We Can Hear You Now...
Scary news today, as the National Security Agency (NSA) admits that it's been collecting data on U.S. Citizens for about 7 years, and that every single major U.S. phone company are involved.
The Obama Administration says that the NSA's collection of phone data, approved by a federal court, is needed for national security.
I want to give you a couple of pieces of information on this because some of the arguments against this are not based in fact.
1. It is NOT the Patriot Act that approved this. It was a 1979 U.S. Supreme Court Decision, in which the Supreme Court decided that when you dial your phone, you are giving the information about your call to a third party. Hence, making it not private. Now, you and I can gripe about that. We don't like the intrusion into what we think of as a private transaction. But the fact is, the Supreme Court says that, under the constitution, it's not a private transaction.
2. They're not listening in on calls. Again, I'm not defending this. I don't like the idea of the NSA scooping up the records of 100,000,000 phone callers, and then using them in this fashion. I don't think that getting my phone records, or your phone records are going to get them any closer to people like the Tsarneav brothers in Boston. But, that being said... is it legal? Yea. It's legal.
Should they make it illegal? That's a problem as well.
I want these agencies to be able to go after the people who really are the problem. I think the CIA and other agencies should have done a better job of keeping track of the Boston bombers and their activities. Tap their phones based on the fact that you've identified that these people, or others, may be a problem.
To me that's no more complicated than a cop who goes down the road, and doesn't pull over all the cars that are going normally down the road; but when he gets behind the guy who's weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds, or looks like he might be weaving because he's drunk, that guy gets pulled over.
What do you think of that?