Letter: Government can monitor but not rein in calls

In this Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, file photo, a man looks at his cellphone as he walks on the street in downtown Madrid. The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world  but not in the United States  that allows the U.S. to conduct surveillance on those machines, The New York Times reported Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File) Show caption
In this Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, file photo, a man looks at his cellphone as he walks on the street in downtown Madrid. The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world but not in the United States that allows the U.S. to conduct surveillance on those machines, The New York Times reported Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

It has been exposed that the U.S. government, through its agency questionably called the National Security Administration, collects and monitors billions of phone calls of U.S. citizens, the vast majority without cause or suspicion of wrongdoing. Why?

According to the NSA, we are told that the data collected has helped them to foil many potential plots. This is said without mention of specific potential plots that were prevented or details of anyone arrested, tried or convicted. Now, if specific plots have been discovered and aborted, I feel certain that the network of terrorists know all about it, so why not inform the rest of the world? Certain details of the discovery can be shielded from the public.

We now know that all of our communication is being monitored and recorded.

This raises a very important question. Are the NSA and the FCC part of the same U.S. government? It seems that one can record all calls while the other cannot even enforce a simple thing as a no-call list. I have repeatedly signed up for “no calls” and reported unwanted solicitations to the FCC on several occasions. Each time, I get a nice form letter saying they have received my complaint.

Next day, I get another call from “Rachel.” Being a naive country boy, at first I thought “Rachel” and I had a thing going. Then I found out she was calling my friends, too. Now I hang up on her, but she is devious. She will call the next day using a different number and area code.

I am at a loss to understand why the FCC cannot enforce a no-call program. I hesitate to make assumptions of undue or illegal influence on the part of the entities doing the calling, the executive branch, our Congress and the government agency allowing it — but the thought has crossed my mind.

Raymond “La La” Lalonde

retired educator and lawmaker

Carencro