The President has now come out and defended the NSA phone records and internet server data collection as necessary for national security.
"Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” Obama said. “That’s not what this program is about. As was indicated, what the intelligence community is doing is looking at the numbers and durations of calls. They’re not looking at names and they’re not looking at content, but sifting through this so-called meta data, they may identify potential leads with respect to people that might engage in terrorism."
According to reports and the infographic in USA Today, we learn that the program is not limited to telephones, but data taken from other internet servers:
The agencies are grabbing data from the servers of nine U.S. Internet companies including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple, according to the documents. The cloud storage device Dropbox was described as "coming soon," along with other unidentified firms.
The tendency by Government agencies to use "national security" as justification for intrusions into our lives and targeting of American citizens is nothing short of the beginnings of a police state. You don't dragnet an entire nation of citizens in the hope of finding the next potential terror cell. Obviously, it didn't work with the Tsarnaev brothers.
The recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision allowing the police to collect DNA evidence, for so much as a speeding ticket, is a page out of Orwell's 1984. The arms of the Federal Government, from the recent IRS targeting of conservative groups to the huge national database being created by Obamacare would have appalled our Founding Fathers and the Constitution they wrote.
While some people may scoff and laugh outright at the possibility of these databases used someday to track down gun owners, or to crack down on those who write or speak what some bureaucrat has determined to be "politically incorrect" or "racist", I would beg to differ that day is not far off. We already have seen several examples how the Federal agencies' minions have responded, and how the "free press" has stood idly by or participated in the demonization of dissent. Already we find ourselves very careful what we say in public places, at work, at church, at the store. We don't know who's listening, or what will be taken out of context or who'll we'll offend and then be sued or deemed racist.
So, how will Americans react to these latest revelations? Will they buy into the meme that some freedoms need to be compromised to remain safe? Are we safer today because we take our shoes off when we go through airport security? With the chipping away, the drip, drip, drip of our freedoms, when we wake up to take back our country, we'll find ourselves at the mercy of the bureaucratic simpletons, or thugs, depending upon your outlook, who control the databases that will bring the police or FBI to our doors. And under the guise of "national security" you may find yourself in jail, detained indefinitely. Think it can't happen? Ask Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.