Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged government

Appearances:
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Roger Waters
Oliver Stone
Daniel Ellsberg
Phil Donahue
Michael Ratner
Alice Walker
Tom Morello
Matt Taibbi
Peter Sarsgaard
Angela Davis
Moby
Molly Crabapple
Tim DeChristopher
LT Dan Choi
Bishop George Packard
Russell Brand
Allan Nairn
Chris Hedges
Wallace Shawn
Adhaf Soueif
Josh Stieber
Michael Ratner

This work produced by independent volunteers in collaboration with the Bradley Manning Support Network.

I am Bradley Manning.

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A new Pew Research poll has just come out and, sadly, it reveals that a majority of Americans find the NSA phone tacking system, known as PRISM, is okay with them as long as it’s for fighting terrorism. What many privacy advocates fear is true. Americans are too happy to give up their privacy in exchange for some perceived safety from terrorism.

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Currently 62% say it is more important for the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy. Just 34% say it is more important for the government not to intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its ability to investigate possible terrorist threats.

 

 

 

 

 

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For these 62%, the revelations of last week mean nothing. They don’t care if their every movement in life is tracked, recorded, and stored. They bought the lies from the government and are willing to stick with it.

One interesting, and possible huge clue is how the support varies.

Overall, those who disagree with the government’s data monitoring are following the reports somewhat more closely than those who support them. Among those who find the government’s tracking of phone records to be unacceptable, 31% are following the story very closely, compared with 21% among those who say it is acceptable. Similarly with respect to reports about government monitoring of email and online activities, 28% of those who say this should not be done are following the news very closely, compared with 23% of those who approve of the practice.

It is interesting that those who are following the reports, reading and learning what they entail, are more likely to not support what the government has been doing. Then again, 62% of Americans can’t even pass the official US Citizen test given to foreigners who wish to become citizens. Should we be so surprised that they are happy to give up their freedoms for a little bit of perceived safety?

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Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Forces conducted hearings entitled Oversight: The Law of Armed Conflict, the Use of Military Force, and the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force in which the Pentagon admitted that we are in an endless war against terrorism.

Senator Angus King tells the Pentagon officials that they have essentially rewritten the constitution.

Pentagon officials today claimed President Obama and future presidents have the power to send troops anywhere in the world to fight groups linked to al-Qaeda, based in part on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed by Congress days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Speaking at the first Senate hearing on rewriting the AUMF, Pentagon officials specifically said troops could be sent to Syria, Yemen and the Congo without new congressional authorization. Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, predicted the war against al-Qaeda would last at least 10 to 20 more years. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) challenged the Pentagon’s interpretation of the Constitution and that the entire world is a battlefield. “This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing I’ve been to since I’ve been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today,” King said. “You guys have invented this term ‘associated forces’ that’s nowhere in this document. … It’s the justification for everything, and it renders the war powers of Congress null and void.”

Read more at Common Dreams and Democracy Now!

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There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That’s the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most fundamental way, and issues a rallying bipartisan cry that will resonate with many in the U.S. and beyond.

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