Are We Free?

blogTwice the New York Times has endorsed President Obama during his campaign for the presidency and has championed multiple planks of his agenda.  However, this past week there was a seismic shift and parting of ways of sorts with the editorial board saying that the Obama administration had “lost all credibility.”[1]

According to the New York Times, their frustrations have been mounting due to the increase of public scandals such as the IRS investigations regarding their tactics of intimidation, the multiple investigations about wiretapping the press and the misinformation concerning the events surrounding the terrorists attack in Benghazi.  However, the latest smoking gun uncovered this week regarding the massive overreach in gathering data on ordinary Americans was seen as a flagrant assault on American civil liberties. 

First, a report serviced exposing that the NSA (National Security Agency) had been collecting phone records from millions of Verizon subscribers.[2]  Then a Washington Post story wrote of a government program called PRISM was letting the NSA and the FBI tap into servers of 9 top internet firms, “extracting audio, video, photographs, email, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.”[3] 

What does this mean?  Well, this process which has come to be known as data mining, has enormous implications.  The government now has the capability and is using it to infringe upon American freedom, to invade our privacy, overstep their authority and intrude into the lives of average citizens.

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