Following on Alex’s note about the CFPB (jeez, who would have thought that would go wrong?), I thought I’d round up stories from the last week or two just to emphasize the point: the more we find out about our surveillance state, the worse it gets. I would explain, but there is too much. Let me sum up:
The NSA is working very hard to break encryption algorithms. This isn’t surprising; it’s what the NSA does. But it does mean that the NSA has unlimited access to financial information, medical records, internet chats and phone calls. Does anyone think we should just “trust them” not to abuse this information? Anyone?
They are also engaging in massive efforts to hack smart phones. Again, this is what the NSA does. I want them to hack the phone of terrorists. But this a tremendous amount of power for NSA to assume. Does anyone think we should just “trust them” not to abuse this information? Anyone?
It turns out that the NSA isn’t even the biggest snoop out there. The DEA is collecting massive troves of information on us, paying AT&T for access to decades worth of phone records. Cuz drugs and stuff.
Just in case you’re thinking that this is only being used against terrorist and drug dealers, Popehat reminds us that the NSA and their defenders frequently cite “others” as being among those they need to keep track of. As we have often found out to our shame, “others” can include people like … oh, just to take an example almost at random … Martin Luther King.
But … nothing to worry about here. It’s all for our safety. Just be sure to speak clearly into the telephone. You wouldn’t want to be misunderstood.