It seems now that our government is spying on us. The NSA, once concerned with foreign intelligence, is using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get subpoenas that require cell phone companies to had over the cell phone records of all its customers. The order itself is secret. This is happening to you – if you are a Verizon “customer” – without your knowledge. The government now knows everyone who you called and who called you starting on April 25.
Why? I don’t know and the way things have been since 2001, I suspect they don’t have to give a reason.
The Guardian broke the story:
The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
That’s you. That’s not me; I don’t have AT&T, but tomorrow may well bring different news.
A while back, Aaron Swarz died and I asked, what makes you think you’re so special? Here’s your answer: you’re not. You have willingly handed over every ounce of liberty to the Government in the name of security and you now have neither.
You asked why I do this job that I do. This is why. You ask how I can defend these horrible people. This is why. You ask why we shouldn’t just rush to judgment, execute people without due process of law because they’re “animals”. This is why.
You rejoice when people are convicted in the face of violations of the law because they’re bad people. You rejoice when legislatures “reform” the justice system to make it faster and easier to convict and execute. You mock me and ridicule me and insult me and threaten me when I stand between the Government and the individual accused of a crime. You ignore me when I stand up and shout about the evisceration of individual freedoms and liberties because you have the taste of blood on your lips and because you are afraid of recognizing that life is neither black nor white and it would upset your rhetoric to admit that people are people: good, bad and a little bit of everything else too.
You thought you were better than everyone else; you thought that it would never happen to you because you’re not “a criminal”. You thought that “those people” deserved whatever they got. You thought that your rights were different than the rights of those you hated or reviled. You thought the Constitution was a “technicality”. You cheered when the cloak of the protections it offers was slowly and systematically shrunk in the name of protecting our children, protecting our streets, protecting our borders until it afforded no more modesty than the proverbial fig leaf because you somehow were unable to comprehend that a corner cut here and right curtailed there are permanent acts that cannot be undone.
And now here you lie, naked, the Government spying on you and your activities. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to set about repairing the damage or are you going to shrug and turn the other cheek? I know where I’ll be: in court, fighting for your rights, my rights. Someone has to save us from yourself.