“Surveillance: A Threat to Democracy”

It’s a frightening thought to think that we’re ready to cede away our freedom … to the paranoia of dumass elected public servants. This New York Times editorial delves into the personal data collection abyss that’s happening in our nation. 

EDITORIAL: The New York Times

“A new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll found that a majority of Americans are untroubled by revelations about the National Security Agency’s dragnet collection of the phone records of millions of citizens, without any individual suspicion and regardless of any connection to a counterterrorism investigation.

“Perhaps the lack of a broader sense of alarm is not all that surprising when President Obama, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, and intelligence officials insist that such surveillance is crucial to the nation’s antiterrorism efforts.

“But Americans should not be fooled by political leaders putting forward a false choice. The issue is not whether the government should vigorously pursue terrorists. The question is whether the security goals can be achieved by less-intrusive or sweeping means, without trampling on democratic freedoms and basic rights. Far too little has been said on this question by the White House or Congress in their defense of the N.S.A.’s dragnet.

“The surreptitious collection of ‘metadata’ — every bit of information about every phone call except the word-by-word content of conversations — fundamentally alters the relationship between individuals and their government.

“Tracking whom Americans are calling, for how long they speak, and from where, can reveal deeply personal information about an individual.”

Click here to continue reading this New York Times editorial.

The American Civil Liberties Union says: “Today the government is spying on Americans in ways the founders of our country never could have imagined.”

2 comments

  1. The only people bothered by surveillance are the ones who need to be watched. If you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have to worry about it.

  2. This quote from someone far more elequent than we, Jean Jaqueas Rosseau, sticks with us: “I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.” We agree; having watched the lessons of abuse and oppression Germany ( in 1930s and early 1940s), the former Soviet Union and middle eastern states, we prefer liberty without the heavy hand of surveillance and government spying.

    We are taken with the words of Benjamin Franklin in his speech to the Continental Congress in 1787: “In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, — if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people, if well administered; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”

    Have we run our course as a free republic? We hope not and we resist the sway towards a dystopian world. Spying on its own citizens is not the role of government.

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