(By Ellen Densmore, CCU Student) In this age of information overload, the World Wide Web, and social media, the government can easily employ technology to spy on private citizens and businesses.But in this era of easy travel access to essentially any country, and terrorist organizations that will go to any
Bill Clinton to the rescue? You bet. The former president recently spoke forcefully about an Obama administration plan that could aid authoritarian regimes in their efforts to muffle the liberating voice of the Internet and transform it instead into a tool bolstering their own life-diminishing agendas.
It is a good thing for the American people to know the extent of government’s surveillance of us, and the harms of disclosure, it seems to me, reside somewhere between trivial and none. It’s also crucial to arrest and try Edward Snowden, the former security contractor who released material about the government collecting phone records and more and is now doing his best to dodge arrest. Am I contradicting myself? I don’t think so.
In the madcap TV series “Get Smart,” secret agent Maxwell Smart evades surveillance — and archnemesis KAOS — with an array of clandestine gadgets including a shoe phone and the legendary “Cone of Silence.” Americans once laughed at Smart’s privacy-enhancing schemes. But recent revelations about America’s ever-widening surveillance state have stirred many to Think Again about their privacy rights — and pine for their own Cone of Silence.
With the recent leaks of government spying under the NSA, the political debate of the “surveillance state” has revived itself from its former Patriotic Act life.
A couple of weeks ago, President Barack Obama effectively declared the war on terror was over. Now, he wasn’t entirely clear about what matrix was used to arrive at that determination. It was not that the enemy had surrendered, signed an armistice, called for a cease fire or just gave up the fight. It appears the president simply up and decided one day that, yes sir, indeed, the war is over.
President Barack Obama is more right than wrong in his embrace of massive data collection to help prevent terrorist attacks, but watch out, fellow Americans. Privacy in our land is going poof, this particular program has potential for grave abuse, and here is an administration that too often wanders off the ranch as ideology urges it forward and incompetence says OK.
The outrage is palpable and the sudden realization by the average American that they really, truly are now living in an Orwellian surveillance state has been an eye-opening experience for many across the fruited plain. The once mocked conspiracy theory of the all-knowing Big Brother state has shown itself to be far more of an ugly reality than a silly fantasy. He who has called the War on Terror basically over has now been forced to admit that his administration has vastly expanded the concept of the security state in the name of ‘public safety.’