Why the uproar about the phone and internet surveillance?

Yesterday it was revealed that the Feds are routinely gathering and mining  “metadata” on all phone calls and trolling through emails and other Internet content.

Ostensibly they’re just on the look out for terrorists …  that’s a good thing.

I think most folks would agree.

But many folks are in an uproar over the matter.

Why?

For starters, a lot of folks don’t trust the Feds much anymore.

According to Gallup, less than 1 in 5 Americans say that they trust the Federal government

… over 80% only trust the Federal government some of the time or never.

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And, those numbers are before accounting for:

1) President Obama being outted as as Bush-on-steroids re: privacy invasions and drone attacks

Flashback: Remember Candidate Obama saying that Bush was a horrible person doing things like that … and that he certainly wouldn’t.

Oops.

2) The Benghazi fiasco … and Susan Rice’s promotion —  this week – to National Security Advisor …Nice timing!

Flashback: She’s the person who went on the Sunday talk shows denying any terrorist involvement in the murder of the Ambassador Stevens and 3 others.

Trustworthy?

3) The IRS scandal … You know, the government targeting folks based on political philosophy and and leaking confidential information to hurt candidates

Flashback: Remember the parade of IRS officials saying under oath that they’d never do such a thing?

4) The AP-Fox phone and email surveillance … claiming criminal activity by the reporters

Flashback: Remember Eric Holder saying under oath that he’d never do such a thing?

5) Director of National Security (i.e. top spy) James Clapper saying under oath that no phone records were being collected for U.S. citizens

Bottom line: While some folks may be uneasy about having their privacy violated, I think more are outraged because – based on history – the Feds haven’t been trustworthy handling sensitive information.

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Ironic twist: This flap has Obama’s partisans up in arms, e.g. the HY Times saying that he’s “lost all credibility” … and his adversaries (i.e. many Republicans) defending the program.

My, what strange bedfellows.

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5 Responses to “Why the uproar about the phone and internet surveillance?”

  1. Andrew L. Says:

    Believe that you can say this a simpler way:
    a) We know that some and maybe many Federal agencies are collecting vast troves of information on law-abiding citizens
    b) We know that some and maybe many Federal agencies are using that information, combined with their authority, to target average citizens for their political beliefs

    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”

  2. John Carpenter Says:

    Got kind of a laugh here. The US and several other countries have been recording and analyzing international phone calls for decades. if you made an international call in the last 40 years it was recorded, It is not an Obama thing.

    • Andrew L. Says:

      Carp, this is a faulty generalization fallacy. That some wiretaps and data collection involving U.S. citizens are legal, that does not provide that all wiretaps and data collection involving U.S. citizens are therefore legal.

      There are at least three amendments on this stuff (4-6), and if you buy me a beer I will explain how this also violates the third amendment.

      Also, and I believe that there is substantial precedent here, doing something for a really long time doesn’t make it right.

      • John Carpenter Says:

        My only points here are it has been going on a long time and it is not just an Obama thing. It may be right, or it may be wrong. I don’t know enough about the current or past collection effort to be able to tell and without knowing a lot of the classified portion of the story it is impossible for me to know. I am unwilling to jump to a conclusion based on what I see from our “news” services.

  3. L. Keepper Says:

    With the lack of trust and all is this a good time to move to a national flat tax? No more IRS audits and everyone pays their fair share!

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