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Government Surveillance

Background:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
--Constitution of the United States

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
--Oath of Office - required to be taken by every member of Congress

Congress has authorized unconstitutional surveillance of United States citizens for years. Many, if not most, members of Congress have been complicit in this government spying on us.

Violation of their oath of office is a federal crime (18 U. S. C. 1918), and those members of Congress who have known about this unconstitutional surveillance should, at the least, be removed from office and fined.

It is unlikely that any Congress person will face charges for their crimes.

It is hard to imagine being "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" when our government:

American citizens owe a special Thank You to Edward Snowden. According to Matthew M. Aid, an intelligence historian in Washington, disclosures linked to Snowden have "confirmed longstanding suspicions that NSA's surveillance in this country is far more intrusive than we knew."

Among the programs that Snowden has disclosed are:

  • the NSA PRISM telephone call spying system, operational since at least 2007. We are told that only "meta data" (phone numbers, locations, and duration of every call) is collected. Even if that is the case, and we have no reason to believe anything our government tells us, it is amazing what the government can learn about us from meta data. Starting with only a list of names and club memberships taken from the American Revolution era it is possible to identify known "terrorists" of the day such as Paul Revere.
  • the Internet component of the NSA PRISM spying system, which includes the collection and analysis of much more than phone record meta data. Here is a slide indicating the extent of our personal data that the NSA routinely scrabbles through:




The larger question in all of this is why have the citizens of the United States allowed this to happen, and will we do anything about it?

The A.C.L.U. has filed suit against the Obama administration over its “dragnet” collection of logs of domestic phone calls. Senator Rand Paul joined this law suit.

One thing that individuals can do is join Senator Rand Paul in his class action suit against the NSA. If your senator or representative is not standing with Senator Paul (see the article) you can encourage them to do so. You can send faxes to you elected officials using the FAX You Opinion service.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
--Benjamin Franklin