Do you ever feel as like you are being watched? Do you own a cell phone or computer? Have you gone outside recently? Are you American? Do you live in America? If you answered yes to any of these questions, congratulations! You are now a victim of the NSA’s PRISM program. You will have every phone call you make and every text message you send monitored and saved by your good old Big Brother, the NSA.
First of all, let’s be honest, we all knew that the government had some form of electronic surveillance on the American public. I must admit, I did not think it was as far-reaching as Mr. Edward Snowden says it actually is. 110 million Verizon customers are being spied on extensively. And the best part? They hold the metadata for an unspecified amount of time.
Shortly after Mr. Snowden came out with these leaks, he was charged with three felonies, two of which were in violation of the Espionage Act of 1910. It frightens me that the head of the NSA was able to get away with lying to the American public about the PRISM program (he said there was no such program), while Snowden was charged with conveying classified information to an unauthorized party, disclosing communications intelligence information, and theft of government property. These charges carry a maximum sentence of ten years each.
Common sense tells you that the NSA’s data collection is not being used for national security purposes like our government is telling us. As Alex Jones put it, our data collection program “makes (the book) 1984 look like a nice place to visit.” The domestic espionage program is not in any way meant for security; it is only in existence to monitor our lives. Edward Snowden recently stated that the NSA “tracks more Americans than Russians.” The court orders that are obtained by the NSA come from the FISA courts, not the actual Judicial Branch of the Federal government. (The Economist) The defense that supporters of the espionage program say it is not intrusive because the NSA only collects metadata (essentially data about data); however, with the massive amount of metadata being collected it is virtually impossible to detect any terror plots. It is like finding a point of a needle in a haystack. They collect phone numbers, call durations, and text message and e-mail recipients and senders. Oh, and did I mention they are developing facial recognition software to use on the American public? Yes, you read that correctly, the federal government is developing facial recognition software. It is called the Biometric Optic Surveillance System or BOSS for short.
This is not the land of the free anymore. Now, if you will excuse me I need to plan my trip to a very nice resort called 1984.