Thursday, June 6, 2013

Off topic: Verizon, FICA, FISA, PRISM, et al.

Right or Left, if you have been following the news the last few days regarding the Obama administration's abuse of power violating the privacy of US Citizens at large, you should be angry as hell.

According to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post, The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets.  The companies allegedly in cahoots with feds are Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, PalTalk, Youtube, Skype, AOL (are they really still around?), and Apple.  Dropbox, the cloud storage service, is described as “coming soon.”

When questioned, these companies have denied knowledge and involvement in this PRISM program, but why should we believe that? The presentation that accompanied the release of PRISM's existence made clear that the NSA regarded the identities of its private partners as PRISM’s most sensitive secret. Is it possible that the chief security officers were not even made privy to the existence of the government's access to their servers as the entry point is some lower level employee thinking he is doing his country a favor?

Also of note is that the NSA is not chartered for domestic survalence. The Fourth Amendment provides: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." In addition, the NSA's United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18 (USSID 18) strictly prohibits the "acquiring [of] information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons".

This is reprehensible! Not only is the NSA violating their own charter, they are now violating the 4th Amendment!

We have completely lost control of our government. They ignore the law and Constitution. How can we trust them anymore? How can we regain positive control? If we don't do something, we are headed for a very dark place.