Saturday, June 8, 2013

NSA Surveillance Scandal Isn't About National Security

National InSecurity

I agree with what Glenn Greenwald wrote (“On whistleblowers and government threats of investigation”; June 7) in The Guardian about the National Security Administration’s (NSA) Prism Program surveillance of both Americans and foreign nationals:
The way things are supposed to work is that we're supposed to know virtually everything about what they do: that's why they're called public servants. They're supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that's why we're called private individuals.
This dynamic—the hallmark of a healthy and free society—has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That's the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable.
No sane, rational person can disagree with the above. This current state of affairs, precipitated by fear, paranoia and greed—a toxic combination—has induced an uncontrolled chemical reaction, which is neither good for democracy nor for humanity in general. That civil liberties— starting immediately after 9/11 under the Bush Administration and continuing under the Obama Administration—have been impoverished is undeniably true.

That President Obama defends such all-encompassing snooping is both troubling and disappointing; it’s also predictable. The idea that it’s about national security rings hollow; that card has been played too often since 9/11 for the American public to accept it.

Let’s hope that the media, both in the U.S. and internationally, keep relentlessly hammering away at the Obama Administration on such issues, which is their main job. This could turn into another Watergate, and it might have to so as to galvanize the public—a necessary and important step to change the toxic culture that prevails in Washington. All in all, let’s hope that such surveillance practices stop soon and sane policies prevail.


You can read the rest of the article at [The Guardian]

For more information on the Prism Program  you can go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation site.