The NSA (National Security Agency) is the largest US spy agency. The NSA was originally set up to intercept electronic and encrypted communications from enemy governments. At that time the NSA’s work was not seen as impacting the civil rights or constitutional rights of American citizens.
In a strange twist of fate, we have recently learned that the NSA has turned its electronic communications interception technology on America, in violation of your civil rights. As described below and in the FAQ section of this website: The NSA is engaging in mass surveillance and domestic spying on American citizens on a scale that has never been done by any government in history. The NSA domestic spying program now encompasses the communications data of everyone in America. Advanced computer technology has given the NSA’s domestic spying and mass surveillance program the power to know virtually everything we say and do. These programs are shredding our rights as US citizens.
The NSA is using its powerful communications interception technology to engage in mass surveillance and domestic spying on US citizens. Not just at some US citizens but on all US citizens. We now know that as part of the domestic spying program, Verizon is subject to a secret order of a secret court (the order was published by Edward Snowden, which is why he has been deemed a traitor by many in our government and the media) which requires Verizon to upload its data on 120 million Americans to the NSA, at the end of every day. That information about every phone call you make or receive is being stored in NSA computers and is available for retrieval and data mining today, or five years from today.
Since this release our government has acknowledged that all of the other US phone companies have been under similar secret orders to send their data on all Americans to the NSA, at the end of every day. This data includes the phone number of every phone that made a call that day; what number was called; the length of the call and the location of the caller and the receiver of the call.
We also learned that as part of the NSA mass surveillance and domestic spying program, the NSA is collecting all emails sent to or from all American email accounts. This is a clear violation of our rights under the 4th Amendment and the Bill of Rights. People who are familiar with intelligence gathering have suggested that the NSA domestic spying program almost undoubtedly includes data retrieval of all twitter, facsimile, Skype and other electronic communications. The government acknowledged that it is collecting and storing data on every American. This is an unbelievably massive violation of our civil rights.
First, you might have thought that secret courts and secret court orders went out with King Henry the VIII. But evidently human nature has not changed as much from those days as we might have thought. Today we have Judge Roger Vinson of the “Intelligence Surveillance Court.” He is the one who signed the Verizon order. The NSA domestic surveillance is on you and me. We are loosing our rights to privacy and our most sacred rights as US citizens
As part of the Court’s secret order enabling the NSA to conduct domestic spying and mass surveillance of the population, Judge Vinson ordered that his order be kept secret until 2038. Surprise!! The elimination of our civil rights was supposed to be a secret.
You are very bad boy Edward Snowden for taking a copy of the domestic spying order from the NSA and publishing it. You should not have told the American people that the NSA is taking their civil rights. The little NSA judge and all his friends are very angry. They did not want us to know that they are violating our constitutional rights and our civil rights. And we are very angry at Edward too, because he took a copy of the little judge’s order and gave it to a newspaper. Some call this treason. We were not supposed to know about the NSA mass surveillance and domestic spying programs or about violations of the US Constitution.
I think in all honesty that if Thomas Jefferson were alive he would call it something like treason also, but he would be referring not to Edward but to Vinson and the commanders who are directing the NSA domestic spying program. The “commanders” as it turns out are a small number of leading figures in both the republican and democratic parties. So the political parties are not pointing fingers at themselves for violating the constitutional rights of Amercians, they have rallied to point the finger at the person who published the secret court order.
Why is NSA domestic spying and mass surveillance a problem? Why should anyone care about domestic spying or what the NSA does?
There are a number of concerns with the domestic spying programs, including that it is unconstitutional and that it is an infringement on civil rights, constitutional rights, the right of privacy and the dignity of the individual: Cornerstones of Western civilization.
But there is a much bigger issue which has gone unnoticed. This NSA domestic spying program and the Secret Court are like a leak in the face of a very large dam; If not quickly repaired, it will destroy the dam. What our government has done is to place the nation in jeopardy.
Already some people are becoming afraid to engage in political speech because the government is watching and keeping records. That view may be a bit paranoid now. But in the next couple of years as it really sinks in that everything that we do and say is being kept on electronic file by the NSA: every phone call, email, text message, photograph, this now irrational fear will spread. We will slowly lose our civil rights of free speech to fear. This will happen even if the government never uses the domestic spying data: Even if we have a wonderful wizard of Oz as president.
As it sinks in to the American psyche that we are all under continuous mass surveillance by our government and the mass surveillance is recorded and stored so that it can be accessed later by keyword, it will change our view of ourselves.
This will not be the land of the free and the home of the brave; we will beome a land where we are afraid of our own shadows. A land where our own computer screens are harnessed for mass surveillance.
And just as bad: what if it is not the wizard of Oz who reigns in Washington DC? What if, in a few of those keyword indexed phone calls or emails, you had expressed some significant disagreement with the Great Leader? Think for a moment what the leader of North Korea could do with this technology. Through keyword indexing he could have his NSA round up everyone who had ever said anything bad about him. Maybe he would only round up people who had said bad things 10 or more times. This is a nightmare for the rights of man in the 21st century.
Have you ever said anything bad about George Bush or Dick Cheney. Have your friends? Did you ever say anything bad about our current president? You don’t have to tax your memory: the NSA is keeping your data for a minimum of five years. That is the new realty of the mass surveillance and domestic spying programs which are quietly intruding into our lives every day. Quietly erasing your rights and the constitutional rights of every person on this continent
Do we know who will be the president in five years? Do we know who the secret judge will be in five years. You probably are not all that interested in politics and don’t speak about it on the phone or in your email. That’s how everyone feels in North Korea. “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down,” is an old Chinese saying. Better not to stick up for anything. Mass surveillance by the NSA will change us and is already changing us. It is changing us into a nation of serfs who have no constitutional or civil rights. People who are at the whim of their government.
People in China and Russia try to stay out of politics, and they try to never express an opinion that could be “misinterpreted.” Those governments have been conducting mass surveillance programs which are not nearly as effective and all encompassing as the NSA program.
Are we going to live that way too in a few years? Are you that weak? No. If you are reading this you know that you are not that weak. Your friends and neighbors may seem weak, but it is only because they do not know what to do… and they may be confused by the fact that both political parties are endorsing this spying program. But they are stronger than you know. We as a people are stronger. Let us use the strength of our voices now while we can.
We are going to link the 4th Amendment to the US constitution to this page. Read it and decide for yourself: Is this domestic spying and mass surveillance constitutional, or it is a violation of our rights?
Are we to remain a free and proud people? Is domestic spying on every single American without a showing of probable cause and a warrant for each record to be taken, as mandated by the 4th Amendment… Is that in the spirit of America? … or will this slowly change our view of ourselves and our relationship to our government and to one another? Will it diminish us the way it has diminished little Roger Vinson?
Not if we stand up together and demand our rights and an end to these NSA mass surveillance and domestic spying programs. We were born free. We have a right to be free.
Roger, you’re on your own.