Much has been said about the surveillance program being conducted by the National Security Agency. We were told that the information was being collected to catch the “bad guys” overseas who might do us harm.
I’ve watched the interview on YouTube of Edward Snowden, the man who leaked the story of what the NSA has been doing, and found it chilling. I’m not in favor of people divulging classified information, but what he says puts a face on the whole issue that we didn’t get from the politicians who assured us that we have nothing to worry about.
Snowden has drawn away the curtain and revealed what is really behind it. If he is to be believed, he had access to everything the NSA has gathered on everyone in the United States. Presumably, that includes information about telephone calls, information that goes over the Internet, bank records, credit card information and the like. If information is being gathered to get bad people overseas, why are they getting information on my local telephone calls, and why are they collecting my financial records? That information will apparently be kept forever.
We’re assured by the politicians that none of it can be mined without authority. But the integrity of any system is only as good as the people running it. Snowden could have used it. So could anyone else at NSA.
Will politicians in Washington be able to resist looking into this trove of information to spy on people for political purposes? We’re told that can’t happen. We were told the IRS wouldn’t target anyone for political purposes. But it did. Can we trust the political spies in Washington not to spy on us?