Massive outrage sparked across the nation following the revelation of the “top secret” court orders by Verizon Wireless which confirmed all speculations regarding the Obama administration collecting phone records of U.S. citizens.
Americans, including former President Al Gore and especially the Verizon customers had a lot of concerns regarding the whole matter and now everyone is wondering whether Obama is as “democratic” as he appears to be. The New York Times published a scathing editorial following the scandal citing the Obama administration has now lost all credibility.
In fact, another news which was broken just hours after the disclosure of the controversial court orders further intensified the outrage when The Washington Post reported that The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, allowing investigators to examine e-mails, photos and other documents that can be used to track people and their contacts over time.
According to reports, some of the companies named in the article - Google, Apple, Yahoo and Facebook immediately denied that the government had “direct access” to their central servers. Microsoft said it does not voluntarily participate in any government data collection and only complies “with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers.”
The president’s administration on Thursday immediately defended its collection of a massive amount of telephone records from at least one carrier as part of U.S. counterterrorism efforts. This has long been a reason and an excuse for the government to breach privacy. The whole exposé has re-ignited a debate over privacy even when it has been said to be critical for protecting Americans from attacks.
But this approach towards terrorism or War on Terror is quite similar to that of George W. Bush. When former president’s administration ended, people hoped for a much more liberal government, one that would not compromise the civil rights of Americans for the sake of gathering intelligence.
The administration officials said that the program of extracting information, code-named PRISM, is legal under a foreign intelligence law which recently was approved and renewed by the Congress. The officials maintain that the program “minimizes” the collection and retention of the “incidental” information gathered from American citizens and permanent residents.
PRISM is a data mining program which began after the terrorist attacks on Sept 11, 2001. It was reportedly later developed in 2007 and is said to have expanded under the Obama administration. The whole controversy surrounding the present government now is somewhat similar to what happened to the Bush administration exactly when it was about to end.
According to a Washington Post article published in 2005, George W. Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to spy on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the States, even though there were legal prohibitions against such actions by the government.
It appears the Obama administration is and had been doing the same thing to its citizens. They just have a legal cover for it this time around, which quite honestly, is a bit difficult to understand. Turns out, it doesn’t matter which political ideology takes over, Republican or Democrat(ic), the purpose of each and every government is; to do what it has to do. The people then just have to choose lesser of the two evils.
Check out what people are saying on Twitter about this:
I remember being at dinner with a table of young black Obama supporters in 08. They railed against Bush policies. Now Obama is Bush#NSA— Jamal Greene (@GovernorGreene) June 6, 2013
Difference between Bush and Obama? Bush used NSA to get Terrorist talking outside of US. Obama using it to Everyone talking. Waking up yet?— Kevkid 79 (@kevkid79) June 7, 2013
For years, we were told that Bush was rifling through our phone and library records. Now that Obama is worse than Bush, *crickets* #p2— Kevin Eder (@keder) June 6, 2013
I’m tempted to say that Obama’s warranted wiretapping is an even worse insult to the rule of law than Bush’s warrantless variety.— robert p. baird (@bobbybaird) June 6, 2013
Looks like Obama has to justify PRISM by giving reasons more valid than counter-terrorism efforts for the security of the American citizens. After all, even the United Nations has said that ‘countries that engage in bulk, warrantless Internet surveillance are violating their human rights obligations to ensure freedom of expression.’
What do you have to say about it? Share your views in the comments section.