Do You Still Believe In Change?
I do. Big Brother Obama changed my perception of “The Sons of Liberty” this morning. In my youth, I was taught that they were patriots, doing what was necessary to protect what was to become The United States from tyranny. As it turned out, I was wrong; they were spies, lurking about the streets at night trying to see what the British were up to. How could I have been so wrong? I suppose I was blindsided by the revelation that the NSA had been gathering personal information about me through text messages, phone calls, and other nefarious ways. Luckily I have been shown the error of my ways . All quotes of Obama cited from The Guardian.
At the dawn of our Republic, a small, secret surveillance committee borne out of the “The Sons of Liberty” was established in Boston. The group’s members included Paul Revere, and at night they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America’s early Patriots.
Still I can’t help thinking that looking for British raiding parties is not exactly the same thing as raiding personal data about one’s own citizens in the hopes of finding a terrorist and thwarting an attack. Maybe it’s because I don’t think of myself as a terrorist even though I do have opinions about what my government should or should not do. Again, how could I be so wrong? Perhaps it’s because I didn’t think of the larger question.
We cannot prevent terrorist attacks or cyber-threats without some capability to penetrate digital communications – whether it’s to unravel a terrorist plot; to intercept malware that targets a stock exchange; to make sure air traffic control systems are not compromised; or to ensure that hackers do not empty your bank accounts.
On the other hand, there is considerable doubt about whether any terrorist plot has been prevented nor attacks on air traffic control, and no one stopped Target from losing my daughter’s atm and credit card information to hackers, causing her to wait while our credit union issued new cards and pin numbers. Unfortunately, she can not easily change her name and address, although I suppose she could ask that her cell phone number be changed. On the other hand, I don’t really care about the stock exchange being targeted because I am not wealthy enough to have stock (shocking selfish of me, I know). I also doubt that anyone would find emptying my bank account profitable. I do know, however, that there has been considerable effort expended to weaken the security of the internet by placing “back doors” into computer programs and operating systems, and forcing telephone companies to hand over “metadata,” text messages, possibly photos, and other personal information about my family’s mobile phone. Of course, Big Brother Obama does not believe that such things happen. How could I have been so wrong?
Let me repeat what I said when this story first broke – this program does not involve the content of phone calls, or the names of people making calls. Instead, it provides a record of phone numbers and the times and lengths of calls – meta-data that can be queried if and when we have a reasonable suspicion that a particular number is linked to a terrorist organization.
There is no mention of text messages. Perhaps, Obama has just not read The Guardian lately. Anyone with any sense of the grandiose position of the United States of America in the view of the rest of the world would have delighted in this comment from our Commander-in-Chief. It certainly justifies a number of our actions throughout the world, including the Wars on Terror that led us from Iraq to Afghanistan and the Drone attack which enable “protection” of many civilians and terrorists alike.
Meanwhile, a number of countries, including some who have loudly criticized the NSA, privately acknowledge that America has special responsibilities as the world’s only superpower; that our intelligence capabilities are critical to meeting these responsibilities; and that they themselves have relied on the information we obtain to protect their own people.
Finally, I am personally delighted to see that our President is acting swiftly to ensure my privacy in this digital age by creating at least two more committees to review and report to him on the several matters that most concern those citizens who think that Orwellian measures must be stopped now.
I believe in Change Now. Do you?
If you don’t want to wait, you can start using Don’t Track Me for your computer, phone, and credit cards and no I am not connected to them and this is not an ad, just a personal suggestion. Add your own suggestions in comments if you will.