Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Government Monitoring Reporters

This report is pretty scary if it is true: http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2006/05/federal_source_.html

The idea that the government can just watch the phone calling patterns and number of reporters who write about government irregularities is so over the top that I never thought that this kind of thing would consistently happen here. I expect occasional abuses but not policies supporting this sort of thing.

What is even more scary is the comments on the blog post above calling the reporters “traitors” and such for doing their job as reporters. It seems like many Americans are more than happy to have the Bill of Rights and other basic liberties trampled on in the name of “Freedom” (if not the actuality) and our “war” on terror (which is, conveniently, not an actual war in the legal sense).

Growing up, these are the kinds of things that I couldn’t have seen my parents’ and grandparents’ generations tolerating. I cannot imagine the people that fought World War II having been willing to accept the kind of governmental oversight and invasiveness that has now become normal. It’s the boiling of the frog though; they just turn up the heat, chipping away at our rights, bit by bit, and people put up with it.

For those that haven’t been paying attention, it has become clear that, along with watching domestic and international phone calls for normal citizens, that the NSA is tapping the Internet across the board for data. They have monitoring stations set up on main Internet lines. I would have dismissed this as conspiracy in years past but the evidence is public through whistleblowers and is too consistent with the other activities in the “fight against terrorism.” The EFF has been fighting it but, as was shown this weekend, the government is more than willing to pull national security or state secret card in order to quash dissent and public notice.

Scary times to not be an American.