In his maiden voyage as host of “The Daily Show” on Monday, John Oliver skewered the recent series of National Security Agency leaks with the aptly titled segment, “Good News! You’re Not Paranoid.”
Oliver took stock of the revelations leaked by Edward Snowden.
“So, thanks to a bespectacled whistleblower, we now know the government has been actively collecting an unprecedented amount of information on that small, select group of us who either make phone calls or use the Internet,” Oliver said. “I’ve got to say, I bet the Amish are feeling pretty f**king smug right now. Or they would be feeling that way if they had any idea that this story was happening.”
So, Glen Greenwald’s continual grasping onto this story in hopes of staying relevant like a drowning man onto a floating object, the MSM initial tendency to stampede in the direction of the original claims and now Snowden’s seemingly overstated accesses and abilities are all obiously news.
But questions remain;
- If the US Fed Govt / NSA isn’t “archiving” everything that they can get their hands for later use after a subpoena (which they haven’t denied) what are they going to store in that facility in Nevada?
NSA Utah Data Center, NPR
NSA Utah Data Center, Wiki
- What can they do with all of the metadata that they are capturing (something that they have finally admitted to)?
Using Metadata to Find Paul Revere - Heywood Jabloeme, LGF
- What protections do we have to prevent those who possess that information from selectively editing it and providing their view of your “history” as is possible as claimed by Snowden and pointed out by Howard Fineman at minute ~ 11:00 into this video?
From my perspective, it really doesn’t matter the point-of-view or the credibility of someone who tells me that this is for “my safety” etc etc, I still want to openly discuss what they are doing, what they can do with it once they have it and what protections are built in so that it isn’t misused. I do not think that is is worth the marginal increase in my security that they claim it offers not to discuss it. And the arguments that it does so should also be openly discussed.
For example - The claim that discussing this would disclose what we are capable of reduces or eliminates its usefulness. Really? This is only temporary as it doesn’t take much to figure this out without leaks so this advantage is only temporary. So, if it was widely known that if you use any electronic means to communicate about acts of terrorism we will know about it actually deters such plots. See the history in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, many of those involved in terrorism can’t cope with that knowledge anyway. Just look at the history of the use of this kind of intelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was so effective the insurgents called it “American Magic” with rumors that went so far as to claim that we could read minds.
My point is this, if the US Govt has a metaphorical gun pointed at my head, as they did the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have the right to at least know about it and consent to it as unlike the insurgents there, I don’t have to be content with calling it “American Magic”.