hear tapping on the walls…morse code?
I do think there will be those who figure out a language not decipherable by the PTB. People are ingenious. Maybe we should work on that? Smart people in this group. Brian? Bunker? Bob? Anyone? Jason Bourne would figure this out, eh?
All governments with the capability have been spying on each other and their citizens for years. What makes it so much worse today is the amount of data that is so readily available. Those who crave power and control just can’t help themselves. It’s like sending kids through a candy store with no limits. They can’t possibly consume it all but it doesn’t stop them from trying.
Could everyone in the government be “owned” by the RULERS? Chief Justice Roberts had some falling down spells and later gives us obamacare. Could he be blackmailed? Same goes for betray us Pretraus.