Friday, June 7, 2013

We Did This To Ourselves

As a customer of Verizon Wireless I would like to express my OUTRAGE that all of my cellphone and data download information is being provided to the National Security Administration without a warrant.  This egregious breach of my Fourth Amendment right to freedom from search and seizure and my Fourteenth Amendment right to due process is unacceptable--and frankly, scary.  Now, the person responsible for this intrusion must be held accountable--and that person is: Me.

That's right, I, Jonathan Krause--and all other Americans who tolerate assaults on our Constitutional rights to privacy and due process--are wholly responsible for this "scandal".  I sat idly by as lawmakers in the wake of 9/11 demanded greater powers for the Federal Government to spy upon us in order to "prevent another 9/11".  I wrongly assumed that warrantless wiretapping would only be used on "real terror suspects"--not investigative reporters.  And I subjected myself to electronic strip searches and "additional screening" at airports--along with elderly women and babies--even though I don't fit the profile of any hijacker in American history.

We have done this to ourselves folks.  When no one challenged the first traffic camera used to issue citations for running red lights or speeding--when we are guaranteed the right to face our accuser in court--traffic cameras started showing up at nearly all city intersections.  When no one objected to the use of facial recognition software to scan crowds of people for the appearance of wanted criminals or suspects, more cameras were hooked up to the system.  When no one said they didn't want drones flying over our country monitoring our movements, drones became a common form of surveillance.

Maybe the Verizon "scandal" will be the camel that breaks the camel's back and swings the pendulum in the Freedom Versus Security debate back toward the side of Freedom.  Because as we continue to find out, Benjamin Franklin was 100% correct when he said in the pre-Patriot Act days of the 1700's:

Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.




    I usually think you're an idiot. But there's times when stuff all gets re-organized and re-prioritized, and here we are. I am totally in agreement on this issue and today I feel strong affinity with you as a "fellow American". it's hard for me to find words that describe how horrified I am by all this. This isn't a fake big deal like Solyndra or Benghazi, this is a real big deal. And because this is real, I think we can expect it to be downplayed with success. Fake issues make money and advance careers and shore up the powerful. Real things don't get talked about. Nothing to see here, business as usual.
    I believe you are a radio man? so you would know how it plays better than i, but just sayin'. The "station managers" decide stuff,and then that's the way it goes.
    I worry about the future. And the present. I also see (and I feel a lone in this) a lot of deep resonances between what is upsetting the "tea partiers" and what upsets those on the left (not your mush-mouthed party-member left, the real left) and also moderates,the indifferent and The Confused. When we all look each other in the eye day today, we can't really tell who is into the tea party and who is a die hard anything else. And we all tend to uphold basic social niceties, want our kids and neighbors to act within pretty commonly accepted standards. It's only when things get abstracted and removed that we all feel this big outrage at each other. I make this point because I feel strongly that we (Americans) are being artificially separated and used as pawns. If something big enough "goes wrong" that is going to fall apart,and we are going to remember who we all really are. The problem with that is, it's going to have to be a big, really ugly something. And we normal people are likely going to be really un-empowered to respond. It ain't gonna be pretty. Your side in possession of this kind of power over the American people - is not good. "My side" also not good. At some point, we need to dispense with all the BS and talking points and just admit, or be forced to admit, that rock-hard truth exists.
    This is scary stuff. It's the beginning of a bad situation. Harry Reid is a moron as are most of them - my side and your side.
    Before I forget, you're wrong about one thing. People HAVE been objecting. People have been freaked out and some have warned and worried aloud about the path we have been on. I could easily find all kinds of proof of that, but i think if you give it some thought it may seem familiar.

    I also hope you haven't forgotten it was a Republican Administration that implemented sweeping security 'abuses" after 911. So when you talk about "freedom" I'm not sure if you still have such a rosy view of your own party or if you mean that in a non-affiliated, non-sold-out, regular old scared American manner.
    Either party is going to use these tools. They both will. Please don't lie about that, as if there is a "safe side" to be on. There isn't, we're really that screwed.
    I'm a housewife, not a revolutionary, I have no secret plans to go all militant and blow stuff up. Besides, it wouldn't do any good.
    p.s. people in my town have been trying to get the city council to at least TALK about limiting drones. To have an ordinance in place that anticipates the eventual use of them. The council all just gets really snotty and angry, they don't want to deal with it. The conservatives just act condescending, the liberal moron just wants to get chickens in back yards and avoid real work. So there are people who care and are trying, who "love freedom". Some are "liberals" on some issues, some are "conservatives". But don't say "no one" cares. People do, they just get shoved aside.
    So good luck with your life and your struggle to make sense of things, perhaps we will meet someday in The Camps. okay that was a joke. well, i THINK it was a joke. But I'm now 55 years old, and I have to say I never thought I'd live to see this kind of normalization of surveillance in America. I assumed all the cautionary sci fi books an films pretty much laid that out, that we all "got" how bad an idea this is. But no, it' real life now.
    Okay 'bye.
    p.p.s. and you DO know about the Utah Data Center that stores all encrypted emails in preparation for the day when the encryption can be broken and all of them read (actually scanned and packet-sniffed for keywords) So - your notes to your wife...your mom...they're in there. But officials say "don't worry" and "don't be a conspiracy nut". TRUST US. Right.