Thursday, December 26, 2013
I write today about the most extreme threat to freedom and democracy in world history.
I am referring to the NSA’s bulk metadata collection. I wrote about United States District Court Judge Richard Leon’s 68-page decision in support of his order granting a preliminary injunction prohibiting the NSA from continuing to collect the metadata ten days ago. You can read my article here.
Today I am going to briefly explain why this program is an intolerable threat to freedom and democracy.
With just a few keystrokes, the NSA can discover every electronic communication that you initiated or received, identify the person or organization with whom you communicated and read or listen to the communication. This includes communications between you and your health-care providers as well as communications you might have with someone special in your life. Conversations with lovers, colleagues and friends would no longer be private and the NSA would be able to find out how you spend your money, including all of the books you buy and organizations or causes to which you contribute money.
Imagine how this information could be used against you for political purposes or to deny you a job or promotion.
Conform or perish because freedom of expression would no longer exist for anyone.
I encourage you to watch and listen to what Glenn Greenwald said about the NSA program in an appearance at an inquiry by the European Union (see the video above).
I also encourage you to watch and listen to this short Christmas message from Edward Snowden, courtesy of The Guardian and Chanel 4.
Here’s a link to Judge Leon’s decision.