Monday, July 01, 2013

A look behind the curtain . . .

THANKS TO ED SNOWDEN, we have a look at the Bush-Cheney paranoia, and it's scary, a GOP/neo-con attempt to create a fourth Reich with a Stasi on steroids. William Saletan has an article in SLATE that's a fascinating read, "The Taming of the Spook", click on the link to check out the whole thing. According to him, it could have been much worse.

On March 24, 2009, the National Security Agency’s inspector general issued a 51-page draft report on the President’s Surveillance Program, the warrantless authority under which NSA had collected phone records and email since 2001. This year, the report, classified as top secret, was leaked to the Guardian by NSA defector Ed Snowden. On Thursday, the Guardian published it.

The Guardian’s correspondents, Glenn Greenwald and Spencer Ackerman, see the report as further evidence of runaway government surveillance. They note that the program extended data collection to U.S. persons, that its use of email metadata went beyond billing records, and that surveillance continued after President Bush left office. “NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama,” says the Guardian’s headline.

But in many ways, the story told in the report is really about the mellowing of the surveillance state. An ill-defined, unilaterally imposed, poorly supervised spying operation was gradually brought under control. The surveillance program didn’t just become domestic. It became domesticated.

Domesticated means built-in, won't go away, and that's the danger. Thanks to Ed Snowden, we have a chance to look at how this bundle of snakes came to be.

No comments: