Special On Other Blogs Today: Obama's Surveillance State
Some solid primers on the creepy, but not so surprising, revelations about government surveillance.
It's a little funny when you put the outrage over yesterday's revelations about government surveillance in the context of how much personal info and how many political opinions we willingly share everyday on Facebook and Twitter.
But I'm just being snarky. The key word here is "willingly."
I like the share economy, but I never signed off on sharing info about my phone calls (my "metadata") with the government. (It's certainly curious that I've signed off on sharing it with giant, unaccountable corporations such as AT&T and Facebook, but I, as most of us have, did.)
I will say, I'm not surprised by the news that the government has a warrant on America and is analyzing our digital algorithms. Ever since New York Times reporter Eric Lichtbau, who broke the news about creeping surveillance state during the Bush era, wrote a book in 2008 called Bush's Law: The Remaking of American Justice documenting how the Bush administration had access to our phone calls, I've always assumed the government was tracking all telecommunciations.
And that's not an effort to excuse Obama, who has radically extended the program, formalizing the implications of the Bush era policy by consciously taking out a secret warrant on all of us.
And the internet spying, under a program known as PRISM, is even worse. The Obama administration has an open-ended warrant giving them real time access to online info on services such as Facebook, Google, Skype, YouTube.
(The Obama administration has also indicted more than twice as many government employees for leaking news to journalists than all other previous administrations combined, and secretly seized the phone records of AP journalists, including their home phone lines and their cell phones.)
Here's a roundup of articles on the spying programs, including a Washington Post piece that dismantles President Obama's defense of the program this morning.
At the Washington Post: Everything you need to know about the NSA's phone records scandal.
At the Washington Post: Obama Says the NSA has had plenty of oversight. Here's why he's wrong.
Couldn't they have just followed us on Twitter and Facebook? It would've been cheaper.